Khaira Enterprises

A forum for discussion about various silviculture companies. No defamation please!
jdtesluk
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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by jdtesluk » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:47 pm

Just one precedent finding BCTS (even partly) responsible would be enough to cause a change in behaviour. I would agree, that the potential remains for a repeat. I would suggest that the Ministry is not the only party paying attention here. WSBC has also taken note, and interestingly is now guided by a forestry specialist with a lengthy silviculture backround. Also, the industry is not standing still, and this topic continues to be an important item among various committees. One of the things that would help would be better education of workers (and recruits) and increaing their access to avenues of recourse.

I agree, however, that short term response often gives way to longterm apathy. Over the past 15 years, I would argue that compliance has improved substantially. Conditions (wages specifically) have not improved. However, general compliance with regulations and employment standards has certainly risen. This is in some part due to enforcement efforts, and responses from both industry and Govt. Khaira shows that there is still a lot of room for improvement. I have my ideas about how we could "fix things", but I also understand the limitations in resources and capacity that constrain potential responses. At least for the time being, it is on the radar, and there are groups pushing for reform. We just have to be careful what we ask for. We don't want them to interpret "stronger enforcement" as "making everyone's life miserable". THere needs to be a focus on catching the bad apples. In this, workers have a critical role to play, and MUST start speaking up and identifying those that disregard the regulations.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Mike » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:26 pm

WSBC has also taken note, and interestingly is now guided by a forestry specialist with a lengthy silviculture backround.
Is his name Jordan Tesluk?



How do we protect workers that speak out to identify "bad apples"? I mean, I write reviews where I don't even accuse people of doing anything against regulations and I'm sure there are companies out there that will never hire me as a result...
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: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by jdtesluk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:18 am

Ha ha, no no no. I wouldn't come on here to toot my own horn in that manner. A former contract manager with a large silviculture company has moved into the forestry post with WSBC. I know this person well from years of collaboration on many projects, and have great respect for their knowledge of silviculture and its unique challenges. It is a positive thing to have someone with this background able to act as a conduit between industry concerns and the bureaucracy.

It is worth knowing that all these agencies (WSBC, BCSSP, WSCA, BCTS...) do not just stand still in their own little corners. They do meet regularly in an effort to sort out the problems in the industry. We can all agree that they are not wholly successful in this regard, but people may be surprised to know of the efforts going on in the background to address problems (such as those reflected by the Khaira case). Each org has its own priorities and own shortcomings. I would contend that many of the difficulties faced by the industry are based in conflicts between organizational structures, terms of reference, official mandates, and capacity....not problems with individuals or lack of cooperation or good intent...we have that to spare. It is simply very difficult to achieve reform in worker safety and worker treatment IN ANY MILIEU.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by RPF » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:30 am

jdtesluk wrote: ... but I also understand the limitations in resources and capacity that constrain potential responses... ... There needs to be a focus on catching the bad apples. In this, workers have a critical role to play, and MUST start speaking up and identifying those that disregard the regulations.
This is exactly what these unscrupulous companies/owners/managers are counting on. They know that government funding is inadequate to ensure enough resources are available to monitor their business practices, and they take advantage of that. They also know that by hiring foreign workers, the majority of them will not say anything for fear of being deported home.

A recent case in point is a Tim Horton's café in Fernie where the manager is exploiting Filipino foreign workers. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... -1.2451512

I don't have the answers to solving these issues, but as a minimum, once these bad apples are found, severe and long term consequences (including black listing them) must be handed out to those owners/managers.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Evergreen » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:15 pm

RPF wrote:Quote from the Globe & Mail article:

"As the case winds down, Forests Minister Steve Thomson says he regrets his government’s role in failing to protect those workers. He hasn’t met with them but if he did, “I would apologize,” he said. “Clearly there was not the appropriate oversight.”

He said he is confident that the situation won’t be repeated. Work camps are now inspected, and other changes have been made to ensure better protection of itinerant workers." End quote
The ridiculous cover-up aspect of this whole thing is that Khaira's camp on Texada was inspected by the RCMP, BCTS, Health and WCB. This was early in the season leading up to the Golden fiasco. There was plenty of "oversight". All of these esteemed agencies basically turned a blind eye. Was it reverse discrimination? The whole operation could have been shut down there and then. BCTS was warned well before Khaira even started work, that there had to be problems at the price they got the work for. They stonewalled the WSCA on a conference call months before the Texada job started, saying they had "done our due diligence". It was a joke and an insult to those who had brought the situation to their attention. Ever since then, there has been a concerted cover-up to avoid laying blame directly on the individuals and organizations directly responsible. BCTS made the biggest errors in judgment and enforcement. The manager most responsible has been transferred to of all things a position coordinating safety.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Saffa » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:32 pm

Did you make it to the hearings Jordan?

