I spent a few hours in one of Edmonton’s well-known nursing homes today and had the opportunity to talk fairly in depth with a resident, Bob, who has spent the past few years living there. While the majority of what he had to say about it was very positive, there was one story he told me that stuck out like a sore thumb.
This story goes back to 2012, when a number of Edmonton nursing homes staffed by AUPE union members decided to go on strike for more money. Bob told me of how the workers simply walked out, leaving the majority of residents, amongst Alberta’s most vulnerable citizens, without much needed care. He told me of one day, when he wheeled himself outside and attempted to talk to one of the striking AUPE members, and he wasn’t even acknowledged. This story sickened me. With that sickness was the thought that not all of those nurses wanted to be on strike. I’m sure that many of them would have happily crossed the picket line to take care of the nursing home’s residents, but feared the repercussions from the union.
With the shadows still lingering from teacher’s strikes in both BC and Ontario, where Canadian children had their education damaged by other public sector unions, also for more money, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that unions only exist to serve the purpose of their elites. Canadian seniors and children, our most vulnerable citizens, mean nothing to public sector unions like the AUPE. However, people wishing to serve the public are forced to join these unions whether they want to or not. Unions take dues directly off their members’ paycheques and give those members little to no say in what is done with those dues.
For years, unions have fought against legislation to bring transparency to their finances. In the US, unions have fearmongered against right to work legislation, legislation that allows workers to refuse to join unions without persecution or repercussions for doing so. Why do unions fight so hard against these things? Once again, they exist only to serve the needs and desires of their elites. They know quite well that most workers would opt not to join unions under right to work legislation. They are afraid of what would be exposed by legislation for transparency.
If you are a member of a union, fight to learn what’s being done with your hard earned dues! It’s your money, and you deserve to know where it’s going. If you’ve been forced to join a union and would rather not be part of that union, contact your MLA/MPP and your federal MP demanding right to work legislation! Canadian workers deserve the freedom to make our own decisions on where our money goes, and which organizations we become a part of. We work far too hard to allow union elites to take advantage of us.
For inquiries, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter at @TNorrisYEG.