September 2 2022
The cynical attempt to promote for-profit health care or pay-for-plasma schemes tells us that far too many governments and corporate leaders simply want to ignore the lessons of the pandemic to further their own financial interests. We mustn’t let this happen.
by Bert Blundon, President
Ottawa (2 Sep 2022) – The past 2 years, and more, have been a period of incredible challenges for all of us. Far too many Canadians became ill and died of COVID. So many others lost their jobs or faced financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Others are continuing to suffer from the stress that living under a pandemic brought.
I have no doubt that it was our solidarity and collective action that prevented an even greater number of deaths. It was our unions that pushed for personal protective equipment for workers that prevented even greater loss of lives and restricted the spread. We lobbied and demanded public health measures to protect all people. And it was through solidarity and union power that so many people were able to be kept working and receiving incomes.
The pandemic showed us the incredible importance of workers. Health care workers are the first to come to mind. However, we learned that all workers contribute to the society we live in. Many of those workers who earn the least and face the most difficult working lives proved to be among the most essential.
We saw that for-profit long-term care and health care was a disaster for most people. Deaths in for-profit long-term care facilities were higher than in public facilities. And we saw that for-profit labs and clinics were inadequate to the challenges that they were confronted with. We learned that health care was too important to all of us as a society to leave it those with a profit motive.
And yet, right now, I see employers and governments turning their back on these lessons as fast as they can. The cynical attempt to promote for-profit health care or pay-for-plasma schemes tells us that far too many governments and corporate leaders simply want to ignore the lessons of the pandemic to further their own financial interests. We mustn’t let this happen.
We are also facing a global threat even greater than the pandemic – Climate Change.
This past summer has seen unprecedented heat waves, fires, flooding, and storms. There is no doubt that we are seeing the results of the global failure to control greenhouse emissions. It is going to get worse. We need to collectively act and act now!
Solidarity was the key to getting us all through the past couple years. Solidarity will be essential for the future.
Happy Labour Day!