Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

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Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Coaster » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:10 am

Hey Scooter, why did you lock out the Batlang thread? It seemed like people needed info in order to get paid. The forester for BCTS Castlegar was Sean Switzer 250-365-8600 but he's quit and moved to the coast. Phoning that office would still work as someone must have stepped in for Sean. It's more than likely that Batlang has received full payment from them though. Planters should know that bankruptcy doesn't protect a company owner from paying wages to workers. They'd have to sell their house and posessions to pay people if it came to that. Everyone should make their claim to LRB if they hope to get paid.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:16 pm

Ultimately, that thread was closed to protect the guilty.

But, if you read the whole thread, there is info there in how to join a google chat room for the affected planters. Otherwise there's nothing new to report since that thread was closed. I finding it odd though that something like 38 planters have been ripped off for almost a months wages and only 4 or 5 people have done anything about it . The rest have done fuck all in the last two months.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by backcountrysister » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:40 am

The LRB is the way to go. I have gone there to deal with my own non - payment issues. The Nelson branch is doing the intake on the employment standard claim. When I went to make my complaint , the intake automatically assumed it was Brian Adams. It will be interesting to see what happens at the next WSCA meeting concerning all of this low balling & non payment issues...
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:33 pm

I ended up locking it after a couple of people close to the situation requested that I do so. We wiped out a few of the posts near the end of the thread, which weren't informative with respect to resolving the situation. We figured that with the contact info still held within the thread, anyone with a stake in the outcome could contact other people who were "in the know" and get the info that they needed. Sometimes, information is better kept between related parties instead of posted for the world to see. And I actually mean this on both sides of the issue, although in this instance I didn't ever talk to Brian or Adam. I ran into them once at Starbucks in Kamloops, but that's the extent of my interactions with them.

I do agree that it is odd that more planters haven't contacted the Labour Relations Board.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by The_Bearslayer » Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:37 pm

UPDATE:

As of the last few days, it looks like there is no recourse for Batlang planters to recover their earnings. Some of us have lost upwards of five thousand dollars. I think the collective figure is upwards of $150 000. Brian is declaring personal bankruptcy -- if he had declared corporate bankruptcy planters would be eligible for compensation under WEPP, but in this case we get nothing at all. Now, from the beginning most people attributed the whole thing to Adam's embezzlement/coke habit from last season (not slander, any one of dozens of planters would be happy to confirm it), but I now realize this can't account for all of it. Brian Adams owes $600 000 dollars to the government and no one can snort that much coke. When Brain finally e-mailed us a week ago after months of silence, he said the bankruptcy was the result of gross mismanagement, with "help" from his ex-business partner, which would be awfully weak language to condemn Adam. So I think this might be Brain's fault as much as his. But who knows.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Richianity » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:55 pm

The_Bearslayer wrote:I think the collective figure is upwards of $150 000. Brian is declaring personal bankruptcy -- if he had declared corporate bankruptcy planters would be eligible for compensation under WEPP, but in this case we get nothing at all.
It's the corporation that owes you the money, not these clowns personally. If Batlang is not bankrupt, then they still owe. I'd sue everybody, and fast.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:18 pm

edit
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:53 pm

It's the corporation that owes you the money, not these clowns personally.
That's a very key point here. Hence the reason why I incorporate all of my companies. Absolutely everything, very first step. Hell, even my DJ website is incorporated, in case someone tries to sue me for something retarded, like their girlfriend crying themselves to sleep every night while thinking about my raw talent.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:54 pm

Of course, it helps that none of my corporations have any appreciable assets or cash in the bank, so it isn't really worth anyone's while to sue them.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by jdtesluk » Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:45 am

Scooter wrote: Hell, even my DJ website is incorporated, in case someone tries to sue me for something retarded, like their girlfriend crying themselves to sleep every night while thinking about my raw talent.
You should carry insurance for this kind of thing. The repurcussions could clearly be catastrophic.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by mwainwright » Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:15 am

thats the only way i get to sleep at night

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:15 am

Scooter wrote:Of course, it helps that none of my corporations have any appreciable assets or cash in the bank, so it isn't really worth anyone's while to sue them.


edit
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:45 am

why bother :evil:
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by mcD » Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:35 pm

Scooter wrote:
Hell, even my DJ website is incorporated, in case someone tries to sue me for something retarded, like their girlfriend crying themselves to sleep every night while thinking about my raw talent.
I'm pretty sure I patented Raw talent several years ago, your in for it now mr.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:34 pm

