The Day After A Landslide Election Win, Brad Wall Threatens Labour

From CTV:

A day after his landslide re-election, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall hinted at a new battle with union leaders.

“We’re not going to be looking for arguments, but if there’s opportunities to increase accountability and transparency for union members, we’re going to pursue those,” Wall said Tuesday.

Wall, who has butted heads with union leaders since his Saskatchewan Party came to power in 2007, mused during the election campaign about requiring unions to reveal how they spend their members’ money. On Tuesday, he said that could mean legislation as early as this fall, although he wouldn’t provide details.

“We know there’s a certain amount of publication of union finances that happens now, but maybe it should be even more forthright,” he said.

I see, so more harassment of unions. Excellent. I particularly like this quote:

“We’re not going to worry as much about the relationship with union leadership that made it quite clear … that they’re not entirely interested in working with the government or the truth of the record of the government of Saskatchewan.”

Now that’s just rich. “Truth”? What nonsense. Here’s reality: it’s Brad Wall and his government who are “not entirely interested” in working with union leadership. Example: the Wall government swooped into power and immediately introduced anti-union legislation which Wall and his government brought in without any consultation with unions.

Not a surprise: the Sask Party certainly seem to be on friendly terms with the business groups that push for anti-union laws, and they seem far cozier with said business groups then the Sask. NDP has been to labour groups in the past three decades.

Yes, labour unions have historically supported the NDP, though often grudgingly and not without some big falling-outs. And yes, labour has mistrusted the Saskatchewan Party since the party was founded. But Brad Wall and co. proved that mistrust founded with their actions after they won the 2007 election (and let’s not forget Wall agreeing that “going to war with unions” would be an accurate description of his labour policy before he was even elected premier).

It is baloney for Wall to pretend that his government has been unfairly treated by union leadership. He came to power, threw a bunch of punches and now labour’s leadership doesn’t like him and he’s threatening to use that as an excuse to further the attack? Good grief.

Wall shouldn’t be so full of himself. He just won a landslide because 1.) the economy’s great 2.) many voters — and a lot of NDP supporters — loathed Lingenfelter, and 3.) voters aren’t yet paying close attention to the Sask Party (see point one).

Well, Lingenfelter’s gone and points one and three can and will change.

Brad Wall has a good gig here and a possible huuuge future in federal politics. He would be wise not to mess it up by waging elective wars with people whose he’s already pushed to the, er, Wall.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth will never, ever pass up a chance to make a Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo pun.

19 thoughts on “The Day After A Landslide Election Win, Brad Wall Threatens Labour”

  1. I work in government, and can tell you what the difference has been under Bradley – less workers hired; large turnover; more overtime available; less time to see your family; low morale, etc. I will be heading back to the private sector where I will be valued. I feel sorry for anyone stuck in a government position.

  2. Wall threatens Labour? Hardly!
    Newsflash!….The Heads of the Public Sector Unions involved in the bashing Brad Wall campaigns in the last 3 years only have themselves to blame for this.

    People like myself and several other affiliated Union Members who voted the Sask Party for this election have complained to those candidates how we do not like our union dues being used to fund negative ads. A lot of union people and myself are embarrassed by these antics.

    So, that gives Brad Wall a reason now to implement some transparency laws to see where the union dues are being distributed.

    Also, here’s another reason why Brad wants to do this because of what’s going on in Quebec.

    http://www.torontosun.com/2011/10/26/quebec-minister-union-boss-go-toe-to-toe-on-tv

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/minister-threatened-over-quebec-fight-with-unions-132517908.html#comments

    And doesn’t the Sask Party now have a new MLA that is affiliated with the CEP at the National level? Just a thought.

  3. Since when is a call for transparency and accountability “harassment”? I guess it depends on whose ox is being gored.

  4. If you read Twitter, you’ll see the SP will attack whatever’s left of the “left”. Right now, Target SGEU.

  5. Hi Me,

    I checked this twitter spot…..nothing about SGEU in it.

    http://twitter.com/#!/saskparty

    Could you please give us a twitter link where you read this?

    Actually, Brad does mention something about the SGEU. Here’s the news link of Brad’s speech. Listen to his actual response from 1:47 to 3:02 about union questions and what he has heard about the SGEU.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sJomTxx7DuM#!

    Like I said, the people in charge of these various public unions only have themselves to blame for this.

  6. Imagine Larry the Loser Haubich is having a cow. Hey boy, someone just ate your lunch! Good job getting rid of Wall. Union Bums!

