posted by coyote
Repeating a Harper Majority Government (™,®,but especially ©...) mantra that already glitters with either the polish of hard wear or that sparkly Twilight vampire crap, the federal anti-labour minister has ordered Air Canada's flight attendants' union straight to a procedurally-sketchy Industrial Relations Board arbitration tomorrow. Do Not Strike. Do Not Pass Go. Definitely Do Not Collect $200.
She opines (again) that these people must not be allowed to hurt the economy. Probably better than when she opined that "cancer is sexy," huh?
"These people" took a 15 per cent pay cut back in the day when Air Canada was hurting, and are still starting out at a monthly wage that barely covers a so-so one-bedroom apartment in downtown Ottawa, never mind the food and utilities. Forget cable. Even basic.
But, hey! If you could afford that hookup, the new retrosoap Pan Am's success would prove that the job's glamour still totally makes up for the poverty, obscene shifts, and antediluvian management. Right?
Apparently it's okay for these people to hurt, as long as "the economy", usually limned as some kind of shadowy, all-powerful, yet strangely fragile third person, does not. This quasi-person must be protected with the kind of dumb, short-term union-shafting tactics that, down the line, inevitably will lead to bunch of (here's an economic term, for, ummm, trained economists...) pent-up demand. From labour.
It has apparently not yet dawned on too many Harper Majority Government (™,®,but especially ©...) types that the economy is made up of individuals. Like, say, flight attendants. And that if you pull this shit enough, they'll eventually get pissed enough to come back at ya.
About the first time Lisa Raitt started dropping legislative howitzer rounds on any union that even smelled like it might be thinking about a strike, she began to tell interviewers that she grew up in an old-school union family in Nova Scotia, that her affinity with labour was "in the blood".
Was it really only this past June that she could still pull that one straight-faced? At the time, the great grey Glob said she was "an awkward foil for critics portraying the Conservative government as an enemy of Canada’s labour movement."
To establish that article's background (and to launch my now-trademark digression, a full nine paragraphs late in my books...) one must note that its top photo is of Ms. Raitt, sportin' what looks, to my jaundiced yellow eye, suspiciously like a blue sweater, and, ummm, cuddling an expedient kitten.
In retrospect, that should have been the only tell that we really needed, to give context to her poker-faced claims to blue-collar cred...