Another Epic Failure From Canada's Unions

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2dawall
Another Epic Failure From Canada's Unions

This news release from the CAW's National President Ken Lewenza, might be more understandable if it had been released in 1973 but it looks ridiculous today. Not one mention of the need to develop more alternative, renewable resources but instead referring to 'nationalist' policies. We do not need cheaper oil, we need to get off oil. This is so freakin' ridiculous. What an embarassment! 

http://www.caw.ca/en/9946.htm

 

 

 

Slumberjack

We should commiserate with Ken Lewenza.  Lord knows how many of us are accustomed with speaking to the political from a position of utter irrelevance.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Lewenza's points are important ones. Those very same oil and gas corporations also are some of the powerful economic interests behind the current regime in Ottawa.

It's just that Lewenza has failed to address the wider and important issue of alternative and renewable energy as 2dawall has pointed out. There is SOMETHING over here that might be worth looking at ...

 

CAW wrote:
We are a transportation union. Our members build, service and operate automobiles, trucks, buses, subways, commuter rail, passenger and freight rail, boats and ships, and airplanes. We want to keep our good jobs and to make and work with products that contribute to society, not that do society harm. We demand that the corporations we work for produce, service and operate environmentally and socially responsible products. As well as protecting the environment we all live in, this ensures the viability of the Canadian transportation industry, making our jobs secure.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

The national level is the one responsible for most important legal determinations in our society, and the one respected by the world at large. I personally am delighted to see a union calling for a national energy policy. I hope to see the NDP campaign on such a policy.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

The CAW actually has a history, however watered down it is today, of looking at the long term in the industry that their members work in. This is in marked contrast to, say, the union representing so-called defence workers (or civil servants working for the Cdn military, yadda yadda) - which, judging by a union stewart school I went to some years ago, were mostly warmongering zombie jackasses.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Lard Tunderin Jeezus wrote:

I personally am delighted to see a union calling for a national energy policy. I hope to see the NDP campaign on such a policy.

What kind of progressive "national energy policy" ignores the issue of the tar sands? What kind of progressive "national energy policy" consists almost entirely of ensuring lower prices for fossil fuels? 

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

The reality Ken has to face in his position is that he has a responsibility to look after the members interests in both the short and long term. In the short term the union is obligated to do what they can to protect the economic security of their members. In the long term they also have a policy that recognizes the impact we have on the planet and it is in the members, and society's best interest in working to protect it.

Hey, its not a perfect world. We all have to make compromises to get along.

Unionist

I understand 2dawall's frustration. S/he expects the CAW to talk like a party of the left. But the CAW is not a party. And the left doesn't really have a party.

 

George Victor

And the left "doesn't really have a party" because of the number done by autoworkers (in particular) on NDP attempts to form a rational position on environmental questions in the early 1970s.

The Green Party was formed by a few of us in 1983 in a desperate attempt to respond to the questions that challenge our existence as a species. Faint hope.

Unions continue to go their way on this, and continue to vote Conservative because there they find no contradictons - no belief in anthropomorphic climate change and lots about reducing taxes. Lower fuel prices are just part of a forty-year pattern of denial.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

George Victor wrote:
Unions continue to go their way on this, and continue to vote Conservative because there they find no contradictons - no belief in anthropomorphic climate change and lots about reducing taxes. Lower fuel prices are just part of a forty-year pattern of denial.

otoh, right from the link I provided upthread we have ...

CAW wrote:
Climate change is less obvious as it is happening gradually, yet if global warming continues we may face disaster in the not-too-distant future. The greenhouse effect caused by excess carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel will heat up the earth. The resulting impact on water levels, hydroelectric generation capacity, fisheries and agriculture in Canada will be disastrous.

We need to reduce this pollution. Toxic smog and climate change are 30% directly connected to transportation, because when we run our vehicles fossil fuels are burned, releasing these pollutants.

In order to reduce these harmful emissions we need to do a number of things including using clean fuels and vehicles.

Denial, eh? Do you just make this shit up, George?

 

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

George Victor wrote:

And the left "doesn't really have a party" because of the number done by autoworkers (in particular) on NDP attempts to form a rational position on environmental questions in the early 1970s.

The Green Party was formed by a few of us in 1983 in a desperate attempt to respond to the questions that challenge our existence as a species. Faint hope.

Unions continue to go their way on this, and continue to vote Conservative because there they find no contradictons - no belief in anthropomorphic climate change and lots about reducing taxes. Lower fuel prices are just part of a forty-year pattern of denial.

