Transcript: The Future of Unions | Jun 06, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "The future of unions. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says BUSINESS,
GOVERNMENT, AND LABOUR.
THOSE THREE ONCE HELD THE POWER
OF THE CANADIAN ECONOMY IN THEIR
HANDS.
IT'S STILL CLEARLY TRUE FOR THE
FIRST TWO, BUT WITH AUTOMATION,
OFFSHORING, AND OTHER
SUBSTANTIAL SHIFTS IN THE
WORKFORCE, IS IT STILL TRUE OF
LABOUR, AS REPRESENTED BY THE
UNION MOVEMENT?
LET'S FIND OUT WITH:
TIFFANY BALDUCCI, PRESIDENT OF
THE DURHAM REGIONAL LABOUR
COUNCIL AND 4th VP OF THE
ONTARIO WING OF CUPE: THE
CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES...

Tiffany is in her early forties, with long wavy brown hair. She's
Wearing a gray blazer and a white blouse.

Steve continues DAN KELLY, PRESIDENT AND CEO,
CANADIAN FEDERATION OF
INDEPENDENT BUSINESS...

Dan is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

Steve continues STEPHANIE ROSS, DIRECTOR AND
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN THE
SCHOOL OF LABOUR STUDIES AT
McMASTER UNIVERSITY...

Stephanie is in her forties, with chin-length wavy brown hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a green blouse.

Steve continues AND YVON OSTOS, A FOODORA BIKE
COURIER HOPING TO UNIONIZE WITH
THE CANADIAN UNION OF POSTAL
WORKERS.

Yvon is in his twenties, shaven-headed, with a trimmed mustache. He's wearing a pink T-shirt with a legend that reads "Justice."

Steve continues AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME
EVERYBODY HERE FOR THE FIRST
TIME EXCEPT FOR DAN.
A BUNCH OF ROOKIES HERE.
WE THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR
EVENING WITH US HERE ON TVO.
SHELDON, PLEASE BRING THIS
GRAPHIC UP.
THIS IS UNIONZATION RATES IN
CANADA, THE TOTAL WORKFORCE,
AGES 17 TO 64.

A slate appears on screen, with the title Unionization rates in Canada. Total workforce, ages 17 to 64."

A line chart on the slate shows that between 1981 and 2014 the rates have fallen from around 37 percent to under 30 percent.

Steve reads data from the slate and says
WE START INTERIOR 1981 AND THEN
GO THROUGH TO A FEW YEARS AGO.

Another slate reads "Union participation across Canada and the U.S."

Steve reads data from the slate and says LET'S SAY THAT IN 2018, 28 percent PLUS
OF ALL CANADIAN EMPLOYEES AGED
16 AND OVER WERE UNIONIZED.
THAT IS A LITTLE MISLEADING SO
WE'RE GOING TO BREAK IT DOWN
SOME MORE BECAUSE IN EFFECT,
MORE THAN 70 percent OF PUBLIC SECTOR
EMPLOYEES WERE UNIONIZED AND 14 percent
OF PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES ARE
UNIONIZED.
HAVING SAID THAT, THERE IS MORE
UNION PENETRATION IN CANADA THAN
THE UNITED STATES.
JUST 10.5 percent OF AMERICAN WORKERS
16 AND OVER WERE UNIONIZED AND
THAT IS DOWN FROM 20 percent FROM 35
YEARS AGO.
ONLY ABOUT A THIRD OF PUBLIC
SECTOR WORKERS THERE ARE
UNIONIZED AND ONLY ABOUT 6.5 percent OF
PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS IN THE
UNITED STATES ARE UNIONIZED.
OKAY.
LET'S GET INTO THIS.
IF UNIONS WERE A PATIENT IN
HOSPITAL, HOW WOULD YOU DIAGNOSE
THEIR CURRENT HEALTH GIVEN THOSE
NUMBERS?

The caption changes to "Stephanie Ross. McMaster University."
Then, it changes again to "Time for a checkup."

Stephanie says WELL, I GUESS IT DEPENDS ON
WHETHER OR NOT WE WANT TO SAY
THEY'RE STABLE OR MAYBE A LITTLE
PALE.
A LITTLE PIQUED.
THERE IS TRUTH TO BOTH OF THESE
DIAGNOSIS.
REALLY FROM THE LATE 1990s,
UNION DENSITY RATE HAS STAYED
AROUND THE 30 percent MARK, UP AND DOWN
A LITTLE BIT OVER THOSE YEARS.
ITS DOWN FROM ITS HIGH BUT THERE
IS A LOT OF STABILITY IN UNION
REPRESENTATION IN CANADA.
BUT THERE IS A REALITY THAT THE
LABOUR MOVEMENT IS CENTERED NOW
IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR, RIGHT?
70 percent OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR IS
UNIONIZED.
IT MEANS THAT A MAJORITY OF
UNION MEMBERS ARE NOW IN THE
PUBLIC SECTOR.
IT ALSO INTERESTINGLY MEANS A
MAJORITY OF UNION MEMBERS ARE
WOMEN FOR QUITE A SIGNIFICANT
AMOUNT OF TIME.
AND THAT'S A GOOD NEWS STORY BUT
IT ALSO MAKES ME VERY ALARMED
BECAUSE THE WEAKNESS IN THE
PRIVATE SECTOR IS A CRISIS NOT
JUST FOR WORKERS IN THE PRIVATE
SECTOR WHO NEED UNION
REPRESENTATION BUT FOR THE
LABOUR MOVEMENT AS A WHOLE AND
FOR CANADIAN SOCIETY AS A HOLE.

Steve says DAN, THIS IS WHERE I
BRING YOU IN.
BACK IN THE DAY AND WE'RE GOING
LET'S SAY A CENTURY AGO, THE
ARGUMENT WAS MADE THAT UNIONS US
WERE AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY,
PARTICULARLY IN PRIVATE SECTOR
DANGEROUS WORKPLACES BECAUSE YOU
COULD LOSE LIFE OR LIMB GOING TO
WORK IN A VERY UNSAFE WORKPLACE.
HOW MUCH IN YOUR VIEW DO WE
STILL NEED UNIONS TODAY FOR THAT
REASON?

The caption changes to "Dan Kelly. Canadian Federation of Independent Business."
Then, it changes again to "The golden years."

