Union certification: Mandatory secret ballot voting would show more respect for workers' wishes - a new poll indicates that a large majority of Quebeckers support this reform

    MONTREAL, Sept. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - More than seven out of 10 people in
Quebec feel the government should amend the current law to establish mandatory
secret ballot voting among employees involved in an application for union
certification. Support for such a change is even higher among unionized
workers, at 80%.
    These are the results of a poll conducted in August 2009 by Léger
Marketing. The poll was commissioned to coincide with the publication by the
Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) of a Research Paper on the union
certification process. The study was prepared by Marcel Boyer, senior
economist at the MEI and emeritus professor of economics at the Université de
    According to Mr. Boyer, Quebec needs to overhaul its legal framework in
labour relations, first by making secret ballot voting mandatory when union
certification is being sought. "This reform would guarantee that workers could
express their real opinion, and it would enable Quebec businesses to compete
on a level playing field with firms elsewhere, helping to attract investment
and promoting job creation," he stated.
    MEI president Michel Kelly-Gagnon added that "the poll results alone
should lead us to ask some serious questions about the legitimacy of a union
certification system based on the signing of membership cards. The poll shows
that the line taken by union leaders is not always as representative of the
views of workers as they pretend."
    The complete Research Paper released today, titled Union certification:
Developing a level playing field for labour relations in Quebec, along with
the opinion poll report, are available free of charge at www.iedm.org.
    It should be noted that Quebec is alone among the four big Canadian
provinces where secret ballot voting is not required to certify a union.

    The author

    Marcel Boyer, senior economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, is one
of Canada's best known economists. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Carnegie
Mellon University and is emeritus professor of economics at the Université de
Montréal. He is also a fellow of the Center for Interuniversity Research and
Analysis on Organizations (CIRANO) and of the C.D. Howe Institute. In 2002, he
obtained the Marcel Vincent Prize awarded by the Association francophone pour
le savoir (ACFAS) for the exceptional quality of his work in social science.

    The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is an independent, non-profit,
non-partisan research and educational organization. Through studies and
conferences, it informs public policy debates in Quebec and Canada by
suggesting wealth-generating reforms based on market mechanisms.

For further information:

For further information: and interview requests: David Descôteaux,
Montreal Economic Institute, (514) 273-0969 ext. 2224, Cell: (514) 993-4450,

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