In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1982. Please note, all names/answers/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: In August 1982, labour disputes between seventeen affiliated trade unions and the Construction Labour Relations Association shut down work on two sites in Whistler: the Keg building and the Carleton Lodge. BCGEU workers at the liquor store also went on strike for three days.
Question: Do you think the BCGEU strike and construction workers’ strike are warranted?
Max Maxwell – Truck Driver – Whistler Cay
No. The economic situation is such that you have to be prepared to take a little less.
The BCGEU strike helped destroy one of the few sources of income we have left in this province – tourism.
As for the construction workers, to ask for an exorbitant increase in wages like they are is sheer lunacy.
Diane Degusseme – Liquor Store Clerk – Brio Estates
The BCGEU strike is. We just finished a three-year contract and the economy has changed drastically in that time. It’s just what our slogan says, “Catch up and keep up.”
What we’re asking for is a 15 percent increase over one year – which works out to about $1 more per hour.
The construction workers though, as asking far too much in terms of today’s economy. The increase they want is more than some people make.
Basically, the whole province suffers from a bad case of union-itis.
Len Ritchie – Janitorial Service – Alpine Meadows
The construction workers are asking for a large increase, but I don’t think that’s their bottom line. It’s hard to say whether or not it’s warranted because we don’t know what they’ll settle for.
But as a person who has just renegotiated a mortgage (at a 25 percent increase), I’d have to say the government’s 6.5 percent wage restriction is way out of line.