Khaira Enterprises

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Evergreen
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Khaira Enterprises

Post by Evergreen » Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:18 pm

Does anyone have information or experience with Khaira Enterprises. They are a planting company based out of the lower mainland. They have recently emerged on the coast of B.C. having been awarded a contract in Powell River by BCTS.



[Edit by Administrator, January 15th, 2016: I just combined the four separate threads about Khaira into this one giant thread, to keep things organized and in one place].

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Re: Khaira Enterprises

Post by Dogmusher » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:42 pm

Sounds scary.
Happy trails

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Re: Khaira Enterprises

Post by Dogmusher » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:18 pm

I was reading the employment section and it sounded terribly familiar to me , so I went check the A&M website and indeed it's exactly the same words. That's not really original is it .

http://amreforestation.com/
http://khaira-reforestation.com/Employment.html
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Re: Khaira Enterprises

Post by Guillermo » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:53 pm

Wow... thats shady. I dont think, reading the other post, that there is any way in hell these guys have a 60% planter return rate. not just because they ripped off word for word the a&m website.

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Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:12 pm

Those of you who follow the threads on this site will be familiar with the story of the ridiculously low bid BCTS contract that was awarded to a contractor with no experience on the coast. This was brought to the attention of BCTS from the perspective of safety suggesting that whoever tried to do this work at that low a price would likely have to compromise the safety of their crew. There are heli blocks on this contract that are bad enough to frighten even the most experienced of crews, steeep, gnarly slash pits where only the cedar has been higraded out and many standing trees left. To compound things, the blocks are a good ways up Jervis inlet requiring boats and barges in addition to helicopters.

BCTS ignored these concerns until John Betts and the WSCA threw their weight into the fray. A conference call was held involving WSCA, BCTS, the BC Forest Safety Council and concerned contractors. Platitudes and bureauspeak won the day and not much of any concrete nature was achieved. BCTS insisted that they had done their due diligence and by hell or high water they were going ahead with their low bid inexperienced contractor because they had received a couple of good references from the interior.

Now the doo doo is hitting the fan. The lowball contractor came in with a crew of 30 Africans from Montreal, 7 of whom were experienced, no caulk boots and no real clue how to do the work. They are camping at Vanada RV Storage on Texada Island, living in tents and storage lockers with a substandard camp. The RCMP, WCB, Health Inspector and BCTS have all been there and apparently are letting multiple safety and health infractions go.

Currently the contractor Khaira Enterprises is working on relatively easy flat blocks and they are learning how to plant and cone the trees they're planting. They will soon have to move into the nasty helicopter access blocks with a crew of rookies, none of whom are prepared for what they are about to deal with. They will be lucky to escape unscathed. I think the contractor will probably get shut down before this happens but it won't be from BCTS doing the right thing. It will be because they are afraid of having the doo doo stick to them.

There is something seriously wrong with the way BCTS views planting and who is qualified to deliver the work safely and to legislated standards. You only have to look at what happened last year when Batlang was allowed to proceed with a contract they never should have had. They ended up going bankrupt and shafting numerous planters of many tens of thousands of dollars. BCTS thinks they have no obligation to enforce standards of health and almost no obligation to enforce safety requirements. They seem to have no real corporate conscience. Make no mistake, they are a corporation - and the worst kind because they're ultimately responsible to politicians. This doesn't apply to many of the people who work for BCTS and it will be they who close this mockery of a contract down.

Unless BC Timber Sales takes a long hard look at their policies and practices, they will continue to undermine planters rights to work safely and earn a fair wage. I am very concerned that the African-Canadians working on the Powell River job will not receive fair pay for what they're doing. It is not their fault that BCTS allowed a contractor who has no business working this kind of contract to be there.

I've ranted on enough I think. Suffice to say that we cannot allow this sort of nonsense to go on. It is a black eye for the whole planting community. I think CBC would snap it up and make this business (our business) look like a gong show.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Scooter » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:22 pm

Does anybody have any rational thoughts on how we, as a planting community, can take steps to improve this specific situation (and minimize the chance of recurrence in the future?). All planters are stakeholders in what happens within the industry, because the effects ripple throughout the industry from company to company, even if the majority of us are not directly involved with this situation.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by jdtesluk » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:51 pm

Remain diligent and willing to speak out.
Last edited by jdtesluk on Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Nasitra » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:05 pm

To add my two cents (one's that seem valuable in this day and age...),

As long as those folks working on that contract are making min wage it should all be legal, however sad that may be. As for all the other conditions/standards, I can say that I've heard on many occasions that foresters have decided to lower their standards based on the bid price they received (even after the job has been completed). If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys...