Ok, give me 24 hours to think about this, and I'll show you some of my raw talent. I have some thoughts for this thread, not previously patented. But right now I have to go fuel up some trucks and help unload a reefer.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Coaster » Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:08 pm

BCTS Castlegar is the local office that Batlang worked for this spring. Their admin office is the Nelson address. What's fishy about their part in this is that they even let Batlang do the work in the first place. Bryan Adams was the company that got the 3-year contract in 2008. Although other contractors complained to BCTS, they renewed the contract and allowed it to be done in year 2 (2009) by Batlang. You'd think that alarm bells might have gone off for them when their contractor changed its name. The forester in Castlegar who was responsible for allowing Batlang to do the work was Shaun Switzer. I say was because he has since retired. He was very focused on getting as low a price for the work as he could and Bryan Adams had a very low bid price established at the beginning of the three year contract in 2008. I doubt that BCTS did their due diligence in allowing the new company to do year two of the contract. There may be some grounds to hold BCTS accountable here.
For those of us who watched the progression of Bryan Adams and Batlang as the new low-bid pariahs on the circuit this outcome is bittersweet. It is great to see the end of another low-baller but what a disgusting cost to planters. It was one of those too good to be true scenarios. It was obvious to anyone in the know that BA was paying more than was sustainable to planters based on the bid prices they had. It was only a matter of time until they imploded. In the meantime listening to planters extolling their virtues was hard to take.

You could give Shaun Switzer a call at his new Lubex franchise in Campbell River and ask him why he helped Batlang screw you - 250-286-1723
Best of luck to you all in recovering your wages.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by The_Bearslayer » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:59 pm

There was no reason for the BCTS to believe Brian Adams or Batlang was in any financial trouble early in the season because the debt to CRA wasn't registered until the middle of June.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:13 pm

Things that seem too good to be true usually are.

The "holding BCTS accountable" comment is interesting, and something I want to touch on when I get a chance, but I've been far too busy this week. Not that I dislike BCTS or anything, I just have a few thoughts that are worth some discussion.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:42 pm

Not quite right Coaster .

The contract in question was Brian Adams not Batlangs. Totally agree that BCTS and Sean dropped the ball when the contract was subcontracted to Batlang, questions should have been asked then. BCTS should not allow any contract to be subcontracted to another company if they're owned by the same person

In theses days of low bid rules ,its not that uncommon for companies to subcontract work happens all the time. For example , how much work does Torrent do that isn't subcontracted from Blue Collar ?

Not too sure about the underbidding thing either , i dont think a lot of companies even bid on the Castlegar contract. My guess there is that most other companies that bid there just got a bit greedy moreso than Brian Adams underbidding.

WHAThappened had nothing to do with Brian Adams overpaying planters. They made more that enough profit but unfortunately blew it all and didn't pay their taxes.
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Coaster » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:36 pm

The results and who bid on the BCTS Castlegar contract are as follows;

1 Panorama Silviculture Inc. 315,436.00
2 Brian Adam’s Contracting Ltd. 209,158.80
3 Jansma Reforestation Ltd. 248,109.20
4 Celtic Reforestation Services Ltd. 241,860.28
5 Alder Street Holdings Ltd. 209,458.88
6 Evergreen Forest Services Ltd. 235,317.20
7 Sockeye Sawmills Ltd. 250,546.01

The two low bidders no longer exist as far as I know and Evergreen has a local crew. BAs bid was very aggressive. Knowing the bid prices and hearing from planters what they were paid, BA didn't know how to run a business so that there was any money left over after wages and expenses - no wonder they couldn't pay taxes. Throw in a little hanky panky and presto once again the gov. gets planting for cheap and the workers get screwed.
The amounts I'm hearing that BA owes to RevCan are way higher than any taxes on profits could ever be. These monies must be GST and payroll deductions that weren't remitted.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:46 pm

EDIT
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by backcountrysister » Fri Oct 02, 2009 7:44 pm

Those numbers are accurate, I was @ the meeting & knew what was going to happen. We ended up not even bidding because we knew it was going to be low balled. I have done pay roll in the past. I was aware that BA was doing a funky pay spread from the start. Yes! Coaster is right!
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by mcD » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:46 am

those bids are for the original job 2 years ago, last years job could have been greater volume (but would have used the same prices)

