129,000 Jobs Lost

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madmax
129,000 Jobs Lost

Economists couldn't be more wrong

Quote:

The job losses far exceeded the drop of 40,000 that economists had been projecting. "Horrible" and "shockingly poor" were some of the words they used in reaction to the January jobless figures.

 

 

Quote:
With the economy staggering in recession, Canada's unemployment rate shot up by 0.6 percentage points in January to 7.2 per cent as 129,000 jobs were lost. Almost all of the job losses were in full-time work.

I looked around babble, and I couldn't find a thread on this topic. If I missed it I apologise....in advance.

I have no faith in the Conservatives and the Ontario Liberals are a bunch of goofs when it comes to the economic industry of Ontario. 71,000 MORE jobs lost. These clowns have turned away from the realities of the economy for years, and Ironically, the Federal Conservatives want to mask the employment problems using the same Liberal Spin Doctoring.

George Victor

Yes, the absence of comment on things economic leaves one with the feeling that it's fear at work. It's no longer  in the abstract, but coming to people near you. I see it at work in my neighbourhood.

As for the economists.  People are beginning to ask where the academics have been all this time. Silence, except for Krugman. And he's  living up to his Nobel laurels.

 

Tommy_Paine

Well, it's inevitable that the loss of tax revenue will surely wind it's way through government expenditures-- except of course, for our rarely sitting members of our legislature-- and one of those expenditures will be government money that finds it's way into universities and colleges, and eventually into the paycheques of academics. 

Granted, because academics speak and dress much like our legislaters, heaven and earth will be moved to insulate them as much as possible from this ever spreading catastrophe, but the government will not be able to protect all it's friends.

George Victor

It's their unchallenged silence that bothers me, TP. And it's not just the "friends of government" that are silent.

Tommy_Paine

 

Maybe.

Maybe they are like me, and just waiting for someone to call us to the streets.

 

remind remind's picture

This all makes me very bitter, as there was dead silence from central Canada, when the BC forest industry started shedding its 200k worth of workers. When there was a comment, it was non-supportive and more along the lines of; "oh well, forestry workers are destroying the planet anyway". As if the auto-industry, mining and manufacturing is somehow "better" for the environment, or something.

The same attitude prevailed  from central Canada, when the east coast/Atlantic Canada was losing its economical foundations of fishing and forestry.

And now they have come for your jobs....

 

 

Tommy_Paine

Yes, there's a lot of that going on.  I can remember the same thing when the fishery collapsed back during the Mulroney era.

I'm not sure it's so much that there's lack of support, but a lack of understanding what could be done.  We look to our political leadership, and there is none.  

We are watching whole sectors of the Canadian economy slipping away, often sold out to the benifit of other naitons, and our political leadership clearly does not care one bit.

I do not know if that technically meets the deffinition of treason, but I know them for traitors.

 

 

 

remind remind's picture

The people have to lead themselves, as opposed to waiting for "others",

moreover, the unions should be having a national day of mourning, where every union and union member takes the day off, and indicate that more days "off" will be coming forth until the government(s) realize people are serious about society needing and demanding change, and issues be addressed.

Moreover, it could branch out into the non-union sectors too.

NorthReport

I just listened to an interview with Sen Don Riegle, who was the former Chair of the Senate Banking Cmte in the USA and what he said is not promising in the slightest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_W._Riegle,_Jr.

They were discussing the DJ going up a couple of hundred points today which I'm sure tomorrow's press will be hoop-de-doing. The Senator said all it was is short sellers covering their ass over the weekend.

Anyways, more importantly Don was talking about the stimulus package and the people Obama has appointed for financial matters, and Sen Reigle is not at all happy with the appointments as these were the people that got us into this financial nitemare in the first place. It is like puting the foxes in charge of the hen house. We're hooped.  And Canadians are doubly hooped, in spite of what the press is saying, because we have the Bush mentality twin at Sussex Drive. 

Fidel

It's crises oriented capitalism. What the economy needs is heavy duty human planning and lots of interventionist policies. Their jobs as phony majority leaders and on the take plutocrats have been to prove to the electorate that democratically elected governments can do no good. This, our long since corrupted politicans and appointed senators are paid to believe, will pave the way for corporate rule. Democratic decision making is futile. Long live the market, is what we are supposed to conclude from their deliberate mistakes.

NorthReport

Maybe as remind has stated it is time for consideration to be given to the idea of a general strike in Canada.