Dan says WELL, LOOK, FOR STARTERS, I'M
FROM WINNIPEG ORIGINALLY AND I
LIKE TO THINK THAT IN 1919, I
WOULD HAVE SUPPORTED THE SIDE OF
THE UNIONS AT THAT PARTICULAR
STAGE.
I REALLY DO QUESTION, THOUGH,
TODAY WHETHER OR NOT IN THE
PRIVATE SECTOR THERE IS MUCH OF
A ROLE FOR THE LABOUR MOVEMENT
IN GENERAL.
WHAT I FEEL IS THAT WORKERS HAVE
NEVER BEEN MORE EMPOWERED THAN
THEY ARE TODAY.
EMPLOYERS RIGHT NOW, I MEAN,
THERE'S A CRUSHING SHORTAGE OF
LABOUR RIGHT NOW THAT IS
AFFECTING THE PRIVATE SECTOR.
PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES ARE NOT
JUST SHORT OF SKILLED WORKERS
BUT INCREASINGLY UNSKILLED NEW
ENTRANTS INTO THE WORKFORCE IN
CANADA.
AS A RESULT, EMPLOYERS ARE
BENDING OVER BACKWARDS TO TRY TO
FIND ROLES FOR PEOPLE TRYING TO
MEET THEIR NEEDS, HELP THEM WITH
ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT THEY
NEVER WERE INVOLVED IN BEFORE.
SO I THINK RIGHT NOW THE
PENDULUM IS ON THE SIDE OF THE
WORKER, NOT NECESSARILY THE SIDE
OF THE UNION.
AS A RESULT, THERE IS LESS NEED
FOR UNIONS TODAY.
IN ADDITION TO THAT, I DO
BELIEVE THAT UNIONS HAVE BEEN
SPECTACULARLY SUCCESSFUL INCANADA...
SPECTACULARLY SUCCESSFUL IN
CANADA IN PUSHING A LOT OF THE
THINGS THAT THEY USED TO CONFINE
TO COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS INTO
PUBLIC POLICY.
SO UNIONS HAVE PUSHED FOR A
WHOLE BUNCH THE CHANGES, MINIMUM
WAGE LAW, STATUTORY HOLIDAY
RULES THAT, REALLY HAVE TAKEN I
THINK A LOT OF THE BENEFITS OF
BELONGING TO A UNION AND
EXPANDED IT TO EVERYBODY AND SO
PEOPLE ARE QUESTIONING, WELL, DO
I REALLY NEED TO BELONG TO A
UNION SINCE MOST OF THESE THINGS
ARE GUARANTEED BY LAW.

Steve says WHY DON'T YOU PICK
UP ON THAT, TIFFANY.

The caption changes to "Tiffany Balducci. Durham Region Labour Council."

Tiffany says SURE, AND JUST SPEAKING TO
THE LAW AND THE GUARANTEES BY
LAW, UNFORTUNATELY IN ONTARIO,
WE'RE ACTUALLY SEEING A CLAWBACK
TO THINGS LIKE HEALTH AND SAFETY
LEGISLATION WHERE SADLY JUST
RECENTLY IN AJAX, WE HAD A
WORKER KILLED ON A JOB ON A ROOF
AND THIS IS JUST, YOU KNOW, LAST
MONTH AND THIS IS HAPPENING ALL
THE TIME IN TODAY'S DAY AND
ABLE.
WORKERS ARE GOING TO WORK AND
NOT COMING HOME BECAUSE THEY'RE
DYING ON THE JOB.
SO THEY'RE JUST AS RELEVANT FROM
THE HEALTH AND SAFETY
PERSPECTIVE.
AND FAR MORE SO AS FAR AS WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT THE GROWING
INEQUITIES IN THE WORLD.
WE'RE SEEING THE INEQUITIES THAT
WE DID SEE IN 1919 BUT EVEN
WORSE BECAUSE IT'S THE
PRECARIOUS SECTORS THERE, TOO,
SO PEOPLE ARE JUGGLING MULTIPLE
JOBS AND IF THEIR MULTIPLE JOBS
ARE NOT UNIONIZED, THEY DON'T
HAVE THE PROTECTION, THEY DON'T
HAVE THE GOAL TOWARDS WORKING IN
A FULL-TIME POSITION.
AND LET'S NOT FORGET THE THING
UNIONS DO IN THE COMMUNITIES TO
HELP OUT IN THE COMMUNITIES,
WORKING ON THINGS LIKE MINIMUM
WAGE.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Steve says IN TERMS OF THOSE
JOBS WHERE UNIONS HELP KEEP THE
WORKPLACE SAFE BECAUSE THE
WORKPLACE MAY BE A BIT
DANGEROUS, YOU TALK... GAVE A
VERY SAD EXAMPLE THERE A SECOND
AGO.
THERE ARE PLENTY OF PEOPLE
MOSTLY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR I
THINK TODAY WHO ARE UNIONIZED
WHO ARE IN WORKPLACES WHERE... I
DON'T MEAN TO BE FACETIOUS HERE
BUT THE BIGGEST RISK TO THEIR
HEALTH THEY'RE PROBABLY FACING
IS PROBABLY A PAPER CUT.
AND I SUSPECT YOUR UNION
REPRESENTS THOSE FOGS AS WELL.
DO THEY REALLY NEED THE SAME
KIND OF PROTECTION AS PEOPLE WHO
GO DOWN INTO MINES OR PEOPLE WHO
ARE BUILDING SKY SCRAPERS THAT,
THEY NEED.

Tiffany says I WORKED IN LIBRARIES FOR A LOT OF YEARS.
I WISH THE WORSE THING I FACED
WAS A PAPER CUT, ALTHOUGH THAT
WAS A JOB HAZARD AT THE LIBRARY.
BUT BEING A PUBLIC SECTOR
WORKER, QUITE OFTEN THE BIGGEST
RISK THAT WE FACE IN THE
WORKPLACE IS THE PUBLIC.
AND WHAT WE FACE FROM THE PUBLIC
WHEN WE'RE SERVING THE PUBLIC IN
PLACES LIKE LIBRARIES AND
SCHOOLS.
WE'RE SEEING... AND HOSPITALS,
FOR EXAMPLE.
YOU'RE SEEING A RISE IN VIOLENCE
AND IT'S A RESULT OF THE FEARS
THAT PEOPLE HAVE IN THE WORLD.
BUT PEOPLE ARE BECOME ATTACKED
AT WORK BY THE PEOPLE THEY'RE
SERVING AND THAT'S NOT OKAY AND
UNIONS ARE THERE TO HELP
FACILITATE THESE WORKING
CONDITIONS AND MAKE SURE THAT
PEOPLE GO TO WORK SAFELY AND
COME HOME SAFELY AND FROM ARE
PROVISIONS THERE BECAUSE WE DO
HAVE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC.
WE LOVE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC.
THAT'S WHY WE'RE PUBLIC SERVE
VANS, BUT MAKING SURE WE HAVE
THE JOINT HEALTH AND SAFETY
COMMITTEES, THE POLICIES, WHAT
TO DO WHEN SOMETHING GOES
WRONGING AND HOW DO WE ADDRESS IT.

