Re: Discontent in Lotus Land

Aaron (
Thu, 28 Nov 1996 18:25:30 -0800

Excuse my laziness in replying to and forwarding this item at the same
time. It has my comments interspersed, naturally not quoted with '>'.

>Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 11:08:08 -0800
>From: D Shniad <shniad@SFU.CA>
>Subject: Discontent in Lotus Land
>To: Multiple recipients of list LABOR-L <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
>The labour movement in British Columbia was delighted when the NDP
>government was re-elected here in BC last May. Since then, however,
>relations have become tense as the government slashes public spending
>in order to balance the provincial budget. Things came to a head at
>this week's federation of labour convention in Vancouver when the
>government announced sharp cuts to municipal spending.

Remember the old saying, 'Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame
on me!' What did the NDP do when it was running Ontario?

But it's not just a matter of being fooled twice! Labor and
social-democratic parties throughout the world have been carrying out the
neo-liberal agenda of international capital since around 1980.

>The Vancouver Sun November 28, 1996
> Mike Crawley, The Vancouver Sun
>Fearing that they'll bear the brunt of the $113-million reduction in
>transfer payments to municipalities, members of the Canadian Union of
>Public Employees led the condemnation of the cuts Wednesday at the
>B.C. Federation of Labor annual convention.
>Delegates to the convention blasted the provincial government for
>announcing earlier this week that grants to local governments will be
>reduced by 28 per cent.
>Their angry mood continued a theme of the week-long convention: the
>current tension in B.C. between the labor movement and the usually
>union-friendly New Democratic Party as a result of plans to cut 3,500
>jobs in the provincial civil service.
>"I am angry at the government and I am starting to question their
>commitment to workers," said Bernice Kirk, CUPE's B.C. president.

Just starting to???

>For most municipalities, the cut in grants from Victoria represents
>about three per cent of their total revenues and Municipal Affairs
>Minister Dan Miller says local governments should be able to absorb
>the drop in funding without raising taxes or cutting services. But
>throughout the province, municipalities are already making plans to
>trim services. And that means job cuts, delegates to the federation
>convention warned.
>They debated and unanimously approved a resolution condemning the
>federal Liberals for their cuts in transfer payments to the provinces
>and the provincial NDP for cutting grants to local governments. The
>resolution also calls on the municipalities not to lay off workers or
>contract out services in response to the funding cut.

Judging by the following paragraph, I'd say that their 'resolution' should
be called an 'irressolution'.

>But, acknowledging that job losses are likely, delegates said the
>province and municipalities must consult with workers on the shape
>that layoffs will take. They want early-retirement packages, severance
>deals and an over-all labor adjustment strategy. CUPE predicts 1,000 to
>1,500 of its members could lose their jobs as a result of the cuts,
>delegate Shane Simpson said.

So, rather than fight the ruling class as the workers in France and, to
some extent, in Ontario have been doing, the BC unions are going to plead
for kinder cuts! It seems that the unions, and the pro-capitalist idology
they embody, are as much an enemy of the workers as are the capitalists and
their politicians.

>"The bottom line is it's the province that made the decision to make
>this cut," he said. "The province has to accept responsibility for
>that decision."

But the unions won't take responsibility for preventing the implementation
of that decision!

>Simpson said CUPE is concerned the Union of B.C. Municipalities is
>seeking changes that will allow its members to privatize or contract
>out more services.

They can seek anything they want, but they can only do it if CUPE and its
members allow it.

--In the struggle against capital,
--Aaron <>
--Free Radio Berkeley (California)
--Peace and Freedom Party Alameda County Central Ctte.