Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ontario NDP Supports Back-to-Work Legislation

Shame on Howard Hampton and the NDP for joining the Tories and Liberals in this anti-union exercise.

Here's the a quote from Hampton's speech:

So what is to be done in those circumstances? There are a number of interests to consider. There are all of those people in the greater Toronto area who utilize the Toronto Transit Commission to get to work themselves and to get to doctor appointments and to get to school and to get their children to child care and do all the other things that happen in a very large urban agglomeration like this. There are also the issues of whether this city can even work minus the TTC on an ongoing basis. Finally, you have to consider, as I said earlier: Is there a likely prospect that things will be settled by further discussions at the bargaining table?

I think, on all of those fronts, the recognition arrived at yesterday is that there are serious interests here that need to be addressed-public interests, human interests, the interests of the city-and also the fact that bargaining is probably at an impasse. For that reason, we will support this legislation.

Hampton's entire premise is flawed. If an issue is hard to settle at the bargaining table, a strike or lockout raises the stakes and forces the parties to come to an agreement. Back-to-work legislation, on the other hand, forces an end to the labour dispute, but makes labour relations much worse in the long run because the process of collective bargaining becomes a charade.

In the past, the NDP has effectively stalled implementation of anti-union back-to-work laws. If the party thinks this move will help it make gains, I think they will be very disappointed.


Julian Benson said...

Well put as always, brother.

Mark Dowling said...

uncorrected - the issue was not the strike but the notice. If 48 hours notice had been given it's unlikely that BTW legislation would have been tabled in the interim. That's not raising the stakes - it's going nuclear.

Instead Bob K traded operator abuse on Saturday for operator abuse on Monday, and with better reason for it - and all the while the mechs who voted against in Hillcrest won't have to face any abuse at all.

There were buses running on Saturday - private hire from downtown to the Ex for the soccer game. I bet they weren't unionised. More of this and people other than National Post and Macleans will wonder why not outsource TTC.

uncorrectedproofs said...

sorry, but what the party did was totally inexcusable. The strike was legal, so the 48 hours was not the real issue. The NDP was looking to "protect" its Toronto members (including municipal members) on the backs of the unions. Once upon a time, the NDP would stand up for unpopular causes... but the times they are a changing and union support for the NDP will surely change too.