Negotiations between the Teamsters union and CN Rail have been ongoing for many months. Now that the union has served notice that they intend to take a strike action, there is a sudden flury of activity on the other side. Not a sudden flury of getting serious at the bargaining table, but rather a sudden move to pass the ball to the Harper government.
And the Harper gang has wasted no time threatening the workers with back-to-work legislation even before they're off the job. Here's how CBC News spins the story;
They quote Labour Minister Kellie Leitch's grave concerns for the "impact a CN Rail strike will have on hard working Canadian farmers."
"Our economy must be protected, our products must reach market."
They throw in Conservative Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall's concerns that farmers can't get their grain to market now, let alone after a strike is called.
Those greedy union thugs are threatening to cripple the Canadian economy!
OH MY GOD!!!
Please Mr. Harper, PLEASE step in and save those prairie farmers!
But wait a minute... didn't Mr. Wall just say those prairie farmers can't get their grain to market even before a rail strike?
Here's what gives; around all the ass-kissing pseudo-journalism that surrounded the release of CP Rail's record-setting Q4 results barely a week ago, you might have missed this gem; since Hunter Harrison took over he has "pulled 400 locomotives and 11,000 rail cars off the tracks."
Hmm... you don't think that pulling 11,000 rail cars off the tracks might have something to do with prairie farmers not being able to get their crops to market, do you?
And obviously, nobody is parking any of those unsafe code DOT 111 tank wagons off the tracks, because crude-by-rail traffic is skyrocketing.
So Canada's rail duopoly is letting grain rot on prairie sidings so they can chase the more lucrative and far more dangerous crude oil traffic, and when the railworkers announce a job action the Harper gang threatens back to work legislation because a strike would hurt prairie farmers?!
Bizarre, abusive, and profoundly dishonest. That's the way our rail conglomerates and their pals in government roll.