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by jdtesluk » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:17 pm

Hoping to go tomorrow for the final closing arguments.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by mwainwright » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:09 am

it most certainly is a joke. you can go on and on about who knew what, and when they knew it. the bottom line here is that BCTS, and the rest of the industry is able to pursue the lowest possible price, at all costs, and there are absolutely no repercussions when things like this happen. shit, they dont even feel the need to apologize to workers who were basically treated like slaves on their watch.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Little Trees » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:35 am

Well put Wainwright.
Most in the industry have known for many years that Khaira (and others like them) has been operating in this fashion shaking hands with the clients who get bottom dollar work and turn a blind eye to all that goes on as long as the bottom dollar price is there.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by jdtesluk » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:49 pm

To be clear, the (Human Rights Tribunal) hearing is not about BCTS or MOF.

It is based on a complaint of racial and sexual abuse by the higher-ups at Khaira against many of the workers.
I spent today at the hearing, and took in the overall and closing arguments of both parties. Interesting stuff, but also disturbing when you hear the allegations. There is worst stuff than what you get to read in the papers. It's not just about cookies.

I am going to say something here that will likely rub a few people the wrong way, but here it is.

I find it ironic that the workers doing the most at this time to better things for others, are the most oppressed and abused. One would hope that in a society such as ours, that the privileged and (relatively) successful would look out for the vulnerable and less fortunate...at least that's the schtick I was raised to believe in.

At the current hearing, the workers stand almost NO HOPE of recovering any monetary awards. They recovered (successfully) what they could through the Employment Standards Branch case. However, the owners of the company have "managed" their assets in such a way as to assure that there is nothing left for the workers to obtain, even if and when they win this case.

The workers pushing this case forward are fully aware of these circumstances. So, one may ask why are they doing it. Any one that is familiar with the experience of abuse would know that it is a painful experience to relive abuse, and to have to speak about it in a tribunal, and have it poured over by others. Remember also, that many of these workers were witness to a dead worker (Mr. Kooner) who died in the Khaira camp in Revelstoke. This, and the alleged sexual physical and sexual harassement no doubt did damage to their lives and thier psyches. I will not go so far as to say that white people cannot appreciate or understand racial discrimination and outright abuse, but I will say that it is a major stretch for most of them. Let their be no doubt, the workers at this camp endured more than just a few late paychecks and a rough camp. They have been through a level of hell and back.

Yet, here some of them are, continuing to seek justice against the wrongs against them, despite no promise of financial reward (none). So, why are they doing it? If you were to speak with their counsel, you would likely find out that they simply want to ensure that no other worker has to go through what they went through.

Think on this for a moment. These people have struggled to get by, many of them live on the fringes of our affluent society and not only suffered the abuse they faced at Khaira, but also face prejudice in many of their day-to-day lives, and have faced the frustration of an uncaring MOF that at first denied any responsibility (or even sympathy) and only after the real story came out did we get an after-the-fact "pseudo-sorry" from the Minister of Forests (yeah, take that apology to the bank and try to cash it folks).

Yet, here they are looking out for others. There is likely a measure of personal satisfaction in this as well, but they have made it clear that they want to see these (proven and alleged) "Khaira" practices ended.

Hmmmm....if only every worker had this attitude. One of the problems the industry has faced is that too many workers have been willing to put up with outright illegal activity and non-compliance with regulations, because they are solely focused on their own bottom line. People don't want to rock the boat, risk their spot in line, spend the time, struggle with the bureaucracy, get black-listed, have to find another contract, work away from their friends, make their buddy-foreperson look bad....I've heard every reason in the book for not reporting non-compliance.

So, as we all move forward in the industry (for those of us that do), remember that the bravest people so far have been those that have been treated the worst. Every planter in the industry should take some note of the Khaira case, and feel emboldened by the guts and determination of them to follow through.