Blaming the autoworkers for the lack of an environmental policy in the 70's is quite frankly bogus. The CAW wasn't formed until the 1980's. Prior to that they were part of the UAW from the US. As I recall, there wasn't a lot of environmental concern from the majority at that time. Secondly, I am repeating here, Unions are not political partes. They tend to be left leaning as organizations, but beyond suggesting that they support one candidate or another, they cannot control the vote of the individual member. Blaming unions for the failures of society in general to move more rapidly to a more sustainable civilization simply is an attempt to set up a "straw man" to take the fall for the failures of all.

 

George Victor

But I was there, My Cat.   That's what happened...and of course, at the time autoworkers were controlled out of the U.S.

That's what Bob White ended.  But he was not about to go "green." Certainly not with the oil companies paying huge sums to write lies about the danger to our species...and most others.

George Victor

N.Beltov wrote:

George Victor wrote:
Unions continue to go their way on this, and continue to vote Conservative because there they find no contradictons - no belief in anthropomorphic climate change and lots about reducing taxes. Lower fuel prices are just part of a forty-year pattern of denial.

otoh, right from the link I provided upthread we have ...

CAW wrote:
Climate change is less obvious as it is happening gradually, yet if global warming continues we may face disaster in the not-too-distant future. The greenhouse effect caused by excess carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuel will heat up the earth. The resulting impact on water levels, hydroelectric generation capacity, fisheries and agriculture in Canada will be disastrous.

We need to reduce this pollution. Toxic smog and climate change are 30% directly connected to transportation, because when we run our vehicles fossil fuels are burned, releasing these pollutants.

In order to reduce these harmful emissions we need to do a number of things including using clean fuels and vehicles.

Denial, eh? Do you just make this shit up, George?

 

NB, the autoworkers cannot deny the science today, as they did in the past. 

You're right, and I should have said that the auto WORKERS continue on their way, denying the science.  Look at the election results in what's left of manufacturing towns after this upcoming election NB.  Hurts like hell, always has, but I've  had too many beers over the years with lots and lots of workers in coming up with that summation.  If you can show me polling that contradicts this, I'll gladly eat my words. With relish.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

George Victor wrote:

I'll gladly eat my words. With relish.

Go ahead - demand condiments, see if we care.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Your evidence seems somewhat anecdotal George. How far ahead of the rest of the population are the CAW members supposed to be, anyway?

George Victor

I entered this thread because a number was being done on New Democrats. So from experience I said:

"And the left "doesn't really have a party" because of the number done by autoworkers (in particular) on NDP attempts to form a rational position on environmental questions in the early 1970s.

The Green Party was formed by a few of us in 1983 in a desperate attempt to respond to the questions that challenge our existence as a species. Faint hope."

 

As for now, NB. I live in hope. And when Wee Jimmy Flaherty, the terror of Mike Harris's regime and now of Steve's is no longer returned in Oshawa riding, I'll be the first to celebrate my error. Any any time you can produce the polling that shows otherwise...ditto.

As for your question: "How far ahead of the rest of the population are the CAW members supposed to be, anyway?" Well, if you agree with the premise that we aren't leaving a very healthy Earth for the grandkids, I'd say that the rank and file should be at least as progressive as the leadership. They, at least, must respect the public bailout of their industry is basic to social democratic philosophy....just as the party bailed out the iron mines and steel industry of the Sault...etc.

But I wouldn't bet the farm on them dropping Wee Jimmy. He's a good manager, he understands economics, you see! :)

Unionist

In response to 2dawall again, I think you should inform yourself about union policies before describing them as "freakin' ridiculous" and an "embarrassment". Have a look at [url=http://www.caw.ca/assets/pdf/hse070805.pdf]this CAW newsletter from 2005[/url], for example. Read about the need to bargain the right to produce "green cars". Read about the campaign against asbestos. Notice that all this can cost auto workers and other unionized workers money and jobs.

Then ask yourself this: Canada is a signatory to Kyoto. Canada has declared, in international forums, that it has no intention of respecting its Kyoto treaty obligations. Which political party is raising this front and centre? "None", you say? And you want the unions to take the lead (which they do, my friend)?

I'll await your response.

 

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I also call bullshit on this anti-CAW smear.

I was at demonstrations in 1992-1993 when General Motors announced the closing of the Scarborough Van Plant.

What was CAW Local 303's main demand at the time?

