Saturday, 5 January 2013

Lines composed a few minutes after listening to a parent bash unions and act like it is the greatest tragedy in the world her kid cannot participate in extracurricular activities this year because of work-to-rule industrial action in Ontario...

If the worst  thing your kid ever gets taken away from him is the chance to play on his school's basketball team, then I would say he is pretty damn lucky. I'm sure the kid who made the shoes your son probably wears while playing sports like basketball would trade him places in a heartbeat. After all, she had had her right to education taken away from her so your son can wear the latest brand of Nikes.

Speaking of child labour, did you know it is because of unions that this  practice has been mostly eliminated here in North America? And make no mistake; it is only because unions still have some power and influence in this part of the world that your son is not the one working in a sweatshop. 

However, if the business elite in this country (through the puppet governments they have helped put into power) get their own way, it won't be long before we return to the working conditions of the early 20th century- a.k.a.- a time before the labour rights movement in North America. Seriously. If you think I am being over-dramatic, then you have absolutely no sense of History. Labour laws can be easily changed (as they are being changed right now!), especially if there are no powerful groups of people to protect them. Thus, it may well turn out in the not-so-distant future that your son's son will be the one making shoes for rich kids somewhere else in the world. Is that really what you want?

If it is, then continue criticizing the teachers' unions and complaining about the loss of extracurricular activities at your kid's school.

If, on the other hand, you do really want a better future for your kid, then I have a few suggestions for you.

During the time your kid would have been playing basketball, you can educate him and yourself about the issues. Learn about the history of the labour movement. Learn about how unionization is largely responsible for the improvement of the working conditions of both unionized AND non-unionized employees. Learn about how since union membership has been shrinking, so too  has the middle class. Learn about the real reason why the government of Ontario has a $15 billion dollar deficit. (Hint: it is not because they spend too much money on education and other public services.)

Let's create a "useful crisis" in education so we can bankrupt the system!

Stop reading and watching mainstream media trash that poses as journalism and read an independent source of news that will actually provide you with factual information about why teachers are upset and about the government's true agenda- which is to bust unions and  destroy public education. Trust me, Laurel Broten doesn't give a shit about you or your kids. The clever decision by the Ontario government and the Ministry of (Mis) Education to title Bill 115  "Putting Students First" is truly Orwellian.

Finally, start to realize there is more at stake than your kid's access to extracurricular activities in his school. Learn to see past your own selfish desires and think about the bigger picture. After all, the only way society has have ever progressed in the past (and will hopefully do so again in the future) is when people are willing to sacrifice some of their individual comforts in order to work together and fight for a better future for EVERYONE!

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