This letter is in response to the editorial headlined “War on labour” (Dec. 14), and specifically the recent passing of Bill C-377 in the House of Commons.
Merit Contractors Association supports this bill because we believe the general public has come to expect financial transparency for all entities that benefit from the public trust, whether businesses, governments, charities or unions. In fact, a recent Nanos Research poll found that 83 per cent of Canadians and 86 per cent of unionized workers support union disclosure and accountability.
Unions in Canada benefit enormously from the public trust, through the collection of mandatory dues from workers in unionized workplaces and generous tax breaks on union dues that are worth millions annually.
But transparency is an issue with union leadership.
They feel it will cripple the labour movement.
My question is, simply, how?
There is no change to their funding formula that would threaten to end the mandatory contributions of all workers in unionized workplaces.
There is no end to the generous tax breaks on union contributions.
There are no new directives on how unions can spend money on such efforts to influence elections or promote various social causes.
In addition, the rhetoric about privacy concerns or compliance costs is a smokescreen as this has not been the case in the U.S. where such requirements have been in place for decades.
If Canadian unions think they will be crippled because of Bill C-377, it is groundless.
Likewise, their funding model is safe; they can continue to support every protest and oppose every business initiative they choose; and they can continue to enjoy their generous tax breaks.
However, they will have to do so in a transparent manner.
If operating in a transparent manner cripples Canada’s labour movement, then union leaders have only themselves to blame for that demise.
Merit Contractors Association is a voice for over 70 per cent of the construction workforce in Newfoundland and Labrador that is open shop.
Merit Contractors Association of
Newfoundland and Labrador