Either the goal is to increase employent, or there is a policy to increase the bonuses and tax deductions for the elites.

 It's quite black and white regardless of the BS being shoveled at us by economists.

If we allow Harper to continue with his policies much longer, it will take our Canadian society decades, if ever, to recover.

Bookish Agrarian

I'm starting to think that actually nationalizing the banks might not be so far out as many used to think.  Here is a direct quote a friend had in a letter from his bank. 

"as a result of current market conditions it is more expensive for banks world wide to source the capital they need to fund loans.  As such, the rate on your loan will be adjusted"

 

This is happening all over the place.  We give the banks billions through our taxes and how do they return that favour, by taking even more money out of the economy to pad their profits. 

If we don't take a hard left turn out of all of this we Canadians are just not paying attention.

 

Oh and remind- this is one central Canadian that never said tough shit to any workers losing their jobs.  Not saying there wasn't that attitude, but many of us didn't share it.  All of this crap was way to predicatable and hardly a surprise that constant transfer of our wealth producing industries out of the country would eventually lead to a financial collapse.

Policywonk

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Well, it's inevitable that the loss of tax revenue will surely wind it's way through government expenditures-- except of course, for our rarely sitting members of our legislature-- and one of those expenditures will be government money that finds it's way into universities and colleges, and eventually into the paycheques of academics. 

Granted, because academics speak and dress much like our legislaters, heaven and earth will be moved to insulate them as much as possible from this ever spreading catastrophe, but the government will not be able to protect all it's friends.

I can think of a lot of present and former legislators who neither speak nor dress like academics (whatever that's supposed to mean; there is a dress code in parliament and the legislatures). And government support for academia of various kinds is far less than that for big business. Support for basic scientific research has been an embarassment for decades.

George Victor

BA:

"This is happening all over the place.  We give the banks billions through our taxes and how do they return that favour, by taking even more money out of the economy to pad their profits. "

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Yes, everywhere the banks, listed on the stock market, have to keep their earnings up or the investor goes elesewhere. This, essentially, is part of why the whole financial sector went belly up. Looking for new, inventive means of attracting capital.Sweden is nationalizing banks, and the state is taking equity in banks in the U.K and elesewhere. 

But, of course, it is not limited to the financial sector. There is no loyalty to industry. Losing out on earnings predictions by a nickel meant flight of investors - individuals depending on their gurus and people managing billions in pensions funds, yours and mine. 

We shaft ourselves if we speculate...or even fail to investigate the product of  the bit salted away for the  "golden years" . It's the nature of the beast.

Tommy_Paine

 

When this all started in manufacturing, one of the first things individual plants did was to really crack down on non value added jobs. Meaning, if you didn't actually perform a function that physically moved the product through the process, your ass was grass.

And it makes perfect sense. This is what is meant by "the real economy", and "restructuring".

Truly, an economy in the national or international sense depends on much more than just those working in resource extraction, manufacturing or farming. There are real support facets of the economy that those sectors require in order to function.

But having said this, there is an utterly fantastic layer of non value added sectors that not only leach away funds from the real economy, but happen to be in control of governments.

Top of the list, perhaps, might be speculators who add no value to a given product, but siphon off money which would be better used elsewhere. Their lamprey attacks on us have to be taxed out of existance.

Not long ago, a member of the Supreme Court of Canada, in an utterly unusual move, derided lawyers who were charging up to $650.00 an hour for court time. With wages like that, you'd think at least we'd be spared the financial burden of wrongfull convictions. But I dream. It does, however, bring up the issue of how much value for our money the consumer of legal expertise receives.

Similarly, I am witnessing a phenomena at work where co-workers paying spousal support based on an income that included overtime now have to have payments adjusted to account for an income based on 4 days a week, or work share, or unemployment. Instead of support being based on a percentage of the income, which would adjust automatically, any dispute sees a return to court for the parties involved.

A small example, but if the entire court system was based on justice, instead of a device to maximize profits for lawyers, more money would remain in the hands of the real economy, in the hands of the people who add value to our society.

And, the list could go on. Lest I be accused of picking on lawyers, I am willing to bet that there are scores of other areas where similar systemic scams are the rule of the day.

It comes to mind that with increased talk of spending money on "infrastructure" we might want to examine projects carefully for value. Remember, we live in an age where a civil engineer signed off an a water system that had the intake downstream from the sewage outflow in Kasetchewan. To no consequence, either criminal, civil, or within the profession.

