March 1, 2018

Resistance to Nova Scotia Anti-Social Offensive

Working People Rally at Legislature
to Defend the Rights of All


Nova Scotians Rise Up day of action, February 27, 2018 at Nova Scotia legislature.

Resistance to Nova Scotia Anti-Social Offensive
Working People Rally at Legislature to Defend the Rights of All
The Need to Take Up the Work for Empowerment

Sears Canada Bankruptcy
Workers and Retirees Demand Justice for Misappropriation of Pensions

Dangerous Situation Requires Workers Hold Governments and Private
Interests to Account

Senate Committee Report on Automated Vehicles
Human Factor and Social Responsibility at the Heart of Workers'
Security - Normand Chouinard

Resistance to Nova Scotia Anti-Social Offensive

Working People Rally at Legislature
to Defend the Rights of All

February 27 marked a day of action in Halifax called "Nova Scotians Rise Up." Around one thousand workers from all walks of life, youth and students came together throughout the afternoon at the opening of the Nova Scotia legislature to denounce the anti-social agenda of the McNeil Liberal government and its attacks on rights.

Teachers, nurses, forestry workers, fishers, injured workers represented by the Pictou County Injured Workers' Association, students, parents, and others from all around Nova Scotia stood at the steps of the legislature to denounce the McNeil government for its attacks on the rights of workers and its inability to address any of the pressing problems facing the people of the province, the economy and social and natural environment.

During the five hour event to counter the anti-social austerity agenda of the McNeil Liberals, speaker after speaker highlighted a common theme that the government in power does not represent the people and their various concerns but rather powerful private interests that have seized control. The government's response, when confronted with a collective of workers who demand their rights such as the teachers or nurses, is to criminalize them and refuse to bring in the improvements to their sector that those who do the work propose. In the education sector, the McNeil government has consistently ignored the expertise and knowledge of the teachers and other education workers who have positive ideas to improve the conditions and guarantee the right of all to the highest level of education a modern society can organize. Instead, the government hired a consultant who told it what it wanted to hear that an austerity agenda is the only option.

A fisher spoke of a McNeil government that ignores their concerns and does the same thing as with the teachers, hiring consultants to give credence to an agenda that the government has already set in opposition to the views and knowledge of those who do the work. Speakers denounced the government for suggesting that it has a mandate to make the tough decisions, which means attacking workers, social programs and public services through an anti-social austerity agenda that solves no problem.

This line of having a mandate is totally false. The party-dominated system called representative democracy negates the fundamental democratic rights of citizens to select candidates who stand for election and to set the agenda of the discussion during an election and establish the mandate they want applied by a government they elect. The entire party-dominated electoral process and the power of the monopolized mass media block the people from participating in politics, from selecting representatives from amongst their peers, from setting an agenda to solve problems in a manner that favours the people and from assessing and holding to account the government they chose. Under the current system, the people have no power to collectively express what they think or set an agenda and direction of the sectors where they work to solve problems let alone for the province or Atlantic region. The best they are offered is to appeal to the decision-makers, who represent powerful private interests to take a pause in their attacks, be more fair and less arrogant.

The people's stand to defend their rights and the rights of all at the rally and through their collective actions as teachers, nurses and others is an expression of their desire to be the decision makers and to have the power in their hands to set an agenda that favours them generally in the economy and society, and in particular in their work sectors.

Activists from the Workers' Centre of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) participated in the rally distributing several hundred copies of the February 22 edition of Workers' Forum while gathering subscriptions for the Party press and engaging in spirited discussion with participants. They expressed the Party's deep appreciation for the bravery of the teachers in standing up to the McNeil regime criminalization of their struggle with a resounding strike vote despite the threats of fines and imprisonment.

The activists affirmed the line of the Party that our security lies in organized conscious battles to defend the rights of all. The Canadian working people all across the country stand with the Nova Scotia teachers, health care workers, all public sector workers and others in their struggle for their rights with this oppressive and anti-social government.

