Rankandfile.ca readers have voted!
The people of Saskatchewan and Sudbury have delivered the prestigious honour of Scumbags of the Year to Gil Le Dressay and Robert Haché. The voting was exciting, but don’t fret if your choice lost. They’re all winners. They’re all scumbags.
Once again, we’ve saved some space for dishonourable mentions: Graham Lloyd, CEO of the College Employer Council of Ontario, and a special Yankee entry: Jeff Bezos, the former CEO and founder of Amazon.
Gilbert Le Dressay
Private Sector Scumbag of the Year
Despite the end of the Regina Co-op Refinery lockout in the spring of 2020, scumbag Gil Le Dressay has waged a continuous war by other means against the members of Unifor Local 594 and the residents of Regina. As one Rankandfile.ca reader put it, Le Dressay is the “King of Unfair Labour Practices,” and “a Co-op promise is a broken promise”. Le Dressay’s still busy laying off refinery workers, bending and breaking the contract, and running cover for the corporatized Co-op’s scab-made 2020 oil spill in Regina’s wastewater system. Le Dressay is a poster boy for what a “green transition” is going to look like if capital calls the shots: a union-busting, pension-wrecking, job-killing, province-corrupting conversion designed to line the pockets of those at the top. Le Dressay now joins 2019’s Scumbag of the Year FCL CEO Scott Banda as a Scumbag of the Year, demonstrating that Local 594 members and Rankandfile.ca‘s Western Canadian readership are not at all fooled by the Co-op’s lies and bullshit.
Public Sector Scumbag of the Year
Robert “The Hatchet” Haché fired hundreds of Laurentian University faculty and staff and shuttered 69 academic programs. He’s overseen the plunging of this celebrated Sudbury, Ontario university into precedent-setting bankruptcy protection. While continuing to cover-up public documents about university finances and decision-making at the highest levels, The Hatchet’s actions are just the continuation of years of lies and deliberate mismanagement. Now the precedent-setting use of bankruptcy protection laws for a public institution opens the door to new methods of destroying public sector unions and privatizing public infrastructure, technology and knowledge. Old reputations die hard, but Canada’s universities are no longer the Ivory Tower. They’re now Knowledge Factories. Speed-ups, company stores, union-busting, management abuse and corruption are the order of the day. But Sudbury and Northern Ontario have a long history of fighting Haché’s kind, and the fight is definitely not over!
Graham Lloyd, CEO of the College Employer Council
The College Employer Council represents the management of Ontario’s 24 colleges. After provoking a strike in 2017 and then refusing to bargain in a successful bid to elicit strikebreaking legislation by the obliging Ontario Liberals, the CEC is back at their old bullshit. OPSEU members in the faculty union, CAAT-A, are already taking job action with a work-to-rule campaign. The CEC, led by its CEO Graham Lloyd, has overseen the steady expansion of contract teaching work, unequal pay for equal work, encroaching privatization, and the treatment of students as income streams instead of human beings. For a guy who won’t bargain, he also won’t shut up. As one Rankandfile.ca reader put it, “Lloyd’s public communiques are a rancid cornucopia of management doublespeak.” But Lloyd might get his comeuppance. The 2017 college strike for equal pay was powerful and popular, and everyone knows Lloyd’s only card to play is waiting around for strikebreaking legislation from the provincial government. This provides Ontario’s college workers an edge. And with a provincial election looming, Ontario’s college workers could throw a wrench into the plans of Lloyd and his strikebreaking friends in the legislature.
Jeff Bezos, former CEO and founder of Amazon
Whether it’s online shopping, warehouses, home delivery, spaceflight, or exploitation, Jeff Bezos hasn’t invented a fucking thing. Robber Barons rarely do. Their expertise is simply the right combination of the above ingredients – after a substantial inheritance or handout, juking the casino stock market, and getting corrupt favours from politicians and government officials. All this is true of Bezos. Supply and demand, market forces, competition…all this is capitalist mythmaking. Bezos’s rise is the real story of capitalism: inheritance, corruption, exploitation, privatization, and the achievement and defence of monopoly power. And for all the Silicon Valley tech hype, Bezos’s wealth and Amazon’s success is built entirely on sweated labour – while public competitors like Canada Post and the US Postal Service are kneecapped by pro-privatization, union-busting managements. The rate of exploitation at Amazon is well known at this point to Rankandfile.ca readers. Amazon workers are forced to piss in bottles while they’re on the workfloor and in their delivery trucks. Worker deaths from overwork and suicide are widely reported. Amazon workers just died in a tornado in Illinois because management wouldn’t let them leave. Countless numbers have been fired for resisting the speed-up and for anything deemed union activity. But workers and unions are getting organized. RWDSU, Teamsters, CUPW, Unifor, and the independent Amazon Labor Union (based in New York City) are all making inroads. Amazon is a corporate behemoth that will be organized. What union power at Amazon looks like depends on Amazon workers ensuring that however many unions might represent them, they will unite their efforts to fight the common enemy. Only organized people can conquer organized money, and this is what we need if we’re ever going to abolish billionaires like Bezos, and ensure Jeff takes a one-way ride to the Sun on his penis spaceship.