>>>Be encouraged that they WON their Employment Standards Case. Yes, they didn't get all of their pay, but they were dealing with a marginal operator to begin with. If you work for an even moderately stable employer, your potential for successful reclaimation of what you are owed is much stronger. (Of course, I believe/know that the majority of planters work for compliant companies, this particular passage applies to those that do not)
>>>Know that there are people to help you, like ES, like the BC Federation of Labour, like the Public Interest Advisory Council, and others.
>>>Know that when you assert your rights, you protect not just your own rights, but those of others, and those that may come to the industry later.
>>>Know that if you let stuff slide (irregular pay, overcharged camp fees, quality charges, no overtime.....) that you are helping such problems to continue.

I hope everyone out there can at least offer a tip of their hat to the workers in this case, that are taking such trouble to follow this through to the end. The verdict may not come until April or May, but their work has been done. I just with the press would recognize these workers not just as victims, but also for being somewhat valorous in light of the respective silence from many others.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Tnalp » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:33 pm

Nice post.

I am way more concerned about the Gov fat cats, that only when up against a wall, somewhat admitted/recognized that they had not upheld their end of the bargain, than a snake like Khaira. There will always be snakes like Khaira but if the people who represent us and "serve" us have no backbone and questionable ethics we are in deep shit!!

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by jdtesluk » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:55 pm

I am concerned about both. However, the workers cannot expect the "fat cats" to do anything if they don't lodge formal complaints in the first place and force the system.
Every worker that knowingly endures blatant non-compliance by their employer and does nothing about it, is helping the problem get worse.

Nice to know that many of the workers from Khaira were singled out for employment by other companies. To be clear, other companies (compliant ones) were impressed by and appreciate of the Khaira workers that pushed their employment standards case forward, and gave them jobs. Instead of their complaints penalizing them in the quest for future employment, it actually worked in their favour.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by mwainwright » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:36 am

i hear you jordan, and of course you're right. however, i have lodged formal complaints in the past, albeit for transgressions less severe than the ones in the khaira case, and guess what? nothing happened. there were absolutely no negative consequences for the contractor involved, but i was out of a job and made to understand that i was not welcome back. the reality of our system is that contractors, licensees, and the ministry face next to no consequences in situations like this. the workers do, however. the reasons planters have given you for not "rocking the boat" are not excuses. they are the reality. if you dont realize that, then you've lost touch with that particular aspect of our industry.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Mike » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:41 am

I fully expect that at some point in the future, I'll be out of the planting industry as a result of being unable to find work, as a result of slightly too honest reviews on this website.
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: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Scooter » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:57 am

Wouldn't that indicate a bigger problem than companies punishing planters that complain? It would seem to me that the underlying problem here would be that so many companies would be getting negative reviews. In other words, the problem isn't necessarily with planters who have negative impressions of specific companies, but rather that so many companies have problems.

I guess what I'm saying is that perhaps the structure of our industry is the problem? But that's a myopic view, since there are some good companies out there.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by jdtesluk » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:07 am

mwainwright wrote:i hear you jordan, and of course you're right. however, i have lodged formal complaints in the past, albeit for transgressions less severe than the ones in the khaira case, and guess what? nothing happened. there were absolutely no negative consequences for the contractor involved, but i was out of a job and made to understand that i was not welcome back. the reality of our system is that contractors, licensees, and the ministry face next to no consequences in situations like this. the workers do, however. the reasons planters have given you for not "rocking the boat" are not excuses. they are the reality. if you dont realize that, then you've lost touch with that particular aspect of our industry.
Yes, I came off a bit harsh there MW, but of course I was looking for a reaction. I would argue that there are consequences for hte contractors and even the ministry (but you're right, none for the licensee). Of course, not every case is as successful as Khaira. With Khaira, the workers may not have paid everything they should have, butKhaira has still lost a tremendous amount of money. Of course, I can't comment on your case or why you didn't get the result you should have or may have wanted, as I don't know the details.

I think that some "reasons" for not rocking the boat are better than others, and not all are equal. Knowing only a little about your stomping grounds, I'm guessing the consequences for complaining are greater as you have a smaller pool of work to choose from. This is an important issue, and honestly I don't have a good answer for your position, although I'd definitely like to discuss it over a beer. Lodging a formal complaint in the QC or north island is a lot different than doing so in PG or Kamloops, yes? I think the latter (interior) is what I have focused on mostly. It is the larger companies that have a larger influence on the industry, and they generally set the bar for others both through influence on prices and best practices. If anything, the industry would benefit most from better education and empowerment of rookies to know their rights and stand up for them in the first place. Vets make a difference too, but I would contend that the biggest impact can be made by getting rookies (and 1st 2nd year) going in the right direction. First, this is where the prices are set and the biggest market share lies. Secondly, it shapes their attitudes for the future. Interestingly, the ombudsmans report (Roger Harris) focuses on just this- to train new worker to know their rights and assist them in protecting them. This is what I am currently involved with the industry in addressing- how do we establish best practices or programs that better educate new workers and facilitate their access to the mechanisms and bureaucracies that ostensibly protect them. This involves working with both the workpool and the agencies.

