To the Editor,
Shortly after the passage of BC Liberal Bill 29 in January 2002, the Salvation Army used this piece of legislation to terminate its unionized care staff (Hospital Employees’ Union) at their Victoria Sunset Lodge care facility.
The majority of those employees were women, many the primary wage earner for their family and/or the head of a single parent family.
All had provided many years of faithful service, may 20 years or more.
To save money by hiring new workers into part-time jobs at lower wages.
Now history repeats itself as the Salvation Army takes advantage of weak labour laws in this province and fires its unionized staff (BC Government and Service Employees’ Union) at their Victoria recycling centre.
It’s not as though these workers were making high wages: at $13.53 per hour, they are would still be living at or below the poverty level for Victoria.
But now the work will be done by non-union staff at a, presumably, lower wage.
Again, a number of these dedicated employees have given over 20 years of service to this organization who prides itself on “generat[ing] funds to help low income families and individuals”.
In both cases, the impact of losing their jobs is devastating.
Some will lose more than just a job: some will lose their homes and perhaps even their families if they are not able to support them.
Claiming that this is merely a business decision is not good enough for an employer who wants to claim good works and Christian charity as its reason for being.
There are many fine organizations dedicated to helping the less fortunate among us.
The Salvation Army does not appear to be one of them.