That General Motors build an environmentally friendly van in that plant.

I think I might even still have a t-shirt from one of the rallies.

It wasn't a far fetched idea either because this plant had been converted once before in a much more drastic way.   Before van production began in this plant, they used to make refrigerators sold under the GM Frigidaire brand name.

I'm also aware that as far back as 1948, the UAW called on the big U.S. auto companies to start building smaller vehicles.

But unfortunately, under North American style capitalism in particular, unions have absolutely no say at all over what products a corporation decides to make.

2dawall

Unionist wrote:

I understand 2dawall's frustration. S/he expects the CAW to talk like a party of the left. But the CAW is not a party. And the left doesn't really have a party.

 

No, actually I am talking about the news release above and I am fully aware that the CAW is an union and I am vaguely aware of certain rhetorical flourishes that the CAW has made about environmental issues on occasion. I am responding to this new release in particular; its focus is on the price of oil and its negative impacts on Canadians. It proposes a policy but in this news release it does not cover the most poignant point that we are dealing with a non-renewable resource, one that is depleting that acquifer below in order to drill for it, that is polluting the water at ground-level to process it, that creates low-level ozone (the bad kind) when we use it, that creates a warmer climate as its pollutants for farther up in the atmosphere and which in turn creates a whole host of other bad things as a part of that climate disruption (ie higher levesl of respiratorial illnesses due to high particular matter counts, higher levels of allergens - which in turn are suspended longer in the air due to higher levels of moisture and mold, and so on and so on and on and on). This news release (and that is why I provided the link above) does not list other CAW policy positions that may have been released earlier or even hint at previous policies regarding renewable energy.

I think a union should push for a renewable energy policy on its job-creation merits alone, btw.

2dawall

radiorahim wrote:

I also call bullshit on this anti-CAW smear.

...

That General Motors build an environmentally friendly van in that plant.

...

How is it a smear for me to produce the link in full? I put it there for others to read; if I had only quoted certain parts then maybe I might understand how it is a smear? Please tell me how that is a smear.

Near the end of his term, Buzz Hargrove stood with the auto companies to denounce further regulations for fuel efficiency.

This was a year or two or three from before the bailouts at least.

Unionist

So 2dawall, are you boycotting income and sales tax because of the crimes of the federal and provincial governments against the environment, against Afghanistan, against the Palestinian people, against workers and the poor and the racialized and marginalized?

Or do you pay your taxes like a good little complicit citizen, while contenting yourself with the occasional rhetorical flourish to salve your guilty conscience?

The unions of this country do more than you could ever imagine - let alone accomplish - in favour of the causes that progressive people espouse. They must accept criticism, and they have more warts and flaws than I can count. But the criticism that you put forth in the OP is, frankly, inappropriate. You want them to engage in rhetoric. We workers are way too busy dealing with real life to do that.

ETA: Oh 2dawall, I followed your lead on Buzz Hargrove and found the following via Google, from [url=http://www.caw.ca/en/3699.htm]2007[/url] - your memory is a bit flawed:

Quote:

Environmental Priorities for a Strong Canadian Auto Industry

CAW President Buzz Hargrove is urging the federal government to develop fuel efficiency standards for vehicles that are good for the environment and that also recognize the importance of the auto industry to the Canadian economy.

Hargrove, in a submission to the federal legislative committee reviewing proposed amendments to the Clean Air Act, said that countries around the globe are adopting more stringent requirements for fuel economy and emission reductions.

But in his February 6 presentation Hargrove stressed that governments in Japan, China, the U.S. and the E.U. are developing these standards in full recognition of the importance of the auto industry to their respective economies.

The CAW submission outlines a number of important steps Canada must look at:

* supporting the principle of mandatory fuel efficiency standards, Hargrove argued for a 25 per cent improvement in fuel economy by 2014. Applying the standards to all vehicle segments from subcompacts to SUVs would ensure that Canadian production wasn't simply replaced by more imports;

* renewing its automotive fleet. While standards are important, on their own they will not achieve the desired results. Hargrove proposed a new consumer incentive, paid for by governments and industry, that would encourage drivers to replace old cars with new North American produced vehicles that incorporate green auto technologies;

* supporting Canadian production and technologies. The CAW proposed a Green Vehicle Transition fee to be assessed on each manufacturer that sells into our market, based on each company's total Canadian sales. The fee, set at about $500 per vehicle would be earned back by companies that make Canadian investments in green automotive technologies;

* a comprehensive program. In addition to greater fuel efficiency and new technologies a transportation strategy is needed that increases the use of renewable fuels and reduce the use of vehicles overall. This requires investments in clean and alternative fuels, mass transit, rail, as well as efforts to reduce gridlock.