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The Need to Take Up the Work for Empowerment

The right of the people to a say and control over their terms of employment and the social conditions they face cannot be denied or negated. In passing bill after bill to deprive public sector workers of their right to a say over their terms of employment and the conditions of the work they perform, the Nova Scotia government exposes itself as unfit to rule and in criminal contempt of the people's rights. The people do not and will never accept a government that deprives them of their rights and forces anti-social conditions on the youth and most vulnerable.

For the Liberal government to invoke police powers to criminalize the teachers and others who demand their rights is beyond the pale. This will not pass because the people will not allow attacks on the rights of any individual or collective. The McNeil government or any government has its head in the sand if it thinks these strong-arm tactics against the people will succeed. We are in the 21st century where the rights of all are considered inviolable. If the McNeil Liberals think they can hold back the march of history towards the right of people to decide and control those affairs that affect their lives such as their terms of employment, education, health care and the social and natural environment, it means they are obsessed and blinded with their class privilege and power.

The people of Nova Scotia and indeed all of Canada are one with the teachers, health care providers and other public sector workers who demand a say over their terms of employment and increased investments in the essential social programs and public services they provide. Students, parents and concerned members of the polity have long demanded an educational system of the highest quality to lift up all our youth to the highest cultural, spiritual and educational levels possible. A pro-social step forward begins with increased investments in social programs and public services and giving workers a say and control over their terms of employment and workplaces.

Those who own and control major parts of the economy must recognize the value public sector workers create within the people and for the society generally and realize it in a proper exchange with value their own workers create. Without this recognition and without exchanging a portion of the value their workers create for their own enterprises then both the economy and society will collapse. They and their representatives in government cannot continue spouting inanities about their inability as taxpayers to pay for educated and healthy workers and a society fit for human beings.

Educated and healthy workers are the essential core of the economy -- the human factor that produces the goods and services a modern economy, the people and society require for their existence. For these private interests to deny exchanging the value their own workers produce for the value their enterprises receive from social programs and public services is self-serving in the extreme and a path to destruction and ruin. Their non-recognition of the value public sector workers produce and their unwillingness to realize that value in return for the value they receive is the bogus material reason for an austerity program and to deny the rights of the people to their say and control. The subjective reason to deprive people of their rights is the fanatical attachment of the rich and their representatives to class privilege and power. The rich and their representatives in government consider themselves better than the masses, the hoi polloi as they call those they label as lesser human beings, nobodies and incapable of ruling themselves, the economy and society.

This anti-social experience with the McNeil Liberals shows the importance of stepping up the organizing of the people to fight to defend the rights of all and open a path to democratic renewal. Our security lies in the organized and conscious fight to defend the rights of all in this modern world still dominated by a ruling elite blinded with class privilege and police powers. The people of Nova Scotia cannot and will not allow the McNeil Liberals to crush the rights of any section of the people and deprive the people of their control over the affairs that affect them and their society. The people stand with the teachers, health care workers, all public sector workers and others in their battle for their rights and increased investments in social programs and public services.

Denounce the McNeil Government for its Attack on Rights!
Fight for Increased Investments in Social Programs and Public Services
to Meet the Needs of the People and Society!
Stop Paying the Rich!
Whose Economy? Our Economy!
Who Decides? We Decide!
Join the Organized Movement to Build the New!


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Sears Canada Bankruptcy

Workers and Retirees Demand Justice for Misappropriation of Pensions

Mass picket outside Sears store in Hamilton, October 27, 2017.

The Sears debacle underscores the necessity for a new direction
for the economy and politics

Sears Canada closed its doors forever in January. The bankruptcy directly affects 16,000 workers and retirees and many others owed money by the defunct company for goods and services supplied in good faith. Aside from the loss of employment, active and retired workers face a reduced company pension.

