Labour Day message, unions are good

Unins benefit society so Canada’s workers can walk proudly on Labour Day.
Labour demonstration in Toronto, 2011. Dennis Gruending photo.

I first joined a union when I was nineteen years old. On my first day out of school for the summer, I traveled in my old Chevrolet to one of the potash mines under construction near Saskatoon. The man at the entrance gate told me that if I wanted to work there I would have to join one of the unions. I drove into the city, borrowed some money from my aunt, and went to the union hall to sign up. I was soon a member of the Construction and General Workers Union and working at the mine as a carpenter’s helper. Continue reading Labour Day message, unions are good

Gingrich Woodcraft owner quotes scripture in punishing workers who unionized

Leon Gingrich closes furniture plant (Vimeo/Woodworking Network)
Leon Gingrich closes furniture plant (Vimeo)

The owner of a furniture manufacturing plant near Fort Frances, Ontario is quoting scripture to justify locking out his employees and then shuttering his business after 69 per cent of his 25 workers voted to join a union. Leon Gingrich, who is described in a CBC story as a Mennonite, does not appear to be talking to reporters but the company has posted a notice in a local newspaper. It says in part: “as  Christian business owners, our personal beliefs will not allow our conscience the freedom to work with a labour union, as we are required by scripture to ‘live peaceably with all men’ and not to use force to gain what we want or for what is required to succeed.”

Let’s look into this a bit farther but before we do let me say that I have belonged to unions in half a dozen workplaces – everything from construction and meat packing when I was a student to at least three unions during my career as a journalist. I also worked several years for the Canadian Labour Congress. Continue reading Gingrich Woodcraft owner quotes scripture in punishing workers who unionized