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(en) The State At The S.e.rvice Of Employers - Or How The Bosses Legislate Misery by Comité des sans-emploi & CLAC-Logement

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 4 Feb 2004 13:17:14 +0100 (CET)


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An article taken from "C'est arrivé près de chez-vous", a newspaper
published by Comité des sans-emploi & CLAC-Logement. Recently, there's
been a lot of talk about the legislation that the Charest government
pushed through just before Christmas, muzzling all opposition.
Let's take a look at what it all means. What are some of these
infamous pieces of legislation? The explanatory sketches below are
adapted, in part, from a number of documents put together by the CSN.
It's our job to understand and analyse them.
We have to stop believing that the State is a tool for
establishing a sort of equity or just relationship between
workers and their employers. We have to stop believing that
the State is created BY us and FOR us.

The State is a tool used by the powerful (capitalists) that
institutionalizes and legalizes relationships of domination and
exploitation. The State legislates and regulates our
exploitation. The people who direct the workings of the State
are politicians and high-ranking bureaucrats. Watch carefully
what sort of decisions they make. Look carefully at who they're
in bed with. And observe how they live, eat, travel and take
vacations. Watch who they marry and with whom they have
children. Notice where they live.

It is necessary to understand the interests of those who direct
the State. Look at the decisions they are making and draw your
own conclusions.

Bill 31

This piece of legislation modified the Labor Code regulations
that apply when a part of a business's activities are handed
over to another party.

When workers in a business decide to unionize and to
negotiate their work conditions, they don't want their jobs and
their work conditions to be able to be overturned by means of a
simple reorganization of the business.

That is exactly what Article 45 of the Quebec's Labor Code
guarantees. It protects the exercise of workers' fundamental
right to associate in order to form a union and to negotiate their
work conditions.

Thus, if the employer transfers all or a part of its activities to
another business, the union accreditation and the work
conditions remain unchanged.

But Bill 31 stipulated that if a business transfers part of its
activities to a sub-contractor without also selling its
equipment, machinery, know-how-in short, without transferring
"most of its characteristic elements"-article 45 no longer
applies.

The union accreditation no longer covers those jobs. The work
conditions that have been negotiated cease to exist. The
sub-contractor can do as it please!

The legislation also eliminated any requirement that the
employer advise the union that it intends to transfer activities
to a sub-contractor.

In cases where Article 45 still applies, the union will be
preserved but the collective agreement will be rendered null
and void as soon as the concession of activities is made.

Workers can now find out one morning that they've changed
employers and that the employer has the right to decide what
their work conditions will be.

Whether it is the sub-contracting out of mechanical
maintenance, house keeping, kitchens or cafeterias, laundering
services, machining or assembly process, transport, snow or
garbage removal-as long as there is no transfer of equipment or
vehicles, there will no longer be a union or negotiated work
conditions for those workers.

We can take a simple example. Say the management of a
hospital center wants to sub-contract out its cafeteria service.
The management only has to sell its service without selling the
cafeteria equipment for the conditions of Article 45 of the
Labor Code to no longer apply. Simply put, that means that the
sub-contractor who will have purchased the cafeteria service
will be under no obligation to hire the unionized staff already
doing the job, to maintain their work conditions or pay them the
same salary. Easy as pie. There is no transfer of equipment, so
Article 45 doesn't apply. The sub-contractor can move in with
its equipment and its personnel-and out go the unionized
workers!

With Bill 31, the government gave business a tool to keep
unions from forming or to break existing unions. What's more,
the government gave bosses the tools they need to put a
downward pressure on work condition.
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Copied from North East Federation of Anarcho-Communists - NEFAC
http://nefac.northernhacking.org/newswire/




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