Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ohio Union-Busting Displays Steps Needed To End Ontario & Toronto Unions

It is no surprise that the Public Sector Unions in Ontario and Toronto specifically have gone completely out of control. Unions use to be about protecting the rights of workers, but everyone knows that is no longer the case (no matter what the Unionists will tell you).

No, in today's world, Public Sector Unions are all about unfairly blackmailing the taxpayers and forcing us to pay bloated and fat wages, provide over-the-top benefits, and submitting to implement jobs-for-life types of clauses for these horrifyingly over-compensated Union workers and their Union Leaders, leading the Province and City to having astronomical deficits and a resultant relentless never-ending attack on the taxpayer of tax increase after tax increase after tax increase.

Public Leaders like Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and former Toronto Mayor David Miller, instead of protecting the taxpayers against these Unions, actually gave the Unions more power, all in the name of getting their backing in their respective elections. Their scumbag moves in this regard are costing the taxpayers dearly.

Now, every single time the topic of Busting the Unions comes up, we are told by various left-wing sources and Union sympathizers that it's just not possible, the Unions are protected by legislation and yada yada, it just can't happen. Well, tell that to the taxpayers in Ohio, whose Republican Governor John Kasich has turned the Ohio Public Sector Unions on their heads. You see, Leaders who truly do care about their taxpayers will find a way to protect them, as is their mandate.

Ontario, after McGuinty is tossed, and Toronto, now that we have a true leader in Super Mayor Rob Ford, both have a great example in Ohio on how to end Unions in their respective jurisdictions, and the steps to do so are simple.

Step 1: Remove the Right to Strike from the Unions (by declaring them essential or etc.).
Step 2: Remove the Independant Arbitrators from the equation, and leave the final arbitration decisions in the hands of our elected political leaders.

Here's the story from the Toronto Star:

Walkom: A lesson for Ontario in sneaky union-busting
Canadian labour has its eyes firmly fixed on Wisconsin, where right-wing Republican governor Scott Walker hopes to destroy the state’s public sector unions.

Unions here — both private and public — worry that Canadian governments might follow suit. Some have sent members to monitor the Wisconsin struggle.

But the real model for Canadian governments interested in gutting trade unions may not be Wisconsin. It could be Ohio. The state senate there has just passed a bill that, in effect, hands over all labour arbitration decisions involving public workers directly to the governments that employ them.

Or, to put it another way, the Ohio bill would give public sector bosses the right to unilaterally determine how much their workers are paid, what kind of benefits they receive and how many hours a day they work.

There hasn’t been as much attention paid to Ohio’s attack on labour. Its Republican governor, John Kasich, is not as bumptious as Wisconsin’s Walker.

But the Ohio remedy has the virtue of being sneakier. And that may appeal to Canadian politicians, particularly in Ontario.

The key is control over arbitration. Public sector workers deemed essential are already denied the right to strike in Canadian provinces. In Ontario, essential workers include police, nurses and hospital employees.

Queen’s Park, at the request of Toronto council, is preparing to add the city’s transit workers to the list.

But being denied the right to strike hasn’t necessarily hurt essential workers. That’s because any disputes that can’t be solved by bargaining are decided by independent arbitrators.

The Ohio solution, which still has to be approved by the state’s Republican-dominated lower house, goes something like this. First, all public sector employees — from teachers to fire fighters to clerks — are deemed essential workers and denied the right to strike.

Their union rights are not removed entirely. They are allowed to bargain for wages (although not for much else).

However in the event of an impasse, the final decision is made not by independent arbitrators but by the workers’ politician employers — which makes the entire bargaining exercise effectively irrelevant.

As my colleague Rob Benzie has reported, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak is already setting his sights on public sector arbitration. Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals might also find some version of the Ohio solution to their liking.

For those who would bust unions, the elimination of independent arbitration is just as effective as the blowsier Wisconsin approach. But, done cleverly, its aim is easier to disguise.

Why do you think that TTC Union Boss Bob Kinnear was willing to give up the world to avoid having the TTC be declared essential (and have them lost their right to strike)? This is his and his Union's worst nightmare slowly coming true, step-by-step. Yes, yes... With all of the rhetoric around how making them essential would be more costly to taxpayers (which is not true anyway), people need to look at the big picture.

It's time to give the power back to the taxpayers, and remove these out-of-date Unions from Ontario and Toronto. The Unions have been milking us dry for years without cause, and their honeymoon had to end sometime. We can only hope that that time is now.


(Image: by torontocitylife on flickr


Anonymous said...

Reading all this anti union rhetoric is entertaining.
Seems the biggest drain on Toronto taxpayers is the police budget.
Followed by the school board whom get by the way 24 sick days a year.
and work 9 months of the year, all summers off, how wonderful.

Mike Harris having downloaded 500 million in costs to Toronto tax payers but let's get rid of those city workers who clean the streets and gave Toronto the good name of being a very clean city by those who come to visit.

Yes, let's not go after the real tax drain run away gravy train of the cops and school board.

Brett Youngberg said...

The Right Wing Neocon Assault on Working Middle class has got to stop. In the last 30 years we've had our manufacturing base stripped, with the trickory of Free Trade = jobs lost, lives ruined, hopes and dreams extiguished. Thus spiraling the Working Middle Class into the race to the bottom like a Giant Flushed Toilet. While the 1% that created this Mess become Immensely Rich and avoid paying their Fair Share. They use Their Wealth to Purchase and Finance Politicans and their Control of the Media to further their assault on the Working Middle Class's ability to make a liveable wage.They also put the Burden of our lost Manufacturing Tax Base on Our Shoulders, once paid for by Industry to do business in our Community's. This causes the spiral of greed amongst the 99% of us to RIP each other apart, while the 1% sit back and chuckel. Like the late George Carlin said about the American Dream "You've got to be a sleep to believe it". Keep believing the Negative Union Rhetoric, because when the majority of you wake up it might be to Late.

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