Monday, August 10, 2009

Unions — Do We Even Need Them?

Howard Levitt weighs in on the recent Toronto city workers' strike in his Financial Post article. His conclusion is - unions are no longer a necessary evil in Canadian workplace:
A client of mine, whose union was recently decertified, just bought a business from a unionized employer. At the time of the sale, the employer commented that my client would be better off if it learned to deal with unions. My client did not see it that way. It was happy to lose the adversarial environment that goes with having a union and be able to make its decisions in the interests of its business and employees without worrying about byzantine collective agreement provisions.

Increasingly, Canadian employees represented by unions are coming to the same conclusion. The rate of unionization in this country is in dramatic decline, particularly in the private sector.

Protective legislation for employees and a sympathetic judiciary provide non-union employees with as much, and in some cases, more protection than that enjoyed by organized labour. Unionized employees cannot even sue for wrongful dismissal and usually are limited in their severance to the minimum provisions of each province's employment standards act.
Well, there are still a few things the unions are good at. For example, they're good at taking your money; not just union dues, but also - initiation fees, departure fees and whatever other fees they charge that somehow don't count as union dues and therefore - are not tax deductible.

Then unions are good at staging all sort of campaigns against "heterosexism" and "Israeli apartheid". Every radical special interest group which regards ordinary Canadians as "class enemies" or "infidel dogs" or "racists", "homophobes", "misogynists", "cancer of the Earth" etc, can count on unions to support them. But God forbid if an event which goes against the unions' "progressive" ideology is allowed on premises! Even if they won't disrupt it, they'll do their best to encourage people not to show up.

If pro-life, pro-family Christian members still have any rights left within their unions, that's apparently the right to pay their union dues and shut up and try not to think about where their money goes. That's it. No right to opt out of forcibly supporting parasitic special interest groups. No right to opt out of union membership without actually leaving the job. Even voicing a dissenting opinion is not allowed, because the unions condemn it as "anti-choice" or "heterosexist" or otherwise discriminatory.

And let's not forget political lobbying - that's another thing the unions are good at. So, unions are still good for something. Except - none of that benefits the people which the unions claim to be representing.

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