Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In one week Liberal MPs show their true colours.

Next Wednesday the 21st, Bill C-257 the Anti-scab law comes before the House.

After supporting the private members bill brought by a Bloc MP all the way up to winning second reading in the House Stephane Dion and the Liberal leadership ginned up a phony threat to essential services and sandbagged Canadian Labour.

The fundamental unambiguous lie at the center of the Liberals cop out bespeaks of a disrespect bordering on out-right contempt for Canadian workers. Essential services were not and are not threatened by this law. The contrived amendments that Dion seized on were irrelevant frills that merely repeated existing legislation.

Essential services have existing iron-clad protection in the Federal Labour Code. The Canadian Industrial Relations board can and does order rolling provisioning, back to work legislation and binding arbitration. And in fact in the last seven disputes over six years that were covered by federal labour law the parties, union and company, independently negotiated maintenance of service agreements without the CIRB having to make them do so.

So, the technical term for Dion's Essential Services argument is a bullshit excuse. It's a scornful lie that the Liberals knew they could count on Canada's reliably neo-liberal mass media not to expose.


Labour are getting royally screwed by the Canadian Liberal Party without a kiss or even a twenty on the dresser.


That this was completely predictable makes it no less infuriating. I fully understand that the Liberals diverge from the Tories in little but degree. It's just disappointing to see it confirmed.


When I was lobbying on the Hill for my union, I met with MPs individually from two of the parties. Tories were mostly distantly polite - except for one wing nut MP from the BC interior who shall remain nameless, mostly because I don't remember his name, who flipped out and ranted about 'union mischief' until the spittle flew, and one staffer who seemed stunned that a union lobbyist had a Hill pass and didn't need to be signed into the building.

Liberal MPs were polite ranging to effusive - they were also the most bitterly caustic about the government in those dwindling last days in the bunker with Paul Martin. They promised nothing, offered nothing in their careful smiles and empty handshakes.

The NDP had our entire lobbying team come in and speak to their whole caucus meeting, and gave us a round of applause and some energetic 'Shames!' at some of our descriptions of the company's behaviour - their support was a given. Nobody on either side had any doubt that they'd be in our corner in the coming dispute. I got to shake hands with Ed Broadbent and he gave me a visitor gallery pass from his office which is still on my fridge. I give them crap and I worry about creeping Blairism but the NDP are still the only dependably worker friendly party federally.

We can count on them. We can count on the Bloc which sponsored the bill in the first place and are a leftist party too. We can count on perhaps three or four Tories who represent heavily unionized ridings. We can count on a few Liberals, but probably a lot less than people are expecting. The fight goes on but I have a sinking feeling that the fix is in.

I will be posting the vote tally and names when they are out. Special attention and emphasis will be paid to Liberal MPs who vote against the legislation, abstain or even more despicably are too cowardly to even show up to vote.


janfromthebruce said...

Liberal MPs who vote for this bill will show that they are progressive. It will also show if Dion s progressive or is he just like the rest - all dress up!

audacious said...

that bugs my butt, regardless of the bill, when MP's are a no-show or abstain. there should be a mandate to enforce it, or a vote by proxy if they can not show up.

Uncorrected Proofs said...

You should visit St. Catharines, ON on Saturday to deliver this message to Dion personally.

Anti-Scab Demonstration: Protest Stephane Dion and the Liberal Flop-Flop on Anti-Scab Laws

WHAT? Anti-scab demonstration

WHEN? Saturday March 17 at 11am (St. Patrick's Day)

WHERE? Club Roma (125 Vansickle Rd., St. Catharines, ON), the site of a Liberal fundraiser featuring Stephane Dion

WHY? To protest Stephane Dion and the Liberal flip flop on Bill C-257

WHO? This demonstration is being organized by the St. Catharines & District Labour Council

janfromthebruce said...

Not showing up is voting with your feet!

Cliff said...

The only thing that truly expresses my feelings here is this sample of this track by DJ Shadow and UNKLE - definitely not work safe.

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