BC Federation of Labour – Calls for Good Jobs, Good Wages Action Plan

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**For immediate release**

October 6, 20106

BCFED calls for good jobs, good wages action plan
Vancouver- The BC Federation Labour criticized the Clark government for poor economic management, declining wages, and the loss of good-paying, full-time jobs that support families and communities, in a presentation to Liberal and NDP politicians on the finance committee of the provincial legislature.
“There’s a crisis taking shape across our economy because good jobs are disappearing in BC, while wages aren’t keeping pace,” BCFED Secretary-Treasurer Aaron Ekman told the politicians. “And we face the mounting problems of poverty and inequality that the Clark government has failed to address.”
Ekman says the recent timber mill closure in Merritt that will put 200 mill workers out of work just before Christmas symbolizes the looming crisis. “Good-paying, full-time jobs—like the 200 in Merritt—that support families and communities are on the decline,” he told the committee. “And a deeper analysis of monthly government employment statistics shows that part-time jobs with low wages and instability for workers are on the rise.”
Historically, average wages in BC used to be among the highest in Canada, Ekman says. “But under the Liberals, we’ve fallen to the low end, in a province where living costs are skyrocketing.”
The BCFED’s nine-point action plan includes a call that Victoria implement a good jobs strategy to create more full-time work in all sectors of the economy instead of precarious part-time positions, and that the BC government set a goal of making BC first in Canada in the creation of good-paying. full-time jobs.
Ekman also demanded that the government shift gears with policies to make BC first in Canada for the highest average wage, including a $15 per hour minimum wage that would lift 500,000 BC workers—25% of the work force—out of poverty.

“For workers, life is less affordable because wages just aren’t keeping up. We’re paying more for everything. And the government is piling on higher costs for the basics like Hydro, ICBC, and MSP premiums.
“Unless we do something fast and chart a different course, our province is going to be a place where only the rich can live,” he said.
The full BCFED good jobs, good wages action plan can be downloaded here: Action Plan PDF.

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For more information, contact: Stephen Howard, Communications Director, 778 879 0707

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