300 workers have been locked out at AVCORP since Monday night.
BC Liberals believe that the most significant safety net a family has is stable employment. AVCORP, in North Delta, has provided that to three hundred employees. Labour relations have been good, with no job action in fifty years.
On Tuesday, I spoke with the workers on the lockout line, and the first thing that struck me was how much they value their jobs and employer. These are good jobs: wages that enable them to raise a family in Delta and Surrey. I have visited the lockout line every day this week and spoken to a lot of different people; they all take great pride in their craft.
They fabricate parts for Boeing, Lockheed, and others. Parts made for the new Boeing 737 is a point of pride for them. I was excited to hear about their work on CAF Chinook helicopters. Our Chinooks are a primary tool used in national disaster relief.
Chatting with many of the folks locked out, I realized that they had moved to Delta and Surrey twenty-thirty years ago. They have raised or, are building, their families here.
River Road is packed full of plants just like this one. A brewery, tire plant, truss construction company. It is a vital hub for local employment. When we talk about our growing population and do not support local work, we are short-sighted. Thousands of workers travel just a few kilometers to work and often, carpooling by shifts.
If we do not adequately support the companies providing local employment in Delta, they will migrate those jobs to other Provinces or out of Canada entirely as is happening at AVCORP.
What are the costs of closing these avenues of employment in increased carbon emissions (more traveling), congestion, and mental health?
Part of caring for the environment is having people live as close to where they work as they can. Part of caring for mental health is causing less kitchen table stress with job insecurity. The NDP and Greens claim to care about both the environment and mental health. They are not supporting local employment.
The workers on the lockout line have been without a contract for months. They are fighting recall seniority loss, which they may be progressing. Their main issue is the outsourcing of jobs. Delta needs to keep an eye on these situations. If we continue to grow in population in the north, while local jobs flee south of our border, the only way for our citizens to gain employment in skilled labour is to travel our roads and bridges every day. Where is the Green’s plan for that? What is the NDP doing about that?
These are proud men and women, and they love their job. How many people can honestly say that? They meet up and carpool to work for the start and finish of shifts. How many can say that? While the NDP sells the idea that we can ban our way to ecological health, there’s a problem in Delta right now that they are ignoring. That which you ignore, you accept.