Jan 31, 2013- 10:37 AM
Terrance Oakey’s recent missive regarding the need for unions to be more “transparent” makes for an interesting read.
What he fails to note, however, is that unions are indeed transparent; financial reports are presented to the membership by local executives. If members are unhappy with their leaders’ decisions, they can vote them out at election time.
Oakey’s Merit Canada organization would have you believe that unions have outlived their usefulness and that employers genuinely care about their employees.
Nothing can be further from the truth. Caterpillar’s recent exit from London, Ont. is but one example of how little workers’ rights are respected in this country. There are many others.
Unions, like any organization, are imperfect. That said, they are the only counterweight to business and corporations who are only driven by their obsession with the bottom line.
The working conditions (holidays, benefits, sick leave, pensions etc.) we enjoy today would not exist were it not for previous generations’ sacrifice and hard-won battles with Big Biz and the corporations.
The financial disaster of 2008 that Ontario taxpayers are still paying for was brought to you by casino capitalists who were decidedly opaque in their dealings. We are still paying for their greed and obsession with profit at any cost.
If we need more clarity, perhaps large private enterprises might want to start by following the advice of their own lobby groups.