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Rise in temp jobs worries labour leader

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Temp jobs are on the rise in B.C. (FILE PHOTO)

Temp jobs are on the rise in B.C. (FILE PHOTO)

A report showing a significant increase in the amount of British Columbians working temporary jobs represents a disturbing trend, says a provincial labour leader.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report Thursday indicating the amount of people in the province working jobs through temp agencies or just temporary employment has increase by than double.

B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair said the findings of the two-year study serve as a grim sign of the current direction of the province.

“I think it’s deeply disturbing,” Sinclair said. “The clear trend is temporary jobs that are unprotected and open for abuse.”

Temporary job holders often live in poverty plus the jobs offer little security and don’t provide severance pay or other perks permanent employment offers, said the report.

Because of that, some employers are more likely to hire workers on a temporary basis, said Sinclair.

“I think we have to fight the dominant message today which is good-paying jobs are bad for the economy,” said Sinclair. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We have to get to the point where we recognize good economies are there because there are good wages to go with them.”

The report said about two-thirds of temp agencies in the Lower Mainland are not legally registered, and the B.C. Ministry of Jobs said it is a legal requirement.

“They are subject to the same mandatory penalties applied to any finding of contravention of the act,” said the ministry.

Meanwhile, the BC NDP took a swipe at the BC Liberal government Thursday for granting a contract to build new ferries to a polish firm, rather than build them locally.

The NDP’s ferry critic Claire Trevena said the move will cost the province jobs.

“Building three new ferries is going to create a lot of good jobs in Poland that could have been filled by British Columbians,” said Trevena in a statement. “The B.C. Liberals should have a plan in place to ensure that contracts like this worth hundreds of millions of dollars will create jobs here in B.C. and benefit our shipbuilding industry.”


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