The deficit in the pension fund is a result of the refusal of the U.S. owners of Sears to keep the pension plan solvent and the unwillingness of governments to force them to uphold their social responsibility. The plan began to fall into deficit with continuous inadequate annual payments beginning in 2005. The lack of funds going into the pension fund occurred despite hundreds of millions of dollars going out of the company and country as special dividends to U.S. shareholders who had seized the company in 2005. The dominant shareholder by far is Eddie Lampert, CEO of a U.S. social wealth controlling fund called ESL Investments.

After ESL Investments took control of Sears Canada, staggering amounts of cash were taken out of the company and country in the form of "special dividends" to shareholders. Those shareholders expropriated a total of $3.5 billion during the period, which continued until 2013. Meanwhile, even according to Sears's own actuaries, the pension fund was in a crisis of underfunding falling $266 million short of what would be necessary to fulfil its pension benefit obligations when wound up.

The Sears Canada Retiree Group (SCRG), a collective of Sears retirees told the CBC that the pension shortfall began in 2007 shortly after ESL Investments seized control. The SCRG is bracing for news that the situation could even be worse once the bankruptcy proceedings are finalized. According to bankruptcy court documents, the SCRG continually expressed concerns since 2012 about the diminishing pension fund at a time when Sears Canada sales and profits were declining yet U.S. shareholders were taking billions out of the company in special dividends. Sears retiree and SCRG vice-president Ken Eady in an interview with the CBC said, "Sears didn't appear to be committed to investing in Sears' future.... It's not necessarily the [pension] shortfall that was the problem; it was about taking the money out of the company and allowing the company not to operate properly, thus leaving the pension plan high and dry."

A 2014 letter sent to Sears' legal counsel from lawyer Andrew Hatnay with Koskie Minsky, the law firm representing Sears retirees, echoed the concerns of the SCRG. The letter said that despite the deteriorating financial situation at Sears Canada, its board of directors continued to approve big payouts to shareholders following the sale of assets such as valuable real estate. From 2005 to 2013, the U.S. ownership gang took $3.5 billion out of Canada, largely through special dividends. As a major Sears shareholder, ESL Investments benefited significantly from the dividend payouts even though available revenue from operations was falling and the company needed extensive reinvestment and renewal.

The SCRG says Sears employees both currently retired and those no longer employed at Sears face diminished pension benefits. "They [Sears] couldn't afford to [top up the pension fund], but they could pay out dividends," said Gail McClelland, a Sears retiree who worked 33 years for the company in Calgary. McClelland told the CBC that she continuously paid a portion of her wages into the pension plan while the company was expected to top it up so that it could meet its obligations and guarantee a modest pension benefit for retirees.

The SCRG is scrambling to find alternatives within the situation such as having Sears' liquidated assets go into the pension fund and having provincial governments take over the fund as an active pension plan by amalgamating it with other plans. Retirees are also pushing the court appointed monitor of Sears Canada's insolvency to review in particular the $611 million that U.S. shareholders expropriated from the Canadian company in special dividends in 2012 and 2013 when the continued existence of Sears Canada was already in doubt and the pension plan was seriously underfunded.

The Sears case is yet another indictment of the current economic, political and social arrangements exposing the necessity for fundamental change. The fact that a supranational organization such as the U.S.-owned and controlled ESL Investments can loot a Canadian company and leave it in ruins and allow the pension fund to fall into disarray speaks loudly of the necessity for a new direction for the economy and politics of Canada. Canadian working people and the institutions they rely on should not be fair game for international parasites to pillage and destroy yet no one from big business or any government or state institution has been held to account for this disaster or any of the other recent failures.

Canadians demand justice for Sears workers and retirees!

Hold those responsible for this debacle in government and big business to account!

Canadian workers give their capacity to work to the socialized economy and its enterprises and in return expect a Canadian standard wage and pension for life. The oligarchs and governments have left Sears workers and retirees in the lurch with no one in government or business held to account. This provides added proof that the civil society of old is incapable of controlling the supranational forces of the rich oligarchs within the U.S.-dominated imperialist system of states.

