Saturday, September 01, 2018

Does anyone know . . .

Why Unifor President Jerry Dias is at the NAFTA talks. Why does he seem to be acting as part of the negotiating team, responding to questions from the press as though he's a spokesperson for our government.

I'm guessing his accommodations and whatnot are being expensed to the government.

No one has explained why he's there, but it seems wrong to me. He is the head of a union representing auto, communications, energy and paper workers sectors -- not an elected official and he has no status with the government that I'm aware of... and if they gave him one while he also represents the union... that doesn't make sense to me. Given that this union lobbies the government on behalf of its various sectors, isn't there some sort of conflict? Okay, sure -- he has the welfare of workers as part of his mandate as president of his union -- but how does that translate into becoming part of our trade delegation? Is it because the Trudeau Liberals lack any skilled, experienced negotiators?

Who is running things in Ottawa, and why does this just *happen* without any sort of explanation -- or, from what I've seen across the internet, without any questions from the (Unifor represented?) media contingent?

Maybe I'm just suspicious, but it seems to me that rather than having someone who was elected by union workers, who have their own interests at heart --- the people who we, as a country elected -- our MPs, Ministers etc should be handling these negotiations.. and failing finding anyone capable on their own bench, the Liberals had the offer of Conservative help as early as last Fall. It wouldn't have been too late to accept the offer of help -- would have been smart politically too -- any deal would have multi-party hands all over it, so if it was bad -- it would be a all-party failure.

If anyone knows the explanation for his presence in Washington, please comment.




Anonymous said...

Good question. What does Andrew Scheer have to say about it? Then, again our courts has decided to shut down a pipeline expansion in BC, because they're running the country?

Why do we even have elections?

Canadianna said...

Well, Scheer seems content to say little and let this whole NAFTA thing play out at the moment. Besides saying the obvious, that Trudeau has bungled, I don't recall seeing anything substantive -- but his tweets are kind of repetitive so admittedly, I get bored and scroll past.

I'm not happy about the pipeline decision either, BUT, having read a little further into it, it seems one of the judges main points of contention is that there was no one in the government at Cabinet level, handling this file and all that went into it. It was left to fledglings, and apparently, they did not manage it the way the Trudeau government had promised it would. Certainly, their decision was vile and absolutely stupid given how much human waste and shipping traffic already pollutes the coastal waters -- the amount that would be added by this pipeline would be negligible, but then, we all knew that the intention of this Liberal government was to appear to be doing something to get this thing built, when it was in fact, a fiction.

Martin said...

Can find nothing indicating Dias is part of the negotiating team (unlikely) or that he is listed on the NAFTA Advisory Council. He is mentioned in news stories as following negotiations closely, understandable, but not listed as part of the delegation. I did see him interviewed, most upset, but assumed he was simply an observer. There are others there is such a capacity from the business community. Perhaps it is simply CTV giving him more status than warranted.

Canadianna said...

Thanks for checking that out, Martin, although his comments sure make it seem he has some official capacity...if not, he should stfu:
"He's not going to intimidate us": Unifor national president Jerry Dias comments on ongoing NAFTA talks.

Tewchip said...

Just read that Diaz of UNIFOR stated that his and other unions used their membership to oust PMSH. If the Liberals want to stay in power (thanks to union membership) they had better be a player in the NAFTA negotiations.

Canadianna said...

Tewchip, unions have been the deciding factor in many, many Ontario elections and their reach is far and mighty. Their ability to influence elections is at least as scary as the idea of external interference. It's wrong, but unlikely to change because they hold so much sway. I didn't notice a lot of union trash-talk during the most recent provincial election and I seriously wonder why.