Use of Pandemic as Excuse to Trample Workers' Rights
All Out to Stand Up for the Rights of All!
Governments across the country are engaging in
unacceptable self-serving activities under the cover of the pandemic.
While the working people have taken a clear stand against returning to
"business as usual" -- a state of affairs that continues to worsen the
pandemic -- governments are using the situation to take away any voice
the working people have. Already, the push for profit-based health care
has led to a disproportionately high number of deaths due to COVID-19
in private long-term care homes with deplorable conditions. For
example, CBC reported in June that 82.5 per cent of deaths in long-term
care homes in eastern Ontario have been in for-profit facilities.
Already, the anti-social offensive, pay-the-rich schemes and impunity
pushed by governments for the past 20 and more years has caused utter
deterioration of the social conditions.
When the ruling class started pushing the anti-social offensive they
arrogantly declared that it would lead to prosperity. All the measures
they have taken have made the rich richer and the poor poorer and
usurped more and more powers into the hands of narrow private
interests. Privatization, the elimination of all traces of the social
state and "changes to fiscal and budgetary policy" were accompanied by
attacks on unions and all arrangements from the past whereby workers
could negotiate wages and working conditions and security during
illness, injury and retirement. The arrogance is such that the working
people are not included in any discussion about the direction of the
economy or social, political and cultural policy and affairs. The
political system which claims they have representation through the
election of political parties to form governments has no credibility or
legitimacy because the people control no aspect of the electoral system
-- from who is selected to represent them and use their name to adopt
carry out policies, to what policies are adopted, to any decisions made.
This is the heart of the matter which reveals the need for political
renewal. It is thanks to the fight of the working class against
government fraud, corruption and cynical claims that the people still
have any measure of security. The use of the pandemic as a pretext to
justify emergency police powers is reprehensible. The working people
unequivocally condemn this and put an end to it.
Governments in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta are declaring and
implementing serious anti-social measures, using the pandemic to give
themselves all kinds of powers in the name of the greater good and
restoring the economy. Working people are entitled to be consulted and
participate in setting the direction of the economy and being an
integral, equal part of any decisions taken because they affect them,
their lives and those of their families in every way.
is time to reject all claims that such legislative changes are
constitutional or can be made constitutional or acceptable if a
mythical system of checks and balances prevails. There are no "checks
and balances" within the realm of government dictate. There is the
striving of the rich to control everything and the heroic efforts of
people and their organizations to hold them in check. But the division
of the society between those who have usurped power through corruption,
fraud and force and those who are supposed to submit without resistance
is at the heart of the anarchy, chaos and violence in the form of the
most heinous injustices and abuses of all kinds which prevails
Everyone must speak out against the use of emergency police powers
for criminal self-serving aims of paying the rich. No to Ontario Bill
195, the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, which empowers Cabinet to make temporary orders adopted during the COVID-19 state of emergency permanent. No to
Quebec Bill 61, An
Act to restart Québec's economy and to mitigate the consequences of the
public health emergency declared on 13 March 2020 because of the
COVID-19 pandemic; and Alberta Bill 10, the Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020, which seek to do the same thing.
The situation facing the working people has become a
democracy where all egregious anti-democratic measures must be
rescinded, as well as a battle of democracy in which the working people
must vest the decision-making power in themselves. This starts by
taking a stand against what is unacceptable, speaking out, deciding
measures can be implemented at any time to resolve the crisis in their
favour and setting a new direction for the economy. The working people
cannot afford to be merely reactive to every attack launched against
them but must also learn to be pro-active. Those who are arrogantly
using their positions of power and privilege to do all the things which
cause such damage to society and the people must be removed, not be
replaced by more of the same but by the working people themselves.
Defeat Anti-Workers Anti-Social Legislation!
No the "Emergency Powers"!
The Time to Act Is Now!
This article was published in
Number 50 - July 23, 2020
Use of Pandemic as Excuse to Trample Workers' Rights: All Out to Stand Up for the Rights of All!