Well, we need to expect this kind of thing and more. This is just another incidence of the global push to devalue labour everywhere it’s possible. But ‘Canadian’ corporations have been ‘offshore outsourcing’ jobs for years and setting up factories or contracting out production in export processing zones all over the ‘3rd’ World. RBC brass, when asked about why they were doing this, the answer was ‘efficiency.’ Of course, how can we argue with that? But efficiency always means the elimination of workers and jobs or the devaluation of labour-power by whatever means possible. RBC brass were shocked that the interests of the nation would have anything to do with their business.
Businesses have been contracting out for a long time and that tactic is proceeding apace everywhere. BC Hydro has contracted out a large part of its maintenance functions to other businesses, non-union ones with low wages and not a lot of job security. And they aren’t the only ones, by any stretch. Offshore outsourcing is just another step in the complete control of labour by capital.
The globalization of commodity production and service provision must, by definition, include labour-power, itself being a commodity. Let’s make no mistake about it, what you sell when you go to work is time, life and self-determination. The more money (wages) you get for it, the less ‘the company’ can extract from the productive process surplus-value and profit. Wages and profits are the shock points of the ‘class war.’ They are in direct conflict. When a company announces laying off thousands of workers in the name of efficiency, shareholders applaud and, of course, the government can celebrate a rise in productivity. But people are put out of work. And out-of-work people don’t buy things. Have fun cutting your own throats, corporate world! What we are witnessing now is just part of the process of corporate concentration of power and the demise of whatever little democracy we had in the process.
The RBC brouhaha is compounded by nationalism and the expectation that our national government is out to protect our national interests. I hope you don’t still believe that lie. I know it’s hard not to. It’s OUR country after all. Well, yes it is, strictly speaking, but if you read my last post you’ll come to realize that countries (not all and not always) by and large are instruments of private capital accumulation. The Harper government will do everything it can to support capital against labour but it must face the still strong belief among Canadians that Canada means something and is important. We’re like a big family. Maybe, but the forces of capital are now stronger than the ideology of nationalism. We’ll see who wins this struggle.