Originally Posted by Doug
But there were no strikes 94-96 when most of the cut backs implemented. The Klein government struck fear through union membership and only when it backed off in late 95 after hospital laundry workers protested outsourcing to K-Bro did the unions have a chance to regroup. A blitzkreig of layoffs, wage cuts, right to work, ending tax deductibility of union dues and forcing unions to disclose financial statements and executive compensation could finally drive a stake through their hearts and finally remove a huge barrier to public sector innovation.
Briefly ignoring my thoughts on whether it actually would have been a good idea or remotely good for the province... I really don't think the unions, if pushed further than they already were, were close to collapse; I think they were close to pushing back, hard.
Now a major difference between then and the present is strike readiness. The 92 strikes left the ATA with limited funds during 94-95. It has now been a decade since they've been stressed and they very much could withstand a major work stoppage.
It is also relevant that in the wider North American context, for the first time in forty years, Labour has started to achieve real victories with broad public support. It is very much an open question as to whether the atmosphere today could remotely support the kind of anti-Labour activities that were widely accepted a generation ago. Personally, though I could be wrong, I feel that the pendulum has begun to swing back. As a province, we're not really looking for a government as leftwing as Lougheed's but a return to early Klein just wouldn't play as it did twenty years ago.