Steve says OKAY.
YVON, I WANT TO DO ONE FOLLOW-UP
WITH DAN HERE.
YOU GAVE A LONG LIST OF THINGS
THAT ARE HAPPENING WITHOUT HAVE
MANY PEOPLE BEING UNIONIZED
IN THIS COUNTRY RIGHT...
UNIONIZED IN THIS COUNTRY RIGHT
NOW.
BUT IT'S KIND OF A SOCIAL
JUSTICE AGENDA THAT IS MORE THAN
JUST LOCAL.
IN FACT, IT EMBRACES GLOBAL
ISSUES.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Dan Kelly, @CFIB."

Dan says HE WILL WITH, LOOK, IF UNIONS
IN CANADA WERE VOLUNTARY LIKE
THEY ARE IN ALMOST EVERY OTHER
COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, I WOULD
TAKE NO WISH UNIONS BEING
HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THE SOCIAL
POLICY AGENDA.
I CERTAINLY WOULDN'T DARE TO
SPEAK WHAT A UNION OR A GROUP OF
MEMBERS WISH TO DO.
THEY CAN SPEND AS MUCH TIME OR
AS LITTLE TIME ON WHATEVER IT
HAPPENS TO BE.
BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT ONE OF THE
REASONS WHY THE UNION DENSITY
RATE HAS DECLINED IN CANADA IS
BECAUSE UNIONS ARE INCREASINGLY
FOCUSING ON ISSUES THAT DON'T
BEAR A LOT OF RESEMBLANCE TO THE
CONCERNS OF THEIR MEMBERS ON A
DAY-TO-DAY BASIS.
AND I THINK THAT THAT, YOU KNOW,
IF I WERE GIVING SOME ADVICE TO
YOU UNIONS, IT MIGHT BE TO STICK
TO THE MAIN JOB OF COLLECTIVE
BARGAINING ON BEHALF OF THEIR
MEMBERS AS OPPOSED TO GETTING
INVOLVED IN ANTI-ISRAEL BS AT
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNALS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says I THINK YOU MEAN
BDS.

Dan says ACTUALLY, I DID MEAN BS.
BUT THESE ARE THE KINDS OF
THINGS THAT I THINK ALIENATE A
LOT OF POTENTIAL UNION MEMBERS
FROM BELONGING TO OR SUPPORTING
THEIR INDIVIDUAL UNIONS.

Steve says STEPHANIE IS DOING A
GREAT JOB PREVENTING THE STEAM
FROM COMING OUT OF HER EARS.

Stephanie says IF I JUST COULD, I THINK THE
EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE SHOWS THAT
THAT'S NOT ACTUALLY CORRECT,
THAT CANADIANS ACTUALLY SEE THE
LABOUR MOVEMENT PLAYING A REALLY
IMPORTANT SOCIAL JUSTICE ROLE.
THEY SUPPORT THAT ROLE FOR
UNIONS AND, IN FACT, I THINK
IT'S A CONTRADICTORY POSITION
BECAUSE OFTEN UNIONS ARE
CRITICIZED FOR ONLY LOOKING OUT
FOR THEIR OWN MEMBERS, RIGHT, BY
FOCUSING ONLY ON COLLECTIVE
BARGAINING.
MANY CRITICIZE THEM FOR,
QUOTE-UNQUOTE, PUTTING THEIR
MEMBERS AHEAD OF CUSTOMERS SO I
THINK IN THIS LOGIC, THEY'RE
KIND OF TRAPPED.
EITHER THEY ONLY FOCUS ON THE
NARROW BREAD AND BUTTER ISSUES
OR THEY HAVE A BROADER SOCIAL
JUSTICE ROLE THAT IS IN THE
PUBLIC INTEREST.
AND I JUST THINK IT'S NOT AN
ACCURATE REFLECTION OF WHAT
CANADIANS EXPECT AND WANT FROM
THE LABOUR MOVEMENT, WHAT
MOTIVATES PEOPLE TO UNIONIZE
WHICH ACTUALLY INCREASINGLY IS
ABOUT DIGNITY AND IT IS ABOUT
AND IT IS ABOUT THE
TRANSFORMATION OF A BROADER
SOCIETY, AS WELL AS THEIR OWN
ECONOMIC SITUATION.

Steve says LET'S FIND OUT FROM
THE A GUY WHO IS ACTUALLY TRYING
TO DO THAT, TRY TO UNIONIZE.
THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

The caption changes to "Yvon Ostos. Union Organizer."
Then, it changes again to "Here comes the gig economy."

Yvon says WHAT I WOULD SAY, I'M AN
ORGANIZER JUST ORGANIZING BIKE
COURIERS IN TORONTO, FOODORA
BIKE COURIERS.
YET, WE HAD A HUGE RALLY WHERE I
WAS SHOWN SO MUCH SUPPORT FROM
THOSE POSTAL WORKERS WHOSE JOBS,
YOU KNOW, IN A SENSE DON'T
REALLY HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH
MY STRUGGLE.
SO, REALLY, WHAT THAT SHOWS ME
IS THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT
THESE ISSUES GO ACROSS CANADIAN
SOCIETY.
AND THEY SEE THAT, YOU KNOW,
WHEN OTHER WORKERS ARE BEING
TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, THAT BRINGS
EVERYONE DOWN.
SO IT'S ACTUALLY ADVANTAGEOUS
FOR EVERYONE TO SUPPORT OTHER
WORKERS IN THEIR PRECARIOUS
CONDITIONS, REGARDLESS OF HOW
CLOSE TOGETHER THEY ARE.
GOING BACK TO SOMETHING YOU SAID
EARLIER, DAN.
SOMETHING LIKE MY JOB, YOU KNOW,
I FEEL LIKE I'M ALMOST BACK IN
1919.
THAT'S WHY, LIKE THIS, IS SO
IMPORTANT TO SOMEONE LIKE ME,
YOU KNOW, I MEET BIKE CURER WHYS
EVERY DAY WHO ARE INJURED ON THE
JOB OR THEY HAVE CLOSE CALLS OR
THEIR BIKES GET STOLEN.
THERE'S JUST SO MANY ISSUES OF
VIOLENCE...

Steve says HOW MANY HOURS A DAY
ARE YOU ON THAT BIKE?

Yvon says I MEAN, I WORK 40 HOURS A
WEEK.
SO PROBABLY A GOOD CHUNK OF
THAT, LIKE, 30ISH IS ON THE
BIKE.
AND I RIDE EVERYWHERE ANYWAYS.

Steve says DO YOU WEAR A
HELMET?

Yvon says YEAH.

Steve says GOOD.
HOW DANGEROUS IS YOUR JOB?

Yvon says REALLY DANGEROUS.
I THINK IT'S MORE DANGERS THAN
BEING A POLICE OFFICER OR
CONSTRUCTION WORK OR FIREMEN
BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ANY OF THE
PROTECTIONS OR RESPECT THAT
THOSE PROFESSIONS GET.

