Politics and unions

“Let’s ditch the idea of one-sided, paternalistic “right to work” laws, and try to find a way to stop unions hijacking our dues for unwanted political purposes. The money should be used for bargaining and workplace representation, nothing else.”

Re “Ontario needs right-to-work policy” (Christina Blizzard, Jan. 23): I have been fighting against unions spending my money on political issues for a long time, including six years as a steward and 14 years on the executive board of CUPE Local 79. In April 1998 I noted “the amount of time, materials, money and facilities made available out of the pockets of union members is absolutely astonishing. Activists are booked off from their regular jobs for days and even weeks at a time … Money is available for ads and commercials against the government … All out of the pockets of union members, who have never, ever, been asked which party they support, let alone whether or not they even want their dues spent on politics.” That said, I have little faith in human nature, and I don’t want to live in a world where employees are subject to the arbitrary whims of managers and employers. Let’s ditch the idea of one-sided, paternalistic “right to work” laws, and try to find a way to stop unions hijacking our dues for unwanted political purposes. The money should be used for bargaining and workplace representation, nothing else.

Jeff Goodall

(It’s also way past time for the Ontario Liberal government to stop asking “How high?” every time the big public sector unions say “Jump!”)

Again, my submission for this letter included a link to my April, 1998 quote, (which was edited down rather drastically), as I didn’t think it very bright to claim to quote from something published 15 or so years ago without offering some kind of substantiation -JG.

See Toronto Sun “Letters to the Editor, Jan. 28th, 2014” here.

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