Premier Christy Clark took her lunch break with workers on a Victoria construction project Wednesday, receiving the endorsement of the Ironworkers International and its B.C. local.
“We may not agree with Premier Clark on every issue, or the BC Liberals, but we believe their plan for economic growth, for apprenticeship training and all the lunch bucket and kitchen table issues that affect our members is the right one for us,” said Doug Parton, Ironworkers Local 97 business manager, surrounded by union members on the site of a new downtown building.
The Ironworkers endorsement came as the B.C. Federation of Labour launched an attack ad depicting Clark in an 80s-style video game, wearing a hardhat as she collects points for closing a school and understaffing seniors’ homes.
Parton said his union is a member of the BCFed, but he doesn’t agree with them campaigning for the NDP in the May 9 election.
“For years they’ve been known and thought of as a labour party, but what’s happened in the past has us very concerned,” Parton said. “When they came out against the George Massey bridge, that’s a direct attack against the ironworkers, and I can’t take that any other way.”
NDP leader John Horgan said Local 97 didn’t endorse anyone in the last election, and shrugged off the endorsement as Clark finding “two members of the labour movement to stand with her” long before the election campaign.
Horgan said he sides with Lower Mainland mayors who did not choose the Massey tunnel replacement.
“The member who is currently representing Kelowna [Clark] may not have as good an understanding of what the transportation needs are in the Lower Mainland,” Horgan said.