Security of employment and pensions for all are ephemeral when control rests in the hands of private interests whose aim is to expand their global empires and social wealth in reckless schemes while completely unconcerned with the chaos, misery and crises they cause. A rule of law, which in this case would label the actions of these U.S. privateers and their co-conspirators in government a grave crime, does the opposite and facilitates their larceny. The Canadian working people have to organize themselves in a way to extricate themselves and the country from this imperialist system of states and establish a sovereign state and nation-building project with an aim to serve the people and general interests of society and deprive these international pirates of their power to pillage and destroy.

It Can Be Done! It Must Be Done!

(With files from CBC)

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Dangerous Situation Requires Workers Hold Governments and Private Interests to Account

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) on February 20 released preliminary statistics of rail, air, marine and pipeline accidents that occurred in 2017. Statistics show a general increase in accidents.

Rail Accidents

The TSB says 1,090 rail accidents were reported to it in 2017, an increase of 21 per cent over 2016. The TSB reports 77 deaths from rail accidents in 2017, 11 more than in 2016. Of the rail accidents reported to the TSB, 115 involved dangerous goods, up from 100 in 2016. Five of the accidents in 2017 resulted in the release of hazardous materials.

Pipeline Accidents

The number of pipeline transport accidents increased from zero in 2016 to five in 2017. One accident resulted in a 200,000 litre spill of light oil from an Enbridge pipeline at an industrial site near Edmonton. Curiously, a TSB spokesperson expressed little concern about pipeline accidents because they were caused, according to the TSB, by a rainier year in 2017, resulting in more soil erosion and increased the exposure of pipelines to disruptions and spills. The fact that heavy rains can cause pipeline breaks and spills is disturbing and concerning news for Canadians given the current mania of the ruling elite to build more pipelines to export Canada's raw and semi-refined material.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada has published statistics showing an increase in the transportation of crude oil by pipeline. The amount of crude oil transported by pipeline increased by 3.9 per cent between 2016 and 2017. The increase is largely due to the resumption of oil shipments from Fort McMurray following the wildfires of 2016 Statscan says.

Aviation Accidents

The number of aviation accidents increased from 230 in 2016 to 239 in 2017, the TSB reports. The increase in accidents in the commercial transportation sector is particularly high, from 63 to 94.

A total of 921 aviation incidents were reported to the TSB in 2017, a significant increase over the previous year in which 833 aviation incidents were reported. The TSB considers incidents to be events that do not necessarily lead to accidents. They include near misses that could have led to disasters. Such a near miss occurred in July 2017 when an Air Canada plane came within a few metres of crashing into four planes as it attempted a landing in San Francisco.

According to the TSB the increase in aviation incidents is due in particular to an increase in the risk of collision and "loss of separation" (failure to maintain the minimum regulatory distance between two aircrafts in flight). At the moment, the TSB does not provide an explanation for these failures. In Canada, the first reported collision between a commercial aircraft and an unmanned aerial vehicle (a drone) also occurred in 2017.

Marine Accidents

With respect to marine transportation, 276 marine accidents were reported to the TSB in 2017, a decrease of 10 per cent from 2016, when 307 accidents occurred. However, marine incidents increased, with 875 reported to the TSB in 2017 compared with 768 in 2016.

These statistics are disturbing and equally disturbing is the Trudeau government's refusal to examine seriously what these statistics reveal and to take necessary corrective action. The day the TSB statistics were released, the Trudeau government issued a communiqué through Transport Canada that employed the usual empty formulations to avoid taking responsibility for the situation.

For example, Transport Canada states that the oversight practices in the aviation sector follow international standards and airlines are required to have safety plans to go along with planned inspections. Oversight is targeted where the risks appear greatest, based on available data, a spokesperson said while adding, "Transport Canada has a robust oversight program that allows the department to prioritize its resources to areas that provide the greatest safety benefit."