Steve says WHAT'S HAPPENED TO
YOU ON THE ROADS?

Yvon says I BROKE MY ARM IN SEPTEMBER.

Steve says HOW?

Yvon says I WAS CYCLING ON THE BIKE
PATH BELIEVE IT OR NOT AND I
JUST GOT IN A COLLISION WITH
ANOTHER CYCLIST.

Steve says WITH ANOTHER CYCLIST.

Steve says OKAY.
I WAS WAITING FOR YOU TO TELL A
STORY ABOUT HOW SOMEBODY OPENED
THEIR DOOR.

Yvon says THAT'S HAPPENED TO ME, TOO,
BUT IT DIDN'T BREAK MY ARM.

Steve says WERE YOU ON THE JOB
WHEN YOU BROKE YOUR ARM?

Yvon says YES.

Steve says COULD YOU FILE A CLAIM.

Yvon says I DID AND IT WAS AWFUL.
YOU KNOW, I ENDED UP GETTING
210 dollars A WEEK.

Steve says HOW HELPFUL WAS YOUR
EMPLOYER.

Yvon says REALLY MINIMAL.
BARE BONES.
FOODORA HAS TO HELP ME BUT THEY
DIDN'T DO ANYTHING MORE THAN
WHAT THEY HAD TO OTHER THAN LIKE
A COUPLE OF E-MAILS.

Steve says IF YOU ARE
SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR DRIVE TO HAVE
A UNION REPRESENT YOU AND YOUR
FELLOW CYCLE... COURIERS,
EXCUSE ME, HOW WILL THAT HELP
YOUR LIFE.

Yvon says DRASTICALLY.
WE COULD THAT, WE DESERVE
ADEQUATE SAFETY AND PROTECTIONS.
I MEAN, WE COULD GET HEALTH
BENEFITS THAT, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE
IN THE OFFICE GET, YET PEOPLE
WHO WORK IN THE STREETS DOING
THE DANGEROUS LABOUR DON'T GET.
YOU KNOW, WE HAVE NO SAY RIGHT
NOW IN HOW WE'RE PAID.
MEANWHILE, INFLATION GOES UP,
COST OF LIVING GOES UP IN
TORONTO, RENT GOES UP, SO WE'RE
KIND OF IN THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL
RIGHT NOW AND THE ONLY ANSWER TO
THAT THAT I CAN SEE IS LABOUR
STEPPING UP AND SPEAKING OUT FOR
THEIR ISSUES WHICH IS A UNION.

Steve says I WANT TO TRY THIS
WITH YOU, STEPHANIE.
HOW USEFUL DO YOU THINK UNIONS
HAVE BEEN AT MODERNIZING IN
ORDER TO MEET THE CHALLENGE OF I
GUESS WHAT... WE CALL YOUR JOB
PART OF THE GIG ECONOMY, RIGHT?
THESE ARE HARDLY
SORT OF PERMANENT FULL-TIME
REGULAR JOBS.
IT'S, YOU KNOW, YOU KIND OF WORK
WHEN THERE'S WORK AND YOU DON'T
WHEN YOU DON'T I GUESS.
THAT KIND OF THING.
UBER DRIVERS ARE IN THE SAME
SITUATION.
HOW WELL HAVE UNIONS RESPONDED
TO THIS NEW PART OF THE ECONOMY?

Stephanie says I THINK THAT'S A WEAKNESS.
I THINK IN CANADA, YOU KNOW,
MAYBE IT'S A PRODUCT OF THE
RELATIVELY STABILITY OF OUR
LABOUR MOVEMENT IS THAT THERE
HASN'T BEEN AS MUCH FOCUS ON NEW
ORGANIZING, ESPECIALLY IN
THE GROWING SECTORS OF THE
ECONOMY, WHETHER IT'S PRIVATE
SERVICES WHICH HAS BEEN GROWING
FOR, YOU KNOW, 40 YEARS.
OR THE SPECIFIC GIG ECONOMY
SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE ARE
WORKING ON PLATFORMS.
SO I THINK THAT UNIONS ARE IN
SOME WAYS STUCK IN CERTAIN
HABITS THAT ARE REINFORCED BY
OUR LABOUR LEGISLATION THAT SAYS THAT, YOU KNOW, IN ORDER TO GET
UNION REPRESENTATION, YOU NEED
TO ORGANIZE IN A PARTICULAR
WORKPLACE AND THE GIG ECONOMY
JUST ISN'T ORGANIZED THAT WAY.
AND IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE
HOW WE CAN HAVE FORMS OF UNION
REPRESENTATION THAT ARE SPECIFIC
TO A PARTICULAR WORKPLACE OR
SPECIFIC EMPLOYER WHERE PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO BE MOVING AROUND
THE ECONOMY QUITE A LOT.
BENEFITS, ENTITLEMENTS NEED TO
MOVE AROUND WITH THEM.
AND SO OUR MODELS OF
REPRESENTATION WHICH THE LAW
ACTUALLY REINFORCES AROUND
REALLY ADEQUATE TO THE GIG
ECONOMY AND I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT
CUPW'S.
INITIATIVES ON THIS ARE
MORE COMMON BUT I WOULD SAY THAT
THEY'RE NOT.
SO IT IS A REAL STRATEGIC
WEAKNESS THAT THE LANE MOVEMENT
NEEDS TO PAYING MORE SERIOUSLY.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Dan says I ACTUALLY DON'T BELIEVE
THAT'S A FAULT OF UNIONS.
IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU TO HEAR ME
SAY THAT.
I AGREE WITH YOU THAT THE
CONCLUSION IS UNIONS HAVE BEEN
JUST SPECTACULARLY UNSUCCESSFUL
IN REPRESENTING THE
SELF-EMPLOYED, BUT I DON'T THINK
THAT THAT'S THE FAULT OF THE
UNIONS.
I THINK THAT'S THE REALITY OF
THE FACT THAT MOST PEOPLE AND
STATSCAN JUST PUT OUT SOME NEW
DATA ON THIS, MOST PEOPLE WHO
ARE SELF EMPLOYED WANT TO BE
SELF EMPLOYED.
THEY WANT TO BE A COMPANY OF
THEIR OWN AND SET THEIR OWN
PATH.
IN FACT, IT WAS 5... THE STAT
CAN DATA SHOWED THAT ONLY 5 percent OF
THOSE THAT ARE SELF EMPLOYED ARE
DOING IT BECAUSE OF A LACK OF
FULL-TIME JOB THAT.
THEY WOULD PREFER TO HAVE A
FULL-TIME JOB WITH BENEFITS, ET
CETERA, ET CETERA.
AND THE VAST MAJORITY... I'M NOT
SUGGESTING THERE ARE ZERO PEOPLE
IN THAT CASE BUT THERE ARE VERY
FEW.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE THAT
ARE SELF EMPLOYED ARE DOING IT
BECAUSE THEY WANT THE FREEDOM
AND FLEXIBILITY AND A WHOLE
BUNCH OF MILLENNIALS DON'T WANT
TO BE TIED TO A 40-HOUR A WEEK
JOB TIED IN ON OFFICE SOMEWHERE.
THEY WANT TO WORK WITH A VARIETY
OF PEOPLE, DO SOME PERHAPS PAID
EMPLOYMENT, SOME SELF
EMPLOYMENT.

