In June 2013, Conservative Senators revolted against Stephen Harper’s anti-union and anti-worker agenda by effectively gutting Bill C-377. Now the Conservatives are bringing back the bill and attempting to limit debate in the Senate and fast track it through the House of Commons.
What I had to say about Bill C-377 two years ago is just as true today.
The Bill is nothing short of an outright attack on the fundamental rights of all Canadian union members. It will require unions to divert valuable resources away from taking care of their members’ interests, and also mandate that unions spend millions of dollars of members’ money and hundreds of hours of staff time to engage in an onerous and exaggerated structure of financial reporting that is clearly meant to penalize and injure all democratic workers’ organizations in Canada.
The Conservatives have shown time and again that they have no respect for unions and their members, or for the process of collective bargaining. By bringing forward back-to-work legislation for postal, rail and airline workers, the Harper Government has virtually outlawed strikes in the federal public sector.
Now, on top of this, they are attempting to pass a bill that violates the rights of union members throughout the country. Many view Bill C-377 as an intrusion of Canadian privacy legislation and an attack on the right of freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
But wait, it gets worse. It has been widely reported in the media that anti-union, political lobby groups have been given time to meet with the Prime Minister and provide input on Bill C-377. That’s right, the Harper Conservatives are actually letting right-wing, anti-union organizations write laws that will seriously harm unions and their members.
It’s clear that the Conservative government is anti-union and anti-worker as a plain matter of policy, and it’s time for all union members to stand up to these political bullies and demand they respect our fundamental rights.
8 reasons the Conservatives’ anti-union bill should not be brought back from the dead, from the Broadbent Institute
Why Bill C-377 violates the constitutional rights of workers, by the Canadian Bar Association