Public interest group calls for urgent changes to rules governing how unions operate

OTTAWA, Sept. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Centre for Policy Studies is calling on the federal and provincial governments to change rules that allow unions to spend members' dues on activities not related to collective bargaining without their individual consent in reaction to news that the Public Service Alliance was backing the PQ in the recent Quebec election.

"Few Canadians realize just how far behind the rest of the world we are when it comes to regulating how unions operate," explained Joseph C. Ben-Ami, president of the Centre.

"Canada is the only democratic country in the world where employers can still be forced - by law - to hire only members of a certain union. It's one of the last countries where workers can be forced - after being hired - to join a union in order to keep their jobs, and it's the only one where workers are made to pay union dues - even if they're not members of a union.

Once that money is in their hands, union bosses can spend it on virtually any activity or cause they want - including political."

"In contrast to this, employers in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States can't be forced to hire only members of a union, nor (except for in a handful of hold-out American states) can workers be forced to join a union after they're hired just to keep their jobs. Unions can't collect dues from non-members, nor can they use money they do get from members to support activities not directly related to collective bargaining without giving those members the opportunity to opt out if they choose."

"When it comes to regulating how unions operate, it's time for Canada to join the rest of the world in the 21st century."

SOURCE: Canadian Centre for Policy Studies

For further information:

Joseph Ben-Ami at 613-695-2176 ext. 100

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Canadian Centre for Policy Studies

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