Friday, February 05, 2010

Unions: You're Doing It Wong

The Union is supposed to be there to protect the workers from various job hazards. Among these hazards are things like health and safety concerns, lousy pay, poor benefits, poor job security and various kinds of abuse.

That's what I expect unions to do, whether I agree with them or not.

I do not expect unions to protect and cover up for workers who are abusing other workers.

Call me crazy, but I thought that the union's job was to protect the victims, not the abusers.

Maybe they're a little confused.

They're so confused, in fact, that the employers have stepped in and filed a Human Rights complaint against the Union.

I mean, wow.

That's like Stephen Harper calling you on your sick day just to make sure you're not out on a golf course.

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1 comment:

Jim Vincent said...

Don't take this at face value. The BCMEA are a bunch of bastards and will do anything to attack the union - especially after the 2005 strike. And let's not forget the oh-so-pro-labour Globe and Mail who has never once (correct me if I'm wrong) supported a union in its dispute against an employer. After all, they do the usual bullshit spin - giving the last paragraph as a quote to the BCMEA president slandering the union.

What the BCMEA hates is any ability of workers to control their workplace to any degree. Bringing the state in on any grounds to break up the power of the union to exert some mediating control over profit-driven policies being implemented by the employer is a time-honoured tactic used by employers.

If there is sexual harassment on the job then it has to be dealt with via the employer and/or the police. Any form of sexual harassment or anything remotely related to what is being alleged is clearly unacceptable. But since when is the BCMEA remotely credible? There is no evidence whatsoever in this Globe article that the union is somehow systematically responsible. But the BCMEA will try damn hard to make this case as they're already doing. The ILWU has a long history of being a militant union with a progressive track record regarding race and sex.

Really, you don't even have to listen to my pro-union bias (I'd argue my bias is just based on reality). But just don't swallow the consistent pro-employer, anti-union bias of the Globe or, obviously, the BCMEA.