Has anyone else noticed that the Harperites are waging a war on workers?
At the same time, they purport to have always been “about” workers, decent wages and working conditions … since February 2006.
The war, however, is recognized amongst employees that are already organized or those that might wish to organize.
As I’m writing this, I know that many of you will sadly default to the opinion that this is just another unionist lipping off. It might be, and it might not be a bad thing.
It was honoured and heralded when organized workers advanced working conditions, not the least of which is maternity/paternity leave, health and safety protections and a decent living wage.
What we enjoy and improve for ourselves, we want for others. Whether they’re unionized or not.
So, some of you, don’t tune out too quick because I know you quietly agree.
Sadly though, more and more of you are under the Kreskin-like Harperite trance that unions and organized workers are negative to the economy and are an affront to you.
When you wade through the fluffy legislation that the Harperites say will improve your life (some of it great fodder for an infomercial) they are quietly making it hard for organized employees to carry on and for new employees to associate and organize.
Recently, they advanced a bill that thought that the unions weren’t sharing with their members, or making accessibly to anyone, their finances.
Not the case — pure fiction. Yes, we enjoy that union dues are not taxable and you and I would hope that they never are so that we can work for one another to improve our working lot in life (modest infomercial possible!).
But, knowing that it is harder to make union dues taxable, they try to misinform you that as long as they’re not taxable, you should know what they’re spent on.
Again, go ahead and ask your bargaining agent/union and you will not be denied that information.
It’s called a budget, not unlike any government budget, and it’s scrutinized and afforded even more per-capita democracy than any Harperite budget.
Now, they’re advancing a bill that would strike down the Judge Rand Decision of the 1950s, wherein, when an employee enters a unionized workplace, they automatically have dues deducted and can later choose or not to join the union. But, as long as they benefit from the established collective agreement, then they must pay for it like everyone.
These two bills will set workers back and set back localized economies and stem growing economies.
There is more that they are quietly plotting, I believe. Is this where you want public policy focused?
We all have — and they have — bigger fish to fry. Organized workers are not the thuggish stereotype from the past that you might think.
I applaud, yesterday, the organizing efforts of coffee-shop workers in and around Halifax and the resolve, for us all, of the St. John’s airport workers.
Union of Environment Workers
A component union of the PSAC