Clearly, this mush is unacceptable. The Liberal government does not even clarify what "international standards" it follows. Nor does it explain the reason for the application of certain standards if they do not prevent and may even worsen the number of incidents and accidents. The government cannot escape responsibility in the eyes of the workers by claiming that others, the unnamed international standards and airlines, are responsible for the situation that exists in the transportation sector in Canada.

Workers demand the government must play a central role in ensuring that all transportation systems operate in a safe manner. Workers do not accept that Canada must be part of a supranational chain of command that does not take into account the specific characteristics in Canada and the well-being of all peoples, including the Canadian people. For example, to say international airlines are in control means in effect working people exercise no control.

To counter the situation of supranational monopoly control, Canadian national standards must be worked out with a key role being played by the experience and control of transport workers and other concerned Canadians. The international standards the Trudeau government refers to are those devised by the private global monopolies to serve their narrow interests on a supranational basis. They dictate, among other things, the reduction of safety measures in the name of their competitiveness and empire-building. They impose on the transportation systems their narrow economic aim of achieving the highest possible money profit. The safe operation of Canada's transportation network cannot be achieved with such a backward aim in command.

Chair of Pilots Association Speaks Out

The TSB report describes a deterioration of the accident record of Canada's transportation systems, which is certainly not the direction Canadians want to see. Yet, the government has the gall to boast about self-regulation of the transportation industry, and about the so-called plans of the companies that go hand in hand with the so-called government inspections that have actually been reduced in terms of their power, their scope, and are severely understaffed from want of funds.

Greg McConnell, the National Chair of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association (CFPA) spoke out about the situation in a CBC radio interview on February 22:

"Prior to being the Chair of the Canadian Federal Pilots Association, I was an inspector for 24 years. I have witnessed the dismantling of the aviation system as we used to know it to today's state.... In 2005 every operator in this country was inspected on an annual basis. Then it went to three years, and then it went to five years and now operators are only inspected on the basis of identified risk [in place of a full inspection -- WF Note]. Generally we have become very reactive and not proactive with respect to identifying problems and solutions to those problems before they happen. Cuts are all about money. I want my people to be properly trained. The courses that I have taken are not given any more. They [Transport Canada] have not responded to TSB recommendations for over 20 years, nor to the recommendations of the Auditor General, nor to the 17 recommendations made in the spring by the Standing Committee on Transportation Infrastructure and Communities. Last April, Judge Moshansky called on Transport Canada to hold another national inquiry into aviation safety. It has been 29 years since there has been an inquiry in this country."

The Trudeau government and the private monopolies it represents and serves will not escape responsibility for the deterioration of the safety and security of the transportation systems. Disasters are waiting to happen and as Greg McConnell says Transport Canada is reactive not proactive. The time has come to step up the struggle of all workers to ensure adequate safety and security throughout Canada's transportation systems by using their organized voice and building public opinion for action not reaction. Security and safety must be wrested from the prerogative powers of transport monopolies and their representatives in government who act for their own narrow economic anti-social aim of money profit before all else and have shed any attributes of public institutions that defend the public interest.

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Senate Committee Report on Automated Vehicles

The Senate Committee on Transportation and Communications submitted its report to the federal government in January 2018, on the impact of future automated vehicles in Canada. Around the same time the mining and oil monopoly Suncor Energy Inc., which operates oil sands mines in northern Alberta among other enterprises, announced the loss of about 400 heavy machinery operator jobs to be replaced eventually by automated trucks. These huge behemoths manufactured by the Japanese company Komatsu at a sales price of $5 million per unit can operate 24 hours a day, interrupting operations only for maintenance and diesel refuelling, according to a company spokesperson.

The 12-member Senate Committee titled its report "Driving Change." The over 70-page report included 16 recommendations for governments advising them "to start planning for the arrival of these technologies in order to address concerns and to ensure that Canadians realize the full potential of automated and connected vehicles" and to "help build a coordinated national strategy on automated and connected vehicles."

