In a recent Globe and Mail editorial, Konrad Yakabusi makes the case that “Unions must share the blame for precarious employment”. CUPE President Paul Moist pushes back with a letter to the editor, published on March 1st.
“Unions not to blame”
Blaming unions for the rise in precarious employment is akin to blaming the victims of pickpocketing for having their wallets in their pockets.
Workers, especially young and marginalized ones, are increasingly facing temporary, insecure and transient conditions. Many CUPE members are in precarious situations – confronting seasonal layoffs, working two or three jobs to make ends meet, and on short-term contracts with uncertainty of renewal.
Last week, Chrystia Freeland pointed out that the key income disparity decision of this century is the decoupling of productivity growth and wage growth (A Tech-Powered End To The Middle Class – Report on Business, Feb. 22). The share of GDP that goes to workers’ wages is declining, while corporate profits grow.
Globalization has stripped away millions of middle-class jobs, but the reasons have nothing to do with trade unions. By rightly resisting this race to the bottom, trade unions will create more economic growth and stability, not less.
Paul Moist, national president, Canadian Union of Public Employees