The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “unions

Labour Pains (7) – The Great Reversal

Posted on January 10, 2012

We’ve all heard the scenario, right? North American companies say wages and benefits are too high in Canada and that they have to move to places like China to stay competitive. They offer only two scenarios for their Canadian workers: accept drastic pay cuts or get ready for us to pull out of your country as we search for the bottom line. We actually don’t know quite how to handle such a decision; it all appears so inevitable.  We might not agree with draconian cuts, but on the other hand we don’t wish to lose businesses from Canada either. The race to the bottom is on. Unmentioned in all of this have been developments within China itself revealing that threaten to turn such short-term…

Labour Pains (2) – The Fence

Posted on January 3, 2012

In their much praised book The Spirit Level, authors Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson summoned all their research and coupled it with their ultimate conclusion: “Among the richest countries, it’s more the unequal ones that do worse according to almost every quality of life indicator.” Most research backs them. As a general rule this is why countries like the United States, Canada and Britain face a growing inequality crisis, a yawning gap between the rich and poor, and economies that continue to stagnate despite huge amounts of wealth flowing through them. It is interesting that those countries known as the most “equal” in the world are those where union membership is the highest. In 2009, Norway had 54.4% of their workers belong to unions.…


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