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 1984. 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 1980, when the Town Centre was still in relatively early stage of construction, the Labour Relations Board ruled that Whistler Village was a common site, meaning only union workers could be employed (learn more about the controversy around that decision here). By the end of 1983, however, as some projects were completed and more businesses were opening, this policy was being reexamined as the Town Centre site became less of an integrated site and closer to a series of individual projects. There had also been huge changes in the economy and the role of the municipality in the development.
Question: Do you think union or non-union labour should be used to complete the Convention Centre and other Whistler Village developments?
Douglas Irvine – Gas Station Attendant – Brio
I don’t disagree with some of the locals being up here and building it. It keeps jobs and families in the valley. As a businessman I would keep locals employed as long as they could do the job right and do it on time and cheaply. It doesn’t make any difference if they’re union or non-union.
Dick Francisco – Union Carpenter – Fairbanks, Alaska
If it hadn’t been for the union there wouldn’t be any work here now anyways. It’s created a productive job environment and yes, they should finish it with union labour. I have been informed by contractors that if the help is union help they can compete and make money over non-union help because they are better qualified and more efficient.
Hall Hunter – Businessman – Alpine Meadows
I think it should be an open site. It’s the democratic way, so to speak, that whoever has the best prices and does the best job gets the work. Whether it’s union or non-union workers, if they have the work record and the prices they should get the job.