2dawall

Unionist wrote:

In response to 2dawall again, I think you should inform yourself about union policies before describing them as "freakin' ridiculous" and an "embarrassment". Have a look at [url=http://www.caw.ca/assets/pdf/hse070805.pdf]this CAW newsletter from 2005[/url], for example. Read about the need to bargain the right to produce "green cars". Read about the campaign against asbestos. Notice that all this can cost auto workers and other unionized workers money and jobs.

Then ask yourself this: Canada is a signatory to Kyoto. Canada has declared, in international forums, that it has no intention of respecting its Kyoto treaty obligations. Which political party is raising this front and centre? "None", you say? And you want the unions to take the lead (which they do, my friend)?

I'll await your response.

 

Well again this whole thread started with the mention of that particular news release. Period. It was released in February 2011. Anytime any entity with a thread to a claim of being progressive decides to push for anything regarding a change to energy policy they should mention if not outright push for a meaningful, thorough, full-court press conversion to renewable energy.

I have not defended any political party. On another thread regading Elizabeth May, I was quite critical of her and her party's inability to clearly push for renewable energy.  I am actually quite critical of the Left for being thoroughly ineffectual on this issue (ineffectual, not extreme or whatever a Cato-bot would say).

Todrick of Chat...

CAW: F-35 Aircraft Procurement Submission

After reading this CAW report, I feel that the CAW is disappointed in the fact that they are not receiving the United States and Canadian government contracts to build parts for this useless death machine.

The CAW does not seems to care about what this death machine will be used for.

N.Beltov is right, the CAW is the new age front for the war industry. The CAW is always screaming for more military contracts.

2dawall

Unionist wrote:

So 2dawall, are you boycotting income and sales tax because of the crimes of the federal and provincial governments against the environment, against Afghanistan, against the Palestinian people, against workers and the poor and the racialized and marginalized?

Or do you pay your taxes like a good little complicit citizen, while contenting yourself with the occasional rhetorical flourish to salve your guilty conscience?

The unions of this country do more than you could ever imagine - let alone accomplish - in favour of the causes that progressive people espouse. They must accept criticism, and they have more warts and flaws than I can count. But the criticism that you put forth in the OP is, frankly, inappropriate. You want them to engage in rhetoric. We workers are way too busy dealing with real life to do that.

ETA: Oh 2dawall, I followed your lead on Buzz Hargrove and found the following via Google, from [url=http://www.caw.ca/en/3699.htm]2007[/url] - your memory is a bit flawed:

Quote:

Environmental Priorities for a Strong Canadian Auto Industry

CAW President Buzz Hargrove is urging the federal government to develop fuel efficiency standards for vehicles that are good for the environment and that also recognize the importance of the auto industry to the Canadian economy.

Hargrove, in a submission to the federal legislative committee reviewing proposed amendments to the Clean Air Act, said that countries around the globe are adopting more stringent requirements for fuel economy and emission reductions.

But in his February 6 presentation Hargrove stressed that governments in Japan, China, the U.S. and the E.U. are developing these standards in full recognition of the importance of the auto industry to their respective economies.

The CAW submission outlines a number of important steps Canada must look at:

* supporting the principle of mandatory fuel efficiency standards, Hargrove argued for a 25 per cent improvement in fuel economy by 2014. Applying the standards to all vehicle segments from subcompacts to SUVs would ensure that Canadian production wasn't simply replaced by more imports;

* renewing its automotive fleet. While standards are important, on their own they will not achieve the desired results. Hargrove proposed a new consumer incentive, paid for by governments and industry, that would encourage drivers to replace old cars with new North American produced vehicles that incorporate green auto technologies;

* supporting Canadian production and technologies. The CAW proposed a Green Vehicle Transition fee to be assessed on each manufacturer that sells into our market, based on each company's total Canadian sales. The fee, set at about $500 per vehicle would be earned back by companies that make Canadian investments in green automotive technologies;

* a comprehensive program. In addition to greater fuel efficiency and new technologies a transportation strategy is needed that increases the use of renewable fuels and reduce the use of vehicles overall. This requires investments in clean and alternative fuels, mass transit, rail, as well as efforts to reduce gridlock.

