Wednesday, June 10, 2009

UNDE's in a twist

The Union of National Defence Employees continues its heroic struggle to save union jobs preserve the security of the Dominion by stopping the public–private partnership plan (P3) for CSE's new headquarters: Who is putting security at risk at the Communications Security Establishment Canada? CSEC or PSAC?

Boy howdy, it's not often we get a demo in front of CSE headquarters! Down with the crypto-fascist surveillance complex! Smash the state! Stick it to The Man! What? It's not about that? Oh. Never mind...

I'm no fan of the recent fad for public–private partnerships (Let's bring a little of that good ol' market magic to government; it did such wonders for the economy!), and I consider myself a strong supporter of unions. But are we really supposed to believe that this is about national security? Granted, there may be some validity to UNDE's point about greater security risks in relying on lower-paid workers with high turnover rates. But we haven't heard any horror stories from GCHQ's experience with P3 workers... so far, anyway. And the case of Geoffrey Arthur Prime (or Ronald Pelton, William Weisband, William Martin and Bernon Mitchell...) demonstrates that the dedicated, long-serving public servant is no guarantee of security.

On the other hand, there has never been an espionage case involving a CSE employee (at least, as far as the public knows). That's a record that's hard to beat.

Anyway, UNDE has a model letter that you can send to our Political Masters if you want to join the Security Revolution.

I'm guessing that this and maybe some other issues are behind the hold up in CSE's latest (overdue) collective agreement. More industrial action mutterings on the way? Commentary on the previous agreement here.

Pics of the actual demo, as opposed to the image above, here.


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