The story is always the same. Target store employees, steel workers, bank staff are all dispensable so the wealthy corporate owners can get even richer.
Just before Christmas, it was Scotia Bank slashing 1,500 jobs so it can make more than its current $2 billion a year in profits. And Hamilton workers have been dumped on the streets for decades as big corporations shifted production to low-wage countries like China.
CBC has revealed that the severance package for the Target CEO is bigger than the combined compensation for the chain’s 17,600 Canadian employees.
It’s outrageous but hardly even surprising that Oxfam now reports that by the end of this year the richest one per cent will have more wealth than all the other 99 per cent of us put together. We have an economic system that benefits a tiny handful while squeezing pretty much everyone else – and it just gets worse.
It’s also not surprising that nothing serious is being done about climate change and other environmental degradation both locally and globally because that might cut into the obscene profits of the oil companies.
What’s good for the big corporations is bad for the rest of us. This is particularly obvious when jobs are sacrificed for corporate profits, and when the environment and climate are trashed to extract and transport more oil, gas and coal.
We’re seeing it right now in Hamilton as the railways carry more oil tankers through the city, and Enbridge increases oil flows by 25 per cent in its 40-year old Line 9 pipe. The same scenario is playing out in northern Ontario where TransCanada wants to convert an aging gas pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the Atlantic Ocean. The rewards all go to the corporate side; and the risks all get dumped on us.
Where’s the breaking point? We might be able to negotiate with large corporations, but we can’t change the laws of nature.
As Naomi Klein points out, the climate crisis changes everything and forces us to fight together for real change.
Hamilton 350 Blog