When was the last time you called in sick? Was it just a case of the sniffles? Were you flat on your back? Or did you go golfing and not want to use a vacation day? Did you feel guilty about leaving your co-workers to cover for you? Did you take as few days as possible, knowing someone else had to pick up the slack in your absence? Chances are if you work in the private sector, your answers are very different from those of some government employees.
Taxpayers and watchdogs often focus their attention on the top of the government salary spectrum. Government executives are increasingly overpaid, especially at the municipal and regional district level. But it's not just the top end that is out of control. Taxpayers are overpaying for labour throughout the system.
At CUPE we agree with the Fraser Institute's suggestion that we should to have a conversation about wages and inequality. However the real inequality problem lies between regular Canadians and the rich CEOs the Fraser Institute works with. There are several major problems with the Institute's analysis of public and private sector wages.
Canada's union leaders are involved in an unprecedented campaign to avoid any efforts to impose transparency requirements required by Bill C-377. The real reason for the campaign against transparency is because union leaders do not want anyone to see how they are spending the $4 billion collected each year in forced contributions. If operating in a transparent manner cripples Canada's union movement, then union leaders have only themselves to blame for that demise.
Delegates to the CEP convention this week in Québec City voted in favour of forming a new union with the CAW. The CAW voted in favour of the project in August. Yet unnamed, this new union will represent more than 300,000 workers in every province of the country, in 22 different major economic sectors. It will be the largest private sector union in Canada This new union is the first step in revitalizing Canada's union movement. And that is a necessary step in turning back the tide of neoconservative reaction that has seen ever more wealth and power for the already rich and powerful, but stagnation and cutbacks for the rest of us. Why should ordinary Canadians care about this new union?.
On Friday, Mark Carney told us that advocates of the so-called Dutch Disease theory have it wrong. A bit of data is a good thing in a heated debate. Consider Statistics Canada latest (seasonally adjusted) monthly manufacturing sales numbers covering June 2012 sales. And when you do, ask yourself a simple question: does the data support Dutch Disease -- or are we seeing a case of a Central Canadian Cold?
It is no secret that the idea of amalgamating into a single country, which was farthest away from the minds of the rulers of these countries, was only contemplated as a direct result of the Arab Spring which toppled several Arab dictators who were thought to be completely invincible, and left the rest of them asking "Who will be next?" Now more than ever, a union of the Arab Gulf states is possible.