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This is the fight we trained for

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that when “things get tough – the tough get going.” Well, ATU and all of Labor in the United States can expect things to get tough over the next two years as a result of the GOP rout of the Democratic Party in this year’s midterm elections.

An all-out war on the president

Despite all of the pro forma conciliatory speeches they gave after the election, you can expect the Republican leadership in Congress to ratchet up their animus against President Obama to fever pitch.

It will start with whatever action the president takes on immigration – which the majority will use as an excuse to declare all-out war on the president’s ability to govern.
In the meantime, the corporate-sponsored Members of Congress and those now controlling many statehouses will use their new power to hammer away at federal and state labor law, and to de-fund public transit.

While this is not what any of us wanted, it is the fight we have been training for. And, no union is better prepared for this fight than ATU.

So, U.S. members, it’s time we “get going.”  We’ll be fighting as hard as anyone for what we believe in, and continue to train more of our members to do so, as well.

Public transit needs recognized in Canada

We have the same threats in Canada as we have in the United States, but there are some reasons to be optimistic about the future.  Most candidates in all of the Canadian elections this fall recognized the need for more and better public transit.

This was no more true than it was in Toronto, where residents elected the Progressive Conservative candidate, John Tory, to succeed Rob Ford as mayor.

Tory’s election was enthusiastically welcomed by Ontario’s Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne, who can be expected to work with Tory on fixing the City’s and the province’s public transit system.

What is not clear is whether or not these former opponents plan to extend, and re-build the system with public/private partnerships that usually require that they be allowed to run what they build with non-union labor.

No matter what the premier and the mayor say, there will be powerful interests, just as there are in the United States, that will see this as an opportunity to increase their profits by rolling back the rights of Labour in Canada.

So, we have our work cut out for us in both countries.  Let’s get to work.


P.S: Happy holidays to you and your family during this lovely time of the year. May peace and joy be yours now, and throughout 2015.

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