And, with all this talk about the SEC in the States, we should remind ourselves that we have an office building in Toronto full of people making six figures who are even more inept than the SEC.

If it is ineptness.

Yesterday, in Ontario, the case was made to regulate the Pay Day Loan bottom feeders who prey upon the desperate. Regulate? How about eliminate? or even Confiscate?

And even more revelations about insider wins in the OLG.....

Farmpunk

I hear you, Remind.  Like you point out when the job losses are happening in southern ontairo there's all this hand wringing and huge outcry.  But people outside the densely populated south have experienced this before... and no one really cared or noticed.  But close a couple factories in St Thomas and it's national news for weeks.

TP:

"Granted, because academics speak and dress much like our legislaters, heaven and earth will be moved to insulate them as much as possible from this ever spreading catastrophe, but the government will not be able to protect all it's friends."

Agree and disagree.  High school teachers in the London area just inked a new contract that'll give them three percent increases over the next four years.  Top salary for a high school teacher in 2012 - $94 500.  Guess there is money out there for a certain class of people.

Then there's this Southern Ontario Development Agency that'll be spending a billion dollars over the next five years.  I wonder how much benefit will trickle down to the people who need it?  

TemporalHominid TemporalHominid's picture

well... at least Harper gets to keep his job.  It's a great trade off.  We have to let the markets blah blah blah.

Tommy_Paine

 

"Then there's this Southern Ontario Development Agency that'll be spending a billion dollars over the next five years.  I wonder how much benefit will trickle down to the people who need it?"

 I doubt anywhere near a billion dollars worth.   Unless you are in the right class of people, I am willing to bet the rules and regs on qualifying rule and reg us out.

That way, the government can make these "announcables" and make it look like they are doing something, without actually having to do anything.

 

 

Fidel

The wisdom in Toronto has us all committed to funelling anywhere from $40 to $70 billion taxpayer dollars into nuclear power expansion and maintenance by a small number of Canadian and US contractors over the next ten years or so. There will be no debate about it, because it's up to our 22 percenters at Queen's Park.

George Victor

"I hear you, Remind.  Like you point out when the job losses are happening in southern ontairo there's all this hand wringing and huge outcry.  But people outside the densely populated south have experienced this before... and no one really cared or noticed.  But close a couple factories in St Thomas and it's national news for weeks."

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"..no one really cared or noticed"  farmpunk?  A "couple factories"?

You're beginning to sound like Steve. Obviously no better read.

Naw, yer just puttin' us on.....right?

Fidel

I think there's an outcry because concentration of people and jobs in large cities is what people were led to believe is the natural evolution of post-cold war capitalist economies. Large regions of the US have been abandoned by capitalists since the 1980s and 90s. And in Canada, northern regions are ghostifying in favour of packing people higher and deeper to live along the Can-Am border. Northern towns are greying while young people are told to move to the cities, because that's where the jobs are. That was the wisdom to now. 

jas

madmax wrote:

I looked around babble, and I couldn't find a thread on this topic. If I missed it I apologise....in advance.

It was here, but you may not have known from the title: Crash 2008

Also this one Most Jobs Lost in...

and Continued World Financial Crisis Fallout.

Hoodeet

I beg to differ on Krugman, George Victor.

First of all, a reminder that the so-called Nobel for Economics  is not a true Nobel prize but an invention tagged on to the Nobels, but I won't quibble with you or all the journalists or Krugman himself who is happy to be introduced as a "Nobel laureate".

 Second, and most important, is that all I've read/heard from Krugman (mainly through US msm, granted, but also on some US "liberal" websites) is proposing more of the same:  bailout + bailout to "strengthen monetary policy" and relieve the banks to free up credit.   Stieglitz, on the other hand, has finally come out in favour of nationalizing banks and addressing the "Main street" component directly.

Obama is pinned in by Wall St. and its shills in academia (Summer, and to a lesser extent Krugman) and in congress (all its rentals and purchases over the years), or perhaps he too can't or won't think out of the box, either because his coming to power was underwritten by same Wall St. or because they can undo him if he crosses them.  Whom has he now named to chair his council of "wise men" economic advisors?  Paul Volcker, Greenspan's predecessor at the Fed.

