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What have unions ever done for us?

Unions: The people who brought you the weekend(If you can’t see this video it might be because you’re using Firefox 3 with Flash 10. In that case, you can view it by going straight to the source.)


12 comments to What have unions ever done for us?

  • sassy

    Great video find – people do forget that unions have brought great advances, not only to unionized workers but also to non-unionized workers.

    BTY – Mayor O’Brien may just a little out of touch. I believe he lives just an 10 minute walk from his office.

  • Zoom, how did you manage to convince Mayor O’ to agree to act in your video? He does a British accent very well… that’s Him right? Or,is it that all bald guys look the same to me? Or maybe all idiots look the same to me?

  • Carmen

    Sassy, don’t forget that Mayor Larry is chauffeured to work. Zoom, this is excellent! Thx!

  • Greencolander

    Love it love it love it! :)

  • future landfill


    Australian, je pense, or maybe New Zealander.

    And bless the unions for the advances they’ve fought for (not something I would have said 35 years ago).

    But if Ottawa’s bus strike difference is about scheduling shifts (as union buddy insists)I’d hafta say he’s barking up the wrong tree. Ask an Algonquin student (or her mother) about buggered-up shifts and you’ll get a notion that unions aren’t going to be up their alley any time soon. Not a cool move.

    Reminds me of Stevie Harper’s faux-pas a couple of weeks ago. Some forethought and deferring to wiser heads (not that he’s capable of that) would have allowed a thoughtful solution to the nation’s travails.

    Transit union boy needs to learn to pick his battles and the battleground.

  • If you go back even further, you could say the unions gave us at least two days off a week, much shorter working hours per day, things now taken so for granted they’re not even mentioned. Great video!

  • J.

    You have been invited to The 1st Annual Ottawa Blogger Virtual Christmas Party!

    This virtual event is taking place on December 16m 2008.

    For more information on this event, please visit the blog.

    We hope to see you there!

    A & J

  • Point taken. But what have they done for us lately?

  • Sassy, yeah, Mayor Larry seems to be reaping some benefits from this strike, and is certainly being spared the inconveniences of it.

    Woodsy, I hadn’t noticed that, but I went back and took a look and you’re absolutely right: he looks freakishly like him!

    Thanks Carmen and Green Colander – I’m glad you like it. :)

    Future Landfill – I don’t think the union has a hope in hell of getting public opinion on their side now. From everything I’ve heard and read, I’m in the minority in supporting the drivers. But I think the term “scheduling issues” kind of trivializes what they’re fighting for. I think the drivers like something the way it currently is (ie the control they have over shift selection and route selection) and management wants to change it. I don’t blame the drivers for being leery of this, but it’s hard to believe there’s no room for compromise here.

    Ian – my union rep has a t-shirt that says “Unions: The People Who Brought You the Weekend.”

    Thanks J – I’ll pop by!

    Robin. Unions probably haven’t accomplished anything as dramatic lately, it’s true. But I think we (unions) are now instrumental in keeping these things we’ve won over the years. Particularly during tough economic times, management does its best to chisel away at workers’ rights and benefits, and unions do our best to keep rights and benefits intact. Without unions, I think every economic downturn – real or imaginary – would be used as an excuse to take hard-won benefits away from workers. (And who among us is naive enough to believe that these benefits would be reinstated once the economy improved?)

    Not only that, but unions continue to be on the front lines of many ongoing social justice battles, such as child care, affordable housing and the peace movement.

  • future landfill

    You are right Zoom, about holding the line on rights and benefits. I guess that’s what I was thinking in suggesting wiser heads and thoughtful solutions.

  • grace

    I don’t understand why but I keep reading ‘onions’ instead of ‘unions’ in the title . . .

  • space_cadet

    Although I`m very appreciative of unions, and do feel they are necessary and still relevant, I can`t say I support them this time around in the OC Transpo strike. I think it`s not correct that senior drivers get to pick their routes, and see those empty buses pass me in the cold, while waiting to get on a very crowded 95. If salary is not the issue as they say, but picking routes is, they need to back down on this one.