76.2 Centimetre Elbow Room

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.”

NDP rules could boost Pattullo Bridge replacement by $100 million

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

BC Construction Camp Rules & Regulations
Lunch and dinner meals. Salad table will be
refrigerated or ice provided. Minimum requirements:
a. An assortment of salads, coleslaw , green salad (tossed), potato salad and two other
prepared salads, (Caesar / Greek / Pasta / Bean Salad /protein etc)
b. Pickles (dill and sweet), olives, pickled beets etc.,
c. Fresh vegetables, (4 varieties per meal) tomato wedges, cucumber, green onions, celery
and carrot or turnip sticks, radishes
, zucchini, chilled canned tomatoes
d. Protein and Meats: Two choices, varied from
meal to meal of, Cold Meats: ham, roast
beef, pork, chicken pieces, head cheese,
assorted cold cuts, pickled or deviled eggs,
cheese, humus or chick peas .
e. Salad dressing: (assorted including low calorie choices) vinegar and oil
f. Assorted garnishes,crackers,bread sticks
Image result for pattullo bridge

7 thoughts on “76.2 Centimetre Elbow Room

  1. I think the key word here is ‘camp’ – these people are eating in camps for weeks/months. The food is an important component and if regulations aren’t in place, standards go down. (Sub-standard food, workers squished into small spaces, etc.) Morale on job sites goes down and workers leave; the job costs more in the end. A happy, well-fed worker is a productive one. We have a marine engineer son-in-law — believe me, we hear about job site food! 🙂

  2. Neither Canada nor the U.S. could afford to build their countries today with the wage and safety regulations in effect. And we are both in similar situations in terms of facing the reality that those things we have already built will one, by one, by one need replacing, rebuilding, or reconfiguration. Europe has had to deal with that reality for centuries — they have had no place to go and limited resources with which to meet their needs. We on the side of the Great Waters haven’t yet come to terms with what civilization/society/culture really mean. With numbers like these I can see a lot of projects being postponed. It’s OK to joke about the mess the U.S. is in, but dear Friends to the North you too will feel your own pain soon enough.

    • I can’t wrap my head around $7.25 minimum wage. In B.C. minimum wage is $12.65, the Fair Wage Commission will see that raised to $15.20 by 2021. That said, the current “living wage” in B.C. is $20.91 an hour.

      • A few months ago I exchanged comments with a bartender from Alabama. She eared $2.50 an hour because it was presumed tips would bring her wage above legislated minimum wage. Blew my mind! My bartenders start at $16 an hour. Yikes!

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