September 16

CBJ September 2016

Unifor President Jerry Dias was unanimously elected for a second three-year term as head of the country’s largest trade union at the organization’s second convention late last month in Ottawa. I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Dias for a one-on-one discussion for the second time.

Our first meeting came just as he was beginning his first term in 2013. Much has changed in those intervening three years, but one thing has remained constant – Dias’s passion and desire to succeed. He’s an incredibly intelligent man, whose memory is astounding, having recalled not only where we met but virtually everything we talked about. That’s beyond impressive for a man who’s had hundreds, if not thousands, of interviews and meetings. Manufacturing, and especially the auto industry, is in a state of uncertainty. Having seen Dias in action and talking with him face to face, there’s nobody more qualified to stand up and fight for the rights of Canadian workers.

A recent report by the Fraser Institute reveals the average Canadian family paid more than $34,000 in taxes last year, including “hidden” business taxes that are passed along in the price of goods and services purchased. The study’s authors conclude visible and hidden taxes would have been equal to 42.4% of the cash income for an average Canadian family in 2015, estimated at just over $80,000. By comparison, the study estimates the average Canadian family spent in excess of $30,000 on housing, food and clothing last year — about 38% of the family’s total cash income.

Just as Apple Inc. seemed to be ripening with increased stock investments it then had a huge bite taken out of it. The good news is that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has increased its stake in the hi-tech company by 55%, boosting its bet on the iPhone and iPod maker. The bad news is that Apple was then whacked with a fine approaching $15 billion U.S. by the European Union for a huge unpaid tax bill in Ireland. Apparently the loophole wasn’t as tightly sealed as presumed.

Now that Yahoo has been sold to Verizon for about $5 billion changes are all but certain. Yahoo is being amalgamated with AOL, another faded internet star from yesteryear.

Did you know?… Yahoo! was once valued at $125 billion at the height of the dotcom boom. Years later Microsoft offered $45 billion, but the bid was flatly rejected – for being too low.

Angus Gillespie

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