Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tension within Canada's labour movement

Journal of Commerce
Although some members have pulled out of their internationals and formed their own Canadian unions, most of the trades remain content to be internationalists. Yet they could be subject to the same push and pull of accountability to U.S HQs.

It’s a delicate situation, which Canadian officers work assiduously to maintain as a mutually beneficial relationship. Even so, there are occasions when relations become at least wobbly, as in the case of the Carpenters Union where various factions are currently striving for control inside or outside the international, whichever side prevails.

According to Stanford, problems at the Toronto local of the Labourers International Union, where officers were also removed by the international, are another example of tensions even among the building trades that can lead to breakaways. Stanford’s own union some years ago led the biggest retreat from international unionism but there have been others.

The B.C. wing of the International Woodworkers of America, once the biggest union in the province, broke from its international to become independent, although it later joined the international Steelworkers Union in a search for protection by a bigger organization in the winds of change sweeping through the forest industry.

No comments: