Letter: Cynical look at Fortis BC vs union

Considering that FortisBC’s own industry survey shows their workers are already paid far below average

To the editor:

FortisBC is right. Their union is greedy. Why else would FortisBC’s electrical workers go without income for four months if they weren’t incredibly, extremely greedy?

Clearly, FortisBC saying the union only cares about money is true, look at all them picketing in the cold on Enterprise and Benvoulin just collecting those fantastically huge imaginary paycheques.

These union-types are ruining mom and pop companies like FortisBC; they have been for years. Because of these greedy union workers FortisBC’s profits are up 108 per cent since 2005, power outage times have been reduced, safety infractions have decreased, and customer satisfaction targets have been exceeded. Yet these workers still have the nerve to refuse a contract that will make them worse off. Typical.

FortisBC only told their employees they would be forced to work longer hours for less pay with a four-day work week. Sure, with less time at home on weekdays that would mean workers have to pay for additional childcare, but to pay for it they can just work more hours and see their kids on weekends. Problem solved.

FortisBC also proposed a two-tier system for employees. Considering that FortisBC’s own industry survey shows their workers are already paid far below average—10.4 per cent below average for power line technicians—why shouldn’t new hires be paid even less and receive even fewer benefits? If wages are already going in the down direction, why turn the train around? Trains can’t even turn around.

The electric utility also wants to force union members to work during all future labour disputes, but the typical greedy union refuses to accept that. What next? The union announcing it wants to stay a union? Balderdash.

Private electric companies with monopolies have for years been suffering from greedy workers being underpaid and consumers who think they deserve reasonable electricity rates. It’s time someone stands up to defend high rates, high profit margins, and high executive pay. Those 225 workers going without pay for months and only wanting a contract that doesn’t make them worse off are just greedy. FortisBC on the other hand is for sure definitely not, and is only doing what’s good for customers and workers.

On an unrelated note, though the company has saved millions from not paying its workers, FortisBC is planning on increasing rates 19 per cent by 2018.

Scott Ross,

IBEW Member,

Kelowna

 

Kelowna Capital News

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