“I’m shocked, shocked to find there is gambling going on in here.”
Upon hearing the news that Avis is closing a 220 person call centre in Fredericton, here is the reaction of Liberal MLA T.J. Burke.
Federicton-Nashwaaksis MLA T.J. Burke says he’s tired of U.S. companies that set up shop in New Brunswick and exploit Canadians when they suddenly pull the plug, leaving hundreds jobless and an economy reeling. “It sickens me, quite truthfully,” Burke said yesterday, reacting to the news that the Avis Budget Group call centre at the Brookside Mall was closing. The call centre employs 220 people. “It’s a pretty big shock … nothing short of a catastrophe,” Burke said. “It’s a giant, gaping hole at the Brookside Mall.”
The timing of the job losses couldn’t be worse, he said, given that the Christmas season is approaching and the economy has struggled lately. “Jobs are scarce enough as it is in this city,” Burke said. U.S. firms establish operations such as call centres in Canada because it’s cheaper, work their employees to the bone and then pull out when things get rough, the MLA said.
I expect this kind of silly rhetoric from local business people who want the government to spend all their subsidy dollars on local firms. I would expect it from the Opposition and from sniping groups that do not offer any other solutions. But from a guy like Burke? This is disappointing.
I have just shown data that 85% of all firms that start in New Brunswick die within 9 years of opening. Those evil “U.S. firms” that Burke talks about have a 90% success rate in New Brunswick (i.e. they are still in operations – most well after a decade of operations here).
“… work their employees to the bone and then pull out when things get rough, the MLA said”. Is that MLA Michael Moore speaking?
It is sad and frustrating that Burke would say such things and, in fact, if you want to know why New Brunswick’s economy has underperformed the rest of North America for generations – go ask T.J. Burke.
It’s exactly that kind of attitude that fans negative public perceptions about large, stable and globally connected international firms.