Who's his treasury boy?  The guy who  claims to have known nothing, while NY state SEC chair, of wall st's shenanigans or of bernie madoff's (all we know is he DID nothing despite warnings by whistleblowers).  A snotnosed smartass who learned his craft at Summer's knee under Mr. let-the-banks-and-the- paper-mongers -merge-and-invent-new-bubbles-to-save-capitalism Clinton, and whom Obama and the Senate now put in charge of the IRS after he KNOWINGLY failed to pay his social security (money the IMF gave him as it does all employees who request it, to cover said mandatory US contributions, which is proof that he KNEW he had to pay it).

I admit that next to some of these winners Krugman's mild criticism comes off sounding wise and reasonable, but he must be evaluated in the wider context of options other than monetarist solutions, namely a very concentrated effort on the fiscal side and on controlling and restraining any further grabs by the financiers.

 

(forgive uncontrollable rant. I'm in such a rage over this and now over the opportunistic Canadian budget.)

 

 

Tommy_Paine

Fidel wrote:

The wisdom in Toronto has us all committed to funelling anywhere from $40 to $70 billion taxpayer dollars into nuclear power expansion and maintenance by a small number of Canadian and US contractors over the next ten years or so. There will be no debate about it, because it's up to our 22 percenters at Queen's Park.

Meanwhile, there are 64 offshore wind sites that could supply all of Ontario's electical needs.  Actually, more than our current needs with all the plants that have shut down while McGinty fiddled, since that report was made public.

But we won't go that way, because we owe the friends of the Conservatives and Liberals in the nuke industry a big fat profit.

 

remind remind's picture

Does anyone believe that union workers, who have currently retained their jobs, and most likely will continue to, for a bit yet, will stand up in solidarity for the rest of Canadians and Canadian workers? Or will they, as others have been before,  as I mentioned above,  not give a rat's ass, as it has not affected them YET, and are hoping for continuing status quo for themselves, if they stay out of the frey?

I think some will want to, but the majority of others will concern themselves not at all, as they want to believe, wrongly,  and short sightedly, that this  economic meltdown, manufactured to solidify global control of individuals, will not affect them. Just as central Canadian, union manufacturing people, thought they would never be affected by the creeping and incremental destruction that has faced, fisherman, farmers, and forestry workers.

 

George Victor

Krugman, Hoodeet,  was the only U.S.economist writing for mainstream media (catch him weekly in his NYTimes op-ed) who criticized Dubya throughout his entire reign. Relentlessly, while the ignorant bastard and hiis handlers built a debt that they believed would force America to go private with its social services.

Sure, he's just an old Keynesian at heart. But he has the only rational answer for what  the finance industry has done to the world. He's no monetarist, mate.

And I sure as hell won't defend Obama's choices. But if you look at the difficulty he has in getting his agenda passed ....they had to lop off 120 B to satisfy the Rush Limbaugh Republicans in Congress... you'll see he does have to maneuvre.

Or perhaps you can point to other academics who have been consistently attacking the supply siders, and for longer? Like Stieglitz' Wink

 

Farmpunk

Go back under your Bageant blanket, George - your cred suffers when you question other people's reading habits.

Ontario yawned when the Fisheries collapsed.  Southern Ontario yawned when Northern Ontario suffered and BC's logging industry disappeared.  Is that not the point Remind is making?    

As much as I feel for the people of, say, St Thomas, who have lost their jobs, my sympathies are balanced by the fact that they weren't - and aren't - being proactive.  I spoke with a recently laid off Sterling Truck plant worker, a mother of two young kids, whose husband will lose his job at the end of March.  She said there were people in that plant who couldn't be bothered to vote, or who vote Con\Lib, or pay attention to their own union.      

That might explain why when Layton was in St Thomas before the budget, about forty people showed up.  And half weren't from St Thomas.  It was quite depressing.     

 

madmax

remind wrote:

This all makes me very bitter, as there was dead silence from central Canada, when the BC forest industry started shedding its 200k worth of workers.

When BC forestry was shedding 200K worth of Workers Ontario was also losing 200K worth of workers and many of those in Forestry. The dead silence in Ontario, did not exceed the DEAD SILENCE for the jobs lost in ONTARIO during the same period. 

Those people who knew and understood the problems in Ontario also knew of the problems in BC. Fact is, few people give a shit, and even fewer want to listen and the media could care less.  In the meantime, the people on babble do not spend alot of time on these subjects.

