WRT Unions and the Trans Mountain Pipeline


I’m disappointed to read that many trade unions are in support of the pipeline– given that the seminal union model is about strength in unity; about levelling the playing field so that being of the ‘majority’ does not automatically confer victory upon the ‘majority cause’ in cases where the majority gets it wrong. With respect to the Trans Mountain pipeline project, the majority has it wrong. Please take a peek at this article: https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/respect-for-first-nations-rights-couldve-spared-us-this-panic-over-trans-mountain/   the author is bang on with her analysis.

A great Canadian once said, ‘the majority will take care of itself,’ and worked to structure things in such a manner as to balance the majority interests against the interests of minorities. What came of that was our Senate incorporating regional representation.

Our Indigenous brothers and sisters are acting on behalf of future generations of Canadians and of the Canadian Commons(and by extension, the Global Commons). Those folks who vilify them, or the stand they are taking wrt to the pipeline, betray themselves/our shared Canadian values. Remember, a relative few Canadians benefit from the society-is-a-business model, as debt levels among working folks clearly show. If you are running in one direction, but getting further away from your destination with every stride, would you not think there is something remiss with your current path?

Those unions landing on the side favouring our government’s position now find themselves on the majority side- aka the position of power in a democracy- wrt the pipeline. They are siding with the majority’s cause against the cause of the minority. This is contrary to the impetus that drives union  formation: strength in unity—to accomplish sobriety/rationality in employer/investor-employee relationships and in society. Even places where there are no unions benefit from the presence of unions and the worker protection legislation their voice helps give rise to.

Here’s the rub: those unions are, wrt to the pipeline business, helping to dampen the voice of a minority’s cause, which in fact is the majority’s cause also: to interrupt and reverse the continuing degradation of our Environment’s capability to support and sustain us and all other species- in this case, owing to the catastrophic consequences of bitumen tar-spills along the route, at port and the open sea. The folks making a stand out there are guilty only of thinking long term and rationally—something akin to the parent who tells their child, ‘you can’t stay up late tonight (Friday night) because you’ll be tired and miserable all day tomorrow for the trip to Canada’s Wonderland.’

‘No I won’t; no I won’t,’ says the child.



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