For at least a decade we have been hearing big industry talk about the looming labour shortage coming at us, how millions of workers are going to be needed, we here at The straight Goods have been skeptical to say the least..
Propaganda, industry propaganda, if big corporations told us the truth would we as a population put up with their crimes, environmental crimes, accounting fraud, every time I read a paper the story is about industry shedding jobs in the name of efficiency, I believe industry has taken this route, the route of glorious employment opportunities, millions of workers required, big money jobs for the asking, ...That`s the story meanwhile tic toc tic toc goes the clock, year after year goes by and the jobs aren`t there, except for indentured temporary foreign workers slaving at reduced wages..
The Lac Megantic rail crime/disaster...MM&A railway had just recently applied for and been approved to run one man trains, one conductor/labourer/engineer to run an entire train, rail companies at one time if memory serves me correct had a half dozen employees running a train, then it was reduced to two men operating the train, now it has been reduced to a single employee....
Big corporate profits for railways, oil shipments have risen from 500 to over 140,000 shipments of oil, yet employees and staff are being cut n slashed, all in the name of new efficiencies..
Here in the lower mainland, Kinder Morgan is wanting to triple or more the amount of oil coming to Burnaby, oil tankers traversing Burrard inlet would go from 6 to 8 per month to 40 per month, and that`s not the only tanker traffic that goes under the second narrows bridge(Iron Memorial Bridge) ..
As you know, and for those that don`t, the second narrows bridge besides being a car bridge up top it`s also a rail bridge, the rail bridge section is about 20 feet above high tide, meaning the rail bridge section of the second narrows bridge must be raised everytime a tanker or large vessel wants to pass through and then lowered back down everytime CN trains can cross Burrard inlet...
So here`s the deal, we just had the worst rail disaster in Canadian history because there wasn`t enough of a workforce to assure all the needed tasks were completed before the train was abandoned, 50 dead or more, an entire town near vaporized, ...We have CN rail which is moving millions of barrels of oil, increased exports of coal and ores,..We have Kinder Morgan that wants to increase tanker traffic going under the second narrows bridge by a factor of 10...The second narrows which is a car bridge and a rail bridge, the rail section must be raised and lowered everytime a sea vessel wants to cross..
Have a look at the bridge, the lower rail section is raised and lowered many times per day.
The lower green section between the two foundations is lowered and raised many times per day, the more traffic going underneath the more times it is raised and lowered..At times the fog is so thick, at times the weather and visibility is but a few feet..
Do you see the size of these ships, how small the opening is..
Well, so CN Rail, a company that was gifted BC Rail, a company that shed thousands of jobs all in the name of new found efficiencies and new found shareholder profits and CEO and management bonuses, ...
A rail company now transporting millions and millions of barrels of oil are now looking to shed more staff , layoff more workers for the sake of efficiencies..And guess where these jobs are being eliminated...There are but a mere handful of jobs that apparently CN Rail just can`t afford, redundant jobs, employees who are no longer needed, their jobs will be now done at a central location by automation and cameras..
And what jobs might they be?
They are employees who monitor the raising and lowering of three rail bridges in the lower mainland..
New Westminster..Lulu Island and the Second Narrows bridge, ...these employees are being replaced with automation and cameras..
"NORTH VANCOUVER -- The District of North Vancouver and Port Metro Vancouver are expressing concern over CN's plan to cut staff who monitor and operate the Second Narrows rail lift bridge.
CN confirmed Tuesday that it will phase out the system of having observer-operators posted at three movable span bridges in the Lower Mainland including the Second Narrows rail crossing, New Westminster and Lulu Island bridges.
Instead, all three bridges will be monitored by camera, and raised and lowered as needed from a central location.
"The centralized system will streamline our operations while continuing to follow the marine navigation rules and maintain safety," said Warren Chandler, CN spokesman. "We will still have the ability to place a bridge tender at any of the bridges should we feel it necessary, but the idea is to have the automation up and running by the end of this year."
Chandler said additional cameras have been installed at all bridges, which will give the centralized bridge operator a full view.
The change shouldn't present any more risk to marine or rail traffic, Chandler added."