Friday, February 7, 2014

Whatever happened to militant unions?

There's yet another story out there concerning Canadians being sent home so foreign workers can take their jobs for less money.

Reading between the lines, it sounds to me that the sum total of what the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers intends to do about it is bleat to the media about their tough luck.

That's it.

When you have a union leadership that gutless, it's no wonder international labour brokers are cutting their grass. Back in the day, had an employer even dreamt of forcing union ironworkers off the job in favour of foreign scabs, the jobsite would have been shut down immediately. Union leaders were willing to go to jail. Rank and file were willing to go to jail. Their jobs were something they and their fathers and grandfathers before them had fought hard to make into a well-paying blue-collar profession.

I cannot for a moment imagine such a scenario playing out in Jimmy Hoffa's Teamsters or Walter Reuther's UAW or even Bob White's CAW.

Look at the CAW today; when Caterpillar closed the London Electromotive plant, the union's response was to help their members fill out their EI applications.

We need a new generation of old-school labour leaders, men and women who know what they stand for and aren't going to buckle even in the face of prospective jail time.

The shit-bags and weasels who are conniving with the Harper government to flood the country with low-paid non-union labour are having a field day because nobody on the other side is willing to take a stand.

Those sixty workers sent home last week have the power to shut Kearl down. But they won't do it by going home with their tails between their legs, and they need the support of their union.

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