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West Corp closes doors--hundreds lose jobs


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#41 Nparker

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 11:05 AM

Assuming you were directing your remarks to me Holden, I see no further purpose in explaining my point. I will respectfully agree to disagree with you.

#42 Holden West

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 12:22 PM

Sounds like Mayor NParker would decree coffee shop workers be paid 20 bucks an hour. Not even Ben Isitt would go that far.

The wages West paid to entry level employees to basically read off simple instructions over the phone to AT&T customers was generous by any stretch of the imagination.
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#43 Caramia

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 12:32 PM

When I graduated with my MA I got a job for $12 an hour and then worked my way up. It was after proving myself as a hard worker, and competent employee that I got to go after that "living wage." I once heard a person defending unemployed homeless people by saying that $9 an hour wasn't enough to tempt someone to work. I was honestly shocked. I was tempted to work for a lot less than that during my entire 20s. Sometimes I was tempted to work two jobs. That's how I got to where I am now, and I accept that I still need to prove myself before I get to where I want to be. I'm not old enough to be grumbling about how kids these days have it easy, but honestly, they do, and expectations have become way too high. I think that sometimes we forget what real poverty is about.

#44 concorde

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 03:05 PM

Thank you for the timely response to my post. I stand firm. West paid crap wages, but then again so do many employers in the region, especially in the service industry. The difference is that people who work in the service industry generally have the opportunity to make tips. Staff at West are not so lucky. I trust a few thousand under-employed people in India will be happy for the work though.


NParker, is your company hiring? I think a lot of people here would like to apply for the company you work for.

#45 Nparker

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:00 PM

NParker, is your company hiring? I think a lot of people here would like to apply for the company you work for.


Although the above was intended as a snide remark towards me I am sure, I would like to say that yes my "company" hires all the time. Last time I, checked there were over 135 positions available locally from entry level to executive. And hell, they hired me so clearly they will take anyone. I encourage any and all qualified former WEST employees to make application.

#46 Mike K.

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:08 PM

135 open positions is intense.

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#47 D.L.

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 08:52 PM

Wow Nparker, where do you work?

#48 Nparker

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:19 PM

I would think that was quite obvious...anyone care to make a guess?

#49 Caramia

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:30 PM

The province?

#50 Nparker

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:38 PM

Give Caramia a prize!

#51 spanky123

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 08:04 AM

Something doesn't seem right about someone working for the Province and then criticizing the wages the private sector pays! I guess the West employees can apply for jobs but I thought that you only got a job with the Province if you knew someone :-)

West may not have paid Government level wages (unless of coruse you work for one of the outsourced VIHA jobs) but they were one of the few employers that provided a lot of job flexibility. Spouse 1 could have a day job and then spouse 2 could work at West in the evenings or weekends and not have to find child care.

#52 G-Man

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 08:13 AM

Something doesn't seem right about someone working for the Province and then criticizing the wages the private sector pays! I guess the West employees can apply for jobs but I thought that you only got a job with the Province if you knew someone :-)

West may not have paid Government level wages (unless of coruse you work for one of the outsourced VIHA jobs) but they were one of the few employers that provided a lot of job flexibility. Spouse 1 could have a day job and then spouse 2 could work at West in the evenings or weekends and not have to find child care.


I agree that it is too bad that West closed as it was a valuable employer. That said you contention that you need to know someone to get a government job is completely false and in fact each position is placed on the merit system so that the most qualified person gets the job.

If you have a concern about a job visit here:

http://www.meritcomm.bc.ca/

#53 spanky123

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:16 AM

G-Man.

Even Government employees agree with me!

From the very website you reference ...

In 2006, a Work Environment Survey was sent to all regular and auxiliary employees of every ministry (except the Ministry of Transportation). 14,539 employees replied. One question asked whether in their work unit, the process of selecting a person for a position was based on merit. Only 40% of employees agreed. Fully 33% of those who replied, disagreed.

#54 G-Man

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 11:47 AM

But the same report says it is not true.

#55 arfenarf

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 11:58 AM

Lordy, if you've ever been through the so-fair-it's-outright-onerous process of applying for, testing for, and interviewing for a government position, you'd realize that the perception of rampant nepotism cannot hold up to the reality. I'm sure, human nature being what it is, that some jobs are wired for a particular applicant, but the evaluation process is so regimented, documented, quantified, and sliced-and-diced every possible way, that it is, in fact, difficult to include the necessary intangibles when hiring.

Even as someone whose very trade depends on teaching organizations to do things in measurable, repeatable, objective ways, the ultra-objective nature of hiring in the public service sometimes drives me crazy. Remarkably, the outcomes are usually great, which is good. Even if the old canard about favouritism controlling government hires is out-of-date, the view that it's nearly impossible to get rid of deadwood is, um, not.

#56 spanky123

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 02:07 PM

Basically it boils down to perception. The perception is that the hiring process isn't exactly transparent and everyone knows someone who got a job via a friend. Perhaps they were in fact the best candidate or perhaps they were only hired as a consultant, but the belief is widespread and even 35% of Government employees in 2006 thought it was so!

What is equally a perception issue is that good people who move here from out of Province cannot even get an interview with the Government because they don't know anyone!

#57 G-Man

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 03:40 PM

Whose fault is it when a perception is wrong?

Those perceived or the perceiver who is incorrect?

Anyone can get an interview with the government and I would suggest that those that "know" someone are disadvantaged in the system because there are so many policies to keep people on the up and up, so people would have to acknowledge their relationship and would treat them to a more thorough examination.

Consultants are a different ballgame but their use has dwindled in the last few years anyways.

#58 concorde

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 05:17 PM

Since we are talking about underpayers, any government agency pays well below private sector. I remember years ago when I worked for the government and I decided to move to the private sector I received a 26% raise instantly and full benefits.

If I was to go back to government today, I would have to take a pay cut of around 35-40%. Oh, and don't forget coffee at 30 cents a cup, Xmas party is $30, and no bonuses.

#59 G-Man

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:42 PM

^ All true but I think it is pretty good place to work.

#60 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:55 PM

Since we are talking about underpayers, any government agency pays well below private sector. I remember years ago when I worked for the government and I decided to move to the private sector I received a 26% raise instantly and full benefits.

If I was to go back to government today, I would have to take a pay cut of around 35-40%. Oh, and don't forget coffee at 30 cents a cup, Xmas party is $30, and no bonuses.


There are still some overpaying government jobs, but not as many as 15 years ago. Example the tough recruiting that BC Transit has to do, or the police services. But I'm still not sure why a government liquor-store clerk needs to be paid much better than her private-store equivalent.

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