As for taking a stand: You can only hope we add Khaira to the list of Batlangs...

Keep us updated.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Saffa » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:48 pm

Here's a rational thought. Lets shoot the fuckers!!!

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by salbrecher » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:49 am

[quote="Evergreen"] Now the doo doo is hitting the fan. The lowball contractor came in with a crew of 30 Africans from Montreal, 7 of whom were experienced, no caulk boots and no real clue how to do the work. They are camping at Vanada RV Storage on Texada Island, living in tents and storage lockers with a substandard camp. The RCMP, WCB, Health Inspector and BCTS have all been there and apparently are letting multiple safety and health infractions go. [quote]

So what you're saying is that the easy planting is going smoothly (unless you have reason to say otherwise, which you didn't) and there have been "alleged" health and safety violations? Why is this a "meltdown"? Other companies have been known to have coastal camps and lost of rookies as well.

What health and safety fractions are being let go? Is the company just being given more time to fix the problems? Are the infractions any different from some minor infractions that some interior camps have(shower/handwashing malfunctions, etc.).

A crew of 30 experienced to 7 vets is not uncommon for many interior shows. It is quite unusual for a tough coastal show but maybe they will do a "good enough" job. Maybe coastal planting isn't rocket science and there ARE people willing to work hard for less pay than is currently standard? I see no reason why the fact that they are African makes any difference. Most Africans I have worked with have had the most positive attitudes and were some of the biggest pounders out there (maybe you were hinting that that would make the contract go easier, or maybe you've had a different experience working with Africans?).

Your "meltdown" update seems like a sensationalist rant about a low bidding company that you are wanting to see screw up...

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by The_Bearslayer » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:19 pm

This sounds like Osprey on a good day. But Greg and Pete been around for a long time and aren't East Indian, so I guess everyone's run out of shortcomings to point out.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:23 pm

All of the Africans that have worked for us have been great. I pointed out their nationality to highlight that they may be taken advantage of as many of them do not speak English. Who will protect their rights?

This situation is unfolding right now. BCTS is either making the call to shut them down or not. Perhaps WCB or Health are making the call. There are numerous infractions happening but I'm not going into detail until it has come down. I'll endeavor to report the substantiated details if and when I get them.

Salbrecher, surely you don't support paying people the lowest you can get away with? It sounds like you're okay with the usual low standard camp situations? Maybe no showers, mouldy grub? I guess some people see self serving aspects to everything. Yes, as a contractor we'll benefit from a level playing field. We can't compete with those that take advantage of people by side stepping the established standards.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by jdtesluk » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:47 pm

There's more here than just a rant.
Last edited by jdtesluk on Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Scooter » Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:04 pm

Evergreen & jdtesluk,

Well put.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by treeskipper » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:13 pm

aggresive legal action. human rights tribunal, write of mandamus from a superior court, violation of the constitution act. this combined with team work and out of the box thinking could turn this around. Its not a timely process, so how about simply filing motions with the simple intent of haveing legal cause to go public. then call the papers, jay ingram,green peace,bono.
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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Mike » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:11 am

I think that you can only do the human rights tribunal stuff if you were the one employed, and since it has been said that many of these workers don't speak english, it is unlikely they have the capacity to fill out appropriate paperwork (much less the understanding of the legal system/time to deal with the hassle).
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:06 am

We're getting a little ahead of ourselves with assuming workers will not be paid fairly. We have to give the contractor the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by The_Bearslayer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:36 pm

We have to give the contractor the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven.
...

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Duncan » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:30 pm

Evergreen wrote: I am very concerned that the African-Canadians working on the Powell River job will not receive fair pay for what they're doing. It is not their fault that BCTS allowed a contractor who has no business working this kind of contract to be there.
Evergreen wrote:We're getting a little ahead of ourselves with assuming workers will not be paid fairly. We have to give the contractor the benefit of the doubt until these allegations are proven.
WTF?
I'm not sticking up for this contractor, but Jesus HST Campbell :?:
Benefit of the doubt from allegations brought to this forum by who?

