My personal opinion is that a unionized army would be more effective and in greater need in a country where military service was mandatory. If they MAKE you serve, then you should have some say in the conditions under which you serve.
We have a volunteer army, and our conditions are not horrible.
Even without a union, we have a responsible environmental plan, a stringent safety policy that is reinforced from the highest levels right on down, and a response to an identified need for increased respect and sensitivity in the workplace (SHARP). Not to mention an accessible dental and health plan, even for Reservists, a pension and reserve gratuity, and comprehensive private financial, social and personal advice program (SISIP).
I can hear the groans already, but before anyone starts slagging these programs as time-wasters, think about the long term implications of them - and similar initiatives - for a moment.
- If we utterly destroyed the environment in our training areas, they would over time become unsuitable for use, which denies their use by future generation soldiers.
- Although many CF trades have built-in safety risks (we are, afterall, soldiers, and can be ordered into battle), if our everyday work is so hazardous and unsafe that we cannot accomplish simple peacetime tasks, we are at risk of not having an effective workforce to employ in a time of need. Since we rely on volunteers, if peopel perceive the army as "unsafe" in their routine practices, fewer people will want to join up.
- In this day and age, to not implement a program like SHARP is simply ignorant of the day‘s trends. People are willing to push their limits and put in the extra effort if they feel that they are being respected as persons. I‘m not saying this means no yelling at troops. But that the same charter rights should apply. Intolerance for people based on fundamental differences such as race, religion, colour and gender have no place in Canadian society.
We have all this today, and we don‘t even have a union. Many non-unionized workplaces do not have even these basic and simple programs in place.
If you keep your employees relatively happy, they won‘t WANT or NEED a union.
On a side note, I am neither pro- nor anti-union. I have worked with both fuse settings. Pro-union shops can be very much like "DELAY", as opposed to "SUPER QUICK". My current union seems to think the sun shines out of their arse, and I am always quick to point out their shortcomings. I appreciate the efforts they have made, but in my current situation, my union does not speak for my trade, and so many safety issues are left off the board.
As a customs officer, charged with defending the border (in a civil sense) and detecting contraband, the utter lack of safety and enforcement equipment and training is shocking. It is like being an infantry soldier but only given a water pistol and a week‘s training to fight with.