Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mr. Harper's Pre-Emptive War On...


Thomas Walkom, in the Star, has the story nailed to the wall of his foxhole. Here is his lede:

In ordering an end to the nationwide rail strike by Canadian Pacific workers, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives appear to be following a long-standing tradition.
Canadian governments, whether Liberal or Conservative, have never let railway strikes drag on. Back-to-work legislation has been imposed on striking rail workers at least seven times since 1950.
What is dramatically new about this particular majority government, however, is the break-neck speed with which it acts. It legislates an end to strikes immediately after — and in some cases before — they begin.
It has introduced the concept of pre-emptive warfare to labour negotiations....

And it's not just the rapidity with which back-to-work legislation was introduced in the CP Rail dispute earlier this week.

Remember this, also from Walkom:

...In a dispute with its pilots, Air Canada didn’t even wait for employees to strike. It locked them out and then called on government to legislate an end to the dispute.
Lisa Raitt, the current labour minister, immediately obliged...


The real question is...

How many fronts can Mr. Harper fight his pre-emptive war on Canada before his Straussian FedCon army becomes overextended so that we can start pushing them back into the sea or, at the very least, into the wild rose bushes?

Tip 'O The Cap to Owen at Northern Reflections....



Chris said...

I think there's a scarier question to contemplate: How long before Canadians lose all memory of how hard it was to win labour rights, of the enormous pain and struggle and cost of those battles? Before the only thing a government has to say, as it legislates away a legal right, is: Can't have that. Can't let overpaid arseholes inconvenience/overcharge/earn more than/fight on behalf of the downtrodden taxpayer... Or before they even remember they have the right to vote to organize their workplace, and act collectively to secure a contract with their employer that has to -- or used to have to -- be respected by law.

Beats me where they came from, but Harper seems to have an endless supply of foot soldiers. That's a scary issue, but not nearly as bad as what's happening to the citizens who are watching this takeover.

RossK said...

Very good point about the public's collective memory hole Chris.

I feel the same way about the right to choose issue, not to mention affordable post-secondary education for all who qualify, just to mention two things.


lenin's ghost said...

as much as I hate the harpercons......a large part of the problem is that organized/disorganized labour must develope some backbone......the government does not decide whether you strike or not.....the union members must decide......back to work legislation is another reason to walk the picket line.......and the labour movement must support each other.......where are the labour leaders calling on support for other unions..........without solidarity you have nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!

RossK said...

Good points lg - thanks.