I am referring to the statements Buzz Hargrove made in April of 2007:

CAW president angered by government's green plans

 

The "insanity" of the environmental movement is now the biggest threat to Canadian automotive jobs, Buzz Hargrove, the Canadian Auto Workers president, said yesterday

 

April 13, 2007  

PORT ELGIN, Ont. - The "insanity" of the environmental movement is now the biggest threat to Canadian automotive jobs, Buzz Hargrove, the Canadian Auto Workers president, said yesterday.

Between the federal government's rebates to Japanese-built cars, the threat of California-style emissions standards spreading to Canada, and the U.S. considering higher fuel efficiency, the CAW will almost certainly face more job losses, he said in a tirade at an annual council meeting.

He also charged that none of the environmental policies being promoted by politicians make sense or will stop global warming.

"It's the insanity of the environmental movement -  everybody's trying to outgreen each other," Mr. Hargrove said, singling out Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, and George Bush, the U.S. president, for his harshest criticism. "Politicians have gotten the green god and now they're running with it for the next election."

Four provinces -BC., Quebec, Nova Scotia and Manitoba -are now considering implementing California-style emissions standards, which would be "disastrous" for autoworkers and the Canadian economy, Mr. Hargrove said in his annual report to his members. Such standards would mean only one of 10 Big Three cars and trucks assembled by members of the Canadian Auto Workers in Canada could be sold in those provinces.

California standards "would mean every goddamn product we build can't be sold here except the Impala," which is built as an E-85 flex-fuel vehicle that runs on ethanol -even though E-85 is available in only two gas stations in Canada.

"It's insane," he said of the higher standards. "I've got a message for the politicians: Stop playing politics with the environment."

***

Wow, yes I am against what is going on in Afghanistan, Palestine, etc but what of that directly relates this? Why can we not discuss the actual new release above or the actual record of Buzz Hargrove (who criticized the NDP a whole lot of times btw).

2dawall

M. Spector wrote:

What kind of progressive "national energy policy" ignores the issue of the tar sands? What kind of progressive "national energy policy" consists almost entirely of ensuring lower prices for fossil fuels? 

I have not seen anyone answer these questions or acknowledge them. To my mind, they are not just rhetorical but essential to any discussion about energy policy.

Unionist

"Another Epic Failure From Canada's Unions" - not given to exaggeration much, are you?

[url=http://www.caw.ca/en/8638.htm]March 3, 2010 pre-budget release from CAW:[/url]

Quote:

CAW President Ken Lewenza is calling for job creation to be a central part of tomorrow's federal budget, especially in developing and promoting clean energy sources, greener infrastructure and manufacturing.

This budget needs to take major steps to better position the country and the economy to deal with climate change and its impact on jobs, said Lewenza. "Our country has an important opportunity to become a leader in green technology, which would deliver a badly needed economic boost. Instead though, as we saw during the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, our government is content to let the country stagnate and pull Canadians back when we want to move forward."

Lewenza said that part of a longer term economic plan must include reducing the country's reliance on the tar sands as an economic driver - widely recognized as an environmental catastrophe.

I guess you figure that demand is gone in a puff of smoke, just because on the day that gas prices skyrocket, Lewenza forgot to lecture Canadians that they should stop using fossil fuels and they'll have nothing to whine about, right?

This is from the president of the union that loses jobs every time fewer cars are sold.

What's your actual point in opening this thread? To whom are you lecturing?

 

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

No sense feeding the trolls, I'm outa here.

Unionist

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

The CAW does not seems to care about what this death machine will be used for.

N.Beltov is right, the CAW is the new age front for the war industry. The CAW is always screaming for more military contracts.

N.Beltov can speak for himself, but your attribution of this to him is a simple and rather dirty lie. Why don't you actually go somewhere where anti-union propaganda is welcome?

 

Todrick of Chat...

I am very much pro-union. I just hate when the leadership at the CAW plays both sides of the fence.

They need to shit or get off the pot in my view.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

My comments about some pro-war public sector union stewarts from UNDE seems to have been interpreted by Todrick as a denunciation of the CAW. I guess if you crap on all unions then one is much the same as another.

They're not all the same.

Fidel

Whose shoulders will Buzz and his dwindling membership drape a red blazer on next time? It's like they know they'll be kicked in the ass every time and yet do it anyway.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

An orange sectarian fool is no better than any other sectarian fool.

Fidel

Yep, no fool like an old fool.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Monkey see, monkey do.

