Without a secret ballot, union organizers may pressure workers into supporting union certification.
Some workers may be uncomfortable publically voicing their opinion against unionization.
While much has been made about the ‘resolution’ of the teachers’ job action in Ontario, most of the discussion has missed two fundamental aspects of the debate: school choice and unionization in the public sector.
Ontario, once Canada’s flourishing economic and manufacturing hub, is in steady decline with slow economic growth and rapidly expanding government debt being a sad yet reoccurring story.
Normally at this is the time of year many BC families would be counting down the days until school resumed. But this year is different, with the ongoing BC teachers’ union labour dispute casting a pall of uncertainty over the start of the school year. It’s a classic example of the negative effects of a monopoly, and as is often the case with monopolies, ordinary families are the ones most affected.
Tim Hudak, Ontarios Progressive Conservatives leader, boldly started a conversation about fundamental reform of labour regulations governing unionization in 2012. He recently, and nearly as boldly, walked back from such commitments, largely out of political necessity. However, such necessity does not negate the importance of such laws for Ontarios competitiveness.
With Labour Day fresh in our memory and Ontarios unemployment rate having recently increased to 7.6 per cent, the province would do well to follow Indiana and Michigans lead and adopt worker choice laws. Doing so would make Ontario a significantly more competitive jurisdiction for business investment and provide a much needed shot in the arm for the provinces struggling manufacturing sector.
In 2012, both Indiana and Michigan enacted worker choice laws and there is a reasonable likelihood that Ohio may soon do the same.
Around Labour Day, a plethora of news stories focus on the state of unions, and often, their interaction with business. Given the name of the holiday, the attention is understandable.
However, the focus on unions and corporations, especially where governments are involved to set policy and create legislation, often misses two other critical groups: consumers and taxpayers.
It is those two cohorts that are often overlooked and whose interests are damaged when governments assume, on purpose or by accident, that only the interests of organized labour and business matter.