Senator Patricia Bovey who is a leading member of the Committee compared the current situation with the period before the advent of the automobile. She commented, "One of the first jobs of the Senate was to protect the horse and buggy drivers with the coming of the automobile. Here we are at another quantum societal change that's going to happen regardless. It is happening."

According to the report of the Senate Committee, more than 30 meetings were held, and the Committee received and heard from more than 78 "key" witnesses in the field of new technology and received several submissions from companies interested in the issue.

The report states that this technology could affect more than 1.1 million Canadians in the coming years. The workers affected, according to the report, are from a variety of sectors and include taxi drivers, truck drivers, bus drivers, police officers, instructors, tugboat operators, mechanics. Despite the prediction of massive loss of jobs, the committee's findings go in the same direction as claims of technology monopolies such as Google, Uber and others. They paint a glowing future where vehicle automation can bring dramatic improvement in road safety. They say high-performance computers in vehicles are better at anticipating danger than humans.

Echoing the predictions of the monopolies involved, the Senate committee considers that the environment will be better protected with the advent of automated vehicles and that they will also provide social benefits, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities who will have access to "safe and viable mobility" and will benefit from better social inclusion. The report also claims that automated vehicles have great economic potential for the economy in terms of collision avoidance, fuel cost savings, increased productivity in various economic sectors etc.

In a section on what the report calls the potential challenges of automated vehicles, the report highlights the actual danger of massive job losses and the impact on the privacy of Canadians because of data gathered on automated vehicles. The data include information on navigation, traffic, weather and entertainment. The systems can be paired with a driver's phone giving the system access to the user's contact list, incoming calls, messages or emails.

The report raises the problem of cyber security as data generated by the automated vehicles can be used for nefarious purposes by hackers and cyber terrorists. Two other challenges that need to be met, according to the report, are building the necessary new infrastructure and the need for a new vision on how to design big cities.

The report mentions similar work being done on automated vehicles in several industrialized countries including Britain, the United States, Germany, France and Japan. Numerous tests are being carried out all over the world in terms of research and development of this new technology. Many monopolies are engaged in research and testing. Rio Tinto is already using 73 autonomous vehicles manufactured by Komatsu to haul iron at four jobs sites in Australia. Autonomous vehicles are also being used in Chile. In 2017 Suncor entered a five-year agreement with Komatsu for construction and earthmoving vehicles for use in Alberta, which they say will result in a net loss of 400 jobs.

The Senate committee recommends that Transport Canada and ISED (Innovation, Science and Economics Development Canada) establish a policy to harmonize and coordinate the federal government's efforts to implement a national strategy for the implementation of automated vehicles including matters of security, cybersecurity and privacy.

The report considers the dominance of automated vehicles in the lives of the people in a not so distant future as a fait accompli and claims, in a typically liberal way, that the issue is to find a balance between these dramatic improvements that Canada cannot afford to miss and the potential dangers they entail on various fronts. Also accepted without question is the control of the monopolies over these changes at the workplace and throughout society to serve their narrow private interests. The issue is not discussed or even raised of how the working people in particular can gain control over the social products they produce such as automated vehicles, so that the introduction of these improvements or dramatic changes in the forces of production and throughout society will favour the people and not harm their interests and the general interests of society.

(With files from Federal Government website, Transport Canada, ISED, Teamsters Canada, CBC )

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Human Factor and Social Responsibility
at the Heart of Workers' Security

The report of the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications on automated vehicles entitled "Driving Change" is very revealing of what the ruling circles are planning for the hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers to be hit by this "new industrial revolution." The report shows the methods the ruling circles are using to eliminate any discussion about this "revolution" and to force workers to accept what is on the horizon, not as thinking human beings but as helpless onlookers without any possibility of exercising control.

