Yep, we “celebrate” Labo(u)r Day up here in Canada, too.
Like most Americans, we don’t spend much time that day musing about the Haymarket Riot or dialectical materialism.
Instead, drinking beer and sleeping in top most “to do” lists.
Organized labor can still get out the crowds when it feels so inclined:
Verizon wants to break into the Canadian market, and a few thousand Big Labor types marched up Yonge Street last week to complain.
Meanwhile, the other two-thirds of the nation’s workforce either don’t care about this issue or welcome the competition.
(Canadians are notoriously cheap: We love complaining about our high cellphone charges even though they’re actually lower than U.S. rates.)
Anyway, Brian Lilley is among those asking whether labor unions are (mostly) obsolete, especially since union leaders seem far more focused on influencing party politics and public policy than they are on, say, workplace safety.
Like most “progressive” outfits who long ago achieved their original goals, labor unions are palpably desperate to remain relevant.
Lilley hails from my steel-mill hometown, so he’s been around union folks all his life.
Today, he says:
…unions aren’t for the workers anymore, they’re for the union bosses.
My father worked his whole life in a union and retired a proud union man.
The outfit he belonged to has faced some tough questions lately over outrageous salaries for the top executives, cushy jobs for family members and precious little for the membership. In fact, it sounds to me like they’ve become the people they were fighting against.
Is there a “conservative” or libertarian argument for organized labor unions?
Make your case in the comments — that is, if you actually feel like doing some work today.