There is something terribly wrong with how unions are allowed to operate in Canada. Union bosses operate in secrecy and squander workers' forced dues on radical projects without even consulting union members. What's more, hard-working Canadians are being forced to join unions against their will, just to hold a job. This is an issue that impacts every taxpayer in Canada whether you are in a union or not - these union bosses enjoy hundreds of millions of dollars of tax exemptions at our expense every year.
At the National Citizens Coalition we think this is an outrage, and that it is long past time to bring these union bosses into line. Please stand with us on this campaign and show your support with your most generous contribution.
Decades ago, Canadian unions were permitted to collect dues in order to assist in their collective bargaining negotiations. Modern union bosses have exploited this loop-hole to the point where they are using members' forced dues as their own personal piggy bank. Here are some recent examples of unacceptable and inappropriate union spending:
•In 2013, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) funded and assisted Idle No More protesters without asking union membership or holding a plebiscite.In the past year alone CUPW has written letters praising Hugo Chavez as a democratic hero, and applauded Chief Theresa Spence for standing against "the moral bankruptcy of the Canadian state". •In 2011, Public Service Alliance Canada (PSAC) spent $2.8-million on questionable political activism. This included funding separatist political parties in Quebec seeking to break away from the country. •In 2012, various locals from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) contributed more than $30,000 to the illegal Quebec student protests. And the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union donated more than $20,000 to the Occupy Toronto protests.
Canadian unions are not small financial players, despite what these union bosses would have you believe. Each year Canadian unions draw in approximately $4-billion out of workers' pockets.These union bosses have been so successful at stifling any scrutiny of their behaviour that the most recent comprehensive statistics available date from 1995. However, even at this point Canadian unions had amassed more than $5-billion in assets, including nearly $2-billion of foreign investment. Economists can only speculate at the staggering wealth of some of these groups today. So why are unions being given such preferential treatment in Canada?
Remember, all union dues are tax-deductible. This means that every Canadian taxpayer is paying for this largesse. Every year, this amounts to more than $500-million in foregone revenue - not to mention the enormous costs taxpayers bear for the salaries of public sector employees in the first place.
For the past several years the National Citizens Coalition has been a major supporter of Russ Hiebert's Private Member's Bill C-377, which will compel Canadian unions to disclose their financial activities - including fringe political causes. This will finally allow union members to see where their money is going, but only if we can help push Bill C-377 through the Senate. Union bosses have already dispatched teams of highly-paid lobbyists to Ottawa aiming to derail the process.
A coalition of union groups including nurses, postal workers, building and construction trades, teachers and many others have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting Bill C-377. Without proper accountability we can only estimate the total amount being spent - and that is why we are not letting up!
Bill C-377 is only the first step - we will not let up until all workers in Canada are given a choice to join a union or not, and these same unions are barred from spending forced-dues on political activism. This is something that union members have repeatedly indicated they want - yet union bosses have simply refused to listen.
In a 2011 poll by Nanos Research, 86 per cent of unionized Canadians supported greater union transparency. A full 76 per cent also wanted to prevent their dues from being redirected to political advocacy. This is an overwhelming majority of workers who are being completely disenfranchised by their union bosses, and it is time for our elected officials and courts to step in.
Support the National Citizens Coalition today and demand action on union accountability! You can donate online by clicking here.
I am ashamed of the way our politicians have avoided tackling this issue head on.If you also think it is time for action please show your support with a donation today!
Union dues are not political donations, but union bosses do not seem to understand the difference.
This is where the National Citizens Coalition excels - we have already succeeded in putting this issue in the spotlight. With your help we have built enormous grassroots support through social media for this campaign. You can get real-time updates via twitter from the National Citizens Coalition on our website, and help us design a new labour framework.
If our elected officials will not do what is required, we will step in and do it for them. Get in on the ground floor with us by supporting this campaign!
We are holding the federal government's feet to the fire - and we will not let up until workers' rights get the attention they deserve. We are already having a major impact - our online video and radio ads have MPs running for cover.
Canadian taxpayers deserve better.