Smart meter job loss not ‘voluntary’

Re: Spin won’t outsmart smart meter research, Jan. 7.

Dear Editor,

Re: Spin won’t outsmart smart meter research, Jan. 7.

In a recent letter, David Field invited smart meter opponents to “do some research” and stated that COPE 378’s opposition to the program was misplaced because our members “are being re-assigned or seeing their positions eliminated through normal attrition, saving taxpayers millions of dollars”.

I’m inviting Mr. Field to do some face-to-face research. I’d like him to meet with our meter reader members who are losing their jobs because of smart meters. They are not being offered other work. There is no preferential hiring or re-training. The pink slips start next month. And the savings Mr. Field is talking about? BC Hydro could pay all of their meter readers for the next 60 years with the money they are wasting on smart meters.

Mr. Field should try to tell a room full of people who don’t know how they will support their families three months from now that they are leaving their jobs voluntarily.

When smart meters were first announced in 2007 we started asking for a transition to new work for meter readers. We believe when technology changes you don’t leave people behind. BC Hydro turned a blind eye and successive premiers and Ministers of Energy refused to meet with us.

So we did our research into the program. At each turn we found studies that contradicted the conservation goals and return-on-investment claims. Then the provincial government pulled the program from the oversight of the BC Utilities Commission. Added to this was the undemocratic manner with which smart meters have been forced on BC Hydro’s customers.

Mr. Field should be ashamed of himself.

Gwenne Farrell

Vice President,

COPE 378

 

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