‘Workers should not be forced to pay dues’: MP Poilievre campaigns for compulsory union dues opt out
OTTAWA, September 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a Canadian federal union financially helped a Quebec separatist party win a minority government on Tuesday, a Conservative MP has initiated a push for legislation that would allow public servants to opt out of paying union dues when the union acts contrary to their beliefs or convictions.
The move has sparked excitement among pro-life and pro-family union workers whose compulsory dues support their trade unions’ social and political activism, even if it runs contrary to their beliefs or religious convictions.
Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre told the Ottawa Citizen that, while he accepts the results of the election, he “can’t accept a union representing public servants” that “forcefully takes money out of the pockets of Canada’s public servants to support parties that want to break up the country.”
“How can it be in the interests of public servants to support the breakup of Canada?” asked Poilievre.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) financially supported candidates running for Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois.
Stephen J. Gray, a retired unionized seaman who exposes the political and social activism of Canada’s large trade unions, told LifeSiteNews.com that compulsory union dues force much of Canada’s workforce to “finance and support abortion, same-sex marriage, and many other socialist ideologies that are completely unrelated to the workplace.”
MP Poilievre, a Catholic who is rated “pro-life” by Campaign Life Coalition, told the Ottawa Citizen that in his own riding there are many disgruntled unionized workers who despise being forced by their unions to indirectly support radical causes and political campaigns through mandatory dues.
“Workers have the right to unionize, but they don’t have an obligation to unionize,” he said. “So, the law should not force them against their will to pay dues for causes they don’t support.”
Canada’s compulsory union dues were the handiwork of appointed judge Mr. Justice Ivan C. Rand — who was called a progressive socialist by Paul Martin Sr, a Liberal cabinet member at the time. In 1946, Rand introduced the formula as part of an arbitration decision to end an autoworkers’ strike.
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Under Rand’s formula, workers are free to refrain from joining a union, but they are nevertheless forced to pay union fees that can subsequently be used arbitrarily by union bosses.
Larry Brown, national secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Provincial Government Employees (NUPGE) indicated just how arbitrarily the union treasury can be used when he wrote in 1991 that NUPGE is “involved in matters which have to do with the social direction of Canada and not just issues at the bargaining table.”
The major trade unions in Canada, including CAW, CEP, USW, OPSEU, OECTA, PSAC, and CUPE, are known for their unabashed political and social activism for anti-life and anti-traditional-family positions that include the blatant endorsement and promotion of abortion and homosexual ‘marriage’.
Earlier this summer Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) used pro-life members’ dues to fund pro-abortion rallies across the country against the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform’s New Abortion Caravan, which traveled from Vancouver to Ottawa displaying graphic images of aborted children.
The CAW demonstration was also staged to protest Conservative MP Steve Woodworth’s Motion 312 in the House of Commons, which called for Parliament to establish a special committee to consider when human life begins. Pro-life union members counter demonstrated to protest their union’s decision to wade into the abortion debate.
The president of Canada’s private sector union CEP Dave Coles told Canada NewsWire in April that “CEP and many other unions have been at the forefront of the fight to ensure a woman has a right to choose and that governments don’t turn back the clock on reproductive rights. And we intend to keep up the pressure.”
Ontario’s powerful Catholic teachers’ union (OECTA) levied a $60 fee from its 45,000 members in 2011 to build a $3 million war chest with which they successfully helped to defeat the province’s Progressive Conservative party in the October 6th provincial election.
While teachers refused to comment publicly on OECTA’s activities out of fear of retaliation, one teacher, under condition of anonymity, told LifeSiteNews.com at the time that he was dismayed to have money forcibly seized from him for a “campaign that I don’t really agree with in the first place.”
The last decade has seen OECTA promoting bizarre sex conferences featuring talks on drag queens and sex toys, using their own conferences to feature leading dissident Catholics and abortion supporters, promoting the agenda of homosexual activists through acceptance of gay/straight alliances, and intervening in a court proceeding against a Catholic school which was being sued by a male student for refusing to permit him to bring his gay ‘boyfriend’ to the school prom.
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In 2008, Susan Comstock, an employee of the Treasury Board of Canada and a member of PSAC, lost her case before the Federal Court of Appeal in which she sought to divert her union dues because of her conscientious objection to her union’s advocacy of same-sex ‘marriage’ and policy against “heterosexism.”
Comstock had argued that PSAC’s support of the homosexual political agenda violated her right to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. She had proposed to divert her union dues, about $800 a year, to charity.
Comstock’s lawyer, Phil Horgan, head of the Catholic Civil Rights League of Canada, called the decision against his client “chilling” in its implications for religious expression in Canada.
In 2003, Canada’s largest union, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), lobbied in favor of homosexual “marriage” before the Justice Committee in the House of Commons. At that time, Judy Darcy, national president of CUPE, told Members of Parliament that his organization had “spoken up for same-sex marriage, and we think it’s about time the federal government made it legal.”
Gray argues that the country’s trade unions have “no business” forcing their members to pay dues that support social ideologies and political parties.
“Union members in Canada, whether they’re pro-life, pro-abortion, or neutral on the issue, should have their dues used only for collective bargaining. That is the reason why unions first got their mandate,” he said. “But union bosses have transgressed from their mandate and use compulsory union dues, not only for abortion, but for all kinds of issues unrelated to the work place.”
“Union members are perfectly capable of making their own social, moral, and political decisions on all these issues that are outside of the work place. It’s unbelievable for the union bosses to be making these decisions, it smacks of dictatorship,” he stated.
Gray pointed out the hypocrisy of trade unions that support the killing of baby’s by legal abortion.
“Unions say they ‘speak up for the little guy.’ Well, surely the littlest guy is an innocent child in a mother’s womb. These unions, by supporting ‘choice’ — which is really killing by choice — are supporting babies being torn apart and being poisoned and sucked out of their mothers by abortion. And these are the same unions who are supposed to ‘speak out for the little guy’? It’s total hypocrisy.”
“As for the trade unions that promote same-sex ‘marriage’, again, it’s really none of their business since union members are perfectly capable of making up their own minds on social issues and don’t need to be hand-held by undemocratic union bosses.”