Steve says LET ME GET TO TO YOU
RESPOND THAT.

The caption changes to "Tiffany Balducci. CUPE Ontario. @TiffanyBalducci."

Tiffany says IT'S INTERESTING YOU BRING UP
MILLENNIALS, ACTUALLY, BECAUSE I
PERSONALLY AM A MILLENNIAL.
BUT MILLENNIALS WHEN... RESEARCH
ACTUALLY SHOWS THAT MILLENNIALS
BY AND LARGE ARE ONE OF THE AGE
GROUPS THAT VASTLY SUPPORT
UNIONIZATION AND THE LABOUR
MOVEMENT AND IT'S BECAUSE THE
ECONOMY... JOB BUT ARE JUST NOT
JOINING.
LIKE, WE'VE HEARD OUR ENTIRE
LIVES HOW BAD THE ECONOMY IS AND
WE SEE UNIONS AS THE ONLY WAY
THAT SOFTENS THE BLOW OF
CAPITALISM, REALLY, AND PULLS
TOGETHER THE WORKER POWER.
SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, NUMBERS
ARE BE INS, BUT THE RESEARCH
DOES SHOW THAT MILLENNIALS DO
SUPPORT UNIONS AND I'M SURE YVO-

Stephanie says TIFFANY IS QUITE NIGHT THAT,
YOU KNOW, YOUNG WORKERS HAVE A
MUCH HIGHER PROPENSITY THEIR
THEIR OLDER COUNTERPARTS...

Dan says EXCEPT NOT FOR THEMSELVES.

Stephanie says NO, FOR THEMSELVES, BUT THE
LABOUR MARKET THAT THEY FACE IS
VERY DIFFICULT TO UNIONIZE.

Dan says YES.

Stephanie says AND I WOULD CONTEST YOUR
CHARACTERIZATION OF SOMEONE LIKE
YVON AS SELF EMPLOYED.
YVON IS NOT SELF EMPLOYED.
HE IS VERY CLEARLY EMPLOYED BY
AN EMPLOYER WHO HAS
MISCLASSIFIED HIM AS AN
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AND
INDEED THAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH
PLATFORM WORK IS THAT THE
BUSINESS MODEL IS BASED UPON
MISCLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES,
PRECISELY SO AT THAT THOSE
EMPLOYERS CAN SKIRT LEGAL
ENTITLEMENTS WHETHER, IT'S
EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS OR IN
LABOUR RELATIONS ACT.
AND, IN FACT, CALIFORNIA
LEGISLATURE DECLARED THAT UBER
AND OTHER PLATFORM EMPLOYERS ARE
EMPLOYERS.

Dan says BUT THIS IS WHY UNIONS ARE A BIT STUCK IS PRECISELY WHAT
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT AND THAT
POINT OF VIEW THAT WE HAVE THIS
KIND OF INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY WHERE
EVERYBODY GOES TO A BIG
MANUFACTURING JOB OR A FULL-TIME
OFFICE JOB, AND I THINK UNIONS
ARE JUST SO STUCK IN THE
MENTALITY AND THEY HAVE ALMOST
FORGOTTEN THAT HAD THE WORLD HAS
SHIFTED PRIMARILY BECAUSE PEOPLE
DON'T WISH TO BE ORGANIZED THAT
WAY ANYMORE.
AND ESPECIALLY YOUNGER PEOPLE.
THEY ARE VOTING WITH THEIR FEET.
THEY'RE CREATING THEIR OWN JOBS.
IT IS TOUGH TO FIND WORKERS
THESE DAYS FOR EMPLOYERS WHO
HAVE FULL-TIME JOBS ON OFFER.
WE JUST DID A STUDY THAT SHOWED
THAT THERE ARE 400,000 POSITIONS
IN SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED FIRMS
THAT HAVE BEEN SITTING VACANT
FOR FOUR MONTHS OR MORE.

The caption changes to "Looming threats."

Steve says WHY?

Dan says PRIMARILY BECAUSE THEY ARE
STRUGGLING... THERE ARE FEWER
NEW ENTRANTS INTO THE WORKFORCE
AND I BELIEVE WE ARE MOVING INTO
AN ENVIRONMENT, DESPITE
TECHNOLOGY AND ALL THE CHANGES
THAT IT'S MAKING THAT WORKERS
ARE GOING TO BE MORE EMPOWERED
THAN THEY EVER WERE BECAUSE
THERE ARE FEWER OF THEM AND
EMPLOYERS ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND
THEM.

Yvon says YEAH, I MEAN, IT'S TRUE THAT
PEOPLE IN THE PLATFORM ECONOMY
ARE TOTALLY MISCLASSIFIED TO THE
ADVANTAGE OF THE EMPLOYER.
SO, YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND WHAT
YOU'RE SAYING, DAN, IN SAYING
THAT PEOPLE ARE SELF EMPLOYED.
WANT TO BE SELF EMPLOYED.
THE THING IS THAT IS KIND OF
INCLUDING PEOPLE WHO ARE SELF
EMPLOYED BUT THAT'S JUST WHAT
THEY'VE BEEN GIVEN.
THEY'RE NOT REALLY SELF
EMPLOYED.
I'M NOT REALLY SELF EMPLOYED
WHEN I HAVE TO CHOOSE SHIFTS AND
THE ONLY HOURS I CAN GET ARE THE
HOURS FOODORA GIVES ME OR IF I'M
AN UBER DRIVER AND THE ONLY
TIMES I CAN MAKE MONEY ARE THE
DINNER RUSHES.
AM I REALLY CHOOSING MY OWN
SCHEDULE?
YOU KNOW, DO I REALLY HAVE A SAY
IN HOW MUCH MONEY I MAKE?
ALL OF THAT IS BASED... THAT'S A
BUNCH OF BS.

Steve says AND YOU DON'T MEAN BDS.

