Journalist union fights conservatives on bill C-377

dues

Russ Hiebert’s private members legislation is bill C-377, “An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (labour organizations)”. The bill aims to increase transparency in every union in Canada, compelling them to submit annual financial statements to detail the $4 Billion in forced dues they collect per year from their memberships.

Journalists have written about “high-level” meetings between advocates for the bill and senior government officials. For the interests of full disclosure, the National Citizens Coalition too has an interest in seeing this bill pass.

Notably, the union that represents many journalists in Ottawa is the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP). We have no idea how much money the CEP is spending on trying to defeat this bill in the House of Commons because this bill hasn’t passed yet, but we do know that the union has an official position on it:

An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (Labour Organizations) is part of the Conservative government’s efforts to weaken civil society organizations that articulate a worldview different from their own. Sponsored by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert, Bill C‐377 is set for a third and final reading in the House of Commons this fall.
 
The Bill appears to address a problem that does not exist. Labour unions operate for the benefit of their members and, as such, the transparency, governance and operations of the organization should be a matter of concern to its membership. Bill C‐377 would be very expensive to administer and would create bureaucratic red tape for government, businesses, employee pension and benefits plans and unions.
 
It is our strong view that the Bill must be withdrawn or defeated in its entirety, regardless of suggested amendments.

How much money from the forced dues of Ottawa journalists is going to help defeat bill C-377?

  • kenn2

    Unions are funded by their members. We know who are members and what the dues are.

    Who funds the NCC?

  • GabbyInQC

    “Who funds the NCC?”
    Red herring.

    “We know who are members and what the dues are.”
    But members probably don’t know what their dues are spent on.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca/ Stephen Taylor

    We don’t compel our members to pay dues in order to work. If those union dues were voluntary we wouldn’t be asking for transparency like this.

  • kenn2

    Let’s see… the NCC (100% right-wing advocacy, 0% transparency) wants unions (collective bargaining unit, provider of pensions and other member services, elected leadership, labour advocacy) to be more transparent. Riiight.

    Can we agree that this is simply continuing the right-wing tradition of union-busting? This is the goal, right? It’s not exactly a secret, so there’s no point pretending this bill provides any benefit for workers.

  • kenn2

    In just about any industry you can name, a unionized worker takes home a better net wage than their non-unionized counterparts, even after all deductions including membership dues have been taken. Unionized workers also have better benefits, pensions and job security.

    This call for union ‘transparancy’ is NOT coming from union members.

  • GabbyInQC

    “… a unionized worker takes home a better net wage than their non-unionized counterparts …”
    Another red herring. Is anyone arguing the contrary? I’m not.

    What I believe the main objective of this bill is to ensure that union members know which causes the union executives support with members’ union dues, causes which not all members may support, such as cases like this one:
    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2012/09/04/20168536.html

  • kenn2

    From your link:

    Queen’s University professor Pradeep Kumar cautioned against reading
    too much into PSAC’s choice of political benchmate.

    “This is not new,” Kumar said of the historical links between
    unions and separatist parties. “They all have been supporters of the PQ,
    not because the PQ’s stand on separatism, but because they have not
    been favourably inclined with Mr. (Jean) Charest’s government.”

    which makes your herring redder, I think.

    The point IS – union members are not asking for this law, anti-unionists are.

  • GabbyInQC

    cf. Le programme du Parti Québécois:
    http://pq.org/parti/programme
    “1. Agir en gouvernement souverainiste …
    1.1 Réaliser la souveraineté du Québec …
    1.2 Un gouvernement souverainiste …”
    et cetera

    Whatever PSAC’s motivation, the fact remains: their union supports a PQ government, whose #1 reason for being is separatism.

    “The point IS – union members are not asking for this law, anti-unionists are.”
    Please provide a copy of the survey of all those union members whose opinion you sought out.

  • kenn2

    An elected government is an elected government. Regardless of what’s in the PQ charter, it’s indisputable that the Quebecois are happy to put them into power from time to time… and Quebec is still part of Canada, last time I looked. In Quebec or elsewhere, unions can back the party most favourable to their interests.Works for me.

    I’m sorry, but if you are maintaining that union members want bill C-377 passed, I think it’s incumbent upon you to prove it. From Stephen’s post, we can name at least ONE union that opposes it.

  • GabbyInQC

    • “An elected government is an elected government. …”
    You’re going off topic again. Focus, please.

    • “ … unions can back the party most favourable to their interests. Works for me.”
    Now we’re getting somewhere. It may work for you but not for other union members.

    • “… if you are maintaining that union members want bill C-377 passed …”
    Unlike you, I never categorically stated that union members ALL wanted or did not want the bill. I merely pointed out what the intent of the bill probably was. Remember? This is what I said in an earlier comment:
    “What I believe the main objective of this bill is to ensure that union members know which causes the union executives support with members’ union dues, causes which not all members may support …”

    So … where’s your survey?

  • kenn2

    A conservative MP, supported by known anti-union groups (such as NCC and Merit Canada) puts out C-377.

    … and that’s all you really need to know to understand the legislation’s raison d’être. There is no groundswell of union members demanding this legislation. Or you’d have found them by now.

  • GabbyInQC

    • ‘A conservative MP, supported by known anti-union groups …”
    So only non-conservatives who are supported by unions are allowed to propose legislation?

    • “There is no groundswell of union members demanding this legislation.”
    Maybe among the union bosses. I’m still waiting for your personal survey which supports your thrice-stated assertion that union members — which implies all of them — do not want this kind of legislation.

  • kenn2

    You can choose to misinterpret me (I did not say ‘all members’ anywhere), and you can spin hypothetical and unsubstantiated explanations til you puke, but if you really think C-377 is anything but an attempt to inconvenience the unions, and bad legislation to boot (see Cdn Bar Ass’n link in my response to Stephen)… well, that’s your prerogative.

  • GabbyInQC

    • “(I did not say ‘all members’ anywhere),”
    Nor did I do so. I have to resort to quoting myself to prove it …
    “I’m still waiting for your personal survey which supports your thrice-stated assertion that union members — which implies all of them — do not want this kind of legislation.”
    Implies = suggests, but does not state explicitly.

    • “… you can spin hypothetical and unsubstantiated explanations til you puke …”
    You “progressives” are SO hypersensitive! You habitually liberally misrepresent what conservatives say here … but the minute someone even remotely dares to reply in kind — never approaching the vile comments and condescension you regularly spew — you practically melt into throes of indignation. Poor baby!

  • kenn2

    Avoid, avoid, avoid…and there they are, right on time, the ad hominems – with a lovely garnish of generalizations. You’re true to form.

  • GabbyInQC

    • Pshaw! Generalizations? So where’s that survey of yours, titled “union members are not asking for this law”? Can’t get more specific than that, eh?

    Ad hominem?
    “you can spin hypothetical and unsubstantiated explanations til you puke
    My. my! The height of elegant discourse!
    Frankly, I find your kind of “discourse” quite boring, so I bid you adieu.

  • liz J

    Thanks so much for enlightening us re membership of the Canadian Bar Association, we never would have guessed.

  • kenn2

    I knew you’d get the joke; the explanation was for Gabby.