WHY IS LABOUR POLITICS IMPORTANT?
- Historically unions have been at the fore front playing a key role in the
political and social progress inlacing expansion of political rights, the
the welfare state. Things like employment equity, etc.
- The unions have played an important role in gaining these benefits
- There is a parliamentary route through elections, and lobbying.
- There is the extra-parliamentary - the working class or the labour movement
government policy in a certain direction
PARLIAMENTARY POLITICAL ACTION
- Unions mobilize around elections and lobbying
- Goal: to influence the legislative agenda by changing legislators or their
- Important because of the context. Whatever unions can win at the bargaining
can loose at the ballot box. Ex - Bill 115
- Complicated by the fact that most unions are in the public sector and the
- to shape the legislative agenda - EX. Anti-discrimination laws, wiping out child labour, raising minimum
- Legislators dont always follow through
- Business interests constrain even labour-friendly governments - Even in
where unions are able to elect candidates or parties that have the same
goals - they
still have to face the broader political and economic.
- Some workers historically reluctant to engage in partisan politics - Some
believe that voting is a private matter
OVERVIEW OF PARTY-UNION RELATIONS IN CANADA
- The NDP is the party most closely identified with unions in Canada
- Strategic voting - unions united in who they do not want to see elected. Ex.
Conservative, because of their strong ties to the business community and their
dislike against the labour movement. So in some cases unions would encourage
members to vote Liberals to block the conservatives.
- Larry has done research on this and has found it doesnt really work.
- Very few unions back Conservative candidates - In Quebec, organized labour is most closely aligned with separatist parties,
no formal links exist. Mostly, when we see Quebec emerging in the separatist
the 1960, the economic makeup was such that the capitalist class came from
background, and the workforce was primarily working class and francophone. This
created tensions. It politically aligned people in certain ways.
UNIONS AND ELECTORAL POLITICS
- NDP started out as New Party
- Economics and politics do affect each other.
- Labour council does endorse the NDP
NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY
- Founded in 1961as a social democratic labour party through a partnership
socialist Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress
- The NDP is formally tied to the labour movement through direct local
affiliations at the
provincial level (there are some exceptions)
- Positions exist within the party structure that are specifically reserved for
- Union affiliates are given 25% of the leadership selection vote in some
provinces - they
have a special group of votes that are reserved to elect the parties.
- Individual union locals can vote to join the party
- Arguably all of these things are on their way out the door. Larry suggests 10
years, we wont be seeing any affiliations
- Never won power federally
- However, is regarded as the most influential party in Canada to have never