In that sense, my rant is a bit misplaced in this forum, as most participants are vets. I am familiar with many cases of planters lodging complaints, with some succeeding, and some not. It is hard to say what distinguishes the successful grievances from the unsuccessful.
There are certainly things one can do to strengthen their claims, and better ways to work the system. I would suggest that workers need to have a better grasp of these things so future legitimate greivances can be successful. I don't think it's realistic to expect vest to through down their shovels and revolt for hotel costs a bit too high or a paycheck that comes a day late, nor do I necessarily recommend such action. I do think, however, we should hold the Khaira case up as a bit of a standard and do what we can to retain the lesson.

Successful claims against mistreatment ARE POSSIBLE. And we have seen some of the most poorly equipped workers be successful (admittedly only to a degree) with their claims. There are quite a few lessons that can be drawn from how they were successful that can be shared with others. This includes how to keep proper records, how to recognize a scam when you see one, and exactly who to call and how to do it.

THanks Wainright for your input because you raise an important issue. The problems with non-compliance include a range of activities and conditions. The challenges you face for sticking it to the boss in one corner of the province are a lot different that those faced by a rookie or an new Canadian worker in the interior. We need to look at these situations differently, consider their differential impacts, and consider different ways of responding.

Mike, of course your reviews generally don't focus on non-compliance, but rather on paintaking detail of every nuance of the operation. Kind of like sitting on an airplane with someone that tells you all about thier recent personal surgery (whether you like it or not), right down to the last stitch. For the record, I think there are plenty of good contractors that would hire you. Although, they may ask you to sign a non-publication agreement :)

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Mike » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:07 pm

And I still think that the industry could benefit a lot more from both an emphasis on sharing best practices between companies and an emphasis on getting useful information to workers --- more real information means people can make actual choices about where they want to work, and that's a way to weed out weaker contractors.

And I stay away from compliance in the reviews deliberately, though, of course, we both know there are violations on a point of overtime pay that we've disagreed on on this forum basically at every company.

As for Scooter's thought, I generally am with him on a structural problem: the industry is trying to do too much with too few resources. If you compared worker rentention and work satisfaction (anonymous survey, scale from 1-10, how happy are you with your previous workplace) to any other industry in Canada, I think we'd generally be doing worse. And that's from a guy that thinks planting is awesome and at the end of 6 years has no doubt he'll be going back for more.
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: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by krahn » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:24 pm

thanks for the update! also nice to see famous canadians give their voice to the issue...

"Norm Macdonald, the NDP forestry critic, is unmoved by the minister’s assurances. “These people were clearly exploited, and the conditions that allowed that to happen are still there.”"

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by newforest » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:23 pm

a sad thread, but with a lot of good in it. keep working on all this, wherever you are.

government is a different beast than industry. there is no bottom line, only a budget, and your position in that budget to protect. people who rock the boat inside government run into their own problems…

no change in my country this year. just lots of quite stupid tree planting, done by exploited people. and the "professionals" ride comfily all the way to the bank...

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55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discrimination

Post by newb » Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 pm

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal rules Khaira Enterprises racially discriminated against Congolese workers

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... -1.2652622

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Re: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by Mike » Sat May 24, 2014 7:01 pm

Khaira Enterprises has been ordered to pay each worker $10,000 for injury to dignity and self-respect plus $1,000 per 30-day period worked or portion thereof between March 17, 2010, and June 17, 2010.

In February 2011, Khaira Enterprises was ordered by B.C.'s Employment Standards Branch to pay its workers $236,800.

By November 2011, the branch was able to distribute $127,102 to many of the claimants — but the rest of the money remains unpaid owing to the company's bankruptcy.
"The chances of them actually receiving any money over and above that already obtained by the ESB on their behalf was extremely remote," said Trerise's ruling.
Not much of a win.
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: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by mel_eff » Sun May 25, 2014 12:23 pm

What a farce.
Expect delays.