Yvon says NO.
I THINK YOU'RE ALSO RIGHT,
THOUGH, IN SAYING THAT UNIONS
KIND OF HAVE... THEY'RE OLD, A
LOT OF THEM HAVEN'T KEPT UP WITH
THIS NEW PLATFORM GENERATION AND
THAT'S WHY THERE'S PEOPLE LIKE
ME WHO ARE YOUNGER WHO WE'RE
NEVER EXPOSED TO UNIONS AS KIDS.
NOBODY IN MY FAMILY WAS REALLY
INVOLVED IN UNIONS BUT THE
PEOPLE I TALK TO DOING MY JOB,
YOU KNOW, REACHING OUT, IT'S THE
YOUNG PEOPLE WHO REALLY
UNDERSTAND LIKE, OH, THAT
THEY'RE TOTALLY NEW TO THE IDEA
OF UNIONS AND THEY LOVE IT
BECAUSE THEY SEE THAT, OH, THAT
IS WHAT I'VE ACTUALLY NEEDED MY
WHOLE LIFE.

Steve says LET ME ASK TIFFANY A
POLITICAL QUESTION HERE.
HOW MUCH POLITICAL INFLUENCE DO
YOU THINK UNIONS TO THIS DAY
HAVE, FOR EXAMPLE, TO ELECT WHO
THEY WANT TO ELECT, WHO UNELECT
WHO THEY DON'T LIKE, TO HAVE
POLICY PUT IN PLACE THAT THEY
WANT TO SEE OR TO STOP POLICY
THROUGH PROTEST THAT THEY DON'T
WANT TO SEE?

The caption changes to "Political sway."

Tiffany says SURE.
WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME THAT, YOU
KNOW, UNIONS ARE JUST TOO
POWERFUL, MY ANSWER IS ALWAYS,
YOU KNOW, I WISH WE WERE AS
POWERFUL AS PEOPLE GIVE US
CREDIT FOR.
I REALLY DO.
BECAUSE, I MEAN, 1 IN 8 PEOPLE
IN CANADA ARE A CUPE MEMBER IN
CANADA.
1 IN 8 I DON'T UNIONIZED MEMBER
IS A CUPE MEMBER.
SO IF WE ALL VOTED THE SAME WAY
COLLECTIVELY, YOU WOULD SEE
CUPE'S AGENDA EVERYWHERE.
I DO WISH WE WERE AS POWERFUL AS
PEOPLE THOUGHT WE WERE.
I DO AGREE THE LABOUR MOVEMENT
HAS FALLEN BEHIND IN A LOT OF
WAYS AS FAR AS BUILDING POWER,
BUILDING, YOU KNOW, TAKING TO
THE STREETS, TAKING COLLECTIVE
ACTION.
WE ARE SEEING NOW MORE THAN
EVER, THOUGH, IN ONTARIO,
ANYWAY, ONE OF THE GOOD THINGS
THAT HAPPENS WHEN A RIGHT-WING
GOVERNMENT IS COLLECTED, YOU SEE
A RESISTANCE THAT STARTS TO
FORM.

Steve says IN FACT, IT WILL BE
A YEAR TOMORROW THAT THE FORD
GOVERNMENT WAS ELECTED IN A REAL
FLASHING OF THE PREVIOUS
GOVERNMENT WHICH WAS MUCH MORE
FRIENDLY TO UNIONS.
HOW HAS THE ELECTION OF THE FORD
GOVERNMENT CHANGED LIFE FOR
UNIONIZED PEOPLE IN THE PROVINCE?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Stephanie says WELL, TIFFANY IS QUITE RIGHT.
I MEAN, ALL OF THE RESISTANCE TO
ALL OF THE VARIOUS POLICY,
MEASURES, NONE OF WHICH WERE
DISCUSSED IN THE ELECTION, BY
THE WAY, HAS BEEN SPEAR-HEADED
OR SUPPORTED BY UNIONS.
AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT DO WE SEE A
YEAR LATER?
75 percent OF ONTARIANS ARE NOT
IMPRESSED WITH THIS GOVERNMENT.
SO I THINK THAT ACTUALLY SHOWS A
GREAT DEAL OF POLITICAL
INFLUENCE OVER THE PUBLIC
DISCOURSE AND OVER PEOPLE'S
CONCEPTION OF THIS GOVERNMENT
AND OF GOVERNMENTS IN GENERAL.
BUT, OF COURSE, AS TIFFANY SAID,
RIGHT, THERE'S A UNIFYING ASPECT
TO HAVING A GOVERNMENT THAT IS
ACTUALLY ATTACKING MANY SECTORS
IN THE LABOUR MOVEMENT AND IN
THE COMMUNITY THAT THE LABOUR
MOVEMENT IS STRONGLY CONNECTED
TO.
AND SO IT PROVIDES THE BASIS FOR
A KIND OF CROSS UNION ALLIANCE
THAT ISN'T NECESSARILY THERE
WHEN THERE'S A MORE PRO LABOUR
GOVERNMENT IN PLACE, ACTUALLY.

Steve says DAN, WOULD YOU AGREE
THAT THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT OF
ONTARIO IS FAR MORE INTERESTED
THAN WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY THAN
WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY.

Dan says YEAH, I WOULD SAY THAT WAS
LIKELY TRUE BUT THE OPPOSITE WAS
TRUE ONLY A YEAR AGO AND THE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY WAS ALMOST
ENTIRELY DISMISSED IN ANY OF ITS
VIEWS OR POSITIONS ON REALLY ANY
TOPIC WHATSOEVER AND REALLY IT
WAS WHAT ELSE COULD YOU POSSIBLY
GIVE YOU, UNION MOVEMENT,
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT WE'D LIKE TO
DO AND THAT'S HOW WE'D LIKE TO
GET ELECTED.

Tiffany says THERE IS LOTS OF THINGS,
ACTUALLY, MANY, MANY MORE THINGS.

Dan says I DO AGREE WITH YOU, THOUGH,
THAT THE UNION MOVEMENT HAS BEEN
SPECTACULARLY SUCCESSFUL IN
ACHIEVING ITS AGENDA THROUGH
PUBLIC POLICY MEANS AND DO THINK
THAT IS IN SOME PART THE REASON
WHY UNION DENSITY HAS GONE DOWN.
THE GOVERNMENTS HAVE GIVEN
UNIONS SO MUCH OF WHAT THEY
TRADITIONALLY HAVE FOCUSED ON IN
COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS INTO
PUBLIC POLICY AND EVEN WHEN
GOVERNMENTS LIKE THE CURRENT
ONTARIO GOVERNMENT DO SCALE SOME
OF THAT BACK AS THEY DID WITH
REVERSING BILL 148 HERE IN
ONTARIO, STILL, I WOULD SAY THAT
NO GOVERNMENT IN CANADA HAS
TAKEN ON UNIONS IN ANY BIG OR
MAJOR WAY.
NO GOVERNMENT HAS INTRODUCED
RIGHT TO WORK LEGISLATION OR
EVEN FLIRTED WITH IT IN ANY
SIGNIFICANT WAY.

