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Mar 05 2011

BC Inmates getting a union – along with voting rights

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I was at a council meeting when I heard that Communities with a jail could get free labour from that prison population – especially if the Municipal workers are “non-union”.   Personally, I’m opposed to using slave labour – I believe that what we call it in China.

Then I heard on the radio that BC prisoners are getting their own union.  I said “how novel” Canada is rejecting slavery. Hardly believing it, I checked out the CBC Internet news and sure enough it’s true.

The other information in the CBC article is that inmates have the right to vote! WOW!   According to CBC:

“These are Canadian citizens,” … “They’ve been granted, in previous Supreme Court hearings, the right to vote and this is another really basic right they’re looking for…”

We actually have a population in Canada looking for voting rights – I thought Canadian law gave that to every citizen – however, it seems Canada’s Governments play with the election Act in a way that does not pass scrutiny of our top experts..

Considering the recent trend in Government to vote in ‘back to work’ legislation and support corporations that leave the the Country when workers reject a 50% decrease in pay offer – I doubt the Prisoner’s Union will have much clout.  If it effect’s the current Government’s choice to maximize profit at the expense of human resources – there will be little benefit that I can see.

But at least Canadian slave labour policy appears to be better than China’s policy – when did we ever think we would compare our worker’s rights and human rights policy to that of China’s?

Apparently, we can expect prisoners to be unionized by 2015 so the NDP will likely deal with that situation and hopefully the NDP will ensure that prison workers who put out forest fires have the right to safety boots and other protective gear.

Maybe then, prisoners will actually get paid for their labour knowing they have something to contribute to society? Maybe they’ll believe we are a caring society and re-integrate into the workforce.

Yes – that would be nice.

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