Globalization, unions go together (Editorial)

By John Hobel
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/05/2003

Let’s face it, no employer wants a union. Even those organizations that have built productive relationships with unions would do without organized labour if possible.

Now that unions have, for the most part, done away with Dickensian working conditions in North America and Europe that lasted well into the last century, the focus is mostly on pushing pay and benefit packages as far as they can go. Oh sure, there’s some good union involvement around healthy workplace issues and labour standards, but one need only look at organized labour’s inability to deliver support for the NDP to appreciate many union members relate more to political parties that appeal to higher-income voters, than social policies on the left.

Most private-sector organizations blame unions for driving up the costs of doing business. So, in a competitive global market it makes sense for corporate Canada to support the development of unions in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Why should other nations have a competitive advantage by suppressing unions?