Saturday, February 16, 2008

Forced Dues and Politics II

I have a letter to the editor published in the National Post today in response to this article.

Here it is:

Time to End Union tyranny

Re: Alberta's Unions Go After Stelmach Despite Boom Times, Feb. 15.

This article perfectly outlines why Canada needs to reform its labour laws to inject democracy in the workplace.

The law currently allows union bosses to use forced dues to pay for political propaganda.

Unionized employees, in other words, can be coerced through their dues to subsidize a left-wing political agenda whether they support that agenda or not.

That's not only undemocratic, it's anti-democratic. As Thomas Jefferson said, "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

It's time to end union boss tyranny.


Ron said...

Unions in the private sector are bad enough but I can choose which car I buy or which appliance I purchase. A total ban on unions and union activity in the Public sphere is a must - they should not be permitted to use their blackmail and intimidation techniques on the public so as to stuff their pockets with taxpayers money while providing little of no value for money.

Iain G. Foulds said...

... In a nation based upon the principles of liberty... a freely elected government must be free to determine the conditions of employment.
... The right of private property respects that a position of employment is the property of the employer- and, therefore, free to determine the conditions of employment.

Robert McClelland said...

Unions have meetings where the members can vote on issues like this. Why do keep running away from this undeniable truth, Gerry?

Gerry Nicholls said...


True democracy means respecting the rights of individuals.

Even if 51 percent of unionized employees supported the idea of financing a political campaign, it would still mean 49 percent were being compelled to support a cause they didn't agree with.

That's wrong.

Robert McClelland said...

I've read some silly nonsense before, Gerry, but claiming that democracy isn't democracy takes it to a whole new level.

Gerry Nicholls said...


You are confusing democracy with mob rule.

zolton said...

Which side is one the road to serfdom again?

Robert McClelland said...

The democratic process is nothing more than mob rule.

Gerry Nicholls said...

As James Bovard once said, "Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner."

Robert McClelland said...

Sure it is. We have things like courts and human rights tribunals that work to insure the two wolves don't decide to have sheep for dinner. But you don't like any of those things either.

None of that however, changes the fact that mob rule is how our democratic process works.

Anonymous said...

As a labour union member I agree with Gerry, I hate the fact our unions support socialist governments, one need only look at BC during the NDP yrs, the unions benifited greatly...Not. Most of thier best tradesmen left to find work in other provinces and never returned, the united brotherhood of Carpenter & joiners of America has been suplanted by a BC Carpenters union.
The Alberta supreme court quashed a constitutional right to privacy by requiring piss tests for drugs and where were the unions to back thier members rights?
Hiring halls run by socialists is all most of them are.
Public employee unions are worse yet.

Miles Lunn said...

Although I would rather that union members not be forced to support causes they don't like, because employment is voluntary, employees still do have choice in terms of they can choose not to work for a company that is unionized. I don't believe there should be a law against unions using money to support certain causes, but I do believe unions should have an opt-out for those who don't want to donate to certain causes. When I was at university, the P!RG had a refund for those who didn't support them and although I suspect many students disagreed with their views, in a typical semester only around a dozen students actually got the money refunded, as most couldn't be bothered.

I myself avoid this whole issue by trying not to work at unionized jobs and I should note my current position is not unionized.