Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I am not a big fan of unions. I think public sector unions are very problematic. Private sector unions refine as long as they are voluntary and that really doesn't seem to be the case. Andrew Coyne takes on the London Caterpillar situation. Kelly McParland wonders why union membership is falling in the private sector. The writing is on the wall for the unions. That why the CAW is merging. The tide is turning. The unions better beware. If organized labour is as great for workers as its supporters claim, why are so few people fighting to save it? Considerable sympathy has been expressed for the workers thrown out of jobs when Caterpillar Inc. shuttered its plant in London Ont. But the outpouring was for the 450 men and women themselves, not for the union. Where are the lamentations for the CAW, which led the resistance to the company’s offer? It was an appalling offer — seemingly a deliberate attempt to demand concessions so draconian no union could accept them. But hard times should be good times for unions: the more workers feel threatened, the greater should be the impetus to band together to increase their clout. Yet unions are struggling to hang on to members and experts argue the Caterpillar example is a precursor of more to come. Business professor Mike Moffatt told the London Free Press Caterpillar’s decision to close the plant could be a template for other tough-minded manufacturers to take a hard line on wages and benefits.