Is the labour unrest Saskatchewan residents are subject to part of the result of the booming economy and the high price of oil and of housing? It may not seem a likely connection at first glance, but it is a fact that a major part of the ongoing grow
Is the labour unrest Saskatchewan residents are subject to part of the result of the booming economy and the high price of oil and of housing?
It may not seem a likely connection at first glance, but it is a fact that a major part of the ongoing growth and expansion of this province's robust economy is due to the record-high levels of the price of oil.
With exorbitantly high prices of gas, then the cost of transportation of goods and services goes up, leading to other increased costs of doing business, whether one is a retailer in an urban market or a farmer in the Weyburn region trying to figure out how to pay for seeding and fertilizing this spring (assuming, of course, they can get in the fields ).
Thus we have labour strife with the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, who are escalating their job action with the province's schools; the Health Sciences Association of Saskatchewan (HSAS) union of health care providers in some 30 categories; cancer agency workers in Regina and Saskatoon; and now, gearing up on the federal stage, our Canada Post workers.
The list may well grow beyond these workers if inflation keeps driving the cost of living upwards; the problem is, all the strikes lead eventually to much higher wages for some sectors, which adds to the inflation and self-perpetuates it. Is this what we want as a society in Saskatchewan?
Wait - doesn't this sound familiar to those who remember the high inflation of the 1970s and the bad recession of the 80s? Remember words like "wage and price control" uttered by the likes of Pierre Trudeau?
Surely we don't want costs to spiral rampantly out of control to the point where the government is forced to step in to help control things. Already, many citizens are wishing the government would do something about the obscenely-high price of gas.
Somebody has to temper their requests for more, and the unions would be a good place to start, by showing some restraint in their demands. They need to seek new collective bargaining solutions for their contracts, yes - but are the wage demands in line with reality?
Everyone involved in these disputes need to consider, what is the cost to our country as a whole? Can we really afford huge wage increases?
Nobody wants the alternative, which is controls set by the government.