Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Pat Atkinson discusses the importance of unions in ensuring a fair deal for all workers:
It's because of unions and their tenacious advocacy on behalf of their members that workers not only in this province but also in other jurisdictions enjoy legislated workplace benefits gained through negotiation: the 40-hour work week, the eight-hour work day, equal pay for equal work for women, occupational health and safety, paid vacations, overtime pay and more.

These laws did not come easily. We now take many of these workplace rights for granted, but should we?
If the government wants to end union contributions to political parties, to be fair it should ban all corporate contributions as well. If unions want to spend their revenues to promote issues such as affordable housing, equal pay for work of equal value and human rights and to oppose certain government policies, that's up to them.

As for the rest of what elected union officials do on behalf of their members, that decision is for the membership to make, not the government.
- Meanwhile, David Pugliese highlights the costs of the right-wing obsession with taking jobs away from public-sector workers - as the federal Cons, having laid off management and maintenance workers with the Department of National Defence, are now set to pay a nine-figure price to the private sector to perform exactly the same services.

- Sixth Estate notes that the Cons aren't any more trustworthy when it comes to their decision to strip immigrants of citizenship based on a presumption of fraud without even bothering to evaluate their circumstances.

- And finally, Mark Taliano contrasts the fair, generous and cooperative Canada which most of us value as a national identity against the Cons' limited focus on exploiting the country's resources for the benefit of those with the most wealth and power to start with.

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