BC Federation of Labour: We need your help to protect BC Hydro

 

Christy Clark and her BC Liberal government are proposing massive rate hikes and layoffs of dedicated BC Hydro employees who have made BC Hydro the jewel of BC’s Crown Corporations.

An average family will pay an additional $130 or more next year, and as many as 1,000 people could lose their jobs, despite BC Hydro running a record $589 million profit this year.

Why?  Because of the Christy Clark government’s failed energy policies.

Independent Power Producer agreements are adding hundreds of millions of dollars to Hydro’s costs, unnecessarily.

And, the BC Liberals ill-advised plan to install “Smart Meters” on every home in BC will cost $1 billion.

We can stop these rate hikes and wrong-headed layoffs, but I need your help.

I am asking you to do three simple things today.

1. We’ve prepared a letter that you can send online with a single click to Energy Minister Rich Coleman – telling him to scrap smart meters and end these expensive power purchase agreements
2. Read this opinion-editorial from Jim Sinclair. It emplains what’s really wrong – and how the problems with BC Hydro start and stop with the BC Liberal government.
3. Share this message with five of your friends.

Please click here to send a letter to Energy Minister Rich Coleman and urge him to scrap smart meters and end these expensive power purchase agreements

Time is running out.  Please take action on these 3 simple things, right now.

Summer McFadyen
Director, B.C. Federation of Labour

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Jim Sinclair Says Vote YES to Scrap the HST

I’m Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. HST ballots have started arriving, and I wanted to send a personal message to working people and their families that we need to stand together and vote YES to SCRAP the HST.

Today, we released a simple and clear video: Stickman Explains the HST Honestly

I encourage you to watch the video and share it as widely as possible.

Share the video on Facebook

Share the video on Youtube

Email the video to your friends

 From day one, the BC Liberal government has lied about everything about this regressive tax shift. Since becoming Premier, Ms. Clark has spent millions of public dollars on a partisan advertising campaign that repeats BC Liberal lies about the HST. I’m tired of her lies and very concerned about the future of our province for working families. We need to vote YES to scrap the HST.

• We need to vote YES so that essential items like childrens’ clothing, safety products, veterinary bills, and home repairs don’t have hundreds of dollars of new taxes – more than $1,000 a year in new taxes for an average family.

• We need to vote YES so that big corporations don’t walk away with an extra $2 billion every year, at your expense.

• We need to vote YES so that our public services like health care and education aren’t left with a $1 billion shortfall.

• We need to vote YES so our elected representatives learn that they can’t lie to voters and get away with it.

Between now and July 22, we have a very important job to do. Today, I am asking you to do a few simple things to ensure we succeed.

1. Visit http://hstinbcfacts.ca and sign the Yes to Scrap the HST Pledge

2. Share this email with your colleagues and friends, and encourage them to visit http://hstinbcfacts.ca for the real facts about the HST.

3. Organize a “bring your ballot to work day”.

Let’s work together and defeat this regressive tax shift. Let’s vote YES to scrap the HST.

Jim Sinclair,
President
BC Federation of Labour

 p.s. Our parody ad campaign, taking on the stick men, has everyone talking. You can see the videos at http://www.youtube.com/hstinbcfacts

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The HST Has Been a Con Job Since Day 1

By Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Federation of labour
Special to The Province July 7, 2011 ~ Link to Province story

British Columbians are now voting on whether or not to scrap the HST.

If the HST survives the referendum, it will go down as one of the most successful con jobs in the history of the province.

A good con starts with a lie. The B.C. Liberals said point blank they would not bring in the HST. Then they got re-elected and immediately imposed the HST, assuming the con would work. After all, it was four years until the next election.

This particular con job involved British Columbians overlooking the fact that they would be picking up a $2-billion tax bill on just about everything that would let big business avoid paying $2 billion in taxes every year.

The plan was simple enough.

Like most con jobs, people were skeptical. Polls showed 80 per cent weren’t buying it. Even the popular former finance minister Carole Taylor saw the con for what it was and rejected it. “This particular tax takes the tax off of businesses — it takes $1.8 billion off of businesses — and puts it on consumers,” she said.

British Columbians turned their anger to action, creating a grassroots movement that did the impossible, forcing the first citizen referendum in B.C.

Clearly this con job was in serious trouble and a new strategy was needed.

Job one: change the con artist. Gordon Campbell, facing political oblivion, was run out of office and we all felt a little better.

Business lined up behind pro-HST leadership hopeful Kevin Falcon and all appeared on course until Christy Clark rocked the boat and won the leadership. It was almost the end of the HST.

Clark knew the tax was a dog and said so: “After almost a year, the public still hates the HST . . . and if it goes to a referendum, a real referendum, the HST will almost certainly fail.”

Her suggestion to kill it was simple enough. Do what the people wanted, vote down the HST in the legislature and save millions by cancelling the referendum.

She ruled out lowering the tax. “We aren’t going to be talking about trying to reduce it by a point or two before the referendum. I think people will see that as buying them with their own money,” Clark said in March. “We’re going to have a $1.6-billion bigger deficit or we’re going to have fewer heart operations, special-needs teachers, school facilities [and] hospital emergency rooms.”

British Columbians hoping Clark would bring real change had their hopes dashed when, bowing to business and cabinet pressure, Clark did a complete U-turn on the HST.

The HST would go to referendum, only sooner, and she did what she said she would not do — she lowered the HST to 10 per cent from 12.

The con job was on again. This time, business was ready.