Don't be discouraged by my questions, I enjoy having an actual contractor participating on this site, gives a more complete aspect of the industry, but I'm just a little baffled by the sudden turn in your last post

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by TheHamsterizer » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:23 pm

Yeah, contracter mudslinging...

Is Khaira now doing the Powell River contract that Evergreen used to have, by any chance? I'd like to hear some info from an unbiased source. But it's really nice of you to stick up for the workers like this. Just out of the goodness of your heart and everything. Although it doesn't really sound like anything bad is happening. But you never know.
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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:12 am

I guess it does seem like a turn around in a way. I was reacting to some calls for crucifiction and human rights tribunals. Innocent until proven guilty? There comes a point at which we have to wait and see what gets substantiated. The powers that be are now all over this contract. There have been visits from WCB and Health and I'd like to reserve final judgement (and crucifiction) until their reports come in. The BC Forest Safety Council is also taking a great interest in this and have promised to keep me updated on what they hear.

Believe it or not, there is some risk to sticking my neck out like this and hassling over perceived violations of process and practice. Making false allegations can carry legal ramifications. That's not to mention the slings and arrows of outrageous Replanters. Some might even perceive a conflict of interest? I guess in this day and age it pays to be suspicious of anything or anyone corporate. We have never done this particular BCTS contract although we do work in the area for licensees. Our bid which is $157,000 versus Khaira's of $91,000 put us in 7th place with Rainforest, Stephan, Brinkman and others between us. There's no way no matter what comes down that this work would come to us. Frankly I'd still be nervous about doing some of these heli blocks with our price. That's what set off the alarm bells. When everyone who knows the area bids tens of thousands higher on a relatively small volume job, you have to think a mistake has been made.

In many ways it would have been better for us to quietly sit and watch the "successful" bidder take a beating as they must surely do at this price. Even paying low wages, if that does in fact happen, won't save then from all of the fixed costs involved in this type of work. However I believe that certain standards of safety amongst other things must be upheld to protect us all - and so I brought this contract and our (other contractors too) fears to the attention of various government agencies. It is their hands now and they'll do what they do.

Some deiciencies in their systems have already been identified and it seems like there is the will to correct them. That in itself is a good thing. It has to play itself out now. Khaira is being subjected to some very rigorous scrutiny and the jury is now out. As I said earlier all contractors and planters have a vested interest in ensuring that at least minimum standards are upheld.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Scooter » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:38 am

all contractors and planters have a vested interest in ensuring that at least minimum standards are upheld
Agreed. In my mind, this is sort of a theme that has been running through the message board. If you are unhappy with low bids and low wages, do something about it rather than just sitting there and complaining. For many planters, the only option is to "vote with your feet," but there are some situations such as this where more direct actions can be appropriate.

If all of the appropriate regulatory agencies are aware of the situation, that seems to be a good step. That way, if they all "ignore" the "problem," it sends a message (and a legal precedent) throughout the industry that tells other contractors where corners can be cut. Is that the message that these agencies want to spread?

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by TheHamsterizer » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:14 pm

Evergreen wrote:
Believe it or not, there is some risk to sticking my neck out like this and hassling over perceived violations of process and practice. Making false allegations can carry legal ramifications. That's not to mention the slings and arrows of outrageous Replanters. Some might even perceive a conflict of interest?
Ok, so you're sticking your neck out. But the question is why? I doubt that anybody who reads this forum works for Khaira, or can do anything about what's going on there. You also created this thread:

http://www.replant.ca/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=64840

If you just want to whine and smear another company like the rest of us, feel free... But at least be honest about it.
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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:30 pm

Wazzup with dat Hamsterman?
Last edited by Evergreen on Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Dogmusher » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:36 pm

Do you sometimes agree with people hamsterizer , or maybe you just argue on every occasion you can , just for fun ?

I think the matter has been explained well enough more than once , if you actually red the whole thread before ?

It's not just about one contractor whining .
TheHamsterizer wrote: I doubt that anybody who reads this forum works for Khaira, or can do anything about what's going on there.
Information is the first step for everything
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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Saffa » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:39 pm

This kind of thing concerns all of us that care about prices everywhere... Lowballing monkeys should go die in a corner!! Im extreemly appreciative to Evergreen for bringing this forward and actualy doing something about it!! Big ups bru!!

