The union representing about 200 Hastings Racecourse employees is
demanding the province and VANOC find an alternative to laying the
workers off for a month during the 2010 Games.
last week the facility is being shut down for security reasons because
of its proximity to Pacific Coliseum, which will host several Olympic
Andy Ross, president of the Canadian Office and
Professional Employees Union (COPE), local 378, which represents the
workers, said the decision to close the facility was made in 2007, but
was only just revealed last week.
“We have been told time
and again … that the Olympics will be an engine for creating jobs in
B.C., and yet here we see hundreds of job losses,” he said.
“(These workers) should be benefiting from this event, (not) being left without a job and a wage for the entire Olympic period.”
David Dahl, a security officer at the racetrack, said he feels like his government is treating him like collateral damage.
all for the Olympics, but why would you take employment away from a
couple hundred people when you can avoid it?” he said. “The Olympics
are the important thing and (the province doesn’t) care about us.”
Simpson, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings, said the government and VANOC have
an obligation to find a solution that doesn’t include workers having to
“pay with a month’s salary for the Olympics.”
B.C. NDP Leader
Carole James called the layoffs a “slap in the face” to the workers who
are paying for the Olympics through their taxes.
“They deserve better,” she said.