Unions, time to hit fast forward.
Tick, tick, tick…you hear that? It is the clock ticking on Canada’s unions. And when it hits zero, unions will be as relevant as those cassette tapes you can't seem to toss.
Once a strong, relevant voice for Canada’s working man, unions have become politically motivated, agenda-driven, anarchist supporting thugs that care more about maintaining power than they do the members who loyally pay their dues.
Take the latest student protests in Quebec.
Sid Ryan, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, said he believes that it’s “disgraceful” that the Dalton McGuinty government allows the highest tuition rates in the country, far more expensive fees than those in Quebec.
Fair enough, but he didn't stop there.
He went on to do the predictable.
“We ought to have the students out there protesting,” Ryan said, while marching along Tuesday with student protesters in Montreal. “Maybe it’s time to get into the streets of Ontario and start the same kind of movement that they have in Quebec to demand that tuition be lowered and that we start working towards free university.”
If you are one of the 700,000 workers who belong to the OFL’s affiliated trade unions, you may be wondering what this has to do with you.
You may also be wondering why the OFL has said it is "likely" that they will join other unions in donating to the student protests in Quebec. So far trade unions based outside Quebec have already confirmed sending more than $36,000 into the bank accounts of the province's largest student federations.
By taking this confrontational attitude, union leadership is failing to see the bigger picture. The more they head in this direction, the more you lose the support of the general public.
They are also failing to realize that the taxpayers in Ontario are currently subsidizing 70 percent of post secondary education in the province.
It won’t be too long before their own membership, radicals excluded, ask why they are funding protests, rallies and civil disobedience that does little to advance their place in this world.
The days of unionized Montreal shoemakers, or the Toronto printers of the 1830's, or even Norma Rae in the textile mill, are long gone.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t legitimate labor concerns in 2012.
Pensions, health benefits, job creation, those are all reasonable grievances for unions and their membership to be concerned about. In fact, those are issues that EVERY Canadian should be concerned about.
However in a world where all of our pay cheques are getting smaller, where the dollars we earn are getting harder to stretch, how long will it be until union members wake up out of their slumber and realize that the money they are handing over to their leadership for politically charged protests would be better served in their own bank accounts.
It's time to fast forward, and get past that antiquated idea of the all-mighty union. Toss that nostalgic notion and evolve.