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by TheHamsterizer » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:10 pm

Evergreen wrote:You're a sad little man Hammy. Bitter and defeated? Life going nowhere fast? Or just plain dumb?

You seem to be on a one man quest to drive as many people away from these forums as possible.
Retracted.
Last edited by TheHamsterizer on Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by TheHamsterizer » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:19 pm

Dogmusher wrote:Do you sometimes agree with people hamsterizer , or maybe you just argue on every occasion you can , just for fun ?

I think the matter has been explained well enough more than once , if you actually red the whole thread before ?

It's not just about one contractor whining .
TheHamsterizer wrote: I doubt that anybody who reads this forum works for Khaira, or can do anything about what's going on there.
Information is the first step for everything
I understand the situation and I'm sure it's terrible, it's just that the motives behind the original posters' post are questionable.

And yes, I agree with people all the time, I just don't post when I do. What's the point?
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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by MiddleAgeMayhem » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:51 pm

Withdraw Hamsterizer, you're looking childish and foolish.

Evergreen may be the contractor to bring it up on these forums, but other contractors are aware of the situation, so are other planters.

Is it self serving for a contractor to raise concerns? No, I don't think so. Enlightened self interest maybe. And since planters are too maverick to organize themselves, we benefit from contractors and the WSCA keeping an eye on things like this.

Would you, Hamsterizer, like to live in an RV storage facility, and plant heli blocks for 15$ per hour?

Keep to the humorous threads, Hammy, and leave the real stuff to the others.

Dont' be offended please. Or do be, I don't care.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Richianity » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:49 pm

MiddleAgeMayhem wrote:Would you, Hamsterizer, like to live in an RV storage facility, and plant heli blocks for 15$ per hour?
An irrelevant question. If the contractor can find people willing to work for that amount of money and those people do the job they are there to do, then all's well in PR.

So long as the law is being abided by, people can agree on just about anything they want. Who are you to tell anyone what they should work for?

Edit: Sorry, I just got a little upset at the level of entitlement in this statement.

Now back to the topic on hand. Is the forester being negligent or a genius?

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Nate » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:41 pm

Can't really believe Evergreen's being pounced on like this. I think we're perhaps not seeing the forest for the trees here?

Any self-interest Evergreen might have in the case doesn't preclude the issue he's raised from being justified. It's been pretty obvious what's going on with Khaira from day one, and now things are progressing as expected. When you see a piano falling from the tenth story you can't conclusively prove it's going to hit the ground, but it's a pretty safe bet that it will.

Speaking of self-interest, they did just turn me down for some work... wait a minute... OMFG ill wrte leeke this now I dnt evn care wat faukers omg u guyz are horseshit go eat trees and dieof pesticdes or sumtin.

...

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by somesilviguy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:46 am

TheHamsterizer and Nate shh. This topic has too much potential.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:36 am

It is too bad that Hamsterizer subverts so many otherwise useful and interesting threads with his jaded perspective on life. I suppose if you are a person who is suspicious and perhaps even deceitful, you see ulterior motives and lies everyewhere. "Why post if you have positive things to say?" Figures to be another great quote from the Ham.

I have admitted to self serving motives in bringing this situation out and into the glare of scrutiny. I happen to think most of us share those same motives. Sitting idly by while someone attempts to erode standards we've worked hard for many years to set doesn't sit well with me. Planters, as Rodney Dangerfield said "can't get no respect". It's been an uphill battle since the seventies when we weren't allowed into logging camps because they thought we were all dirty hippies - until they finally realized that on the whole we worked harder than they did and actually were real people. In Forestry the idea is prevalent that silviculture spends money, it doesn't make money. How many times did I see the foresters office being the windowless one in the basement? All the harvest guys were upstairs.

In this situation BCTS is working hard to save money by putting on their rose colored glasses and hoping no one will look too close at what they're allowing to happen. Sure people have every right to live in a culvert and earn minimum wage if they don't know any better, but in reality it's just another example of the people at the top of the chain redistributing the wealth into their pockets. If you bring in workers who perhaps can't speak english and so have little chance of knowing their rights, perhaps that's even easier to accomplish?