Steve says WELL, TIM HUDAK...

Dan says THEY TALKED ABOUT WANTING TO
DO IT BUT BACKED DOWN.
AND NOTHING HAPPENED.
AND THE IDEA OF... YOU KNOW, AND
ON SO MANY IDEAS THAT EVEN RIGHT
OF CENTRE GOVERNMENTS HAVE
INTRODUCED, THEY END UP
SOFTENING OR ELIMINATING AS A
RESULT OF PROTESTS IN PART
BECAUSE OF UNIONS.
WHEN UNIONS ARE INCREDIBLY
POWERFUL STILL AS YOUR EVIDENCE
SHOWED IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND
IT IS PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS THAT
I THINK HAVE GREAT SWAY AND
INFLUENCE OVER PUBLIC POLICY AND
I DON'T KNOW THAT THAT'S A GOOD
THING FOR CANADA AS A WHOLE.
THERE IS TOO MUCH INFLUENCE FROM
THE LABOUR MOVEMENT AND THAT IS
I THINK LARGELY DUE TO THE FACT
THAT UNIONS HAVE THIS INCREDIBLY
COERCIVE POWER GIVEN TO THEM BY
GOVERNMENTS TO REQUIRE UNION
DUES EVEN FROM THOSE THAT DON'T
WISH TO...

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON
THAT H ARE YOU REFERRING TO THE
RAN FORMULATION?

Dan says YES.

Steve says LET'S GO BACK 40
YEARS, 45 YEARS.
A JUDGE BY THE NAME OF RAND MADE
A DECISION THAT HAS PERSISTED TO
THIS DAY WHERE WE HAVE SOMETHING
CALLED THE RAND FORMULA AND THAT
MEANS THAT EVEN IF YOU DON'T
BELONG TO THE UNION, YOU GOT TO
PAY UNION DUES IF YOU'RE DOING A
PARTICULAR JOB WHERE OTHER
PEOPLE ARE, IN FACT, UNIONIZED
BECAUSE YOU CAN'T BE I GUESS THE
EXPRESSION IS A FREE RIDER.
YOU CAN'T TAKE ALL THE BENEFITS
OF BEING IN THE UNION BUT NOT
JOIN THE UNION.
YOU KNOW, SOME POLITICIANS HAVE
WANTED TO CHIP AWAY AT THAT OVER
THE YEARS BUT THE RAND FORMULA
HAS PERSISTED.
I KNOW YOU PROBABLY LIKE.
IT I KNOW YOU PROBABLY LIKE.
IT I KNOW YOU PROBABLY LIKE IT.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT?

The caption changes to "Performing well under pressure."

Dan says WELL, I WON'T SURPRISE YOU,
THEN, STEVE, TO SAY THAT WE DO
THINK THAT IT IS HIGH TIME THAT
THAT BE REVISITED IN CANADA,
WHETHER THE LEGAL CONSTRUCTS
WOULD ALLOW THAT TO EVEN HAPPEN,
I DON'T KNOW.

Steve says WHAT WOULD BE THE
IMPLICATIONS OF DOING SO?

Dan says FOR ONE THING, I ACTUALLY
THINK IT WOULD PROBABLY THE BEST
THING FOR UNIONS THEMSELVES OR
THEIR FUTURE.

Steve says HOW SO?

Dan says ONE OF THE REASONS THAT
UNIONS HAVE BEEN LESS
SUCCESSFUL, ESPECIALLY IN THE
PRIVATE SECTOR IS BECAUSE THEY
DON'T REALLY HAVE TO DO VERY
MUCH.
THEY HAVE THIS LOCKED-IN BASE
AND UNIONS CAN BE FAT AND HAPPY
AND REALLY NOT DO MUCH TO SERVE
THEIR INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS ON THE
ISSUES AND CONCERNS THAT THEY
REALLY HAVE.
S NO WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD
OTHER THAN A FEW U.S. STATES ARE
YOU REQUIRED TO PAY UNION DUES
IF YOU ACTUALLY WORK IN AN
ENVIRONMENT.
NOWHERE.
I STARTED OUT THINKING THAT I
WAS LOOKING AT THIS AT FIRST
THAT CANADA'S UNION LAWS WERE
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE U.S. AND
EUROPE AND TO MY SHOCK, THERE IS
NO ONE IN EUROPE THAT IS
REQUIRED TO PAY UNION I DON'T
KNOW DUES...

Tiffany says IN AND EUROPE, YOU SEE WILD CAT STRIKES HAPPENING.
THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS WE
TRADED OFF IN THE LABOUR MOMENT
FOR THE RAND FORMULA WAS FREE
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.
ONCE THE COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT IS
IN PLACE FOR THREE YEARS OR
WHEREVER, OR WE'RE IN
NEGOTIATIONS, THERE IS A TIME
PERIOD...

[Speaking Simultaneously]

Dan says THEY WOULDN'T FEEL LIKE...

Tiffany says IT WAS A TOTALLY LEGAL
STRIKE.
BUT DO I AGREE WITH YOU THAT IT
CAN GOOD THING IN PLACES WHERE
THERE ARE... YOU KNOW, I'M FROM
THE STATES ORIGINALLY.
YOU SEE WHEN THE RIGHT TO WORK
LAWS ARE INTRODUCED, YOU
ACTUALLY SEE UNIONS BECOME
STRONGER BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL GO
BACK ON HAVING ONE ON ONE
CONVERSATIONS WITH THEIR MEMBERSHIP.

Steve says STEPHANIE, IF ANY
GOVERNMENT IN ONTARIO TRIED TO
GET RID OF THE RAND FORMULA,
WHAT WOULD BE THE IMPLICATION
FOR WORKERS IN YOUR VIEW.

