Monday, June 27, 2011

Worker's Rights and Back to Work Legislation

I did something this weekend that I don't normally do, I sat and watched CPAC.   I even tried to get my 6 year old interested but she left after 5 minutes.

The back to work legislation that was passed this weekend in the House of Commons and the Senate needs to be recognized for what it truly is, not just a bill to get the postal service moving, but the current government's disregard for worker's rights.  This has weakened not only the power of the postal union, but every union in our country and future collective bargaining proceedings.  This has sent employers a clear message that they no longer have to negotiate with unions, they can just ask the government to intercede "to preserve Canada's economy".

Some people say that the time of unions has passed, but I speak from personal experience when I say that employers still abuse their power over their employees whenever it suits them.  Just as it is currently a buyer's market in real estate, so it is an employer's job market.  If you are unwilling to work unpaid overtime, they'll just find someone who will.  People are desperate for work and will take what they can get, which isn't much these days, and employer's use that knowledge to their advantage.

I've also heard people say, "Why should unionized workers get such a good wage and benefits, most people don't have that."  What we should really be saying is, "Why doesn't EVERYONE have that?".

The greatest day of my life was when my husband got a union job, and I'm not exaggerating.  I think that women's priorities change when they have children; we desire security above all else.  For the first time in years I could look to my future knowing that there was security: a living wage, dental and medical benefits for my children, insurance if my husband became ill and couldn't work, and at the end, a pension.

I want to get my mail as much as the next person, but the cost is too high.

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