The more aware we all are of what's going on in our little world of planting, the more likely that we can guide this bus in the direction we want it to go in. If we abdicate responsibility to the foresters and the government bureaucrats and hope they will steer in our direction, we are probably being naive. I post this information because I perceived something going potentially very wrong. I think knowledge is power and so why not share it. I have always had partners in business (We started as a co-op of 30 planters) and I believe that many heads are better than one. So put the information out there and see what perspectives and suggestions come back.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by TheHamsterizer » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:23 am

Evergreen wrote:It is too bad that Hamsterizer subverts so many otherwise useful and interesting threads with his jaded perspective on life. I suppose if you are a person who is suspicious and perhaps even deceitful, you see ulterior motives and lies everyewhere. "Why post if you have positive things to say?" Figures to be another great quote from the Ham.

I have admitted to self serving motives in bringing this situation out and into the glare of scrutiny. I happen to think most of us share those same motives. Sitting idly by while someone attempts to erode standards we've worked hard for many years to set doesn't sit well with me. Planters, as Rodney Dangerfield said "can't get no respect". It's been an uphill battle since the seventies when we weren't allowed into logging camps because they thought we were all dirty hippies - until they finally realized that on the whole we worked harder than they did and actually were real people. In Forestry the idea is prevalent that silviculture spends money, it doesn't make money. How many times did I see the foresters office being the windowless one in the basement? All the harvest guys were upstairs.

In this situation BCTS is working hard to save money by putting on their rose colored glasses and hoping no one will look too close at what they're allowing to happen. Sure people have every right to live in a culvert and earn minimum wage if they don't know any better, but in reality it's just another example of the people at the top of the chain redistributing the wealth into their pockets. If you bring in workers who perhaps can't speak english and so have little chance of knowing their rights, perhaps that's even easier to accomplish?

The more aware we all are of what's going on in our little world of planting, the more likely that we can guide this bus in the direction we want it to go in. If we abdicate responsibility to the foresters and the government bureaucrats and hope they will steer in our direction, we are probably being naive. I post this information because I perceived something going potentially very wrong. I think knowledge is power and so why not share it. I have always had partners in business (We started as a co-op of 30 planters) and I believe that many heads are better than one. So put the information out there and see what perspectives and suggestions come back.
I retracted my previous comment. I'm sure you can understand where the suspicion comes from, it sort of seems like you're just ragging on your competitors.
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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Scooter » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:37 am

Alright, moving on, when might we expect to hear more information?

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:32 pm

I don't know when this will settle out. BCTS is considering options now. BC Forest Safety Council is pushing them to find out what's up. They have promised to update me once they've heard from WCB. Depending on what they hear, they may perform their own site visit. Their main concern is the safety of the workers especially in the heli blocks.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Nate » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:23 pm

Someone posted the Khaira site in another thread: http://khaira-reforestation.com

It's already been pointed out that they've plagiarized part of their site from A&M - the best imitating the best? - but they also steal from some homemade encyclopedia's (lol) definition of reforestation. That's amusing, and doesn't necessarily say much about the company, but how about this:

Khaira's Image Gallery

Notice buddy driving his quad without a helmet, and the guys asleep in the backseat without seat belts on (well, the guy on the left definitely is not, and the guy on the right doesn't have the chest strap on, so it's probably safe to assume he's not wearing one either).

Obviously these pictures don't PROVE they were operating/passengers in a moving vehicle without helmets and seat belts, but common sense pretty much says they were. Let's not pretend it doesn't happen once in a while in every company - they are after all the type of rules certain people are going to break no matter what the general safety culture is - but the fact that they're posted on their website leads me to think that this is probably the norm there.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Duncan » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:29 pm

Evergreen wrote:I guess it does seem like a turn around in a way. I was reacting to some calls for crucifiction and human rights tribunals. Innocent until proven guilty?
i re-read some of the other posts now, sorry to question you, but I was actually wondering if maybe somebody was giving you pressure to change your stance, I think what you are doing is a good thing overall. I know plenty of contractors are out there doing it in other ways but it takes guts to put your name on here like this instead of the countless posers/owners who we all know are reading this under their fake names
Evergreen wrote:To compound things, the blocks are a good ways up Jervis inlet requiring boats and barges in addition to helicopters.

