According to Patton, who is president of the Canadian Chemical Producers Association, governments need to get more involved in the process of gaining investor confidence. He lists some of the unavoidable problems that are out of our control, such as the high Canadian dollar, but feels that more could be done by politicians. He cites a hopeful sign that this message is finally getting through:
We have recently seen some federal government leadership for manufacturing, following the excellent work by the parliamentary committee on industry, chaired by MP James Rajotte. The committee examined manufacturing woes and issued a unanimous report with 22 recommendations. Its first recommendation, a two-year capital cost allowance for new investments in plants and equipment, was introduced in federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's budget and more recently by provincial Finance Minister Greg Sorbara in Ontario. This is a very encouraging sign that we can work together.
Manufacturing closures will continue if we don't work hard to understand the problems and keep working on solutions.
But no where in this whole article did I see the word "unions".
To me this is the single most glaring issue that will dictate whether a company continues to thrive or is shut down. A militant union can choke production and profit. The union hierarchy often doesn't care about the jobs of the individual members as much as its own perception of strength, and usually takes a very negative stand regarding the possibility of concessions in terms of pay cuts or surrendering of benefits in order to forestall a plant closure.
The new global economy has changed the rules. Jobs can be outsourced where labour is cheaper.
Militant unions belong to an antiquated economic past, and soon so will most of our manufacturing jobs that are controlled by defiant union leaders.