Sunday 13 April 2008

Anti-Unionism: The Last Legal Hate

Excerpted and reproduced below, and then linked in full, is an article/commentary written by Humberto da Silva. It was written in February of 2003, but is as relevant today as it ever was. At the time of penning this article, da Silva was a labour activist and writer living in Scarborough, Ontario.
"Anti-Unionism: The Last Legal Hate
Hating unions, ... is not only acceptable in good company, it is encouraged.
We live in a society where everyone from a single mother doing a tightrope act on the poverty line to Conrad Black say that they are part of the middle class. The single mother is just indulging in a little of the opiate of the masses she got hooked on in school. Conrad is selling crack. But the Big H when you need to feel better about yourself is still definitely Hate.
Thankfully we have managed to get our ruling class to legislate, at least nominally, against the evils of racism, sexism, ageism, and discrimination because of disability or sexual orientation. These haven't disappeared, but like drunk driving, they are no longer anyone will admit to in polite company.
However there is one hate that still dares speak it's name: class hate, and because we are a classless society, this is manifested as union hate. Hating unions, and by extension, hating union members is not only acceptable in good company, it is encouraged. Racist jokes are generally now met with stony silence or a polite rebuke. But bring up those unions and everybody has a story to tell." (Read more....) Adobe PDF Format


susansmith said...

Larry, thanks for posting this article about union hating. It is about class.

Trent said...

I do agree that a lot of people hate unions; I am not one of them, Believe it or not. However, I know that not only successful people who can afford BMW's and Jaguars hate unions; people from all walks of life and economic status hate unions for a variety of reasons. Mostly, though, I think the reason people hate unions comes down to power. When the picketers stopped the Beemer and Jag drivers, even if only for a minute, for that minute the picketers had absolute power over those people and they hated they feeling of being powerless. The same applies to anyone who is inconvienced by a picket or a strike.
Just some food for thought.

KC said...

Opposition to unionism--whether because of ones political philosophy or because of observation of how unions operate in the real world--is a valid and legitimate political view that people are entitled to hold and advance. Im sorry but it is nothing like racism or sexism. Being anti-union is no more hateful than being anti-private property or anti-capitalism is.

I generally support unions and collective bargaining but I think you and the author of this piece are out to lunch. I expect that 99% of the population would agree with me.

HankR said...

Sorry Larry,

Not buying it. What about the "legal hate" portrayed by union bosses towards business and capitalists? How about Conservatives?

A union member sits on the executive board of the NDP. The NDP still have a copy of the Regina Manifesto on their website which calls for the "eradication of capitalism", which cannot be done without the eradication of capitalists. Would you consider than hateful?

In conventional terms, that's referred to as a Holocaust.

You encourage hatred by calling all Conservatives hypocrites. Do you think that's OK? Are you entitled to hate those that disagree with you? Is that your standard? Because that's the standard every bully uses.

So save us the sanctimony here, Larry...