Unfortuneately the crises was identified sometime ago, it is now going to be of historical proportions as this is going to get worse before it gets better.

People in government had long ago written off industry in Ontario. The message has been conveyed to manufacturers for over a decade. Now that they are leaving on mass creating job losses and bankruptcies, people seem to care, well, I still don't think they do.

Most people not in manufacturing still couldn't give a tinkers damn if those jobs continue to leave. Fact is many people who work in manufacturing live in a bubble and think that they are ok, especially if there company is making money, or they are working lots of overtime. They always have that shocked look on their face when the company announces its leaving. Then they care, then they say something should be done, then it is too late.

Hell, where has the CLC been? Where has the CAW been? I believe only the USW even tried to mount a "jobs worth fighting for campaign", to highlight the upcoming crises, and even then it lasted for a few months and then it went off their radar screen.

Non union workers are losing their jobs at an alarming rate, and there is nothing coming from them because they aren't organized.

So, where did you think this voice from Ontario was going to come from to help BC forestry workers???

You are absolutely right.  Groups affected by this, need to work together and get their shit together, because it is already to late.

As for governments, both CPC and Ontario Liberals, when it comes to the Ontario Economy, they are useless twits. 

 

 

   

madmax

remind wrote:

Does anyone believe that union workers, who have currently retained their jobs, and most likely will continue to, for a bit yet, will stand up in solidarity for the rest of Canadians and Canadian workers? Or will they, as others have been before,  as I mentioned above,  not give a rat's ass, as it has not affected them YET, and are hoping for continuing status quo for themselves, if they stay out of the frey?

They won't give a rats ass.  Private sector unions, the people in them, don't care beyond their own paycheck.  You know when they are going to care.  

 

Farmpunk

Madmax:

"They won't give a rats ass.  Private sector unions, the people in them, don't care beyond their own paycheck.  You know when they are going to care."

Now, I'm prone to blanket statements, but surely you don't really mean what you just wrote.  If you were being ironic or or I'm just not getting the joke.... disregard the rest of this post.

I'm going back to an earlier point I made.  The same high school teachers that now possibly outnumber all unionized factory workers in the London area, get mult-year raises on top what most of us would call a very liveable wage RIGHT NOW, when their unionized brothers and sisters are going extinct....  and you're moralizing about the almighty dollar in the greedly and selfish private world??

The salary increase the teachers just got would have put a lot of unemployed people to work on useful projects.... possibly even in the full time salaried public sector where the wages never freeze and no one gets laid off.

George Victor

"Ontario yawned when the Fisheries collapsed.  Southern Ontario yawned when Northern Ontario suffered and BC's logging industry disappeared.  Is that not the point Remind is making? "

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Fascinating how you find geographic areas, not social groups,  "yawning" farmpunk. Remind at least said that some union people would likely be onside.

But, yes, autoworkers have had a habit of yawning. I used to piss off Unionist on a regular basis for saying how that condition goes back to the early 70s.You can even find it mentioned in the now closed thread where Jack Layton promoted "buy Canadian" . It ran from Feb. 3 to 5.  But you would not remember that, of course.

But I'm not, now, feeling all warm and vengeful. People fail, farmpunk. It's why our species winds up going to war and worse. Hell, we seem to be going collectively down a big environmental toilet.

And it's largely because folks haven't the foggiest idea of what's coming down the chute at them. They become lambs ready for slaughter. Reading would help overcome that .

But I didn't think you were up to anti-intellectual outbursts yourself.

Not that I'm concerned about my "cred" with you, farmpunk - couldn't give a fiddler's fart at this point - but was it the bit about economists? You've nothing to offer but a shot at Bageant? Your record is stuck, mate.

   

Farmpunk

George: 

"I used to piss off Unionist on a regular basis for saying how that condition goes back to the early 70s.You can even find it mentioned in the now closed thread where Jack Layton promoted "buy Canadian" . It ran from Feb. 3 to 5.  But you would not remember that, of course."

Most likely because I didn't read it... but thanks for the intellectual's tip on a thread that is sure to be legendary, even by babble standards.

But, I do sincerely apologize, George.  I have been hitting you with the Bageant cudgel a little too enthusiastically of late.  And that's not really fair, eh, chum?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I guess what I find fascinating is the degree of obsessiveness over what people at the bottom of the pile get paid while we just blithely accept the obscene amounts of money being paid out at the top. The CEO of Nortel, for one example, accepted huge bonuses even while steering the company into bankruptcy. How many people would just his bonuses provide with rent and food for a month?

