A recent Supreme Court decision in the United States will allow workers in the government sector to decide whether they pay union dues or not.
Less business investment means lower productivity for workers, which means lower wages.
Government workers in Alberta are away from their jobs for personal reasons 73 per cent more days per year than private sector workers.
Without a secret ballot, union organizers may pressure workers into supporting union certification.
Now that the province has reaffirmed its intent to lightly modify government employee pension plans, government unions will again try to divert the public from the facts.
For example, after my recent column on the ever-increasing cost to taxpayers of public sector pension plans, Guy Smith, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and Marle Roberts, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Alberta), cried foul.
If Canadians ever wonder why it is so difficult to reform government spending, there's a simple reason: government employee unions.
A good example (if one can call it that) is the issue of growing government sector pension costs and the outright resistance from the unions to address the problem.
Some specifics. In January, Newfoundland and Labrador's auditor general Terry Paddon noted how unfunded employee pension benefits make up more than 60 per cent of that province's net debt and amounted to a $5.6 billion liability.
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.
The unions must use a template every time a government announces that it will ax one public service and replace it with one that saves labour and money. We see his again with the debate in Vancouver about closing the Kitsilano Coast Guard station in favour of more modern rescue vessels based in another station nearby. The arguments used against the change are exactly the same heard in the 1980s when small fire-fighting ships were introduced to replace a large vessel and again when a driver-less railroad called Sky-train was to replace some public buses.