When I was a teenager growing up, my parents used to listen to the nightly news on the radio at 6PM every day during our dinner hour. That was in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Inflation was out of control. There was fuel rationing across the US and lineups around the block to get fuel from the few gas stations that had any. I was accustomed to hearing news of labor unions going on strike in search of higher wages.
On Sunday of this past week, 15,000 construction workers in the city of Toronto went on strike bringing the entire construction industry to a stop in the city of Toronto and many other parts of Ontario.
But the problem is not confined to Canada. In the middle of April, 600 Kansas City-area construction workers went on strike to demand substantial wage increases after rejecting a contract proposal from the Builders Association, a construction trade association.
The purpose of highlighting this is to help you see around corners. Trends start slowly at first in isolated cases, then spread. Those first cases can be a canary in the coal mine, an early warning system for similar situations emerging elsewhere in the economy.
Host: Victor Menasce