OTTAWA – Political observers were heartened this week to see the Liberals and the Conservatives put aside partisan considerations and vote together on a bill to force dockworkers who are striking to demand better working conditions at the Port of Montreal go back to work.
“We don’t always see eye to eye with the Liberals,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said. “For example, they love the fossil fuel industry, while we’re in love with the fossil fuel industry. Big difference. But it was nice to be able to come together on the issue of keeping workers from exercising their right to withhold their labour in order to ensure their own safety and comfort while on the job.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also pleased, as getting Conservative support to pass Bill C-29 will not only prevent the embarrassing economic fallout of a dock strike (though the union explicitly said they would continue to unload essential goods like medical supplies during the strike), but will save the Liberals from having to figure out how to solve a labour problem in a way that doesn’t fuck labourers.
“They say the best compromise is the one where no-one is happy, but we’ve managed to find a compromise where everyone is happy… except the dockworkers, because we’ve taken away their only leverage in this and all future negotiations, ensuring that their employer can continue to unilaterally impose working conditions and hours that endanger worker safety and make the workers’ lives demonstrably worse,” Trudeau said. “But everyone else is happy as proverbial clams.”
“I think this might be the start of a whole new chapter in Canadian politics,” Trudeau said. “Think of what the Liberals and the Conservatives can achieve together if we focus all our energy not on the partisan squabbles that divide us, but on what makes us the same: a sincere disdain for workers and their rights.”
The bill forcing the dockworkers to go back to work without their employer having to enact the quality of life and workplace safety concessions the union demands will now go to the Senate, where it will be decided on by people with iron-clad job security, reasonable hours, high pay and luxurious working conditions.