Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Knox Harrington: 21st century honky tonk man | Main | Mises on democracy: "a peaceful adjustment of the system of government" »

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

York University: Death by Union

York University is experiencing a 15% drop in applications. This is quite dramatic and very damaging to a university. Undergraduate students are a cash cow to a university like York University. In response to this problem they only have two options, they can either lower standards or cut the number of students accepted. Either way they are screwed.

If they drop standards suddenly they suffer the reputation that has plagued Ryerson "University." If they cut the number of acceptance letters they will have to rethink both their short term and long term financial plans. In both cases it will take several years for them to recover.

Here we have an example of what is bad about unions. The drop in applications is undoubtedly due to the strike that has shut down classes for months. I know some York students and they are having a horrible time of it. They aren't going to class but they can't get a job because classes may start again at any moment. It is no wonder that new students don't want to suffer through such an experience.

I won't claim that unions are the root of all evil, but many unions are more of a parasite than they are helpful to workers. Unions don't even make a particularly smart parasite, they have a habit of killing their host.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on January 20, 2009 | Permalink


So where's the downside?

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-01-20 9:30:43 AM

Trade unions are certified for one thing only: collective bargaining, this has evolved into collective coercion. Union time and money over many years has been used to finance many special interest groups and causes. This tells me compulsory union dues are too high when they can use their forced memberships dues on non-work related issues.
The Myth of Trade Union Democracy
By Stephen J. Gray

Trade unions in Canada have subverted the word “democracy.” They claim to be democratic institutions but are funded by compulsory union dues. No other organizations in Canada are funded by compulsion, so why are trade unions given this special status? It was an appointed judge, Ivan C. Rand, who made union dues compulsory. This was known as the “Rand Decision” and it opened the floodgates to “democracy” by compulsion.

Our so-called Charter of Rights and Freedoms has a clause which guarantees freedom of association. Therefore, how can a person be free to associate if one is in a forced association? The truthful answer is one can’t be free.

“A union member is like an indentured servant.” Buzz Hargrove, President CAW.

Who is to blame for allowing “indentured servants in Canada? The answer is appointed judges, numerous politicians, the media and others in the elites who pretend that Compulsion is Freedom. Big Sister and Big Brother now rule over Canada’s union “democracy.”

This “democracy” by compulsion has resulted in trade unions amassing huge fortunes in money and assets, all of which are tax free. The unions use these funds to undermine traditional family values, finance socialism, and numerous special interest groups.

Some issues that trade unions have been supporting have been so-called “same-sex marriage” and abortion clinics. In fact, Ken Georgetti when president of the B.C. Federation of Labour sent out a letter soliciting funds for an abortion clinic. He is now the president of the Canadian Labour Congress which had this to say on the “same-sex marriage” vote in parliament: “With the passage of the federal equal marriage legislation, Canada has taken an important step forward. The labour movement—from local activists to national leadership—stood united with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community and played a critical role in persuading the Canadian government to pass the same-sex marriage law…. The Canadian Labour Congress was a founding member of the broad-based coalition, Canadians for Equal Marriage which led this struggle.” (emphasis added)
( http://www.canadianlabour.ca/index.php/pride_sol/Its_Time_to_Celebrat )

Laid off union members were struggling to make ends meet while the big labour boss of Canada was playing a “critical role” with others in “persuading the Canadian government to pass the same-sex marriage law.” Is this what union members pay him and other union bosses big dollars for?

I believe, if any other organizations in Canada were doing what many trade unions are doing with their memberships time and forced union dues dollars, charges would be laid. But, no charges are laid. Why is this?
Perhaps the answer is we no longer live in a democracy.

The Charter of Rights and freedoms was imposed without the people voting on it.

Most of the mainstream media are unionized and pay compulsory union dues (So much for a free press)

It was an appointed judge that made union dues compulsory (does this sound familiar)

Government legislation has certified compulsion (by certifying unions)

Governments of all political stripes over the years have allowed this subversion of democracy to continue. Orwellian doublespeak is the language of labor relations. Union Security is where the employer deducts COMPULSORY union dues from the members pay cheque and hands it over to the union. Free Collective Bargaining is another term of doublespeak… How can one be “free” if one is in a forced collective?

In the book “1984” personal life was dictated by the system. In today’s society we have Big Brother and Big Sister in the trade union system dictating social, moral and political issues to their compulsory members. And so the myth of trade union “democracy” continues.

Stephen J. Gray
November 10, 2007.
[email protected] website: http://www.geocities.com/graysinfo

Posted by: Stephen J. Gray | 2009-01-20 9:46:45 AM

To lower standards? Now, standard of York University is student of Biomedical science, who asked: "ophthalmologist? Who is it... what is it about?"
So, University will accept monkeys now?
And why not... if CUPE gets its two-year contract, we have strike in 2010 again... who else would apply there now...

Posted by: amaro | 2009-01-20 12:12:34 PM

For far too many, university is not a way to prepare for a better career, but either an excuse to keep partying for four more years while they avoid said workforce. Of course, that four-year party comes with one hell of a hangover, in the form of a five-figure debt load incurred in the name of picking up a liberal arts degree, which qualifies them to flip burgers at McDonald's.

That said, I would turn the "progressives'" arguments on them, and say to them, "If you argue that no institution receiving public monies can refuse to provide service to this or that group, then the same is true of you. You work for an institution funded by public monies, therefore you cannot refuse to serve. Which means that you cannot strike."

Labour unions were created to provide the working man with a voice against large private corporations to prevent abuses. This model, as conceived of for private enterprise, doesn't work in the public sector. If CAW goes on strike, GM sells fewer cars that year. But in the case of public-sector unions going on strike, it is the public that suffers, not the government. This union's job action is costing these kids AN ENTIRE YEAR OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL LIVES.

Public servants are essential services, and should be forbidden to strike.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-01-20 2:23:56 PM

Looks good on'em.

York U is full of nasty leftists who are openly hateful of people who don't think like them.

Posted by: Philanthropist | 2009-01-20 6:12:18 PM

We are parents of a fourth year international student at York. We are aghast at the ludicrous situation that is running into its third month! Reading the comments of students makes this mother cry. These children DESERVE better.
Posted by: Anxious Parent from Abroad

Posted by: Anxious Parent | 2009-01-20 6:49:06 PM

"Labour unions were created to provide the working man with a voice against large private corporations to prevent abuses. This model, as conceived of for private enterprise, doesn't work in the public sector."

It doesn't work for the private sector, either. Think about it: The only way to get higher real wages in the long run is either to take the same proportionate slice of a growing pie, or take a bigger proportionate slice of a stagnant pie. But workers do not promise to produce more in exchange for higher wages; they produce somewhat less because part of their labour goes to supporting the union structure itself. Do unions force the share going to profits down? Not in the long run, because if profits are expected to be low for too long, then the investors go elsewhere. Universal unionization only means universal inflation, with generally "high (nominal) wages" chasing a slightly smaller amount of goods and services. The ones who are really hurt by unionization are the low-income and fixed income and no-income people -- just the ones the unions hypocritically claim to represent.

There is no other conclusion than that closed-shop unions, using the strike weapon, is immoral.

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2009-01-21 2:29:40 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.