For the ruling elite, a report of 75 pages, some consultations with experts, a small hike in automated mini-buses in front of the Canadian Parliament as part of the activities for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, repeating the opinions of "key" players in the industry selling the new technology, an official filing of a report to the state institutions to which they swore allegiance and the issue is finished. Case closed. The products workers produce are considered out of conscious control of those who produce them and poised to wreak havoc on the lives of many.

Canadian workers are told to accept the coming changes as if no alternatives are possible. A vague concern expressed by the ruling circles in this report about the jobs, security and social changes engendered by the new technological revolution is supposed to convince the working class that the highest authorities in government have taken their social responsibilities seriously. The so-called balance among the factors of privacy, jobs, security and automation is a government priority for the elite to settle and the fate of workers and the economy is in their hands.

Not so fast! For workers, social responsibility begins at home in the hands of those who are affected, the human factor. It does not belong in political institutions of a former century that have irrevocably changed into instruments of powerful supranational oligopolies serving select private interests. How are workers supposed to believe even for a second that their security will now be defended and guaranteed by a new technology over which they have no control? By what subterfuge do they want us to believe that a life in security for the 400 Suncor laid-off miners will be ensured once their livelihoods for which they trained and dedicated years of their lives are now gone forever? What balance, security or social responsibility on the part of those in power are going to magically appear when such factors have never been their aim? Workers know full well that the rich and their representatives are driven by their narrow aim to expropriate as much money profit as possible from the value workers produce. They accept no balance with their singular aim as no other is tolerated.

What is occurring?

1. New technology now enables automated driving of mining vehicles that are capable of operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

2. The Suncor monopoly has acquired technology through the powers conferred on it by its ownership and control of its private empire and the accumulation of immense social wealth from expropriating the added-value produced through the work-time of the working class it employs.

3. Four hundred workers are laid off and faced with an uncertain future, the first of predicted hundreds of thousands to be directly affected.

4. The introduction of greatly increased fixed means of production reduces the added-value or money profit in relation to invested social wealth, putting downward pressure on the rate of profit. To overcome this trend the monopolies increase production, which floods the market with social product depressing prices as supply overwhelms demand. They in turn attempt to manipulate the market price in their favour all of which ends in yet another economic crisis.

5. Government and state authorities facilitate the decision of Suncor and other private interests to introduce new technology; police powers use state-organized criminalization of workers' resistance to the attacks on their rights; and, constant propaganda from the monopoly controlled mass media wrecks public opinion that a socially responsible alternative is possible that puts the human factor at the heart of decision-making, where the actual producers of value, the working class, is in control of the means of production and the social product it produces.

That is the reality and challenge workers and society face.

Canadian workers are well aware that what has happened at Suncor will be repeated many times in the future with the exponential development of new automated technology. The problem is not automation per se but how social responsibility must be upheld in modern society. Security is not just about road safety, which will be affected by this automation. Security is about how people participate in securing livelihoods, which is impossible if workers do not control their economy, the conditions in which they work to produce value and the social product they produce. Assuming social responsibility within today's social conditions means protecting workers from predatory monopolies and ensuring the well-being of all members of society; it means putting the human factor at the centre of all decisions on the direction of the economy; it means the security of one and all can only exist in the defence of the rights of one and all. The Senate committee's report is very far from such a modern definition of security and social responsibility.

The concerns of workers, especially transport workers, in the face of the advent of new automated technology are justified. Every workday they are at the centre of modern production and have adapted to a multitude of new production technologies since the beginning of their existence as the essential productive force of industrial mass production. They can see with their own eyes that those who own and control the giant private enterprises where they work ignore the necessary social responsibilities of today's world and casually dismiss the human factor/social consciousness.

Workers can only guarantee their full security if they can control things and phenomena that affect them every day. They must discuss among themselves a modern definition of security and carry out actions with analysis with the full weight of their organizations mobilized to defend their right to a life in which security for all and the well-being of the people and society are at the centre of human development.

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