Thursday, May 31, 2007

Newsflash to Alberta Employers

Concession time is over. The employer market is over. Desperate masses of the unemployed pounding the payment, willing to put up with any humiliation from you to support their families is over.

Being able to walk into the negotiating room and dictate your terms is. over.

Even if you could jam concessions down your worker's throats, you'd just be slitting your own throat as your employees shrug and take the five or ten minutes cursory search necessary to find five other employers down the street who are more realistic.

Welcome to the worker's market. You have to worry about recruitment and retention now. If you aren't prepared to make your employees happy there's plenty of other fish in the sea.

Oh, and if you're wondering if we're feeling at all sore over decades of enforced concessions, undisguised contempt, 'management rights', a steadily slashed inflation adjusted wage, attacks on our benefits, abusive management practices and a steadily eroding standard of living while executive compensation got more and more obscene - nahhhhh, not at all.

But the free ride is over, and all the guest workers you can import won't cover your ever increasing manpower shortfalls. Even in the class war, God is on the side with the most artillery.

And for the foreseeable future, that ain't you.
Public and private sector employers in Alberta need to wake up
Strike actions in Edmonton and Calgary provide object lesson

EDMONTON, May 30 With Alberta facing a growing number of labour disputes, the Alberta Federation of Labour said today that it's time for employers to take a reality check before they enter negotiations.
"We face the prospect of two strikes in the province this week," notes President Gil McGowan, "a public sector strike by transit workers in Calgary and a private sector strike by brewery workers in Edmonton."
"In both cases, the employers have come to the table looking for thinly disguised concessions from workers. At Molson it's two-tiered wage and benefit systems, and in Calgary it's a shift towards lower paid shuttle bus jobs," says McGowan.
McGowan says employers have to get their heads around the idea that concession demands won't fly - and don't make sense - during economic boom times.
"The Alberta economy is booming, inflation is seriously eroding everyone's earning power, employers everywhere are saying how hard it is to attract and retain new staff - but both the Molson Coors Brewing Company and the City of Calgary pretending the new economic realities of Alberta don't count at the bargaining table." "Employers across the province should take a long look at the consequences of living in that kind of dream world," says McGowan. "Both CAW Local 284 at the Molson Edmonton brewery and ATU Local 583 representing Calgary transit workers are either taking strike action or are on the verge of taking strike action - with the full support of the province's labour movement."
"I urge these employers to take their unrealistic concession demands off the table and to begin negotiating the level of settlement workers need and deserve in an economy with a 5% inflation rate, an unemployment rate at 3.4% and no end to the boom in sight," concluded McGowan.

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