Most Canadians want union financial transparency

Union dues for political attack ads also unpopular: LabourWatch
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/06/2011

A majority of working Canadians want union financial transparency and an end to the use of union dues for non-workplace political activities such as political attack ads, according to a survey released by the Canadian LabourWatch Association (LabourWatch).

"When it comes to giving the union bosses carte blanche on spending worker dues on politics, Canada stands alone," said LabourWatch president John Mortimer. "In virtually every other major economy, including the 47 nations composing the Council of Europe, Australia and the United States, the law bars unions from forcing unionized workers to pay dues for politics or be fired from their jobs."

Eighty-three per cent of 1,001 working Canadians surveyed said Canadian law should require both public and private sector unions to be financially transparent with the public. And 73 per cent are opposed to dues being spent on negative political attack ads.

"This clearly shows union leaders are not respecting the wishes of unionized Canadians when 72 per cent are opposed to the types of negative attack ads being run by a unions or union front groups,” said Mortimer.

There are up to five provincial elections planned or possible this fall, so this must be a key issue for political debate, said LabourWatch.

"Sitting governments need to respect the wishes of Canadians, particularly unionized Canadians (whether or not they are actually also members of the union at their workplace), whose wishes are ignored or misrepresented by union leaders," said Mortimer.

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