Labour troubles

The BC Liberals are expected to introduce a new law that would allow them to re-write exsiting labour agreements. Apart from seeimg to me to be an act of (labour)war, in that no self-respecting union will let the goverment unilaterally change their hard-won agreements, it just seems so self serving: let’s see. It seems to me that introducing any changes to contracts legislatively rather than negotiating with the union in question is stripping the union of it’s entire reason for being, and is exclusively in favor of management (which, for public sector unions, means the government). And, if the government can simply ignore existing agreements and change them, on a whim, why couldn’t a private employer do the same?

Many health sector workers are to receive wage increases April 1. The government has admitted those wage increases — which would mean an additional $80 million a year in costs for just the Vancouver Coastal Health Region — are being reviewed.

Hmm. So you were on strike for 2 months, negotiated furiously, gave up other much-needed benefits because you believed that getting a pay raise was vitally important. The government, who needs to slash the budget still, after handing out money to its cronies, could simply…legislate that raise out of existence. Hmm. Methinks the union might not like that. And if the government can ignore labour laws like that, what’s to stop the union? The teachers, who are, for reasons that completely escape me, considered an essential service in BC, are planning a walkout on Monday. They’re going through the Labour Relations Board to do so, but if the government starts breaking the rules in the way the articles I’ve read seem to insinuate, I won’t be at all surprised to start seeing a rash of wildcat strikes across BC.

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