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Letter: Government appears powerless; NAPE flaunts its power

Jerry Earle, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, says the union’s sticker campaign allows businesses across the province to show support for NAPE’s members.
Jerry Earle, president of NAPE, talks to the media about the union’s sticker campaign. — Telegram file photo

So, NAPE is boycotting businesses that don’t support their takeover of the province’s treasury and Paul Antle is advocating that the St. John’s Board of Trade tone down its rhetoric against the government’s recent labour agreement with its unionized employees.

Mr. Antle’s suggestion might carry some weight if he was not a prominent Liberal party member with political ambitions. Of course he supports their abdication of government responsibility to the ordinary taxpayers of this province. He has to if he wants to be nominated to run in the next election.

Someone on the government side has to step up to defend the agreement. So far, their arguments in its favour has been weak, ineffectual and unconvincing. I look forward to reading that Mr. Antle has agreed to no layoff clauses in all the labour contracts he negotiates for his businesses in the future.

NAPE, on the other hand, has been emboldened by its coup over a government that, by any measure, can only be described as asleep at the wheel during labour negotiations. Having successfully taken over the provincial treasury, they are now trying to take over the economy.

Twitter is abuzz with a recent restaurant cancellation at an establishment that allegedly refused to display a NAPE window sign crowing about the union’s victory over the government. At 30,000 strong, NAPE clearly feels that they can pick winners and losers in the business world and they are setting out to prove that they can. This attempt at stifling freedom of thought by insisting on a physical display of support, with a window sign, is an over-reach of the most egregious kind.

However, I am still waiting with bated breath for some politician, any politician, to tell me, an ordinary taxpayer, exactly how this removal of government’s ability to manage the province’s bureaucracy benefits me and the thousands of people like me who make this province their home. For now…

Barry Imhoff
St. John’s

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