Saffa wrote:This kind of thing concerns all of us that care about prices everywhere... Lowballing monkeys should go die in a corner!!
Not just about prices, it's about the safety of workers, we would all hate to see people injured or worse because of blatantly ignoring safety measures especially on boat jobs like this. Patching together boats with duct tape and other bs that goes on with other contractors also shouldn't be tolerated because the worst thing that can happen out there isn't low prices... its when people die.
Companies like that have no business being in business.... be careful what you say, because one company has lowballed every single area in this province, and neglect of safety issues brought up decades ago ended up in far worse then low prices. Why some companies haven't gotten shut down already is purely politics.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by MiddleAgeMayhem » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:28 pm

Richianity wrote:
MiddleAgeMayhem wrote:Would you, Hamsterizer, like to live in an RV storage facility, and plant heli blocks for 15$ per hour?
An irrelevant question. If the contractor can find people willing to work for that amount of money and those people do the job they are there to do, then all's well in PR.

So long as the law is being abided by, people can agree on just about anything they want. Who are you to tell anyone what they should work for?

Edit: Sorry, I just got a little upset at the level of entitlement in this statement.

Now back to the topic on hand. Is the forester being negligent or a genius?
It's not an irrelevant question at all. It goes to the heart of the matter, as far as planters are concerned. Because if this contract succeeds at these prices and these accommodations, get ready, because they're coming our way.

Also, I did not tell anybody what they should work for. I asked if Hamsterizer would like to work under those conditions. Our answer to that question, as planters, is the heart of the matter.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Nasitra » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:44 am

Nate wrote:
Notice buddy driving his quad without a helmet, and the guys asleep in the backseat without seat belts on (well, the guy on the left definitely is not, and the guy on the right doesn't have the chest strap on, so it's probably safe to assume he's not wearing one either).
That's because there are 4 people sitting in the back seat...

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by RPF » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:53 am

Going back to the original post I have a few comments based on my experience while working as a checker contractor to the BCTS predecessors (Small Business Program). For the sake of this rant, I’ll continue to use the term BCTS.

I’ve seen this scenario acted out many times while employed as a contract checker (and many times since looking from the outside). And unless the BCTS policy of accepting lowest bid changes, we will continue to see these examples again and again.

While working on those contracts I was frustrated with the lack of concern from many of the BCTS employees. I would find safety infractions, poor quality work, low production, etc, and every time I brought these concerns up with my BCTS employer there were mostly pushed aside and I was told to work with what I had as best I could (in short the BCTS person didn’t want to deal with it). I could ramble on for hours with my experience but for sake of brevity I won’t. It’s been over 20 years since I last worked for BCTS, but from what I’m hearing things haven’t really changed that much in terms of contractor hiring policy. Suffice it to say I learned a lot from these experiences and made up my mind that when I advanced my career to the point where hiring decisions were mine I would NOT follow the BCTS method.

I’m happy to announce that I have never hired a (ok I’ll call them as I see it) “sleaze ball” outfit to work for me. I’ve also strongly enforced all safety and quality rules and those who don’t measure up are quickly down the road never to be seen by me again. Fortunately I can say that as an industry forester I’m not bound by silly governmental bureaucracy.

I’ve heard it many times from BCTS foresters (and I use that word loosely) that they “must give all contractor’s an equal opportunity to prove themselves”. Unfortunately and in some (many?) cases this results in chaos in terms of safety, quality, and labour disputes. Unless the BCTS policy of always accepting low bid changes I fear we will continue to see this scenario continue well into the future.

I’ll stop now before I end up writing a novel…

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by shakattack » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:05 pm

