The Senate will soon consider a government bill (C-4) that seeks to restore balance between federally regulated employers and unions. It repeals two acts (formerly bills C-377 and C-525) introduced by two Conservative MPs who received support in their crusade from organizations that were clearly against unions.
It took only a few minutes, but with a quick motion in the House of Commons last week, the new Liberal government moved to
"We will certainly be taking a very close look."
C-525 aims to make it much more difficult for workers in the federally-regulated sector to join a union - and it would also allow a minority of workers to decertify their union. The Bill is so undemocratic that it would give employees who don't even bother to vote in a certification application a say in the outcome.
"Pick your battles" is a familiar refrain for anyone involved in politics, advocacy or any endeavour wherein opposing points of view will be competing for public attention. Most organizations will review issues and determine which are critical and which are not, and then fight for the most precious while conceding that others are perhaps not as important.
Canada's union leaders are about to engage in another round of "sky is falling" rhetoric over a private members bill they claim is an affront to worker rights, democracy, collective bargaining and basically all things honest and decent in society. What then is the radical proposal being considered?
The Conservatives have launched another salvo in their war against working people. Bill C-525 needs to be seen in the context of the government's low-wage strategy. It's the latest step in the Conservatives' bid to reduce workers' power to the benefit of the business class.