The great political failure of the working and middle-classes is that we're too busy tearing at each other's flesh to look up and recognize we're the dogs in the ring.

janfromthebruce

 That might be true that the top rate for a secondary teacher in 2012 is $94 500, but the better question is how many or few will actually be getting that top level? The fact is very few, as the boomer generation of teachers are retiring quickly and existing the field. All the new teachers are at the bottom end of the pay scale. 

Which thus brings to mind another notion that we love to mouth - our children are our most cherished resource - thus would we not as a society value more the workers who actually work with our children? It rhetorical but it bothers me when we start to fight amongst and across the middle class rather than focussing on those running off with the piggybank.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

George Victor

God you add great colour in your description of  events and relations among Homo saps, FM. The imagery stays with one.

But, yes, we continue to allow greed among the captains of industry to go unpunished or ignored because they still command authority among Lord Conrad's "underlings".

C.S.Jackson, founding head of the U.E once told me that in organizing workers at the GE plants in the 40s he'd use a loudspeaker system in the back of a truck, circling the plant and calling down management. He believed that it created a bit of a vicarious thrill for listening workers. They could imagine themselves saying those things to authority, the bosses.

Given the correct political circumstances, of course, that union leader would have had bosses doing time in Labrador. And it never became a "business union", unlike so many.

 

Doug

Stephen Gordon put a nice graph up on his blog showing where we are relative to past recessions. It's too early to draw a definite conclusion, but it's not looking good.

George Victor

I wonder if old Stephen predicted this one?Smile

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

Frustrated Mess wrote:

The great political failure of the working and middle-classes is that we're too busy tearing at each other's flesh to look up and recognize we're the dogs in the ring.

I have to agree, and that is the most succinct way of stating the issue that I have seen in some time.

I am pro union, and it is my belief that until more people organize the there will always be people who want to drag everyone down to the lowest economic strata, especially when we have a federal government that is willing to abidicate any responsibility to its citizens.

Link to more on this subject

 

George Victor

Can you tell me anything about the Christian Labour Association of Canada, My Cat?

I suspect it is being used as an umbrella organization for the introduction of cheap labour into this country, but can you point to specific acts?

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

The internal workings of the CLAC aren't among my strong suits when it comes to organized labour. I was far too involved with the internal issues of my local during my union career. However, on the few times I had to answer questions, I took the line of my National Rep from the CAW who was of the opinion that the CLAC was more of an association than a union with a definite bias towards the employer. In other words if you were a member of this organization, and you were feeling under-represented you would be better served in getting a real union. There is a site that you might want to check that pretty well explains some of the issues with the CLAC. (follow this link). You may want to go to their "Filing Cabinet" page and check out the Alberta Labour Relations Board Cases. The arbitration cases are more my area of expertise and the examples shown here really ring alarm bells about this organization.

Some of the things that they pride themselves on in their official website sound good to people who have concerns about organized labour or who feel that they have to give both sides a fair hearing, (political correctness?). Some of these pro-CLAC issues can and are used to the detriment of the members. My personal opinion is that they are an organization that does not fit under the umbrella of the organized labour movement.

George Victor

Thanks for the link, My Cat. It agrees with Ledcor's use of a "company union", as explained by albertagirl in an aborted Introductions thread. She claimed not to be racist, but should have explained how, in fact, she opposed racism before attempting to float  such a tale in these waters, I guess.

The old QNS&L RAilway had a history of hiring abroad (looking to  Europe) to make sure that organizing was presented with lots of hurdles, there on the Quebec North Shore. I would think that CLAC would be a perfect vehicle for managing labour costs  in Alberta's Christian tar patch.

munroe

I have had many recent bouts with CLAC and have spent a fair amount of time on its structure and organising tactics.  Although several of these cases now have raised whether the CLAC Locals can be considered unions as defined by the BC Code, each case has been dealt without without the question being answered.

What I can say is that the CLAC "membership" is essentially frozen out of any decision-making.  The Staff Representatives run the organisation in virtually all respects.  CLAC has bragged to the alumnus at Redeemer College in Ancaster (Christian Reformed) that it is a major employer of Redeemer graduates.

