Just as registration for the Conservative Party convention opened on Thursday, the push to undermine bargaining rights kicked into gear.
A pamphlet making the rounds calls on delegates to get behind a slew of proposals that are variations on one theme: undermining bargaining rights. It echoes the same statements heard from Tories in the House of Commons, where the government has turned to a backbencher to press for amendments to the Labour Code that would make it harder for workers to form a new union — and much easier to decertify an existing one.
The pitch, in Parliament and in the pamphlet, casts the whole issue as a matter of choice and transparency — or, in the words of one proposal up for debate on the convention floor, “mandatory union membership and forced financial contributions as a condition of employment limit the economic freedom of Canadians and stifle economic growth.”
Translation: we don’t want employees to be able to bargain with employers on an even footing, and we don’t want unions to promote fair wages, decent working conditions and public services that benefit all citizens. The war with unions is, indeed, on.
Speaking of transparency, it's too bad reporters can’t walk around freely to talk to delegates at the Conservative convention.
And if you're looking for what's to come this weekend, check out the pamphlet itself: