Saturday, December 27, 2008

A new deal?

No, I'm not referring to the OPSEU Central and Unified bargaining contracts although I am relieved that we were able to bargain a deal before the holidays. I'm referring to the "New Deal" that is being suggested south of the border.  Here are two articles worth reading for a deeper understanding of the financial mess we're in. 

A New New Deal?

Facing the Economic Crisis
by Stanley Aronowitz

While looking at the big picture, both articles make mention of "green jobs" and the approaches needed to build that sector of the economy while also laying out some criteria for the new deal. Here's Aronowitz's priority list for the bailout, most of which also applies to any actions being taken in Canada.

  • a set of proposals for a labour-intensive jobs program to accompany infrastructure development;
  • demand the governments be the direct employer, and only absolutely necessary private contracts be let for specialized services;
  • demand that the new jobs pay a living wage at least equal to the nationa average;.
  • demand creation of labour-intensive jobs in public services and the arts;
  • demand enactment of the Conyers Bill HR 676 providing medicare for all. Universalizing health care would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs;
  • implement the Green Jobs program by re-opening and retooling abandoned auto and parts plants as well as building new plants to produce solar panels, windmills, geo-thermal machinery, water treatment technology and waste disposal products. These should be owned and operated by workers' cooperatives as well as letting contracts to existing manufacturers of these goods; and
  • demand rigorous oversight of employment programs to insure employment opportunities for blacks, Latinos women and the disabled.

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