Monday, March 14, 2011

Union bosses bashing democracy in Ontario

Working Families is a front group for big union bosses.

Nothing wrong with that.

It emerges every provincial election in Ontario with the sole purpose of running  attack ads designed to undermine the Progressive Conservatives.

Nothing wrong with that.

To finance their ad campaigns they use forced union dues squeezed out of the pockets of unionized employees.

And there's a lot wrong with that!

It's wrong for union bosses to essentially compel unionized employees to finance a political campaign whether they like it or not.

This practice is clearly undemocratic. It's also an infringement on free expression and free association. Just as we have the right to associate with any group, we should also have the right not to associate.

As Thomas Jefferson put it, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.


In the case of Working Families, there are likely many unionized employees in Ontario who would vehemently disagree with a political campaign attacking the PCs, but who nevertheless are being forced to support such an effort.

And it's all legal under Ontario's labour laws.

This must change. We need to reform labour laws in Ontario to restore a vital democratic freedom to unionized employees.

No one should be forced to subsidize the pet political causes of union bosses.

If the unions want to mount a political campaign, let them use money raised voluntarily.

That's how democracies are supposed to operate.

19 comments:

moroni said...

As a long time union steward for Teamster's I have to agree with your analysis of the political sponsorship.
But, they are practicing at the same time, elements
of pure capitalism: self interest. Adam Smith would be proud!

bigcitylib said...

If Tim wants to strip union rights let him run on it.

Gerry Nicholls said...

What Tim Hudak should do is run on a platform of protecting the rights of unionized employees.

It would be a voter winner, even among unionized households.

Xanthippa said...

After having worked (decades ago) at CPC, I'd rather walk the streets than be forced to be a member of a public union!!!

The union had, as their official policy, listed union members BY THEIR SIN number - and posted these lists in public, including places of employment. I took an exception to that, stating I did not want my namd and my SIN number posted in the publicly accessible halways of CPC....

They humoured me and took the lists down....after which time the not-so-subtle campaign against me by the union began!

I would not wish it on anyone.

And, I strongly oppose the powers that unions currently enjoy to coerce their members into just about anything!

P.S.
Public sector union jobs ought to be - by law - indexed to the same average 'total compensation' as private sector (unionized or not) jobs! Currenly, the public service compensation is roughly double the private sector equivalent, creating a higher cast of citizen - the public servant.

Anonymous said...

You're quoting Thomas Jefferson in Canada and presuming you are doing it just for the sake of his wise words may I remind you that our tax dollars, paid by us to all levels of govt. Routinely go to support programs or cause not universally agreed on. So in fairness we should ask Mr Harper to forgive us the portions of our axes that support things we do not agree with

Gerry Nicholls said...

So Anon -- are you equating big unions with governments? What's next a private army for Sid Ryan?

Anonymous said...

Ah BCL, more worried about getting a Liberal elected then doing whats right, like the many conbots out there as well. Such a shame that very few actually think for themselves anymore.

Anonymous said...

Not a whole lot different than having to support CBC with our tax dollars while they push the Liberal agenda and try to win the election for them. Then when there are complaints, they investigate themselves and say "we're not biased"

Is It Just Me

Alex said...

Excellent post. 100% agree.

As for Anon who doesn't like taxes going to things he doesn't support: Join the club. I'm paying for the CBC, abortions, Paul Bernardo life and on and on. I'm guessing you don't like the military or whatever but the less money the government has the less it can waste on things that aren't absolutly necessary. This is the whole idea of small government and why it works for everyone, not just the people who understand it.

Anonymous said...

I kind of agree with Gerry, but with caveats. The government shouldn't compel workplaces to unionize, but it also shouldn't interfere in the private business between an employer and a union, even if that business is spending money from workers on political BS.

johndoe124 said...

With all due respect, Alex, what do governments always say whenever fiscally responsible people talk about spending cuts? It's always about cutting back on services, it's never about cutting back on the myriad of activities and funding that the government really has no business in. It's a mistake to assume that small government means the same thing to a politician as it does to a fiscally responsible citizen.

Robert McClelland said...

It's wrong for union bosses to essentially compel unionized employees to finance a political campaign whether they like it or not.

Every union holds monthly meetings where the members vote on whether or not to finance campaigns like this. That frakking morons like you continue to claim this is undemocratic only proves you do not understand democracy.

Gerry Nicholls said...

Robert:

What if there was a national referendum and 51% of Canadians voted to ban unions?

Would you call that democracy?

My point is that individual rights are not subject to majority rule.

Even if 98% of unionized employees voted to fund the NDP, it does not mean they have the right to deny the rights of the other 2%.

potato said...

Is it still democracy if only twenty percent of members turn out to vote?

Robert McClelland said...

Like I said, Gerry. You have no friggin clue how a democracy works.

Furthermore, it's none of your business how unions spend the money collected from members. It doesn't come out of your pocket so butt the f@$k out.

Fred from BC said...

Robert McClelland said...

Every union holds monthly meetings where the members vote on whether or not to finance campaigns like this.


They do, do they?

Where exactly do they hold these meetings, and how do they fit the thousands of union members into one place so they can all vote? Do they rent out arenas and stadiums for this purpose? How is it that I never heard of such a thing when I was a member of the IWA as a young man? Didn't hear about it years later when I was briefly a member of the Teamsters, either...why is that, Robert?

Robert McClelland said...

Where exactly do they hold these meetings, and how do they fit the thousands of union members into one place so they can all vote?

Most locals have meeting rooms where a significant portion of the members can fit. As far as numbers go, most union locals don't actually have that many members, let alone thousands.

How is it that I never heard of such a thing when I was a member of the IWA as a young man? Didn't hear about it years later when I was briefly a member of the Teamsters, either...why is that, Robert?

Don't know, but I suspect it was a result of either indifference or ignorance on your part.

Anonymous said...

In the neanderthalic 'mind' of McClelland, democracy is when most of the people agree with him to violate the rights of people he does not like.

Anonymous said...

<>
No one has taken away rights of individuals.

<>
I'm sure that you'll be telling that to Harpecons... *silence*