July 01, 2015

Unions take government to court to protect sick day scammers

Brian LilleyRebel Co-Founder

Unions representing federal workers are going to be spending millions of dollars in the upcoming election to defeat the Harper government.

The biggest of these unions have also launched a court challenge to stop the government from making changes to their "sick days regime", an old antiquated system that hasn't been updated in several decades.The new plan is better for workers and saves taxpayers' money, so why are they resisting change? This is about power. If the unions were concerned about the workers they would have accepted this deal a long time ago.


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commented 2015-07-02 19:25:23 -0400
Dan – I read a lot of speculative fiction and I’m pretty sure I picked up the expression from there. For most of the history of war, weapons have been far ahead of armour. There was a time before the English longbow and effective gunpowder weapons (don’t get lifted on your own petard or it’ll blow you up instead) when armour came close to matching weaponry, at least for a little while. One thing that knights had and that developed over time is steel head protection. Someone without armour who got bopped on the head with a poleax would die. Someone with plate armour would be likely to survive (if it were only one hit and they survived the battle) but they would be dazed and probably concussed immediately afterwards. It was probably the first regular occurrence in history of an action that could cause a concussion without automatically killing the victim. That was the reference: someone whose eyes have trouble focusing, and who’s not quite all there.

Pure speculation on my part, but I think that that’s where the saying came from.
commented 2015-07-01 14:25:03 -0400
Unions are outdated and protect the useless. If I take a sick day I don’t get paid. If I have an extended illness I have short term disability from the company’s benefit plan I pay into. No entitled payed days off.
commented 2015-07-01 14:10:41 -0400
When were unions created? Back in the 1700s, and particularly to combat child labor (because children could be hired for less than adults). Unions were created to protect the worker from company abuses. Unions were created to give employees a fair wage.

It’s 200+ years later. By law (federal Labor Standards, and provincial corollaries), the minimum age to legally employ children without an adult’s written consent is 15 (dealing with child labor). We have the Labor Standards legislation to protect the workers from company abuses (and believe me, the Labor Standards people absolutely love taking on “offenders” (no sarcasm)). We have minimum wage laws that, while they may be outdated, still provide a basis from which to start (and here in Alberta, no company I know pays minimum wage — it’s all above that).

Unions are now ponzi schemes. Union members, when on the picket line, receive a fraction of their normal wages, even though their union dues are supposed to protect them from this loss. The lost wages are never recovered, even with negotiated increases. The union heads and bosses, however, never lose. Why is that, one wonders…? Unions need power to stay alive — why else have they been amalgamating to create “super-unions”, such as Unifor? Can they not stand on their own?

Unions were created to protect the worker; why are they involving themselves in politics?

I have respect for union workers. I have none for unions and their upper echelons, of any stripe.
commented 2015-07-01 13:51:53 -0400
Socialism rules the world today. Tell them it’s free and they will vote for you. Humans are self destructive fools by nature. If you think life owes you something, or that ANY government service is free…you should NOT have the right to vote.
commented 2015-07-01 13:32:51 -0400
Michael Doll, good post!

I would, however, “qualify” one phrase you said, “That’s why unions love government”, to “That’s why unions love socialist leaning government”

