Back in the day, when I was a gas-pumper at John's Supertest on Wellington Road in Guelph, there was this guy who drove in a couple of times a week in a new Lincoln Mark III. Actually, there was a couple of guys who came in regularly with their new Mark III's. There was Harold Knight, who owned a local lumber yard, and there was Buddy who was a crane operator in the Operating Engineers, a construction union.
The construction unions are one of the few labour groups who have managed to more or less hold up the standard of living for their membership. The others are the cops, the teachers, and the nurses. What do they have in common?
What they have in common is that their work can't be out-sourced to Mexico or China.
You can't send a classroom of local kids to Mexico for the year to learn the three R's from dollar-a-day peons.
You can't out-source policing to Mexico or China either. And it goes without saying that your local health care providers are going to stay local. You might be able to medi-vac the local trauma patients to the nearest regional hospital by helicopter, but those helicopters won't make it to Shanghai.
Till now, the construction trades were safe too, but Big Steve's got a plan that's gonna change that.
One of the big "wins" for Canadian businesses under the pending CETA "free trade" agreement with the EU is enhanced labour mobility. Note that this is a "win" for Canadian business; not for Canadian workers. Buddy and his new Lincoln would never happen if Canada's construction work was thrown wide open to crane operators from Poland and Hungary and Estonia.
But it gets even better; at least for business owners, not workers. That hush-hush TPP trade agreement that Big Steve has been busy with is gonna throw open the door to crane operators from India and Bangladesh!
That's really gonna piss off the guys from Poland who just moved here to take away Canadian jobs that used to pay $50/hr by doing them for $20/hr. By the time the Bangladeshis settle in, a tower crane operator in Toronto is going to be working for five bucks an hour!
Around the time Buddy was pulling into John's Supertest, Pierre Vallieres was sitting in a cell in New York State penning a book called White Niggers of America.
Pierre was a bit ahead of his time. His provocative use of the "N" word was meant to draw attention to how Quebecois workers were exploited. Sadly, time has passed Pierre by...
We're all niggers now.