More than 40 business groups under the umbrella of “smart taxes” are spending millions to tell us the HST is a great thing, lots of jobs, lower taxes, lower prices and prosperity for all. None of it is true.

The Clark Liberals piled on with another $5 million of taxpayer money to back up the business message. It is, by all accounts, a shameful turn of events.

Here’s what the con artists won’t tell you. Ordinary British Columbians will see taxes go up. A paltry 200 jobs a month might be created at cost of nearly $1 million per job.

Prices have not gone down, and the provincial budget will now be more than $1 billion short and government will have to cut jobs and services. As for the $2-billion tax cut for business, they get to keep it all.

British Columbians want fair taxes, they want good jobs and they want a province where health care, education and other important public services are funded. Let’s reject this cynical attempt to con us again and vote YES to scrap the HST and start a real conversation about creating good jobs, sharing tax responsibilities fairly and building a province of prosperity and opportunity for everyone.

Now that’s a job working people are up for, not another con job.

***

Jim Sinclair is president of the B.C. Federation of Labour.

© Copyright (c) The Province

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Day One – Finning Picket Lines

It has been a busy day today at the Union office, as we try to answer Member and Steering committee calls respecting picketing and bargaining issues. Picket lines are now up at all Finning Branches, and we thank our members for those lines, and for asking those crossing to not do business with Finning.

IAMAW Picket lines also showed up briefly at DiPerk Canada – a Finning subsidiary, but subsequently left. Info on Diperk: In January of 2004 Finning International added engines manufactured by Caterpillar subsidiary ‘Perkins Engines Company Limited’ to its product line in Western Canada through the creation of DiPERK. Our long experience with Perkins engines has its roots in other territories. Finning International is known to be the largest distributor of Caterpillar equipment in the world, and the sole distributor for Perkins in Chile, Argentina, and the United Kingdom. DiPERK Chile was recently awarded as the best Latin American Distributor. (http://www.diperkcanada.ca/company.asp)

There has been nothing new from the Company at this point, but this is only our first day on the picket lines. We have heard there are a number of customer complaints about lack of Service on their equipment, and we have a number of trucks and suppliers who are turning away – those we applaud. For those who are crossing our picket lines, we encourage our IAMAW pickets to carry a camera, and send us photos of the violators.

We have had a teleconference with the BC Federation of Labour and a number of Unions, and they are aware of our Labour dispute, and have offered support to Machinists Union. IAMAW Local 99 in Alberta has also offered their support and encouragement – they will do all they can to assist us in this dispute, within the limits of the law.

We also have had a number of media calls, and these have been answered by Stan and Al. We understand that the media may approach you and ask your opinion – our advice is to refer them to the Union and we can respond. If they ask you to speculate – and they will – it may get printed or repeated by the media. As an FYI, we understand that the Prince George media got it wrong already: they reported that the Union employees turned down a $5,000.00 signing bonus. This is 100% inaccurate.

All locations should have received a seniority list and a tracking chart with respect to Picket duty – if you are not on the list, make sure to let us know so we can correct this ASAP. You must participate in picket duty in order to be paid Strike pay. Please ensure that you sign up with your picket captains and record all picket shifts. We are thanking all members for keeping our picket lines peaceful and professional. We did have one report of alcohol on a picket line, and we again ask that we keep it to soft drinks, coffee, and water. Let’s save the adult beverages for after our picket duty, and away from your picket lines.

 Thanks again for your support!

Al Cyr                                      Stan Pickthall
Business Representative      Business Representative
acyr@iam250.org                  spickthall@iam250.org

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INVITATION TO BCFL ELECTION CAMPAIGN MEETING IN KEY RIDINGS

TO:     RANKING OFFICERS

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

LABOUR COUNCILS

LABOUR REPS ON NDP PROVINCIAL COUNCIL

POLITICAL ACTION STANDING COMMITTEE

LABOUR COMMUNICATORS

 

RE:   INVITATION TO BCFL ELECTION CAMPAIGN MEETING IN KEY RIDINGS    

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

The B.C. Federation of Labour is hosting special regional meetings to strategize for the coming provincial election.  At these meetings, we will discuss the HST campaign, fall pre-election campaign strategies, and key issues of importance in each community.  We will also give participants a behind-the-scenes view of the BC Fed’s election campaign.

Urgent Action for Affiliates:  By Monday, June 13, send out an invitation to all your union members to encourage them to attend the upcoming meetings.

Union members can register for the meetings at:

http://act.bcfed.ca/invitation-to-union-members

Staff and union leaders are also encouraged to attend the meetings.

Meeting Schedule:

(note meetings will be held from 7:00pm – 8:30pm)

JUNE 16 – Vancouver

JUNE 20 – South Van. Island

JUNE 21 – North Van Island

JUNE 22 – Surrey/Mission:

JUNE 23 – Burnaby/Tri Cities

JUNE 27 – Kamloops and area

JUNE 28 – Cariboo

JUNE 29 – Prince George

JUNE 30 – Okanagan

 

If you have any questions about the upcoming meetings, please contact the BCFL Director of Political Action Summer McFadyen at smcfadyen@bcfed.ca or 604.430.1421.

In Solidarity,

Jim Sinclair

President,

Sent by:  Marisha Zuckerman, Executive Secretary to JIM SINCLAIR, President
B.C. Federation of Labour
#200 – 5118 Joyce Street
Vancouver, BC  V5R 4H1
604-430-1421 phone
604-430-5917 fax
mzuckerman@bcfed.ca

visit our website at www.bcfed.ca

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