  7. Thanks for all the comments!

    Barb: As you well know, the devil will be in the details just as his much-appreciated advocates chirp up in our comments. We’ll see how it all plays out. Looks to me like a threat to disarm political opponents by making it more difficult for them to run public advertising campaigns.

    M.B.: Pshaw on your ridiculous “hardly”. The Sask Party picked a fight with labour form day one so of course labour hits back. That’s labour leadership’s job: they’re sticking up for members’ interests, including members who vote for the Sask Party and even members who lack the wit to recognize an enemy (or perhaps the intestinal fortitude to stick up for themselves).

    Also, thanks for the links: appreciate the effort.

  8. Where’s the business accountability law? It’s not just unions being hurt here, it’s all workers.

  9. This is the Wall version of scrapping the Per Vote Subsidy, nothing more than a vindictive attack on political rivals. He’s really earning his membership in the Lil’ Harpers of America Club.

  10. Stephen: why not wait for the details, and then zero in on what you perceive to be problemmatic?
    Richard Condie’s “The Big Snit” was entertaining; prairie dog’s, not so much.

  11. Good grief, how can anyone believe that this is anything other than a targeted hit at the Sask Party’s political enemies?
    Even if you’ve been blissfully unaware of Brad Wall’s reckless antagonism of organized labour since taking office, how can you reconcile this with the War on Red Tape Wall launched last fall with the help of the CFIB?
    Neither the CFIB nor the CTF–both of which have demonstrably more sway over the Premier’s office than anyone in the civil service–are held to any standard of accountability or transparency. If Wall was truly acting the public interest why is he only taking action against groups that have traditionally supported his political rivals?

  12. Barb: I love The Big Snit! And in a minority opinion, I love Condie’s the Apprentice even more. Laughed for hours! Days, even! Nothing beats physical comedy, especially when it gets all metaphorical.

    (Also, is that tree you?)

    I second what Emmet said about CTF and CFIB secretive finances and the total double standard in not threatening to legislate those. Emmet’s per-vote subsidy analogy is bang-on.

  13. Stephen, thanks for your reply. Glad you like the links provided.
    Both you and I including the rest here all have our own stubborn opinions.
    Sask. is a changing place. Public and Private Unions need to change also to stay relevant. As you can see, the unions involved have a bad Public Relations problem that needs to be addressed. Most people (ignorant or not) view unions as out of touch. What we’ve seen here in the last few years is proof of that.

    I agree with you that unions of any stripe will always find a reason to fight.
    It’s the way how they fought it or the approach they used lately that is the problem. Using ad campaigns to discredit Brad wall, complain how bad it is to live in Sask, from boom to bust economy, etc. have only irked the Sask people more rather than gaining sympathy/support. This fight completely backfired. Guess what happened…..more votes to Brad Wall and Sask Party and a big punch to the NDP and it’s allies.

    Also, with public unions like SGEU as an example along with other participants, it’s more for their own personal interests than supposed for the workers they represent as they so claim. Lately, I’ve noticed these unions live in their own bubbles where the status quo prevails and nothing changes. Unfortunately changes have already happened and they can’t accept that.
    Any upcoming court challenges against the changes made by Sask Party will have little chance of success. It’s time for some changes at the top of these public unions.
    Debate you later.

  14. Any card carrying union member who voted for Brad Wall deserves the ass kicking Wall is about to give to working people. Say what you like about Lingenfeter…he is a self-made millionaire, a successful farmer, an internationally respected government relations expert…no one can accuse Wall of any of those sins. ‘Course it’s all about grinning and 8-second one-liners…how ’bout them Riders, eh, Brad?

  15. So typical of people like Anonymous Person saying “Any card carrying union member who voted for Brad Wall deserves the ass kicking Wall is about to give to working people.”

    Let me guess…You said the same thing after the 2007 election and mostly likely again after the 2015 election.
    When you say working people, are you referring to just the unionized workers or both unionized/non unionized workers?

    One of the biggest benchmark indicators of how well this province is doing in terms of Sask Party being in power is the population growth. After decades of being at or below 1 million, this province is breaking population records. Clearly there are naysayers who can’t stand that.

    I don’t personally hate D Link, he’s a working family man and only human like all us. But his vision/leadership/political style and being part of the NDP didn’t appeal to most voters.

  16. The difference in transparency is this:
    – union dues are mandatory if working in a unionized shop; members have every right to know down to the nickel where their funds are being used
    – CFIB/CTF monies are optional to businesses; that is, if a business (such as mine) chooses not to join, we don’t join, therefore the books can be kept private if they so desire

    GO SASKATCHEWAN (the province, football is over sadly) GO!

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