A solution to a problem that doesn’t exist

Over at Anti-CivicScene, former Sam Sullivan Chief of Staff Daniel Fontaine flags an alarming development:

With the release of next week’s council agenda, the corks are popping over at CUPE headquarters now that former BC Federation of Labour operative Councillor Geoff Meggs has introduced a motion to pull Vancouver out of the regional labour relations bureau.

My goodness, what nefarious scheme are the union thugs up to this time?

By doing so, it is hoped they will succeed in getting higher wages and greater benefits for their members.


Jonathan Ross at anti-CityCaucus takes care of, one might even say eviserates, the accuracy of  both facts and characterization contained within Fontaine’s post. But there is a broader aspect that’s worth mentioning too: Fontaine and his buddies at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business are concerned about a problem that doesn’t exist and their solution will exacerbate a serious problem that does. Labour costs are not out of control in British Columbia. In fact, over the last 25 years the median income has plummeted in this province. This despite the fact GDP has grown. Where did the wealth from this growth go? Well, those in the upper-income brackets – like those represented in the Canadian Federation of Independent Business – have done quite nicely during this time period, thank you very much. One might even they’ve done nicely in a historically unprecedented way.

Income inequality has grown in BC, and income inequality is a serious problem for society as a whole. If CUPE manages to leverage the “whip-saw” effect to spread the wealth around more equitably, and if that helps wages in the private sector rise, then that’s a good thing for everyone.

Too, I’m sure Mr. Fontaine declined the 17.5%+ raise that non-unionized City employees received.