Ontarians want greater workplace democracy: LabourWatch Survey

TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - A new public survey supports what Ontario's small businesses are asking the major party leaders to commit to if elected on October 6: give all workers the right to a secret ballot vote on whether they wish to unionize and outlaw the use of forced worker (union) dues on political attack ads.

"If secret ballot voting is good enough to elect our politicians, then why is it not good enough for union representation in the workplace?" said Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) vice-president Satinder Chera. "What's good for the goose should be good for the gander."

The national survey of 1,001 working Canadians by Nanos Research, and commissioned by the Canadian LabourWatch Association, found that 74 per cent of Ontarians disagreed with the use of union dues for political attacks, while 80 per cent agreed that a secret ballot vote should be required when forming or removing a union.

These results are consistent with past CFIB surveys that found that a strong majority of small businesses in Ontario wanted limits on union dues for partisan activities and the right to secret ballot voting for all workers. Currently, labour laws in Ontario deprive construction workers of the latter right to a secret ballot vote, which is guaranteed in every other sector.

"Before we hear the cries of solidarity from the union bosses, it's also important to note that workers in unionized workplaces are legally forced to pay union dues even if they choose not to be a card-carrying member of the union," added Chera. "It's a shame that groups like the Working Families don't have the guts to say where and how they get their money."

With the economic recovery slowing, strengthening workplace democracy would benefit the pocketbook of average Ontarians and the economy. "Let's hope the politicians use the current election campaign to commit to respecting the wishes of all Ontarians, including the rights of Ontario workers," concluded Chera.

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 108,000 (42,000 in Ontario) members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy. www.cfib-fcei.ca. CFIB is also a member of the Canadian LabourWatch Association.


SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

To arrange an interview with Satinder Chera, contact Gisele Lumsden or Meghan Carrington at 416-222-8022 or via public.affairs@cfib.ca. For a copy of the complete survey results visit www.labourwatch.com

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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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