In a Vancouver Sun article (Market wages would make a difference to city’s taxes, December 28, 2009) Philip Hochstein argues Vancouver civic workers who make a living wage should be made to suffer the fate of those in the private sector whose employers get away with paying under $15 an hour for labouring, or $10-15 an hour for cleaning. He decries $19 an hour as “huge salaries.” I wonder what Mr. Hochstein gets paid?
He then attacks civic workers for having benefits. Imagine, dental coverage and paid sick leave for people who clean toilets and fix roads! His indignation at these workers having wages and benefits that lift them out of poverty reveals a breathtaking disdain for their rights and the rights of their children to healthy food, decent housing and other necessities.
His attempt to pit poorly-paid non-union workers against those whose unions have won them living wages is an old divide and rule tactic, designed to take the focus off obscenely high salaries at the top in both the private and public sector.
Scrooge is alive and well and working at the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of BC. I hope he doesn’t speak for all of his association’s members.