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Re: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by jdtesluk » Sun May 25, 2014 2:30 pm

It is not good that they are likely unable to collect on what they are owed. I don't know if there is any possibility or personal lawsuits for any of the specific personal actions that occurred. Nonetheless, like everyone else, I think it sucks that they don't actually get their money.

However, do not dismiss the value of this judgment too quickly. Going into this case, the plaintiffs knew exactly what they were in for. They knew full well that they would be spending a great deal of time and energy in pursuit of a lawsuit that was unlikely to result in them receiving any cash. Yet, they proceeded anyways, perhaps partly on principle and partly on a desire for justice, you'd have to ask them. Nonetheless, they proceeded when a lot of other people would have just cut their losses and walked away.

This still sets a good precedent simply in terms of the judgment, and the ruling in favour of the workers. I fully acknowledge that it seems empty without an actual pay-off, but don't think that Khaira got off scott-free. They have very much taken a significant financial hit, and the closure of their company is a significant financial blow regardless of what efforts they may make to pop up under another guise. The case fully derailed their operation, and it will take a lot for them to claw their way back into the market. WHo knows what would have happened and how many more workers would have been screwed over if these workers did not scream and yell, and insist that their case be heard? Consider that, and the favour the workers did to the industry by carrying this forward.

We can hope that this sends a clear message to both Khaira, and other companies that entertain similar practices. I hope also it encourages others to assert their rights. Remember the Employment Standards Branch case paid out 50% of their lost wages, and it would have been more if the company had not folded. Lesson from ESB is that you can effectively take your company to task legally if they try to cheat you out of your wages. The HRT ruling also indicates that you can have your employer over a barrel if they discriminate against you (on any of the identified grounds in the HRA). Yes, they may escape actual payment if they go bankrupt, but for most companies that is not a reasonable option.

So I for one applaud the guts of the workers that went through with this case, who set a precedent for others to heed, even though they had little to gain. I also applaud the other whistleblowers, and people who spoke up and demanded action, regardless of the potential consequences to their own interests. There were several contractors, and a particularly brave forester that put their convictions first, and spoke up about the matter, even though it meant potential threats to their job, or potential disfavour from BCTS for blowing the lid off the can. Again, courage of the few.

I'm pleased with the judge in the case, who has little power over whether or not the defendant can pay, but who did a thorough job of nailing their ass to the wall, at least in terms of his decision. I also applaud the Public Interest Advocacy Centre for providing free legal representation to the workers, and to the other groups that supported them along the way, including the WSCA and the BC Federation of Labour. Whether or not you like Jim Sinclair, and whatever you may think of his politics, it is nice to have someone speaking to the media about planters and their rights. Kudos also to the few companies that took on some of the affected workers from the Khaira case, gave them jobs, and showed them how a good compliant company takes care of its people. Credit also to Kim Bolan, at the Vancouver Sun, who took a personal interest in the case, took the story on, and helped it get the coverage it deserved. MOst of all, though, credit to the workers. That took guts. If you meet one, but them a beer....or a gatorade :)

Again, sucks they don't get paid in the end, but the decision is still good, and the workers deserve recognition.

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Re: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by RPF » Wed May 28, 2014 4:53 pm

The fact that the planting contractor has declared bankruptcy it's unlikely that the workers will ever see a dime from this case. However, I was wondering if there was a way for the justice system (or whomever) to seek payment for those workers through BCTS. Khaira had a contract with BCTS, so I would think that BCTS should hold some financial responsibility for this whole fiasco. I mean, if the BCTS had done it's due diligence when the contract was active, perhaps this whole mess may have been averted in the first place.
Just my two bits...

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Re: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by jdtesluk » Wed May 28, 2014 7:49 pm

I suggested this very thing in person to the then Minister of Forests. He started spitting and his bald spot turned red, and he launched into a tirade about how that would encourage other contractors to do similar things, and expect the Govt to cover their misdeeds. He then accused me of being in league with the NDP and the BC Federation of Labour.

Yeah, apparently when the Liberals say "let the market rule", it also includes ruling over human rights.

I even suggested it "nicely" and asked if it would perhaps be appropriate for the Ministry to take some stewardship in the matter, and look out for the workers, seeing how they had been kicked to the curb. I guess, the Ministry was embarrassed by the whole thing, and anyone aiding the workers was part of the BCFL and NDP commie cohort that was trying to prevent the Province from joining the modern age.