A couple of points….
An important factor here is a major, major loss of credibility for BCTS. It also means a lot of the hard earned gains regarding safety and planting quality will be set back significantly if Khaira and BCTS are let off the hook. The acceptance of Khaira’s bid alone and their failure to engage with the WSCA signify a real loss of face and lack of commitment to the public interests regarding the environment and safety.
BCTS is a provincial organization and they are accountable to the public. Every effort is made to run it like a business and many functions are the same. However, the collection of dues from logging crown timber is reserved exclusively for BCTS and other provincial organizations, otherwise they probably couldn’t stand as a real business for more than a couple of hours. BCTS serves a critical function and there are a lot of good people who work there, so it deserves our attention our influence.
Khaira has made a large wager that industry standards can be greatly ignored. Assuming there’s no way they can get the job at that price, a couple plausible outcomes are:
A) Khaira was right. the province and the industry are pushovers and will flake out on their commitment to labor standards and quality. OR
B) There is enough influence from industry people and the province to penalize Khaira and BCTS for their inevitable infractions.
It’s exciting to see what will happen. Thank you Evergreen for bringing the ruckus, and WSCA for your efforts to lobby BCTS. I just called the BCTS office, the contact they gave me wasn’t in but you should call (google it) and ask what’s happening if you’re interested. They’re probably having a heck of a time with it, but they’re accountable to us in the same way we are to them when they're checking our trees.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by TheHamsterizer » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:59 pm

MiddleAgeMayhem wrote:
Richianity wrote:
MiddleAgeMayhem wrote:Would you, Hamsterizer, like to live in an RV storage facility, and plant heli blocks for 15$ per hour?
An irrelevant question. If the contractor can find people willing to work for that amount of money and those people do the job they are there to do, then all's well in PR.

So long as the law is being abided by, people can agree on just about anything they want. Who are you to tell anyone what they should work for?

Edit: Sorry, I just got a little upset at the level of entitlement in this statement.

Now back to the topic on hand. Is the forester being negligent or a genius?
It's not an irrelevant question at all. It goes to the heart of the matter, as far as planters are concerned. Because if this contract succeeds at these prices and these accommodations, get ready, because they're coming our way.

Also, I did not tell anybody what they should work for. I asked if Hamsterizer would like to work under those conditions. Our answer to that question, as planters, is the heart of the matter.
Like I said in your other thread, I don't work on the coast anymore. It's not worth it to me.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by barnbill » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:00 am

Scooter wrote:Alright, moving on, when might we expect to hear more information?

bottom line.......no matter what the outcome is on this job ultimately it's the planter that will get screwed.
if the job is shut down...the planter loses.....if they actually complete the job based on this price the planter still loses. PERIOD.

All the talk is just that.... talk. Whether these guys are from Montreal , whether they are black, red, yellow or white they are people. whether they are experienced or not is irrelevant...they ARE planters, and new/rookie planters get screwed over every year by some contractors and as long as planters have no unified voice nothing will ever change.

Just one other comment. If this is the job I think it is Rainforest put in a bid substantially lower than evryone else who bid on this job including Osprey.....only the "winner"bid lower. The point i'm making here is that "Rainforest" should know what they were bidding on. So is it possible that this bid price was not THAT drastically low?

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Nate » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:17 am

barnbill wrote:
Scooter wrote:Alright, moving on, when might we expect to hear more information?
Whether these guys are from Montreal , whether they are black, red, yellow or white they are people. whether they are experienced or not is irrelevant...they ARE planters, and new/rookie planters get screwed over every year by some contractors and as long as planters have no unified voice nothing will ever change.
It has absolutely nothing to do with their race/colour/ethnicity, it has to do with the fact that they're recent immigrants, in all likelihood unaware of labour standards and susceptible to exploitation. The same concerns expressed in the Khaira situation at hand with Africans from Montreal are the same concerns vineyard workers in the Niagara Region have expressed about Mexican immigrants brought in from Toronto to do the grape picking. I'm assuming that when the Khaira workers are referred to as African-Canadians it implies recently immigrated, as if they were established Canadian citizens it wouldn't make a whit of difference whether they were African or English in decent.

This is not to say that all hiring of immigrant workers for labour positions is by default wrong or exploitative, but the potential for exploitation is much much higher. Immigrants are targeted because they can be made to do illegal work (whether in terms of minimum wages or safety or employment standards) others won't, illegitimately dragging down wages.

If foreign/recent immigrant workers can be found to do the work legally and safely for exorbitantly low wages, there's nothing anyone can really do. If that's the case here with Khaira, fine, you're right, nothing can really be said about it, as distasteful as it may be to many of us.

