Comment 29433

By TreyS (registered) | Posted March 09, 2009 at 15:56:02

I studied Labour Studies for 2 years at McMaster. The Workers' Rights Movement started in the 1880s, long before the NDP/CCF existed.

I have great respect for unions and their achievements, who wouldn't? But that doesn't have to translate directly into having great respect for the NDP. The NDP could disintegrate tomorrow and unions would still exist and accomplish things. However if unions no longer existed the NDP wouldn't, UNLESS they changed their position in the political theatre. I agree with the NDP's support for workers, but the NDP isn't just about labour issues. There are other fundamental NDP values outside of labour positions that I don't agree with. Abolishing the senate for one, and mandating balanced budgets is a core NDP value (at least it was) but they criticized Harper for not running a deficit for economic stimulus. Whatever gets votes I guess.

Workers' rights were achieved through rank and file direct action, protests, sometimes riots and by shutting down companies, putting themselves at harms risk, financially and even jailed. Legislative change eventually happened but It was Sir Wilfrid Laurier who allowed unions to be legal organizations.

One Big Union, the Wobblies, TLC, CLC, Knights of Labour etc did the work necessary to force change, regardless of the Party in charge. The only political party i can think of that was supportive in the early (at the time illegal) movement years to organize labour was the Communist Party of Canada.... CPC members were jailed after a raid on one of their meetings in Guelph. The point is the NDP bandwagons on populist issues and the strange thing is they don't win elections, even with taking populist positions.

I'm not aware of any problems that exist within our Labour Laws. Seriously. If you do, I'd like to know them.

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