On April 25, 2020, I published a furious column with the title “Les lavabos” 1. It was not a column on plumbing, but on public sector unions who did not hesitate to make indecent statements about the uncertainties that their members were experiencing at the start of the pandemic.
I had listed in this column public statements by unions which, in a context where private sector employees were losing their livelihood at high speed, seemed to me detached from the new reality …
The title sink?
It echoed a union president who was worried about a possible return to work of her members, who would have to share the sinks in the toilets …
Easy in your ****** to complain about the sinks of Complex G when you are well seated at home, in the absolute certainty which is that of the employee of the State: your check will continue to come in, pandemic or no, recession or not. Leave us alone with the sinks, it’s a matter of decency …
The sinks were one example among many, in the spring of 2020, of union disconnection.
Move the cursor forward 535 days, a year and a half later and …
And God, unions are still so hateful.
There is no other word: detestable.
Whether in education or health, here they are, these days, the unions, valiantly defending the most disrupted of their members: those who do not want to be vaccinated and who have no good reason for it.
The unions are already preparing grievances on the eve of October 15, a deadline in the health network, where unvaccinated employees will be suspended without pay… As was announced six weeks ago.
The unions have done the bare minimum to encourage their members to be vaccinated. No leadership, no brilliant action, no advertising campaign: just lip service that “we encourage our members to get vaccinated” when we ask union leaders.
There is great trade union hypocrisy on health measures. Take the FIQ: the large nurses union is suing the state before the courts because “the boss” does not provide N95 masks to its members2.
In short, when “the boss” does not do everything to protect the unionized nurses from the virus, when he does not provide him with the best masks, boom, the FIQ continues and undoubtedly that is right and good …
But when a minority of FIQ members put vulnerable patients in danger – and unionized comrades! – because they refuse to be vaccinated, well there, Ladies and Gentlemen, the union finds that “the boss” goes too far to contain the virus!
There is no other word: it is hypocrite. We demand perfection from the employer, but we adapt to the mediocrity of an extremist fringe of comrades.
In recent months, on the radio, I have received several union leaders who have all been equally incapable of condemning their members who refuse to be vaccinated (for no valid reason).
This is Jérôme Rousseau3 and Nathalie Lévesque4 of the FIQ, as well as Catherine Beauvais St-Pierre5, from the Alliance des profs de Montréal. If the reader wants to crown, he can go and listen to these three interviews, where each one competes with euphemisms to avoid upsetting his recalcitrant members …
I know, I know what you are going to tell me: the union is obliged to defend each of its members, even the laziest, even the most incompetent, even sometimes the most dangerous: it has a legal obligation to do so, in all circumstances .
I know all this.
What irritates me is elsewhere. It is the choice of words.
Unions are incapable of publicly condemning, in clear terms, the most disrupted of their members, those who refuse without good reason to be vaccinated.
Take Mme Beauvais St-Pierre, which represents unionized teachers at the Montreal School Service Center. The president of the Alliance des profs de Montréal reacted to my microphone to this enraging story of a plastic arts teacher from Saint-Émile school, in Rosemont, conspiratorial to the bone according to her Facebook page, antivax and all and everything, a crazy story told by Isabelle Hachey6 in The Press …
This teacher allowed her students – all students in the school – to remove their masks in her classroom. And she herself didn’t wear it all the time.
What was bound to happen happened: several students were infected in the Saint-Émile school, which even had to be closed temporarily.
I asked the president of the Alliance des profs to find me the hardest qualifier that came to her mind, to talk about the conduct of this plastic arts teacher at Saint-Émile school.
Answer, after having to insist: “Inadequate. ”
Inadequate is when the house painter gets the wrong shade of white for my bathroom color. Inadequate, it is especially not when you deny the existence of the virus on Facebook and in your classroom to the point of inciting your pupils not to apply the basic health rules …
Which results, oh chance, an outbreak in the school.
That is “stupid”, “revolting”, “inadmissible”, “reprehensible” or “dangerous”, if I may suggest words to the Alliance des profs. Not “inadequate”.
But we have understood, dear unions, we have understood for a long time: you will always defend, in substance and in form, the most tatas of your members, virus or not.
I know the grievances are already written to challenge the suspensions of your anti-tax comrades, which will take effect on October 15.
I hope you will lose them all.
1. Read “Les lavabos” 2. Read “Access to N95 masks: the FIQ continues its crusade before the courts” 3. Listen to the interview with Jérôme Rousseau 4. Listen to the interview with Nathalie Lévesque 5. Listen to the interview with Catherine Beauvais St-Pierre 6. Read “Protecting students outside schools… and inside too”