Fidel

An' how bout that Doug MacArthur. He was a real humanitarian for sure. God help us.

2dawall

My point was that he should have made renewable energy the prime focus of that document. This was the same one that was on the front of rabble last week. That is why I put the link to it. Again, I have not denied that the CAW has ever talked about renewable energy; my concern is that it should always be front and centre. I also feel that too much of the Left treats climate crisis issues as just another rhetorical laundry list item to include. The climate crisis is the crisis of our time. Nationalist oil will still contribute to that.

No it is not an exaggeration; the circular crisis we see now in the Middle East (rising oil prices leading to rising food prices leading to further unrest leading to higher oil prices leading to rising food prices ...) could play a monumental tipping point in the world economy only completing the Weimar scenario of which we already seeing the outlines (only a G8 Weimar economic crisis).

Getting off oil should be front and centre of almost economic discussions.

The point of creating this thread was to try to get more focus on how critical a discussion about energy is to everything and to point out to a substantial failure when I see one. I think the Left needs a learning curve in addition to a commitment to learning in general.

Why have you been so aggressive in your approach and why have you evaded the questions I asked previously?

 

Unionist wrote:

"Another Epic Failure From Canada's Unions" - not given to exaggeration much, are you?

[url=http://www.caw.ca/en/8638.htm]March 3, 2010 pre-budget release from CAW:[/url]

Quote:

CAW President Ken Lewenza is calling for job creation to be a central part of tomorrow's federal budget, especially in developing and promoting clean energy sources, greener infrastructure and manufacturing.

This budget needs to take major steps to better position the country and the economy to deal with climate change and its impact on jobs, said Lewenza. "Our country has an important opportunity to become a leader in green technology, which would deliver a badly needed economic boost. Instead though, as we saw during the UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, our government is content to let the country stagnate and pull Canadians back when we want to move forward."

Lewenza said that part of a longer term economic plan must include reducing the country's reliance on the tar sands as an economic driver - widely recognized as an environmental catastrophe.

I guess you figure that demand is gone in a puff of smoke, just because on the day that gas prices skyrocket, Lewenza forgot to lecture Canadians that they should stop using fossil fuels and they'll have nothing to whine about, right?

This is from the president of the union that loses jobs every time fewer cars are sold.

What's your actual point in opening this thread? To whom are you lecturing?

 

Unionist

2dawall wrote:

Getting off oil should be front and centre of almost economic discussions.

You're lecturing to a union, tens of thousands of whose members have lost their jobs in the manufacturing meltdown, that they should put "getting off oil" front and centre? How about anti-poverty organizations? Seniors' associations fighting for decent retirement security? Low-income housing activists? Aboriginal organizations? Students' unions fighting against fee hikes and for living stipends? Should they stop yelling about jobs and the cost of living and poverty and lack of basic means of subsistence, and put "getting off oil" "front and centre"?

Do you not understand, yet, that you have no right to lecture those who are in struggle, in action, that they should be fighting for someone else?

That's beside the fact that the trade union movement has done far more to advance the cause of environmental protection (ummm, that includes looking after human beings, ya know), than any other organization whatsoever that I can name in this country. Even if it doesn't earn them jobs.

Quote:

Why have you been so aggressive in your approach and why have you evaded the questions I asked previously?

I'm not being "aggressive". I'm being defensive. I'm defending the union movement against hostile forays like yours (just read your opening post).

 

Fidel

2dawall wrote:
Getting off oil should be front and centre of almost economic discussions.

Well somebody in Canada voted Liberal. And don't look at me. Some large minority of Canadians voted Liberal in 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004. And those governments promptly sold the environment to Exxon-Imperial and the fossil fuel industry and presided over an economy where more than half the manufacturing base was placed in the hands of foreign ownership and control and mostly American. It's difficult to lobby absentee corporate landlords. Just ask the unions in this country and their memberships who chose to support a political party that sold them down the Mississippi River after being elected to the highest office in this country.

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

Just ask the unions in this country and their memberships who chose to support a political party that sold them down the Mississippi River after being elected to the highest office in this country.

Workers just aren't as smart and loyal as you are.

This increasingly disgusting thread doesn't belong anywhere near a progressive discussion board. It brings out the bitter resentments of the chronically inactive that those who are in motion, in real life, aren't voting for their pet party - which if they did, of course, would bring heaven on earth in extremely short order - but not in the first, second, or third term, because of all the damage unions and workers have done for 100 years in voting for the wrong party.

