While the BC Jobs Plan has focused on increasing the number of jobs in the province, many have raised concerns about quality of those jobs. For instance, how effectively does the province’s job-creation plan promote job security, enforced occupational health and safety protections, remuneration that is fair and liveable, and opportunities for workers to participate in workplace decisions that affect their lives? In particular, how does the BC Jobs Plan affect workers who are already at a high risk of poverty and precarious work, including racialized newcomers, migrant workers, and Indigenous peoples in BC?
In response to these concerns, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives hosted a conference in November to gather ideas for creative policy tools to create good jobs in BC. As part of the conference, BC Employment Standards Coalition member Anelyse Weiler, along with UBC researchers Dennis J. and Hannah Wittman, contributed a paper focused on farmers, farm workers and food security in British Columbia. Growing Good Agricultural Jobs in British Columbia considers the tensions within the current political-economic context between advancing dignified livelihoods for farm employers and hired workers. However, the authors argue that this tension is not inevitable, and that key policy changes can help to advance livelihood self-determination and better job quality for both farmers and farm workers.
Recently, the Vancouver Sun published an op-ed highlighting some of the ideas proposed in the longer paper by Weiler, Dennis and Wittman: In growing good jobs for B.C.’s economy, we’ve been neglecting a key ingredient.