Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Alison Crawford reports on the Libs' failure to pass any new legislation to allow collective bargaining for RCMP members - leaving them with even less than the system which was already found to be unconstitutional. And Jake Johnson discusses the consequences of the U.S. corporate sector's war on unions:
In a climate of intense insecurity, cultivated by both the hostile corporate setting and the wider economic context of the United States in the 21st century, workers hesitate to speak out against their employers for fear of losing their jobs. "Lives depend on these wages," the report notes. "Usually, there are few other options in the area, and these options likely pay lower wages."

Outrage sparked by horrendous working conditions is thus overshadowed by intense shame and, ultimately, resignation. "Workers clearly get the message that they if they want to keep their job, they need to endure what happens inside the plant — or, in the words of many, 'allí está la puerta' ('there’s the door')."

This sense of helplessness is felt across many industries and is largely the result of a ruthless, decades-long effort by highly class-conscious elites to dismantle unions and undercut potential threats to the accumulation of profit.
(E)ven as profits soar, the most vulnerable workers remain stuck in an untenable scenario — horrified by their conditions but lacking an outlet through which they can voice their discontent.

There is a reason, then, that economic elites are waging unabashed class war: They understand that organized labor is a threat to corporate power. Unions are a redistributive force, one that endangers the ingrained paradigm of concentrated wealth.
- Meanwhile, Hugh MacKenzie calls out the financial sector's attempts to divert any discussion of pensions toward schemes to skim ever-increasing management fees off of Canadians' retirement savings. And Dwayne Winseck points out the inevitable effects of Bell's planned takeover of MTS as an example of corporate oligopoly at its worst.

- Jim Bronskill reports that the Libs seem inclined to pair any increase in the authority of the Information Commissioner with an unaccountable ministerial veto - which might actually make it even more difficult for Canadians to get access to the records which matter most.

- Finally, the Star calls for the Libs to reverse the Cons' gratuitously-punitive changes to the pardon system.

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