Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 72 > Page 91 - William H. "Bull" Marah - Still Fighting

Page 91 - William H. "Bull" Marah - Still Fighting

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1997/6/1 (146 reads)

street. I never had a man idle. I had it in the contract where they couldn't put any of our men out on the street unless they provided alternative employment for them, you know. Never heard of in a union contract anywhere in the world. (The coal mines have always been a provin? cial responsibility. How did you help con? vert it so the coal mines became a nation? al problem?) That was very simple. The province wouldn't pay for it. They didn't have the finances--to subsidize it or put any money in it. We convinced the feds that it was federal responsibility; this was in the national interest. It was in the national interest during the war years, when you needed the coal, eh? Well, I used all the examples, of subsi? dizing Air Canada, and subsidizing the wheat farmers, you know. They were paying them acreage payments. I used the argument that if they paid them not to grow wheat, they should pay us not to produce coal. There were no markets, eh? I said, "We're part of Canada." These are the arguments I was using. And I used the beef farmers, at the time; they were supporting the eggs and the butter and the sugar and all the rest of it. And this was national-- national subsidies. The province didn't do this; the federal government did this. So I used the argument that they should do the same for us. Now we had about 8500 or 9000 people at the time. (In the mines.) Yeah. And we be? long to the nation. And my argument was that we're entitled to the same considera? tion as all the rest of these people.... (But the government could always have said to you, "Coal mines are not a federal re? sponsibility.") No, they didn't. (No, in? deed they didn't. And I want to know, why didn't they?) Well, this is the reason why. We were making it a federal respon? sibility. (How did you make it their re? sponsibility?) What we did, see: when we went to see them, we probably went with the most strong, comprehensive, re? spectable delegations that you ever saw in your life. And they were always led by the premier of the province. He led our delegations. Didn't make any differ? ence who the premier was. He was the leading citizen of tT n D i'l C C l ''? province of Nova luoALLu Scotia. And I told THE FACTS him, I said, "That's your job. We have so much respect for you--we want you to go first, and we want you to lead our Overall, smoking costs the Canadian health care system approximately $3.5 billion every year. • In 1991, the estimated costs of smoking to Canadian society totalled approximately $15 billion. NC delegation. We'll get the rest of the dele? gation for you. All you do is you lead it. And here's why--bang, bang, bang." Give the arguments, eh. We had them regardless of their political affiliations or beliefs--we had the NDPs, Tories, and Liberals--we had them all in that delegation. We had religious people involved--all different religious affilia? tions --we had them all. See. We gave the respectability to it. You understand? But we only had one union--us. Nobody else. We didn't want them. That's why I pulled us out of the Canadian Labour Con? gress. Because our enemies were in the Ca? nadian Labour Congress--gas and chemical workers, the oil workers, hydro workers-- all our competition was in the Canadian Labour Congress. How can they come to the government and help us to (hurt) them? selves? Do you understand? So we wouldn't take any of them with us. We didn't take any labour--no labour--nobody else. But we made all the politicians come, from all the different parties, come. Not one party against the other. All of them come. And they all came. They didn't dare not to... . You know. Now, you see what's going on in the coal industry. It's all politics. It's not economics. It never was. Never, you know. They used to pay sub? ventions. One time, in lieu of the fact they were taking in Ameri? can coal. (Subven? tions) would allow you to land Canadian coal in the Ontario market in competition with Ferris J. Ferris BIKE RALLY Tour of the Cabot Trail September 12 -15,1997 FOR AGES 16 AND OLDER • NO CHARGE Four paced days around the Trail! Not a competition, this will be a fun event for cycle & outdoor enthusiasts. CONTACT 562-1151 corner George & Prince Streets, Sydney CATERING TO ALL YOUR HEALTH FOOD NEEDS • Herbal Remedies & Teas • Vegetarian Foods • Free Range Cliickens & Eggs • Nut Butters • Dairy Free Ice Cream & Ciieese • Tofu • Body Care Products • Juices & Grinders • De-Alcohiolized Wines & Beer • Bulk Foods tSbzdxLUzLna in nA/h??cU 'i • ? ??r U'aixu 't • ? '3oaiicts. J2CLJ2CL 1 natural! foods. 156 FALMOUTH ST., SYDNEY EZii' h(9.'X (NEAR CENTRE 200) 3Dibf- / 300
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