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Hugo Pants » Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:42 pm

I'm by no means an expert on this, but I found 2 BCTS bid sheets for Kootenay work, the first one as posted here already (PL09TFG001) and then this one :

PL09TFD001

1
Mountain Reforestation Ltd. $238,240.00
2
Jansma Reforestation Ltd. $243,940.00
3
Brian Adam’s Contracting Ltd. $202,680.00
4
TL Soroke Silviculture Developments Inc. $201,160.00
5
Caliburn Silviculture Ltd. $173,950.00
6
Panorama Silviculture Inc. $248,660.00
7
Evergreen Forest Services Ltd. $202,324.00

My math might be off, but if BA only got the initially stated contract (PL09TFG001), with about a million trees at an average price of 20 cents paid to planters, it seems too tight to even be possible to pull it off. I'm referring to last year when everybody actually got paid... Wouldn't that leave Brian with nothing afterward?

BCsis, do you have anything on this here contract (PL09TFD001)? So I guess you're in a managerial position or something eh? Just curious, your posts are all over and you seem to be pretty knowledgeable.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by mcD » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:02 pm

those are two different contracts, niether of which were for million trees. both of those jobs were for less than half a million trees. at the time that they were put out to tender prices in the industry were rissing, so it was very common for BCTS to tender contracts with options to extend betwean 3 and 5 years, locking in those prices, and hopefully protecting them from having to pay more te next year. the option to renew does not come with a set amount of volume and subsequent years can be many more or many trees than the original contract. I don't know much about the particular job, but it sounds like the first year was for around 350 - 400,000 trees, and when it was renewed a second year the volume was closser to a million trees.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Hugo Pants » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:43 pm

Thanks McD. From what Brian told me, this year's volume was the exact same as last year's. He was saying this to put into perspective the fact that next year this contract was supposedly going to be one third if this year's volume.

So if the volume can vary, like go up, can't this be really shitty when a price is locked in for several years? This almost seems ridiculous! I'm not saying it isn't so, but a fifty percent increase in volume for more or less the same difficulty of terrain (overall, one would assume it would be the same) for the same overall bid price, ouch.

Bring on the corrections, I'm just a planter who wishes he knew more about how the whole bidding and tendering goes down!

Ex-batlang planters, do you guys remember how many trees Brian said we had? I thought it was a million, which would make about 25 000 per day for about 40 days of work, sounds about right, no?

If it were only 400 000 trees, that would give an average of 10 000 per day which to me seems wrong with a crew of around 20-25 (most of the contract, then a lot more came by the end), which would make an average of only 500 trees per planter per day..... I dunno where I'm going wrong, but it just doesn't work to me that it wasn't 1 000 000 trees or so.

My intention is not to contradict or undermine you McD, plus I'm in no real position to confirm any of this, but where are your numbers from?

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Hugo Pants » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:47 pm

Just reread your post mcD, sorry I misread some of it before I last replied. Do you know if both these contracts were awarded to Brian Adams?

I guess I just can't understand how Brian would work out a million tree contract with only 200 000 $, like that seems just enough to pay planters and absolutely nothing for overhead (or for himself).

I'm mostly trying to establish which contract I worked on because about 1 000 000 trees at $200 000 just seems ridiculous. It makes more sens to me that it was both of the above stated contracts......

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by mcD » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:11 pm

the price per tree would stay the same, not the overall dollar value. BCTS is paying a cetrain price for all the prep and a certain price for all the unscarrified, the difficulty of the land could increase or decrease from yar to year as well as the volume, but the price per tree will stay the same unless the ground is signifigantly different than anything that was originally viewed.As far as I remember BA was only awarded one of those contracts, but I could be wrong. as for planting a million trees for $200,000, the contractor would only be able to pay planters 9 -11 cents per tree (depending on the contractor). in the Kootenays this would be next to impossible.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:04 am

I don't actually have a copy of any BCTS contract with me here. However, I think there may be a clause in the standard BCTS contracts that says that BCTS is responsible for ensuring that the BC Labour Laws are being adhered to. Ostensibly, this is because BCTS is trying to make the contractor follow provincial laws. But in this case, it might backfire on them.

IF the contract actually states that the contractor is responsible for following provincial labour laws, and BCTS oversees this adherence, then indirectly this means that by omission, if BCTS fails to perform checks to ensure that the laws are being complied with, then BCTS may be on the hook for some of the liability.

