Members of both the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a union merger. Together, they would have over 300,000 members across various economic sectors. So chances are, you probably know someone who will be affected by this 🙂 The thing is union membership in Canada has fallen to 30% today from 40% back in the 1970s. In the private sector alone, the rate is even lower at just 17% today. Organized labor is losing the power to further their member’s rights and interests in North America. So by combining into one organization, their hope is to become a stronger voice overall, forming the largest private sector union in the country.
This is good news for all union workers, especially if you are currently with CEP, because the dues of the new union would be set at the lower CAW rate of 0.7% of workers’ salaries 😀 Some experts like Pradeep Kumar, a professor at Queen’s University, say the creation of a “super-union” is necessary because of the declining power of the labor movement. While others disagree and argue that unions stifle productivity, and lead to higher prices for consumers since companies must pay more for wages & benefits, which are then passed on to customers. I can see the points on both sides and there is no simple way to make everyone happy, but it will be interesting to see what kind of trend our country will go in for the next little while. With the Ontario premier unexpectedly stepping down and rumors that the NDP will win the next BC provincial election, the internal outlook for this country is uncertain at best. Whether the changes to come are for better or worse, is yet to be seen (゜-゜)
CEP – This union is involved in several key areas of Canada’s economy including forestry, energy, telecommunications and media.
private sector – Jobs that are created by private companies or individual people. Contrast to the “public sector” which basically refers to government jobs.
Random Useless Fact: Whenever you feel sad, just remember that somewhere in this world there’s an idiot pulling a door that says “PUSH.”
I think the unions need to stay strong. Here in the US they are tearing them apart and it just feels like all the hard work that people did to get them is being ripped up. I think its a good thing based on that. I am not a political person, but I do know what history has taught me.
Good point. Without unions we wouldn’t have many of the benefits even non-unionized workers today like myself enjoy :0)
private sector unions is a great thing because the balance of power is…well.. balanced, so neither side can abuse the other too much without hurting themselves in the long run. public sector unions are really really stupid conceptually, as the govt essentially has bottomless pockets.
one thing i find funny is when unionized folks talk about how gas stations and refineries are gouging them by colluding to set prices and govt should intervene. pot, meet kettle! union = labor cartel colluding to set wages!
I never thought about unions as a labor cartel before but that makes a lot of sense. I guess that’s just how the labor laws work in our society.