The National organisation strips the Locals of all monies on a monthly basis, after Rep approved expenses are paid.  I have found little evidence the Locals have meetings.  To run for a Local Board position, you must be nominated by the existing Local Board.  I could go on.

With rare exceptions, the evidence shows CLAC "organising" is facilitated by the Employer.  In a current case before the Board, the Employer appears to have made CLAC membership a term of employment and handed out the membership cards.  This took place before CLAC was certified or had a contract.  No idea if the issues again will get to hearing.

CLAC has an authoritarian, top-down structure and significant connections to the anti-union elements in business and right wing politics.  The philosophical bent remains in neo-calvinist religious thought, although it may have expanded in the last few years to more accurately "evangelical christian".  If you want a glimpse at its thought processes go to the "Cardus" think tank webpage.  Cardus is the new name of the Work Research Foundation which is tightly aligned with CLAC. 

What makes CLAC particularly dangerous is that its leadership are "true believers" who bend over backwards to accomodate employers as a reaction to what they see as a labour movement dominated by marxists and class warriors.  They are putty in the employers hands.

George Victor

So it sounds like albertagirl has  good cause for concern.

But how does Canadian mainstream labour view bringing in foreign labour (signed up by CLAC. in the case raised in Introductions).  Is condemnation of the practise necessarily racism?

munroe

The problem that this can breed racism is very real.  The need is for continuous education to ensure it is well understood that the programme is an EMPLOYER focused programme.  Those who are participating are not the "enemy"; those who seek to exploit and depress wages are.

I know this sounds pretty lame, but I can think of no better approach.  I like what some unions have done in B.C. and Manitoba - ORGANISING amongst these workers and providing counselling and assistance.  That must be a first prong - complimented by educating the existing membership.

We certainly don't need the re-emergence of any "Asiatic Exclusion Leagues"!

madmax

CLAC is useless, agreed.

However, the real labour movement, and its leadership the CLC have been so disconnected from its members, the only thing CLC bureacrats take a stand on is their yahts. 

I see organized labour slowly realize that they are mortally wounded in this economic crises and MUST work together. However, their membership still lives in their cozy isolationism at work with an "I'M OK, why should I care about them" mentality.

129,000 jobs lost is the ripple effect of the hundreds of thousands of lost jobs over the past few years, and the loss of purchasing power. It has been the move from value added jobs to warehousing that has driven the crises of Ontario. This is not a MADE IN USA crises, ours existed before. The USA crises has always been there, and the US decided to ignore their fiscal and economic woes until a meltdown there.

Had we shored up and protected the jobs of Canadians instead of let them be replaced with part time work, temp agencies, and low pay service sector, then we would be in a stronger position to handle an economic downturn.  Instead we are helping the economy get worse, as we allow profitable companies to leave and locate offshore. GOOD FOR US!!! 

JACK LAYTON cannot stand up for jobs alone. Look at the pot shots he takes, from everyone, and where are those that should be backing him, when he stands up for a stronger Ontario Economy.

Much Like McGuinty, the Federal Liberals and Conservatives, all believe that they have to help us out of these jobs, and the new markets will employ us.

Just not the skilled technical people who provide the foundation for improvements and productions that allow for better wages in a value added sector.

There is little technology required for warehousing. Get your logistix and your done. 

The answer isn't as simple as preaching Green Jobs, although that always sounds nice to the electorate. The answer lies in having an Industrial Policy. The NDP had a great industrial policy in the last federal election. The Liberals had NONE, and the Conservatives don't believe in one.

Organized Labour should be shouting about strong industrial policies and protection against corporate pillaging of Canadian Companies.

It is strong companies wit strong histories that are being purchased and closed to eliminate competition or move production offshore.

Then they expect the $30.000 to $40,000 employee to purchase a New vehicle after they have lost their job and are making $20,000 working for a temp agency.

And you wonder why autosales purchases are falling???

Labour better find a spokesperson, and if the CLC  cannot speak out for the worker, then DITCH IT!!!  Because if they are trying.... They aren't being heard by anyone.

munroe

No answer, Madmax.  I think most of us know capitalism is the problem and the CLC is caught in a dilemna of being part of a system that must be changed.  New leaders?  Good luck.  Change the system, don't disagree as long as the good can be retained while the bad is purged.  In the meantime, watch Capital run over your boots.

 I have no solutions, but you have articulated a serious issue. 

I take it we also agree that racism is a very destructive diversion being played by Capital?