On behalf of workers everywhere, I would like to apologize to 2dawall for not focusing on oil in every press release, and to Fidel, for having a hard time figuring out which party is worthy of our vote.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

A blast from both barrels at once. I like that.

Fidel

I just think it's an uphill battle for unions with the wrong party governing in Ottawa is all. Did I say something wrong? Of course we can't focus on oil and energy. It's not our's anymore and never was. We have had the wrong parties running things in Ottawa for far too long. That's not running down workers in Canada - it's identifying the root source of the problems faced by Canadians today. Afterall, 2.5+ million Canadians did vote for the fourth party last election and were not rewarded for it in full measure. A mathematically absurd electoral system is insurance against it happening.

 The central planning under CUSFTA and NAFTA has not served this country's workers very well at all. They tied our economic wagon of fortunes to that train wreck south of us, and now we're paying the price for those bad decisions. Just telling it the way it is. We need one big union in Ottawa representing all Canadian workers not just a few in the oil patch or those employed by US branch plants in Southern Ontario. Some unionized workers believe they are worth more than others while many non-unionized workers face an uphill battle for certification since 170 repressive anti-labour legislations were enacted in Canada since 1982. Fascists don't believe in free labour markets, and that's the problem with relying on weak unions to fight for workers rights. We need one big union, and we all know where head office should be.

Fidel

N.Beltov wrote:

A blast from both barrels at once. I like that.

Really!

Unionist wrote:
It brings out the bitter resentments of the chronically inactive that those who are in motion, in real life, aren't voting for their pet party

Remember neoliberalism? It's going to [url=http://www.alternateroutes.ca/index.php/ar/article/view/14414]get worse than that[/url] with permanent austerity. Someone has to pay for their ideologically induced financial meltdown, and it's not going to be fat-cat banksters or corporate friends of the party. Union voices alone will be swept aside like so many bothersome flies by those parties in government you say you refuse to vote against because the NDP in turn refuses to get mixed up in US-sponsored fascism in Israel, or for being so bold as to suggest Canadian leadership on peace talks toward ending the USsA's 30 year-long meddling in Afghanistan and counting.

Unionist wrote:
and to Fidel, for having a hard time figuring out which party is worthy of our vote.

If you haven't figured it out by now, you probably never will.

Liberal, Tory, it's the same old story. There are few guarantees in life, but this is one of them.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
....How about anti-poverty organizations? Seniors' associations fighting for decent retirement security? Low-income housing activists? Aboriginal organizations? Students' unions fighting against fee hikes and for living stipends?...

Do you not understand, yet, that you have no right to lecture those who are in struggle, in action, that they should be fighting for someone else?

By the way, how has this struggle been going lately, say within the last thirty years?  If it is a struggle conducted on behalf of human beings, and not meaning to imply that it isn't, is there any point at which the human beings in question may be permitted to make inquiries as to the direction of the struggle?  Because it seems to me in considering that a few preliminary questions might have been raised about Lord Cardigan's competency, on the surface of it at least the comparative results appear to bear out the point.

Slumberjack

Of course not.  Some have taken it upon themselves though to define the parameters of what constitutes legitimate struggle.  They are everyone's voice apparently, when they are moved enough to speak that is.

2dawall

Are you saying that any social organization is above and beyond criticism simply because it has a progressive face?

Part of the manufacturing meltdown is the rise of China, who highly subsidizes their own energy prices to their manufacturers; are you saying we get into another race to the bottom to that end as well?

If Ontario was to start building more of its own wind turbines, more geo-thermal units, more wave energy projects, that would mean more jobs, more sustainable with less of the inherent decline of rate of return with continued use of oil.

Unionist wrote:

2dawall wrote:

Getting off oil should be front and centre of almost economic discussions.

You're lecturing to a union, tens of thousands of whose members have lost their jobs in the manufacturing meltdown, that they should put "getting off oil" front and centre? How about anti-poverty organizations? Seniors' associations fighting for decent retirement security? Low-income housing activists? Aboriginal organizations? Students' unions fighting against fee hikes and for living stipends? Should they stop yelling about jobs and the cost of living and poverty and lack of basic means of subsistence, and put "getting off oil" "front and centre"?

Do you not understand, yet, that you have no right to lecture those who are in struggle, in action, that they should be fighting for someone else?