Stephanie says WELL, I MEAN, IT WOULD BE
HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECTIVE, AT
LEAST IN THE SHORT-TERM, RIGHT?
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN
EVERY UNION BECAUSE THE LAW
ALLOWS FOR YOU TO PAY DUES BUT
NOT BE A MEMBER.
SO THOSE FOLKS, THOSE DUES
WOULD GO AWAY PROBABLY.
AND SO THAT WOULD BE FINANCIALLY
SIGNIFICANT.
AND IT'S PRECISELY I DIDN'T RAND
CAME TO THIS DECISION, RIGHT.
RAND WAS LOOKING TO WANTED THEIR
DEMOCRATIC WILL TO BE CARRIED
FOR, THAT REQUIRES A FUNCTIONAL
UNION AND IT REQUIRES PEOPLE NOT
TO UNDER MINUTE THE WORK OF THAT
UNION IN ORDER FOR THAT TO BE
MEANINGFUL, BUT TO BALANCE THAT
WITH INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS TO NOT BE
A MEMBER OF AN ORGANIZATION THAT
THEY DIDN'T WANT TO BE INVOLVED
IN.
AND LATER CONTESTS AROUND THAT
WENT TO THE SUPREME COURT,
RIGHT, IN 1991, I'M SURE YOU'RE
VERY WELL AWARE OF THAT CASE.
WHERE THE SUPREME COURT DECIDES
THAT RAND WAS CONSTITUTIONAL.
IT DID NOT LIMIT ANYBODY'S
POLITICAL SPEECH, EVEN IF ONE'S
DUES WERE IF PART GOING TO
POLITICAL ACTIVITY BECAUSE THE
COURT SAID THAT UNIONS'
POLITICAL ACTIVITY IS ACTUALLY
CENTRE TO THEIR CORE COLLECTIVE
BARGAINING FUNCTION.
IT IS ACTUALLY CENTRAL TO THEIR
CAPACITY TO DELIVER GOOD PUBLIC
POLICY THAT SUPPORTS
UNIONIZATION, NOT TO MENTION
THAT
MANY ISSUES THAT WORKING CLASS
PEOPLE HAVE CAN'T BE SOLVED IN
THE SPECIFIC WORKPLACE.

Steve says A SPANS.

Dan says WHEN I WAS 17 AND WORKING IN
A GROCERY STORE IN WINNIPEG, MY
FIRST THOUGHT ABOUT THE UNION, I
WAS A MEMBER OF USCW AT THE
TIME.
FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS, WAS
THAT I HAD... THAT MY UNION DUES
WERE GOING TO FIGHT THE FREE
TRADE AGREEMENT, THAT WAS THE
DEBATE AT THE TIME, THAT I HAD
DISAGREED WITH AND THEY WERE
BEING USED TO SUPPORT A
POLITICAL PARTY THAT I DIDN'T
AGREE WITH.
AND THAT WAS THE FORMATION OF MY
VIEWS, YOU KNOW, WAY BACK WHEN
AND I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT THE
MORE UNIONS DO POLITICKING, THE
MORE THEY GET INTO SOME OF THESE
PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES, I THINK
THEY RUN THE RISK OF ALIENATING
A LARGER GROUP OF CANADIANS.

Steve says WELL, LET ME READ
THIS HERE.
THIS IS FROM POLITICO MAGAZINE.
BILL SCHER SAID...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Unions: Dying a slow death?" The quote reads "Unions are to the left what coal is to the right: nostalgia. A powerful symbol of past glory, offering tantalizing hope for today's problems despite slowly dying in front of our eyes."
Quoted from Bill Scher, Politico Magazine. June 27, 2018.

Steve says OKAY, TIFFANY, YOU
WANT TO PUSH BACK ON THAT.

Tiffany says SURE.
I MEAN, WELL, I DO DISAGREE WITH
THAT, BUT I CAN SAY THAT THERE
ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT
UNIONS DO NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO
STAY RELEVANT.

Steve says LIKE WHAT?

Tiffany says WELL, SPEAKING OF COAL, ONE
OF THE THINGS WOULD BE TO
SIGNING ON TO A GREEN NEW DEAL,
EMBRACING THE IDEA THAT...
SOMETIMES YOU HEAR THE NARRATIVE
THAT IT'S JOBS VERSUS CLIMATE
JUSTICE.
BUT THERE ARE NO JOBS ON A DEAD
PLANET AND WE NEED TO WORK
TOGETHER ON SOME EXCITING
INITIATIVES ON HOW WE CAN LOOK
AT THESE NEW TECHNOLOGIES,
ELECTRONIC TRICK CARS, THOSE
TYPE OF THINGS.
I'M A LABOUR UNION PRESIDENT
THAT REPRESENTS OSHAWA.
WE WOULD LOVE TO REWORK THE
PLANT IN OSHAWA AND GET SOME
ELECTRIC VEHICLES MADE THERE.
THERE ARE THINGS WE CAN DO THAT
WE SEE ARE EXTREMELY POPULAR IN
THE STATES WITH THINGS LIKE YOU
HEAR, YOU KNOW, FOLKS LIKE
BERNIE SANDERS SPEAKING ABOUT
THESE THINGS.
YOU KNOW, VERY EXTREME INTERESTS
CAN WE'RE GETTING THERE.
BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE'RE
LETTING FOLKS LEAD THE WAY THAT
HAVEN'T HISTORICALLY LED THE WAY
IN THE LABOUR MOVEMENT AS WELL.
I WILL SAY THAT.
THE LABOUR MOVEMENT HAS LARGELY
BEEN LED BY MEN THAT LOOK VERY
SIMILAR TO EACH OTHER AND WE
NEED TO LET, YOU KNOW, YOUNG
FOLKS HISTORICALLY UNDER
REPRESENTED FOLKS IN THE LANE
MOVEMENT LEAD THE WAY BUT LEAD
THE WAY FROM THE GRASSROOTS.
LIKE, MEMBER-LED.
IN ORDER TO STAY RELEVANT, WE
WILL NEED TO TACKLE A FEW THINGS
BUT I THINK WE CAN GET THERE AND
I THINK WE'LL SEE UNION
POPULARITY TO INCREASE.

Steve says YVON, 30 SECONDS
LEFT HERE.
ANY CONCERNS AS YOU TRY TO
UNIONIZE YOUR COURIERS ANY
CONCERNS THAT, YOU KNOW, THE WAR
FAIR IN THE LABOUR MOVEMENT WAS
ONE FIGHTS THE OTHER FOR MEMBERS
CAN BE PRETTY INTENSE.
YOU WANT TO EMBRACE ALL OF THAT?

Yvon says I'M NOT SO SURE THAT'S A REAL
CONCERN WHEN THE UNION HASN'T
FORMED YET IN THE PLATFORM
ECONOMY.
THE BY A I SEE, IT THE UNION IS
VERY RELEVANT TO PEOPLE'S NEEDS
RIGHT NOW.
THEY SEE THERE IS NO BASIS FOR
JOB OR WAGE SECURITY OR
ANYTHING.
THE IDEA OF UNIONS IN-FIGHTING
BETWEEN EACH OTHER FOR
MEMBERSHIP, I MEAN, LIKE...

Steve says YOU'LL WORRY ABOUT
THAT WHEN THE TIME COMES.

Yvon says YOU BET.

The caption changes to "Producer: Harrison Lowman, @harrisonlowman."

Steve says THAT'S OUR TIME,
EVERYBODY.
THANK YOU SO MUCH YOUR TIME.
WE'RE GRATEFUL TO ALL OF YOU FOR
A VERY CIVILIZED DISCUSSION HERE
ON TVO TONIGHT.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: The Future of Unions