The mind set of that government education employee you mentioned is, unfortunately, an all too common attitude among public sector employees. I hear the comment, “I am entitled to my banked sick days” all too often. Can we blame these people for wanting more for them and theirs? In some ways yes and some ways no. In my opinion, all people should be cognizant of the community in which they live, both public sector and private sector together as one community and act as a responsible member of the whole, meaning that they should not be demanding an inequitable amount more that what a private sector worker of the same type job gets. However, it is human nature to take more for “me and mine”.
commented 2015-07-01 12:44:17 -0400
Deborah it is called agenda 21 if you want to know go to youtube and check out glenn becks warning to Canada about agenda 21 and that is what there trying to do in Canada
commented 2015-07-01 12:32:33 -0400
There are two reasons G.M. has lost 1000 jobs to Michigan, the cost of Hydro being one and the second being I now believe Michigan is a
“right to work state”, however Unifor is all for trying to blame the Federal gov’t for the loss.
As for the sick time scam, as a former OPG employee and union steward believe me I saw my fair share of the abuses of this system
(as well as a lot of other abuses) and I do believe the union is now past it’s best before date. I honestly believe that there are not only people who are unaware of how their dues are being abused and things are being operated, but because of the way the unions are set up the employees that are aware have really no say in what happens within the union.
commented 2015-07-01 11:34:37 -0400
Agreed Peter. I was talking with a friend waiting for a Calgary transit bus, and made a response to one of her questions along the lines of “oh, he’s a good union member, so don’t expect him to be able to think or work.” One of the other women waiting for the bus got mad, and proceeded to harangue me for 5 minutes or so about how horrible working conditions were and how unions are needed. I listened politely, and when I got a chance to ask a question I asked her to think of all of the reasons she had stated for why we have labour unions. I then asked “and how many of those reasons are not enshrined in law?” She proudly stated that they all were, because of the unions. “So if everything you’ve stated as being why we have unions is now part of the legal system and won’t be going away because it is part of the legal system, why do we still need unions? Everything they came into existence for is now part of the social fabric, but they’re still here anyway.” She looked like she had been pole-axed. We agreed to disagree on relative productivities of union versus non-union environments and went on to other topics. It surprised no one around us to find out that most of my working life has been on the fringes of “cultured” society while she was a government (education) worker who had seldom been outside a city (my definition of city, over 10,000 people, not her definition of 200,000 plus).

People are people, and they will do what is best for them and theirs. If I can buy the same quality for cheaper, I will. If I can work less for the same money (and security, and other intangibles) I will. If I can work the same for more money (and security, and intangibles) I will. Union members and leaders are the same. Unions tend to do well in places where there are large workforces who cannot easily be replaced (specialized skill sets, for example) and/or where there are few or no direct competitors. That’s why unions love government – it’s a monopoly where the ownership can change every election cycle but the “yes minister” backbone is entrenched. Ask GM how their union liabilities are “helping” them when international car makers come to Canada and set up non-union competition.

I hope this wasn’t too rambling. This response was about 3 times the length, and I tried to pare it down to the essence that relates to this item. It’s something I’ve seen and thought about a lot. I’m not sure of whether the union/non union is bigger than the rural do-it-yourself attitude versus the cities there’s-always-someone-you-can-hire attitude.
commented 2015-07-01 10:49:43 -0400
Oops – sorry for the double post!
commented 2015-07-01 10:47:13 -0400
I forgot to mention, that my company gave us 6-sick days per annum, on a use it or lose it basis. But since oil prices have plummeted and the NDP Marxists were elected in AB, we no longer have any sick days, until further notice. You have to use your vacation or any banked time you may have, or time without pay. These union workers have no idea how good they have it, and it is obscene that they do not want the tax payers money spent wisely. I feel no sympathy what so ever for these ingrates.
commented 2015-07-01 10:47:12 -0400
I forgot to mention, that my company gave us 6-sick days per annum, on a use it or lose it basis. But since oil prices have plummeted and the NDP Marxists were elected in AB, we no longer have any sick days, until further notice. You have to use your vacation or any banked time you may have, or time without pay. These union workers have no idea how good they have it, and it is obscene that they do not want the tax payers money spent wisely. I feel no sympathy what so ever for these ingrates.
commented 2015-07-01 10:37:11 -0400
Unions should not be able to thwart democracy to this degree, they have over stepped their bounds. Especially when the unions and their members are getting tax credits for union dues. This should be stopped. I don’t know of any other group of employees that feel so self entitled to publicly attack their employer, with no repercussions. In the private sector you would be fired immediately!
commented 2015-07-01 10:32:46 -0400
Funny – here’s what is going on in the US – you know, that country that runs this country.

25+ right to work states. Now SCOTUS will decides if union dues should be mandatory or optional for those who leave a union. (in the old days, the Americans called out the brits on taxation without representation).

This should be pure fkg entertainment. What do you think Brian?
commented 2015-07-01 09:38:22 -0400
Unions are outdated and a blight in Canadian society that should be removed. They have out lived their usefulness and are only in it for themselves, union execs trying to keep their jobs and their power over people. Union membership should be made optional like it is in the rest of Western society.