Canadian Government Fires 1,500 Workers to Cut Costs, Then Hires Private Firm for $100M to Do the Work
THIS (NOT) JUST IN: The exact sort of anti-worker policy that has come to represent conservative economics in America is being practiced by conservatives in Canada as well.
Under the guise of cost-cutting, the Canadian government recently issued notices to more than 1,500 workers that their services were no longer needed. But, according to the Ottawa Citizen, the Defence Department (DND) is now planning on paying $100 million to private firms to take over the jobs of the fired staff.
This indicates, to unbiased onlookers, that the move was never about trimming government fat but, rather, privatizing government jobs and taking power away from the union and its 19,000 workers. According to John MacLennan, national president of the Union of National Defence Employees,
“We were told that those jobs were not needed and those people wouldn’t be replaced. The government’s program was supposedly all about saving money so how do you save money when you cut jobs and then turn around and spend $100 million to hire companies to do the same work?”
Good question. The job losses come for workers at the lower end of the wage spectrum. The cut jobs span many areas of the DND except, of course, the very top.
More than 1,500 DND workers have been given notices that their jobs are in jeopardy or are being eliminated, and the union expects more notices to follow. The jobs being eliminated range from clerks and secretaries to food services and kitchen staff. Other jobs being cut include janitors, radiation safety personnel, weapons technicians, ammunition technicians, heavy truck mechanics, laboratory assistants and drivers.
The exact number of union jobs being cut has not been announced figures have circulated placing it between 191 and 188. Defence industry cuts are only one place the Conservative-led government is looking to cut jobs. Their agenda has specific numbers of lost jobs needed to fulfill party goals.
The Conservative government plans to cut 19,200 public servants from the federal payroll over the next three years. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said the reductions, which will come primarily from “back-office operations,” are “common sense” changes that will improve the efficiency and productivity of Canada’s 400,000-strong public service.