Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Sunny Freeman reports on the Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights' study into the effects of anti-labour legislation:
The CFLR argues that [right-to-free-ride] laws would contribute to greater income disparity by undermining union strength and rights to collective bargaining, which they say leads to improved wages and benefits for employees.

The authors cited statistics suggesting that the wage premium for Canadian unionized workers over non-unionized employees in comparable jobs is between seven and 14 per cent. Workers in U.S. states that have adopted the laws earn an average of $1,500 less annually and have lower rates of employer-sponsored health and pension plans than workers in regions that have no such laws, they added.

The CFLR suggests that any such legislation would be the culmination of a trend in the past three decades that has brought an increase in anti-union labour laws.

“The attack on labour rights is being ramped up by the federal government and various provincial governments,” it said, adding that government interference in labour relations has become more prevalent.
- Mary Ormsby's expose on drug-tainted horse meat making its way into Canada's food chain all too aptly highlights how honour-system "regulation" tends to operate:
Priest signed the federal government’s mandatory Equine Information Document — a type of horse passport that must accompany all horses destined for slaughter — and stated that as owner, he had “uninterrupted possession, care and control” of Backstreet Bully for the past six months.
In fact, he had owned him for about 24 hours.
In signing the passport, Priest also attested that Backstreet Bully had been drug free for the past six months and had not been given any “not permitted” substances listed on the government’s website.
Critics of the passport system say the form is confusing and open to misinterpretation or outright fraud.
Priest, who has been in the horse business for more than 40 years, said he rescues and sells horses to good homes. He told the Star he falsely claimed he’d owned Backstreet Bully for six months because “everybody does” this on the horse documents.
The federal government relies heavily on the accuracy of the passports, which have been in existence since 2010 and are the first line of defence in keeping tainted horse meat from the human food chain. The government does not require owners selling a horse for meat to provide additional medical history such as veterinary records.
Dr. Martin Appelt, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s national veterinary program manager, acknowledged the government relies on an honour system and hopes that the documents are “a reflection of the truth.”
In other words, the entire regulatory system is based on hoping for vendors to accurately describe the products they're selling - even as "everybody" within the system considers false answers to be just fine. Which sounds like an ideal recipe for exactly the kind of misinformation which seems to be the norm under the Cons' anti-regulatory schemes.

- Meanwhile, the oil industry is leaking various toxic fluids all over North America. Pipeline proponents are bullying landowners while leaving communities to clean up their messes. And the Cons' latest corporatist giveaways may include the establishment of a right to frack. But it's your patriotic duty not to notice.
- Finally, Kate Webb reports on the lone charity deregistered as a result of the Cons' McCarthyite attack on progressive issue advocacy: the nuclear disarmament group Physicians for Global Survival. And we surely shouldn't miss the opportunity to criticize the Cons' war on global survival as a core governing principle.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:23 a.m.

    I liked Canada so much in the 70s and 80s since the people seemed sane. What the hell happened that you all rolled over and waited for the assholes to scratch your bellies?

    It doesn't matter. I've written the country off as a place to visit or do business with.

    That stinking corrupt government in Alberta that sold it's soul for foreign dollars did me in. Tar sands? Give me a break. No sane human being would have ever have approved the first pick in the ground.