BC has the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Under that act, anyone should be able to get a copy of the exact BCTS contract for the work in question. If you're not sure how, start by talking to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC). I'm not 100% sure if they're the right people to start with, but they could point you in the right direction. Here's a link: http://www.oipcbc.org/sector_public/pub ... /index.htm

So anyway, once you have a copy of the BCTS contract, you should be able to see exactly what it says pertaining to responsibilities of the contractor in adhering to provincial laws, and therefore, you might be able to see what kind of enforcement policy the BCTS has in that area. If there IS an enforcement policy, and it was not followed by the office in question, then you might be able to exert some legal pressure.

Please note that I have nothing against BCTS, I'm just pointing out some thoughts here. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the people involved at BCTS feel badly about the situation, even if they can't or won't do anything about it. Anyway, this might be a good legal avenue to explore.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Hugo Pants » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:57 am

That's the thing, I was there and the lowest was 15 cents for prepped, raw was around 20 cents. We had a crew of 20 to 25 planters most of the time, so probably putting in at least 25 000 trees per day, probably more, but Batlang wasn't necessarily all mega high ballers this year around so everybody was not putting in a minimum of 2 000 trees per day. So with 40 days of work, it has to be around 1 000 000 trees. Therefore I wonder what was the other contract I was working on...

BCsis, do you know anything about the other contract stated above?

I'm going to go through the FIPPA and ask for the contracts awarded to Brian Adams in the Kootenay area. Thanks for that Scooter. Maybe I'll just try calling the BCTS guy who was in charge of these contracts first, given this situation he may just tell me. I would still like copies of them to see the fine print of the contract (would be interesting anyways to see this just for general tree planting knowledge).

This is making me think of what Jordan is saying about the WSCA in another thread, it would obviously be very good to have an equivalent body for planters which would be a resource for this kind of stuff.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by backcountrysister » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:57 pm

Hugo pants,
I will look through my files & get back to you about the contract. I do have some info. I am currently viewing for next season. I will send you a personal message.
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Coaster » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:08 pm

The 2008 contract Bryan Adams got with BCTS Arrow was for 591,940 trees which translates to a bid price of 35.3 cents. In year two-2009 they would have had to keep prices the same for similar ground although they would have been allowed a couple of percentage points for inflation. The other contract results that appear earlier in this thread were also for 2008 but were for the Kootenay Lake contract and Caliburn did that job. As far as I've heard Batlang only did the BCTS Arrow job in the Kootenays. Apparently in 2009, the contract was for somewhere around a million trees.
BCTS can only be held accountable if their agents or representatives were negligent. BCTS would have had to issue a letter expressly allowing Batlang to subcontract the work from Bryan Adams. If this letter cannot be produced, that would be negligence and BCTS would be on the hook for lost wages.
Shaun Switzer who was the BCTS forester for this contract quit and now runs a Lubex franchise in Campbell River. He can be reached at 250-286-1723. Perhaps he feels bad enough about what he did to help with some of the inside info??

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:53 pm

Coaster wrote:.
For those of us who watched the progression of Bryan Adams and Batlang as the new low-bid pariahs on the circuit this outcome is bittersweet. It is great to see the end of another low-baller but what a disgusting cost to planters. It was one of those too good to be true scenarios. It was obvious to anyone in the know that BA was paying more than was sustainable to planters based on the bid prices they had. It was only a matter of time until they imploded. In the meantime listening to planters extolling their virtues was hard to take..
First off I'm not defending Brian adams or Batlang they're done and good riddance.
But, I see nothing in the BCTS records that substantiate your claims. BA's bid wasn't much lower than average. If anyone looks at the BCTS bid results in the Kootenay district its obvious it is Caliburn and A + G who are driving the prices down.

Your motivation for this posting is self servings at best. A little bitter because you didn't get your cut? Wanted to work at home and instead had to go up to Northern B.C.?

If you're so concerned, why wasn't any of this brought up 6 months ago? Many people would have appreciated the heads up.

And BC Sis - seems kind of hypocritical to be praising Brian Adams a year ago and then come out with this now. Even moreso when you consider that your company Blue Collar is one of the worst lowball offenders in the PG area.

What is a sustainable bid anyways? Using the bid numbers the planter price/bid price ratio was probably about 50%. What do companies normally pay out as a percentage of bid price?

