Thursday, January 02, 2014

Let's Be Clear, War on Labour is War on the Middle Class and War on Your Kids' Future

Stephen Harper's relentless war on labour is a deliberate attack on Canada's middle class.  He's not quashing collective bargaining rights because union members vote NDP.  He's doing it because he's ideologically attuned to believe that organized labour jeopardizes the Canadian economy.  He sees that from a distinctly top-down perspective.  What Steve doesn't get is that the people aren't here to serve the economy.  The economy exists to serve the Canadian people.

As U.S. president Teddy Roosevelt put it back in 1910 in his "Square Deal" speech:

 the man to whom we owe most is, of course, Lincoln. Part of our debt to him is because he forecast our present struggle and saw the way out. He said: —
“I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind.”
And again: —
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." 

How then has capital triumphed over labour, not merely in the United States but in the Parliament of Canada?   Where are the defenders of labour in the Opposition ranks? 

Although I grew up in an upper middle class "management" family, I spent most of my working life in one union, guild or professional association after another - CUPE, CAW, TNG, CWSG, ACTRA, the Canadian and B.C. bar associations.   All of them advocated for their members and all of them,  even if indirectly, benefited society.  They were an indispensable part of the fabric of society.  Tear them apart and what have you got?  McDonald's - that's what's left over when you dismember organized labour and the trades and the guilds.  That's how you supplant the middle class with the  precariatIt's a process that strips them of economic security and opportunity and eventually inevitably claims their political power.

Make no mistake there's no future for our kids and theirs in a Canada without a vibrant, robust middle class.   If the Opposition won't fiercely defend organized labour and commit to upholding collective bargaining rights, they're just planning to continue on Harper's path.   That's not acceptable.


Owen Gray said...

Exactly, Mound. Unions, guilds and professional associations insist that wealth be shared.

If it isn't, the whole economic system collapses.

Lorne said...

Well-stated, Mound. The more people who understand this fundamental truth, the greater the chance of dismantling the prevailing political/economic ethos.

BTW, check out my latest blog entry when you get the chance. You were one of the people I had in mind when I wrote it.

The Mound of Sound said...

Seriously, absent some compelling sign that the Opposition are committed to reform of our democratic deficit, the abuses of Canadian organized labour, the corporate media cartel and our growing and dangerous problems with inequality, I can't see the vehicle for change within our existing political structure.