Volume 91, Issue 14

Friday, September 19, 1997



Strike! Strike! Strike!

The Ontario Federation of Labour is getting ready to potentially send its 40,000 members onto the picket lines Monday. The illegal strike action is in protest of the Conservative's new Bill 136, which Tories say is an attempt to deal with labour disputes which may arise as the government closes hospitals and merges school boards.

It seems too bad it has come to this but one may wonder if this is the only way to get Premier Mike Harris and his gang to sit-down and listen to the workers of the province. Even in news reports, Harris seems to appear unworried about any strike. Is this a 'never let them see you sweat,' Mike?

We, as citizens of this province, should try to understand both sides in this dispute. The government is doing what it thinks needs to be done in order to balance the budget and restore fiscal order. The workers, on the other hand, think the cuts have come so fast and furious since Harris' government took office it will only undermine the economy further.

In some ways they are both right. What essentially has happened, though, is a breakdown in communication. Since coming to power the government has made many cuts but never seems to consult with its workers. The province's workers have offered to sit down and talk to the government and offer solutions. They so far have been ignored and the government has forged ahead.

It's high time though that the government listens. Olive branches need to be extended and the government needs to get their fingers out of their ears and stop saying 'I'm not listening, I can't hear you.' A meaningful dialogue needs to be opened and soon.

The Harris government has been turning cartwheels lately touting that they are on target for their fiscal projections. Oh happy day. The big picture is not actually being grasped here. If all of the workers of the province are not united with the government in their plans, then the fractious fighting that has taken place will only continue and the economy will never truly get the boost that it needs.

Of course, this happy harmony could only happen in a perfect world for which it is not. Until then we will be seeing the protests of labour whether in the form of illegal walkouts, marches or rallies.

Mike, you should probably go out and buy yourself some deodorant because Ontario's definitely going to get hotter.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997