Do I think Liberals hate workers? Hmmmm... the more I see their treatment of teachers, nurses, and other workers, the more I wonder.

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Re: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by Scooter » Thu May 29, 2014 10:31 am

I doubt that we'll suddenly see anyone from the Ministry suddenly stepping up and acting magnanimous. Perhaps someone with some legal background would be interested in taking this case through the legal system, and see if BCTS could be held accountable, rather than hoping that they'll feel magnanimous and do the right thing. They should never have awarded the contract to Khaira in the first place.

And lest BCTS claim that awarding the contract to Khaira was a mistake on the part of certain BCTS personnel, and those persons have been disciplined, it is good to keep in mind that Canada's legal system recognizes vicarious liability, ie. the characteristic that a business organization shall be held accountable for the actions of its employees. I'm not sure how that would play out since BCTS is a branch of government, not a corporation, but my personal opinion is that the same rules should apply.

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Re: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by RPF » Fri May 30, 2014 11:30 am

Although BCTS is an arm of government, my understanding is that they are considered an organization somewhat similar to a private company in terms of generating revenue, etc. It is therefore my humble opinion that BCTS should be held accountable for their actions the same as any other private company would be.

I'm sure (in fact I know) if this whole Kaharia issue occurred while they were contracted to do work for any other company (mine included), someone in the justice system, or within government, would have forced my company to ensure that those workers received adequate compensation a long time ago.

However, unlike BCTS, my company (and I can only speak for the operation I work for) would not have allowed this situation to have happened in the first place.

It's unfortunate that the Liberal government is unwilling to admit they made a mistake and do the right thing for those workers. It shouldn't be a matter of political pride (or whatever you want to call it), it should be about doing the right thing and forget the politics.

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Re: 55 tree planters win $700K over 'slave-like' discriminat

Post by jdtesluk » Fri May 30, 2014 2:59 pm

RPF wrote: It shouldn't be a matter of political pride (or whatever you want to call it), it should be about doing the right thing and forget the politics.
Exactly. I tried to make that point. But it was lost on the politically ambitious minister, who only sought to limit his own responsibility, while blinded by the "market solves everything" magic coin that Gordon Campbell was swaying before his eyes.

The current minister at least admitted that the system had failed the Khaira workers. However, such words ring as a hollow apology without the compensation to back it up. Hard to say if it's the people, the system, or the political regime that gave off the most displeasing odour in this case.

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Re: Khairi making news - another BCTS success story

Post by Scooter » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:21 pm

From today's WSCA Rumour Mill Roundup Newsletter:
It is not often, if ever, that we can report anything positive to do with the Khaira Enterprises disaster. Nevertheless, lawyers at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre are optimistic that after nearly six years some former Khaira employees may receive Employment Insurance benefits from their work with the discredited employer. The ongoing appeals being heard by Canada Revenue Agency are critical to all silviculture workers and employers being they will rule whether travel time is insurable for E. I. purposes. Previously CRA had ruled it wasn’t, which put their rules at odds with B.C.’s Employment Standards Regulation, which consider travel time part of the work day for silviculture workers in calculating minimum wage: a provision that is still ignored by some employers. The Centre hopes to make an announcement at the WSCA conference in February.

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Re: Khaira Enterprises

Post by PlantinTaders » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:20 am

Dewan's hiring this season! If anyone needs any ei hours in 5 years after a lengthy court process.
Onterrible? Albertarded.

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Re: Khaira Enterprises

Post by Scooter » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:11 pm

From today's WSCA Rumour Mill Roundup newsletter:
Khaira Workers Now Eligible to Apply for E.I. After Six-Year Delay

By any reckoning former employees of the discredited Khaira Enterprises have had a rough ride. Besides having their worker and human rights abused they have had to suffer various disappointments with the government agencies involved in their affairs. Many of them are still owed money in spite of findings of the Employment Standards Branch. Others had to appeal to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to reverse its demand that they pay taxes on earnings they never received. And now six years after the fact 23 of them have been told they can finally apply for employment insurance; something denied them initially because CRA ruled travel time was not insurable for EI purposes. That ruling was appealed successfully by the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre acting on behalf of some of the workers after a protracted series of hearings ending this month. That technicality aside they now still have to apply for EI. We can only hope that doesn’t turn into another administrative gamut for any of these workers who may still want to try to receive benefits they should have been eligible for in 2010.

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