The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is throwing it’s support behind an open letter to Premier John Horgan and his Cabinet from organizations in the province after the announcement of changes to government procurement policy.
The so-called Community Benefits Agreement mandates union membership to enter into contracts with the government on large-scale infrastructure projects.
Kamloops Chamber of Commerce President Joshua Knaack says the policy removes the right of workers to choose whether or not to join a union and which union to join.
“It limits the opportunity of workers who may prefer not to be unionized or may want to be a part of a different union other than the one that was specified. It also really reduces the number of companies that can bid on these infrastructure jobs and will likely lead to increasing costs for the taxpayers.”
Knaack says no matter how a company decides to organize their workforce, every company should have the right to bid and win government work.
“But one step further than that is not just the businesses, but how many employees in Kamloops are now excluded or impacted in the fact that they have to join a specific union for the duration of a project?”
The first two projects to be delivered under the plan will be the new $1.3-billion Pattullo Bridge and the four-lane expansion of Highway 1 between Kamloops and the Alberta boundary.