03/05/2012

Brad Wall is Warming up the Steamroller

I note that the Saskatchewan Government has turned down binding arbitration as a means of settling the outstanding issues in what has become protracted bargaining with the people who work at the Cancer Agency.

 Whatever could be wrong with binding arbitration. If you think the position you are taking in bargaining is fair? If you are confident your position is a fair one, wouldn't you think a reasonable arbitrator might think the same.

The natural conclusion to draw is that, the government of Saskatchewan knows they are being unreasonable, particularly in these booming times.

I also read in the paper this morning that the Saskatchewan Government is going to “review” our labour laws again in what will be a look at our “out of date” legislation.

My immediate reaction to all this was, “These guys just don’t get it.” People won’t put up with this. Stand by for yet another war between our business friendly government and labour.

The last time they did this, they looked kind of stupid. After all, one of the most right wing judges in the province ruled their essential services legislation went way too far and was put in to place without proper consultation with the stakeholders. Well no that is wrong, it was without consultation with one of... no, half of the stakeholders. Their process was to basically, just ignored organized labour.

They are about to do it again but, I think I was wrong about them being out of touch. They very much “Get it”

To the Saskatchewan Party, very much like the Harper Conservatives it isn’t about finding consensus, or building bridges, or fairness, or need.

Despite all the good old boy talk, Brad Wall’s government is all about us and them, about creating division, pitting one side against the other.

What is good for business is good for Brad. After all, could the Chamber of Commerce be wrong about anything?

Brad and the boys are sitting pretty with an electoral system that handed them 85% of the seats in the legislature with 64% of the popular vote. They can pretty much do what they want.

Will Saskatchewan the people who will be affected by what will no doubt be yet another gutting of Labour legislation stand up and speak out. I doubt it. Only 66% of us even bothered to vote. Speaking up, writing letters or - God forbid - going to a demo takes even more effort than casting a ballot.

Oh sure, the usual suspects will get up on their high horse but will the public actually listen? I sometimes thing the term Labour Communicators is an oxymoron. Think Bob Bymoen for example.

It isn’t a very good time for unionized workers in Saskatchewan. Standby, the government is just warming up the steamroller.

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