Saturday, February 26, 2005

Va te Faire Enculer!

Rather than use a slew of 'Kentisms' to make a point, here's an offer of yet another reason to love la belle Province. After shutting down the only unionized store on the continent and threatening a soon-to-be one, the government finally makes goliath pay. Unlike most jurisdictions where the regulatory bodies roll over and the unions whine, Quebec shows its distinctiveness yet again.

I love it.

4 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Heavens. These Quebeckers are a resilient bunch indeed. I must note, however, that this story is probably getting much more play in the Anglo media, for the simple reason that the unions of Quebec are a profoundly mistrusted group. Given that there was recently a high-profile labour war involving the SAQ, with real consequences to the province, namely the staunching of the flow of alcohol to Quebec homes, the public is currently not having any of this union shit. Which is too bad, because the importance of the Jonquiere union's achievements must not be understated. They have formed a union in a company that puts their store managers through courses on how to spot suspicious, certification-oriented behaviour on store property. The big question is whether this incident will cause a firestorm, first across Quebec, and then into the Maritimes, and even Ontario?

9:05 PM  
Blogger MapMaster said...

Unions are a good thing because people can band together and withdraw their labour to in order to obtain more favourable labour conditions, right? Right, I couldn't agree more. So why shouldn't WalMart withdraw its capital in order to obtain more favourable capital conditions? Is the negative reaction against WalMart because labour's demands are more reasonable than capital's? Who's going to be the arbiter of that dispute? A government that responds to the political necessity of pandering to large blocs of voters? Or the free choices of individuals shopping or not shopping as they choose, uncoerced?

10:10 PM  
Blogger Dick said...

I have absolutely no problem with Wal-Mart withdrawing its capital in order to maintain more favourable capital conditions.

What I do have a problem with is harassment and intimidation (read coercion)of workers who are banding together in order to obtain more favourable labour conditions... a point with which we are both in agreement.

"'How many cards? Are you involved?' You shouldn't do that. If you do that, something is going to happen to you.'"

I found this story important because it questions the sanctity of unregulated capitalism and the potential excesses of an unchecked free market. While I sympathize with capitalism, I also respect the protection of human rights and fair treatment. At its fundamental core, this isn't about pandering to voters, it's about stopping the intimidation of workers who want to form a union. While some will hate hearing this, a government body is the only regulatory means available to enforce fair treatment... as obviously, Wal-Mart isn't particulary interested in regulating itself.

In essence, the Labour Review Board was saying that if Wal-Mart is incapable of being morale and wishes to infringe on people's rights, they should go somewhere else.

And they did. Fare thee well. Don't let the door hit your fat ass on the way out.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Capitalist Thug said...

Meh, Wal-mart has done whats right for Wal-mart, and hate it though Dick may, he must eventually succumb to the simple and obvious fact that Wal-mart is soo successful because even the poor need to shop, and only the low low prices fit into their paradigm of po'ness

That Quebec has ridiculous labour laws that only serve to make unionizing too easy should have sent Wal-mart packing years ago, the poor of the province can survive on the legendary kindness of their own people without cheap goods to clothe them...........

9:14 AM  

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