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Captain Slashpile » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:07 pm

Uh oh ...here it comes...beware of the wrath you have unleashed. :twisted:
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:19 pm

BC Sis - seems kind of hypocritical to be praising Brian Adams a year ago
Pretty much everybody was at the time. And therefore, that praise was probably correct at the time. But like I've said, anything that seems too good to be true, probably isn't. Nothing lasts forever ...

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by theoderix » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:22 pm

Screefhead..I could not agree more. Big Country is all about self servance..as of mid April she was literally begging Brian for a job..shame on you big sis..lol. And Scooter..the prices based on the bid were very sustainable..you know this from your own bid results over the years. The only tragedy greater than our lost income here are these idiotic responses.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:41 pm

Unfortunately, all that I see are the bid results on the public site. I don't actually get involved in percentages about what planting contractors pay out to the planters. I don't do bidding/viewing for my own company, and I'm a field supervisor (not an office staff) so I don't actually even know the percentages paid out to planters on any of the jobs. I'm just given a budget for each project and expected to try to make it work, if possible, unless there are extenuating circumstances. I guess that I could probably find out, but I really have no interest. I've spent enough time running other businesses to be sick of it all.

I would assume, if I had to guess, that the planters usually get probably between 40-50% of the bid price on most jobs, and closer to the 50% level for these days, but don't quote me on that. Two years ago I would have said closer to 40%, but I think a lot of the companies have been taking a far bigger cut in the current economic climate than the planters have. I could be quite wrong.

And to be honest, if I was given a chance to "move into a new position" rather than being a field supervisor, there is absolutely no question that I'd move "down" the line of command, rather than up. I far prefer being a foreman to being a supervisor, and the only reason I became a full-fledged supervisor again in 1999 was because my project manager, Jim Logan, was an ass and didn't listen to the fact that I didn't want the job. I showed up that summer thinking that I was just going to be a foreman in his camp, and he drove off on day two of the season and said "good luck, you're in charge." Cock.

Hell, if I had enough money in the bank, I'd plant for a season again, just for kicks. My body isn't that beaten up, and the ability to go home at the end of the day and not have to spend the next six hours worrying about logistics for the next day is "priceless," as those Mastercard ads say. I wouldn't say that I'm an amazing planter by any means, but I love planting. Foremanning is my real niche though. Being a supervisor only means that I'm a victim of circumstance.

Anyway, this sounds like it should be in a thread called "the grass is always greener," so let's stick to the topic at hand, Batlang.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by backcountrysister » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:17 pm

Theorix...Begging Brian for a job? HAHAHAHA! I dont think so! I already had work lined up ! although, I wanted some filler work. Who the hell R U to tell my story! I did give Brian Praise because he deserved it. How was I to know that the company wouldnt pay their planters
I want to point out that I keep back a lot of info. I have been a friend of Brian's but, Always assumed that Adam was to blame over the Tax issue. I knew that there was something fishy from the time I started with them. I was told that they did their own payroll, then - Adam's wife did the pay roll Than Adam did the payroll. got my final check @ the end of August when I finish end of May. Either way, My pay checks never equated to my actual pay & I had many corrections. As far personal relations. I always enjoyed Brian's Company & he treated me like gold. In my defense: I had some really good times & wanted the best for Brian. I was shocked by all that went down - but not completely surprised. Like I said before - I had issues with Adam that's why I left the show. Im not a hypocrite but certainly I always give people a second chance. Self servicing? who isnt! This is tree planting not the UN!
Who R U to get down on me about those guys! what is your lesson to teach me in all of this. Big freaken deal. I am only human, I think that If You agree with me, that go ahead.your attacking me?!!How many yrs have you been in the industry? Please tell me what wealth of knowledge have you attained to call me a hypocrite? Ask anybody I worked for or with. I am far from selfish & will do anything to get the job done , I find it sad that you would attack me when obviously you have some personal issues with me!
roughing it in the rough

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by The_Bearslayer » Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:59 am

It's a bit rich for a Blue Collar employee to accuse anyone of underbidding. In any case, none of us knew Brian was having tax problems. The trucks were there, gas was bought, and the show kept running. Unless you wake up every day looking for reasons to believe something's up, you're not going to see any. However, I don't believe Brian when he says he had no idea he might go bankrupt. He claims it was up to Adam to pay taxes, but why would he have trusted a fucking idiot with bloody boogers hanging out of his nostrils? He would have known what bills were paid and what bills were not. He could have looked at the joint account balance whenever he wanted, and if he was suspicious I'm sure he did.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:15 am

In BC, the Small Claims courts can hear cases of up to $25,000. That’s quite a high maximum compared to some other provinces. That would certainly be enough to cover any single individual’s payroll in this situation.

