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Op Ed Assignment



Write an Op-Ed or opinion piece that would appear in a
newspaper on a subject related to organized labour in Canada today. A list of potential topics
appears below. For each topic you will need to conduct research in order to have evidence to
support your opinion. Your goal is to articulate and intelligent opinion on the subject that would
be convincing to readers. The Op-Ed should be approximately 750 words.
Potential Op Ed Topics: You may also choose your own topic.
Workers today need unions. / Workers today do not need unions
Young workers should support unions / Unions are no friend of young workers.
Unionized workers are justified in striking to defend their wages and benefits. (for or against)
Unions should be more militant in resisting employers’ demands for concessions and in trying to
win gains for workers.
Unions should be less militant and more cooperative in how they deal with employers.
More needs to be done to help non-unionized workers to form unions.
Unions should become more democratic.
Unions should be more involved in political action. / Unions should stay out of politics.
Supporting the NDP is the best political action strategy for unions. (for or against)
The right to strike is crucial for workers and should be strengthened.
The right of unionized workers to strike should be further restricted.
The Manitoba
Labour Relations Act
should be made more pro-union.
The Manitoba
Labour Relations Act
should be made more pro-employer.
Fighting racism in the workplace and in society should be a high priority for unions.
Fighting sexism in the workplace and in society should be a high priority for unions.
Fighting heterosexism in the workplace and in society should be a high priority for unions.
Unions should adopt social movement unionism.
Unions in Manitoba should become more independent of the provincial government.
Unions should do more to fight for social justice.
Unions should do more to help stop climate change.






Subject Law and governance Pages 2 Style APA


Workers Today Need Unions
Barely the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. Day in day out, workers are always on the streets striking and singing the solidarity tune forever, but to no avail. They are right.
Across the country, workers are agonizing from layoffs, unemployment, and stagnant wages while the CEO and the executives’ reimbursement scheme is skyrocketing. Taxpayers are giving pensions, benefits and job security protections for public workers that nearly no one in the private sector enjoys. A union is a structured group of employees who mutually use their strength to have a power of speech in their workplace. Through this union, employees have a right to influence their wages, working hours, benefits, occupational health and safety, job training and other parts relating to their employment. Labor unions have significantly helped the workers by protecting their rights. And yes, workers have also to use this platform to bargain uniformly on behalf of the majority workers (Crum, 2006). For them to be part of the labor union, they must typically apply for membership and pay dues.
Unions play a significant role in protecting against abuses in the workplace, and in my experience they are essential to training, deploying and managing a professional work force. At the moment, workers need a union to schedule entirely factors such as increasing their wages, ensuring safe working conditions, increasing remunerations for both employees and their families, and raising the standard of living for the working class. Canadian labor movement has become more dynamic in assuming the leadership part in social and economic changes. Therefore, reforms have been done through vigorous lobbying for better legislation on matters such as adequate protection for part-time workers, better occupational and health standards, pay and employment equity for women, national day care, and improved public pensions. All these reforms need to be made effective through well-organized campaigns against free trade privatization and full employment policies.
Today, employees need fair treatment as much as ever. The reason for this is because most organizations only focus on creating profits at the expense of the fellow workers. The nature of work in Canada is changing. Employers are trying to shed responsibility for giving out reasonable working hours and job safety protections, health insurance, and real pension coverage. As an alternative, firms are making workers’ employment and income vulnerable by reducing, part-timing, contracting out, and transferring jobs off-shore.
Like never before, employees need that collective voice and bargaining power of Unions to restrain their bossy employers from making the workplace look like the one of the nineties. Lack of this united representation has led to unsustainable wages and 70-hour work weeks may become Canadian’s future just like its past. The previous era has seen planned labor fall as a share of the Canadian workforce. The years between 1997 and 2011, Union solidity in Canada dropped by 1.7 percent from 30.9 percent to around 29.2 percent (Glende, 2012). The overall fall in union density would have been higher but for the fact that highly unionized public sector continued to stand on behalf of a large portion of total employment. Organizing around a common interest is a fundamental part of democracy. We should no more try to take off the right of individuals to collectively bargain than we should seek to take away the right to a secret ballot. Instead, we should work to modernize government’s relationship with unions —and union heads should be farsighted enough to cooperate because the single way to protect the long-term integrity of employee benefits is to guarantee the public’s long-term ability to fund them.
In Canada, efforts to rein in spending on labor contracts have included proposals to strip them of their right to uniformly bargain for pensions and health care benefits. The problem is not unions expressing those rights; it is governments failing to adapt to the times and issue in a fiscally responsible manner. If contract terms or labor laws from years past no longer make sense, we the people should renegotiate —or legislate —changes. Benefits agreed to 35 years back that now are unaffordable should be reduced. Similarly, work rules that made sense 70 years ago but are now old-fashioned should be improved. In our country, we share the same goal of the nation that is less spending and better services. (Crum, 2006). We, too, are seeking to enact changes to reduce pension and benefits costs and modernize our labor laws. But in some cases, we believe developing collective bargaining would be more beneficial to them all.
In conclusion, if the collective bargaining agreements are no longer serving the public, we should change them. That is what fairness is all about, and that is our responsibility. The job of labor bosses is to make the best chance for their members. The role of chosen officials is to get the best deal for all citizens. Rather than state war on unions, we should demand a new deal with them —one that reflects today’s economic facts and workplace situations, not those of a century ago. If we fail to do that, the liability is not in our unions, or in our stars, but in ourselves. Workers need unions the most so as to provide to them not only essential complements, but also, give legislated benefits and protection. Women across the nation are supporting this movement since they are also advocating for change. Working people have got a lot of concerns in this economy. They need a decent pay, good benefits and, of course, a job security. I, therefore, stand tall and suggest that workers need a union to represent them, as a matter of fact.




Crum, D. (2006). Hard Labor: Scholars chronicle the relationship of African Americans to unions and the industrialization of America. Black Issues Book Review, 8(5), 38-39.
Glende, P. M. (2012). “We Used Every Effort to be Impartial”: The Complicated Response of Newspaper Publishers to Unions. American Journalism, 29(2), 37-65.


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