Liberals polling about banning strikes?

An article in the Pictou Bee today, May 27, 2013 reads:

Liberals polling about banning strikes?

Nova Scotia’s Liberals have a history of flashing left and turning right. An opinion poll run by Gandolf Group suggests a few paths Stephen McNeil would drive down if given the chance.

The following is a list of possible policies and initiatives that a provincial government could undertake in Nova Scotia. Please tell us whether you would strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose each.

  • Breaking Nova Scotia Power’s monopoly.
  • Banning healthcare strikes.
  • Accelerating development of Nova Scotia’s natural gas deposits for export.

The first potential Liberal policy seems to be more of a commercial than an energy policy. The latter policy option seems to be testing the waters for a fracking boom should the Liberals ever get elected to government. It is the middle option that Nova Scotians should be concerned about the most.

The last time the Liberals were in power saw the worst period of labour unrest in Nova Scotia’s recent history.

  • Angry nurses suggested wildcat strikes after the Liberal government refused to give the chief negotiator a mandate to resume talks.
  • Nova Scotia’s 60,000 public-sector workers said they’d walk off the job if the Liberal government didn’t restore collective bargaining.
  • Nova Scotia’s teachers agreed to support the general strike over a 3% rollback in wages and benefits by the Liberals and a three-year salary freeze.
  • All police forces in the province outside of Halifax signed on to take part in a wide-scale walkout against the Liberal government.

“Collective bargaining has not been abolished,” Liberal Human Resources Minister Eleanor Norrie said in the legislature at the time. “Collective bargaining has been suspended.”

Nurses, public sector workers, teachers and cops would do well to remember those savage days in Nova Scotia. The Liberals flash left, but turn right, causing quite the spectacular crash.

2 Responses to Liberals polling about banning strikes?

  1. Christopher May 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    The original article is entirely speculative. It implies that the poll was put out by the liberal party of Nova Scotia, but doesn’t specifically say that it was, presumably because it has no evidence that it was. The original quote (in italics on the blog, denoting it from the opinion piece) of the poll question references only “a provincial government”.

    Reading a few other articles from the same source paints a picture of a strongly anti-liberal opinion blog: fear mongering wherever it can. Rest assured that if they had anything they could call a source tying this opinion pool back to the liberals, there would be no question mark in the title of the article.

    I refuse to be a quiet participant in this sort of political game, and am ashamed that the union representing me can be so easily manipulated by a clearly partisan blogger.

    Please act in wisdom with the trust we have given you, and find better sources for member mail outs.

    • Deedee Slye May 28, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Thank you Christopher for your feedback. We have tweeted McNeil asking him to confirm or deny that they are polling the question about the right to strike. We take threats to labour rights very seriously as they have been threatened in the past and taken away. We are glad to hear he is in favour of the right to strike but why would the party be polling the question if it is not an issue they are considering? It has been over two hours and we have yet to receive a response from McNeil. We await the response…

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