“We are rapidly leaving behind the era in which labour was abundant and capital relatively scarce. The Boomer bulge is moving into retirement and the world is awash in capital. Acute labour shortages are simply the arithmetically-determined conclusion.” – AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley (above) in remarks to the IPAC annual convention.

 This Commentary takes an historic look at the trade union movement and the public sector. It points out the pitfalls and mistakes of the past and provides direction to move forward. Crowley writes:

“Any economist will tell you that a genuine labour shortage, not a trade union, is a worker’s best friend. As Boomers head into retirement, increasing the productivity of the relatively few workers left behind will become imperative. It is one of the few ways in which we can raise younger workers’ standard of living while paying Boomers the retirement incomes they expect. Just as the Boomers created a huge bulge of workers, and drove a policy of low productivity,they will now withdraw from the labour force, creating huge demand for workers and raising significantly the costs of all the policies we put in place in the 70s to soak up surplus workers.”

The remarks were made to the annual convention of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) during a session titled Democracy versus Solidarity: Public-Sector Unions.

To read the complete Commentary, click here