Jun 20, 2022 at 2:24 pm
City Councillor Mayor

Kamloops and District Labour Council asks:

Millions of jobs were lost during the pandemic. Describe how you will advocate for replacing those lost jobs with good union jobs.

- Kamloops and District Labour Council

Candidate Answers

Daphane Nelson

Candidate for City Councillor

As a business consultant and co-operative developer, I understand that a million jobs in BC come from self-employed people, including worker co-operatives that could choose unionization - I'm currently working with one right now.

Worker co-operatives are a group of owners who make decisions about their work environments, wages and benefits while splitting the residual profit at the end of the year. While I understand that labour unions advocate for all these things on behalf of membership, I do see the benefit of people having that right themselves and believe that more businesses could benefit from this model. Perhaps a combination of worker co-operative and unionization will replace lost jobs with good union jobs.


Dale Bass

Candidate for City Councillor

The city’s union is strong, its contract has good provisions and I believe our hiring practices respect this duty.

Arjun Singh

Candidate for Mayor

I think we actually have a labour shortage right now. Automation might address some of this but it seems pretty clear we need more workers not less. I believe we need good family supporting jobs. I would support workers who wish to unionize. And I would support union leaders trying to grow membership. We need to engage groups of people who have traditionally had challenges getting a job, such as people with diverse abilities and Indigenous peoples, and help them better access job opportunities. We will also need to encourage immigrants to come to Kamloops to settle.

Bill Sarai

Candidate for City Councillor

Our city has multiple union job openings as does many union businesses in our area. We and the private union sector need to roll out our collective red carpets and reach out to individuals across Canada to come Live, Work and play here.
It will take the city to support the union workspace and its employer in any way it can. We have been creative in the tax break we give Domtar each year. That is a testament of how much we value an employer that gives back and is always investing in initiatives to cleaner energy sources and reducing green house gasses. We need to attract more IT specialists as that will a key industry moving into the future.

Bonnie Cleland

Candidate for City Councillor

I see a rise in unionization following the pandemic. The labeling of "essential workers" has given power to the language and there is much more organizing opportunity. More people benefit when unions are strong as it shrinks the wealth gap and strengthens the middle class. I think council can facilitate between businesses and unions to work together to strengthen and lift up the community. My best answer for advocating always starts with listening to the stakeholders and gathering as many perspectives as possible. This is what I promise to do as Councillor.

Katie Neustaeter

Candidate for City Councillor

We are currently in an active labour shortage. The job opportunities are prevalent and we need to concentrate on attracting the critical workforce we need for our economy to thrive by creating an affordable, accountable, and advocacy-based city that is reflected in our workplaces.
It is my understanding through consultation with union members that while there is something to be desired in the current culture of the city's employees and the union has a desire for stronger communication with council in order to rectify it, a strong and satisfactory collective agreement is in place.

Taj Sandur

Candidate for City Councillor

This is a tough question to answer. Prior to covid, Canada's employment numbers were at 19.15 Million at their highest in Feb '20 and dropped sharply to 16.15 M in April '20 according to StatsCan. Our Employment numbers have already passed pre-covid levels and are at 19.5M as of August '22. So according to the data, we've already replaced these jobs.

Now the problem lies in creating fair working conditions for many of these new jobs. We are actually facing a labor shortage in most fields at this moment, so many employers are providing new incentives and higher wages in attempts to attract new workers. I don't think union jobs will be able to replace many of the existing jobs but that many workplaces will shift in time to union environments.

I believe we will see an increase of existing workplaces voting in unions to represent their workforces, much like our local Sephora store - the first unionized Sephora in all of North America! We will see opportunities for unions to strengthen the rights of workers in various workplaces as the workers become more educated to and understanding of their rights and freedoms. As this occurs, these workers will seek out a strong voice to represent their shared concerns, which will provide plenty of opportunities for unions to help employees.

Sadie Hunter

Candidate for Mayor

We are experiencing a critical labour shortage in almost every field and profession in our city. In conversation with various local union representatives there is an expressed desire to work more closely together with mayor and council to develop a better understanding of what the challenges are and how local government might be able to help. I think this conversation and advocacy needs to be driven by the unions and the solutions developed in collaboration with the community, including council.

Jesse Ritcey

Candidate for City Councillor

Our role at the City of Kamloops is primarily an advocacy one, so I will use my voice whenever possible to advocate for workers. An example of this was during the pandemic, I suggested the City write a letter to the billionaire owners of companies like Save on Foods and suggest that reinstating $2 an hour hero pay was urgently needed. We can also personally support and celebrate unionization drives, for instance the Sephora in Aberdeen mall become the first nationwide to unionize with their application to the labour board to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1518 (UFCW 1518).

Randy Sunderman

Candidate for City Councillor

In Kamloops we are facing a critical labour shortage. I feel we, as a City and through Venture Kamloops need to work diligently supporting the attraction of the desired workforce to the community. This would include marketing our community as a desirable place to live and supporting specific attraction efforts. Within this process many of our key employers such as TRU, Interior Health, Highland Valley, Kruger pulp mill, and many of our manufacturers employ unionized a labour force.

Darpan Sharma

Candidate for City Councillor

I can go on and on about this subject. How about we start by fixing how the current council dismantled the by-laws division during the peak of the pandemic, by introducing an RCMP-level fitness test which I guarantee no councilor or director can pass themselves? Now we are in the midst of arbitration which the city will lose, guaranteed. We need to bring back all the experienced staff whom we lost to this unethical fitness test and back our CUPE 900.
Community services officers can be in addition to the by-laws. Let's start locally for the 26 people whose lives were uprooted because our council took orders from the management and couldn't stand up for our union. Let's do this first and then we can talk about the other millions of jobs that were lost due to the pandemic.

Ray Dhaliwal

Candidate for Mayor

The Pandemic has created a gap in all hiring Union and Non Union. We need to open our doors to the City to bring in Large Companies that pay great wages and allow our workers to live a Healthy productive life. Our City now seems to be against heavy industry that create great paying union Jobs. I would Support any Business that will provide our Citizens with Great Paying Jobs.