That's beside the fact that the trade union movement has done far more to advance the cause of environmental protection (ummm, that includes looking after human beings, ya know), than any other organization whatsoever that I can name in this country. Even if it doesn't earn them jobs.

Quote:

Why have you been so aggressive in your approach and why have you evaded the questions I asked previously?

I'm not being "aggressive". I'm being defensive. I'm defending the union movement against hostile forays like yours (just read your opening post).

 

How can we even measure the claim that unions have been in the forefront of environmentalism? I noticed you did not acknowledge the Buzz Hargrove quote you denied existed

2dawall

Are you suggesting that there should be no criticism in public of a union's positions in public? So when a US union fatally rejected the offer of help from its South African counterpart in the early 90's that should not be mentioned or reviewed?

The CAW broke from the UAW; inherent in that is a criticism of the UAW and therefore that should not have happened?

[quote=Unionist

[near a progressive discussion board. It brings out the bitter resentments of the chronically inactive that those who are in motion, in real life, aren't voting for their pet party - which if they did, of course, would bring heaven on earth in extremely short order - but not in the first, second, or third term, because of all the damage unions and workers have done for 100 years in voting for the wrong party.

On behalf of workers everywhere, I would like to apologize to 2dawall for not focusing on oil in every press release, ...

2dawall

I am not lecturing to a union; I am posting to a forum that yes, any kind of social organization be it a union, a church, an anti-poverty organization, etc should make the conversion to a renewable energy economy their focal point. Not only the development of all kinds of renewable energy but the meaningful, alpha-omega, A-Z retrofitting of public and private buildings that could drastically cut down demand and lower energy bills for all concerned, a form of economic development that has more multiplier effects than simply cheaper oil (which only sustains corporate monopolies).

Do you not understand that constantly remaining silent about the failures of the Left is the denial of the last 30 years of history. Unfortunately many social democrats and orthadox traditionalist Marxists have denied the very basic need to learn from history. The social movements have devolved into scenes, or worse swamps. Will being silent improve that? Will pretending we can just turn back the clock to 1973 change anything?  At one point does criticism start or stop being acceptable? When it pierces our comfort zones? We need to learn and we need a learning curve to do that. Simply staying with our comfortable orthadoxies is fatal, fatal to everything including the future.

 

Unionist wrote:

You're lecturing to a union, tens of thousands of whose members have lost their jobs in the manufacturing meltdown, that they should put "getting off oil" front and centre? How about anti-poverty organizations? Seniors' associations fighting for decent retirement security? Low-income housing activists? Aboriginal organizations? Students' unions fighting against fee hikes and for living stipends? Should they stop yelling about jobs and the cost of living and poverty and lack of basic means of subsistence, and put "getting off oil" "front and centre"?

Do you not understand, yet, that you have no right to lecture those who are in struggle, in action, that they should be fighting for someone else?

2dawall

2dawall wrote:

M. Spector wrote:

What kind of progressive "national energy policy" ignores the issue of the tar sands? What kind of progressive "national energy policy" consists almost entirely of ensuring lower prices for fossil fuels? 

I have not seen anyone answer these questions or acknowledge them. To my mind, they are not just rhetorical but essential to any discussion about energy policy.

And yet still no replies, no answers to M Spector's really crucial questions here.

Slumberjack

The fact of the matter is that it's quite unanswerable if you're coming at the question from one of the three mainstream political positions within this country.

Noah_Scape

   Ya, this is sad. They didn't mention "where the hell is my electric car?", opting to promote the less efficient hybrid model instead ["as long as it burns some gas we will tolerate them"].  Nissan's Leaf electric car is on the market now, why not promote them?? Unions get in the way of real change.

   The Tar Sands worksites are unionised, aren't they?  Are we proud of Unions yet?

   The vehicles the unions built are 3% efficient. Only 3% of the energy goes to turning the wheels. If I remember right, part of those energy losses are due to extraction, refining, and transportation of fossil fuels, but mostly it is the inefficiency of internal combustion engines that brings it down to 3%.

   A much more efficient model is centralised burning of fossil fuels. If oil were turned into electricity by using the oil as fuel at a big, efficient power plant, and that electricity was used in electric cars, the efficiency goes up to as much as 45%.

  Real change is needed. Tinkering around the edges won't do it. Unions get in the way.

 

 

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Unions don't 'get in the way' so much as they are superfluous to the issue initially.

Unions don't lead on such issues as gender equality or gay rights, but once these kinds of issues come to the forefront, they are useful in moving the agenda forward.

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