John Fryer, President of the National Union of Provincial Government
"If provincial governments feel that they are under financial
constraints, because their own provincial economy is in trouble
and their deficits are up, then our opportunities on behalf of our
members to bargain living wages, and improve working conditions
and make a pitch for new programs is very very difficult."
Gerard Docquier, Canadian National Director of the United Steel
Workers of America (USWA)
"We are going through very serious de-industrialization of the country,
and are therefore losing numbers by the thousands... . I would say we are
losing over 500 members a month through direct job losses that will
never come back."
Jeff Rose, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
"We have grown in the last three years alone by 40,000 net. This is
an enormous net jump ...
On the whole ... faced with concession bargaining, Canadian unions have
been far firmer, and happily more successful than US unions, in resisting
efforts by employers in both the private sector and public sector to fight
the recession on the backs of their own workers."
Excerpts from: Canadian Union Movement in the 1980s: Perspectives
from Union Leaders, Pradeep Kuman and Denis Ryan, eds. (Queens: Industrial Relations Centre, 1988).