Since completion in 1937, the four lane Pattullo Bridge has moved traffic across the Fraser River from Surrey to New Westminster and onward to downtown Vancouver. A particularly dangerous bridge without centre barriers despite a disconcerting bend at the south end. Years past its prime, a 2014 meeting of the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council determined it would be demolished and replaced at a cost of $1.3 billion.
Enter NDP Premier John Horgans’ announcement this week – Pattullo will be built by union workers in accordance with “community benefits agreement”. Those three words added $100 million tax dollars to costs. In a nutshell – all workers must join a union within 30 days. In exchange for “fair market wages” ( “The wage provisions mean, for example, a journeyman industrial mechanic would earn $43.65 per hour this year in wages, plus $8.56 in benefits. That would rise to $49.16 by 2024, plus $9.64 in benefits. A journeyman electrician would start at $39.31 an hour this year, plus $8.07 in benefits, and rise to $44.27 by 2024 with $9.08 in benefits. ” ) workers agree not to slow down progress or go on strike. 25% of workers must be apprentices and priority hiring is given to aboriginal and women tradespeople.
“The government will also pay into special union-controlled funds directly under the agreement. As much as 32 cents an hour for each employee will go directly from government into special funds controlled by the unions with such titles as “the B.C. Construction Industry Rehabilitation Fund” and the “Council Administration Fund.”
Government created B.C. Benefits Infrastructure Inc., a new Crown corporation dedicated to human resources and payroll. Unions will collect mandatory dues and administer the health benefits packages and pension plans. Buried deep in the 336 page agreement, a truly staggering benefit –
Meal requirements for job site camps specify “camp occupants are entitled to eat all the food they want,” elbow room “shall not be less than 76.2 cm per person,” dinner plates must be kept warm and the dessert table must always have at least one pie and variety of Jell-O or pudding available daily. WTF! Wedding guests seated 8 to a round table don’t get 72.6 cm ( 28 inches ) elbow room. Eat all they want? Are they nuts? Dinner plates always kept warm? That’s ridiculous! Bottomless pie and pudding? Stop, I can’t take it! In addition, the type of salads allowed, dressings, meat quality, starches, acceptable condiments and strict regulations not to repeat the main course of chicken, beef or seafood more than once every five days. From https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/331/2018/07/Community-Benefits-Agreement.pdf –