Here’s a link to the BC Small Claims court section:
http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/small_claims/index.htm

Now of course the problem is that if you go that route, each individual planter is going to have to pursue their own case, which means a couple of dozen cases being heard. There are also some fees involved, but it would only amount to a couple hundred dollars, which would be a lot cheaper than using a lawyer in a regular civil court. One other drawback is that Small Claims doesn’t cover expenses, except for maybe at the very best the cost of the court filing fees. But anything else, ie. travel, time spent in court, punitive damages, etc., is not going to happen.

But the question is, who (if anyone) can be pursued in this matter?

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:21 pm

edit
Last edited by Screefhead on Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:08 pm

I believe they knew well in advance that we weren't going to get paid. But they didn't tell anyone till after the fact , to insure the contract got finished .
IF (capital letters) that were the case, I'd be going ballistic, if I was involved myself. If a BCTS forester, who is expected to monitor that contractors pay on a bi-weekly status as per provincial law, was knowingly complicit in a situation in which employees were foreseeably NOT going to be paid, that paints BCTS and/or the individual forester in a very bad light, especially if there is any public perception if they intentionally failed to act due to self-preservation in trying to finish the contract. Emails and phone records can be subpoena'd, all sorts of stuff. If you catch even a whiff of proof of this, my unprofessional advice would be to go see a real lawyer immediately, and one who specializes in labour law.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Coaster » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:26 am

Hey Screefhead. Thanks for the feedback even if it is misguided. I keep a close eye on bids across the province - kind of a hobby. From what I see and hear most contractors pay about 50% to planters. This varies according to how many locals are on the crew and of course if there are logistics involving helicopters, boats etc. My comments about Batlang's bids being unsustainable are based on what I've seen over the last few decades in this business. All I heard from planters was glowing reviews about BA. Nobody wants to hear negativity when they've found a new golden boy. Sounds like you were fished in too. In any case the proof seems to be in the pudding as they say. There are many more bids that could be cited to show that BA was bidding too low.
In regards to BCTS having forewarning that Batlang wasn't going to be able to pay planters; BCTS is lucky if they know their way to the block. They for the most part are so marginally involved in their own contracts these days. They are rarely on-site as they contract out the checking too. They certainly don't monitor whether the contractor is paying their employees ever let alone on time. It is not their responsibility to enforce the labor code.
Anyway Screefhead, cool your aggression. Both backcountry sis and I have only good intentions and hopes that all of those hard working brothers and sisters get what they earned. I can't say I blame you being suspicious though with so many bogus companies in this business.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Hugo Pants » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:39 am

Thanks for the input ya'll! I really appreciate all this!

Anybody know how I could gain access to past cases that are similar to ours but where the CRA allowed the workers to be paid? Is this info available, do I have to know about the cases in advance and then make a request for the records... I'm looking around but to no avail, I have no experience in this though so if someone knows something about this, it would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Screefhead » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:32 pm

edit
Last edited by Screefhead on Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by E.E » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:42 pm

Hugo, one possible avenue might be a university legal clinic. Trying to be your own lawyer will likely get you nowhere. Also, contact a bar association and see if they can direct you to a lawyer who will a) read a cleaned-up version of Screefhead's summary without charging you and b) give you an idea of your options.
Last edited by E.E on Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Coaster » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:51 pm

As far as I know, BCTS didn't fire their forester. He had plans to move on regardless of how the job went, but hey Screefhead perhaps your sources are better than mine. While we're at starting rumors, I've heard a scary one. One of the Bryan Adams partners has started a new planting company based out of Port Alberni called Sacred somethingorother - I don't think it's Bryan but the other one. tell me it ain't so.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:26 pm

Sacred Forest (Adam Kuzma's) - not completely new.

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by The_Bearslayer » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:24 am

Here is a link to a story recently produced by CTV Calgary regarding Batlang's bankruptcy, its employees' efforts to get their money, and the CRA's role in the matter.

calgary.ctv.ca/#TopVideoAn

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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:47 am

In case it moves off the main page, here's the full direct link:

http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/ ... algaryHome

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