Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Save Our Troops....Jobs

Forget Red Fridays.
Forget the Yellow Ribbons.

If you really want to support our troops
sign this petition.

Canadian reservists frequently volunteer to serve our country in extended overseas missions. Unfortunately our country--with the exception of the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia--does not recognize their sacrifice and some reservists return home only to face the unemployment line.

This situation is simply not fair to the men and women who put their lives on the line for their fellow Canadians.

Therefore we believe it's long overdue for the Canadian government to enact federal legislation that will protect the jobs of reservists who volunteer to serve in extended overseas missions.

While politicians in Toronto and Calgary get into a kerfuffle over posting yellow ribbons on municipal vehicles, they overlook the little fact that there is no Job Protection for Reservists in their provinces. Nor across Canada.

The Canadian reservist, unlike his American counterpart or a pregnant mother, has almost no protection for his job, so that he will usually be taking a big risk employment-wise when he serves his country.

Certain Officers and NCMs of The Royal Montreal Regiment

You can lose your life or body parts in Kandahar, Darfur, or Haiti, or where-ever Canadian Armed Forces are deployed, even at air shows. And to add insult to injury, if you survive, you can also end up losing your job on your return from active duty.

Shame! Shame! Shame! as they say in the House.

Of course prior to Harpers War most reservists and recruits viewed the Canadian Armed Forces as a job, either part time or full time, a career as it was pushed then; there was no life like it. But Harper changed all that. Now they can sign up and fight and if they don't get killed can return to the unemployment line.

Of course labour standards are a provincial responsibility and should be amended, as should Federal legislation. But the fact remains that we should not have to regulate business in the capitalist market place according to the right wing. But once again that fallacy falls flat.
Like their much vaunted 'Family Values'.

Major Noseworthy joined our reserve forces in good faith, seeking to do his bit for Canada as a part-time soldier. He answered the call dutifully when asked to go to Afghanistan and fight for peace in that country. But his employer did not have the same sense of duty to Major Noseworthy or Canada for than matter.

In addition to being an army reservist, Major Noseworthy was also the manager at Humber Motors Ford in Stephenville, Newfoundland. That was until he went to Afghanistan and Humber Ford — a firm that claims to be family friendly — refused him a leave of absence to serve his country. Major Noseworthy was dismissed, leaving him to return from his tour of duty and join the line up for Employment Insurance.

And why is there no federal legislation to protect these soldiers?

Jump back to November. That’s when Lt.

-Gen. Andrew Leslie told the House of Commons defense committee that to complete the mission in Afghanistan the Canadian military would have to draw on more of the country’s 18,000 reservists.

At the time Leslie said the military was trying to persuade about 1,500 of them to sign on for two to three years of military duty.

How many of those reservists have, or will have, to quit their jobs to help the country complete its mission?

The federal government was quick to put reserve soldiers in danger by sending them to Afghanistan; the least they can do is ensure they have a job to come home to. Is that too much to ask?

As for employers who require reservists to quit before heading overseas, it’s time to do the right thing. Don’t simply give lip service to supporting the troops, actually do it. If you have a reservist working for you, at the very least grant them a leave of absence if they are willing to put their life on the line for this country.

The only value the working class has in creating capitalism is either as wage slaves or canon fodder.

The Canadian Forces Liaison Council, a group of business people who volunteer to support Canada’s reservists, say this country’s voluntary approach to job protections has worked well.

So the council’s volunteers must have cringed at news earlier this month that a reservist in Newfoundland came back from six long months in Afghanistan to unemployment.

Newfoundland, like Alberta, is among the majority of provinces which extend no job protections to reservists. Meanwhile, reservists are in high demand to fulfil Canada’s commitment in Afghanistan.

But even with service an option for reservists, it’s clear job protections should also be legislated.

That even a single soldier who has served the nation on a potentially deadly mission wind up on the unemployment line for his/her efforts is a national shame.

Surely a call for political action on this front should command more attention than the push for politicians to put ribbon decals on publicly funded bumpers.

Here! Here! As they say in the House.

H/T to Another Point of View for drawing my attention to My Blahg's latest efforts.





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