Perhaps it's not a case of exploitation, and it's just the usual "rookie" scenario, but the circumstantial evidence is pretty strong that it's not.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by bush » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:36 am

it will be very interesting to see the outcome of this contract. maybe the bid wasn't too low. maybe it was. it is what it is now. are they a bunch of new canadians being given a great opportunity to make money.( even if they make less than $200/day, it may be more than they ever hoped to make) if so they'll probably love the opportunity. most 'immigrant' planters are grateful for the opportunity, and even excel at physical labour. where here in canada the youth are getting more and more spoiled. even more feeble. we want less work and more money!.....no matter what. somebody is getting screwed. whether its contractors losing the contract. planters not going to the contract because low prices. or the planters doing the contract getting fucked. or khaira gets a little fucked. at the same time somebody will benefit..... i think(just my opinion) it really enforces the need for high quality treeplanting. take pride in your work. higher quality means higher prices. low quality low prices. lower quality, higher production. this isn't an argument about us being skilled or not. just do the best job that you can. that sounds stupid. but it's the truth. bid for the money, not the work.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by newforest » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:23 am

good luck folks. taking pride in high quality only works when the forester involved is interested beyond the level of 'hey you got the green side up, looks good to me.' otherwise planting quality isn't revealed for five years or more. and plugs forgive so many errors that quality is much easier to achieve.

I have dug up competitor's trees and looked over the quality of their work. It never got me anywhere, but it is useful to know, although generally frustrating. Sounds like all of this is occurring on public land where anyone can go.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by bush » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:50 am

in treeplanting you can get by with low quality. cutting corners. it's the norm. but it will show in results a couple of years down the road when they will replant or restock. once maybe twice. this is a big part of why bc forestry is cyclical. it takes a couple of years to see the cost of low quality. believing that you have to keep bidding lower just to compete with the next guy won't solve anything. i'm sure the states are a little different. but business is business. if you're turning a profit.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:04 pm

FYI - Barnbill

Bids on this job rounded to the nearest $1000

Khaira - $91,000
Rainforest - 129,000
Stephan - $136,000
Brinkman - $ 148,000
Timberline - $151,000
Fieldstone - $155,000
Evergreen - $158,000
Osprey - $165,000
Impact - $166,000

All of the contractors except Khaira know the area and have experience in this kind of work - and you gotta know they're all hungry. I think Osprey and Impact probably have the right bid.

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Re: Powell River Meltdown

Post by Evergreen » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:21 pm

Here's the latest update on the Powell River contract.

I've been talking with the Director of SAFE Companies for BC Forest Safety Council. He is very forthright and easy to deal with. He has been very proactive in his search to discover what has been going on over on Texada. He listened to my concerns and acted promptly to discover if there were in fact reasons to fear that workers were at risk. He was in touch directly with Health, BCTS and the WSBC OH&S officer on the ground.

Here's officially what's being said and written in orders;

WSBC issued 7 orders to comply - none of them major. They included;

All employees must wear caulks
No Orientation signed off on so none assumed to have been given
Tripping hazards in camp with extension cords
Ventilation issues in camp
No NOP posted
Other minor things I have no details for

All in all pretty minor stuff except for the caulks. Emergency Response Plans in place, 1st aid equipment good, and attendants certified.

Health also had relatively minor concerns about camp facilities such as cooking and eating surfaces needing to be upgraded.

BCFSC will reclassify Khaira as a large contractor and is requiring them to undergo a BASE audit in May. BCFSC will also do a shadow audit while the BASE audit takes place.

BCTS probably is not happy with me and the WSCA for that matter. I get a pretty stiff response from them. The Campbell River Woodlands Manager assures me that they will be having detailed discussions with Khaira before they move into other operating areas such as the water/heli access Brittain River. I spoke with him Friday trying to be as conciliatory as possible and emphasized that we are trying to work together with them to head off any unsafe situations. He was quite brisk. I would imagine he's pretty sick of all the scrutiny that's come down.

Apparently Khaira told BCTS by way of explaining their low bid that they expected to spend money to buy their way in to coastal areas. It seems like this project will go ahead. Apparently BCTS likes the planting quality. The issue of what Khaira is paying their employees is moot as there's nothing much we can do there.

I think this has been a positive exercise in that we may very well have prevented a serious injury. That in itself makes it worthwhile. We may also have initiated some changes to both the way BCTS views and awards contracts and to how BCFSC categorizes and/or scrutinizes how contractors categorize themselves.

This contract will go forward but with lots of scrutiny which is a good thing as the nasty and difficult heli access blocks are yet to come.

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