Monday, March 12, 2012

Opposing Labour & Other Bad Driving Habits

Nowadays people oppose strikes like they drive a car. It's not about the all the people going forward anymore, it's only about one person getting where they want to go.

Decades ago when unions went on strike the average joes not only put up with it, they supported it; today any strike is seen as a huge inconvenience by the majority of the public, back-to-work legislation is met with enthusiastic approval. The difference between then and now isn't the unions, it isn't the government that's changed, it's Canadians. To see the difference in our attitudes one just needs to get in a car.

The declining trend in popular support for labour strikes is quite similar to the worsening attitude many Canadians have while driving. A strike, like someone who wants to merge, has been increasingly met with hostility, as if allowing it to happen would do harm or impose an incredible disadvantage.

A growing majority of Canadians have opposed recent strikes, not because it drastically affected them, just like allowing a car to pass wouldn't, but they oppose these strikes because those people are getting ahead and they're not.

It is the rare Canadian driver that would express joy in seeing one car get out of rush hour traffic while he or she was still stuck in it, and as so are those rare Canadians, who instead of opposing strikes that might minimally increase daycare costs, postage, or air travel, are supportive of others getting an increase in wages and livelihood.

On the roads people act as if one person's benefit comes at an other's cost. As if society does not exist on asphalt and that we're all in this alone, against each other. We have to realize that someone getting in front of us on a highway does not affect where we're going or when we're going to get there; and that a strike for others to get better working conditions does not deteriorate our own and we should only want the best for them.

As a country we're all on the same road, we shouldn't be against anyone. If workers in a company want to strike, just like if someone wants to merge into our lane, our default shouldn't be to try to stop them, but to help them get on their way, and ours, to a better country.


The Mound of Sound said...

Scott, learn at least something, just a little, teensy bit, before you get into this. You reduce this to the point to simplistic stupidity. Do you really need to hear yourself that badly?

kirbycairo said...

In his/her effort to pose as "informed" on this subject, Mound, as usual, says little, and signifies even less. Since your point actually required little actual "learning," Mound's words are deeply hollow. The only historical fact contained in your post is that people used to support unions and stikes more than they do today. This is a historical fact which no one who is aware of history could doubt. I myself helped in a large project on Canadian labour history of the Canadian Federation of Labour and I know whereof I speak in the matter.

Furthermore, your analogy was a very cogent one. Knee-jerk reactions on the part of an increasingly uniformed and brainwashed public to organized labour and job-action will, in the long run, be a loss for all of us. Almost everything we enjoy in this society from forty hour work-weeks, to our most basic rights is attributable in significant part to labour activists. And as membership in, and support of, unions decreases so do our economic equality (in terms of social distribution), our economic future (in terms of pensions), and perhaps most importantly our collective ability to maintain our democratic rights against an increasingly powerful elite.

By all means, oppose unions and job action, but in doing so you are throwing away all the gains that were made in the 20th century toward equality and prosperity.

Thanks for the post Scott, and disregard Mound's ideological blinders. said...

Mound of Sound I'm not sure what you're referring to.

Kirby, thanks. Problems are often looked at in isolation, but in our society nothing is independent. The lack of support for unions is but one symptom of a people who have become more self-centred and less social-oriented; our worsening driving habits is just another sign of that trend.