Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Bill C-377: The government forcing a private entity (a union) to make their financial statements public is downright scary.

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Mike has worked in both the union and non-union side of the electrical business for 25 years. Though he's a conservative, he hates the proposed Harper government legislation to force unions to publicly disclose their spending.

Two weeks ago, Alec Caldwell wrote about Ottawa’s Bill C-377, which might very well soon become law. If so, unions would be required to disclose their spending and their executive’s salaries.  Here’s a response to that from Mike. He says “be careful what you wish for” all those of you who are cheering on this new legislation to hamper unions. And he’s a life-long conservative.

“Unions are private entities and should not be required to disclose their finances. Be very careful here: this is a slippery slope!

I have worked in the electrical sector for over 25 years; The first 14 were for a non-union employer and the past 11 years have been for a union employer – only because it was a condition of employment.

For the first 14 years, I swore up and down that I would NEVER work in a union environment. My employer treated us very fairly, we were compensated well, had good benefits and vacation pay. I did not feel it was fair to vote in a union to an employer who treated us well and had spent thousands in court fighting union take over, successfully. My father also owned a general contracting business and was dead set against unions, likely a big part of why I disliked them so much.


For the past 11 years I have worked for a much larger employer (10+ times the size of the first) that has been unionized for many decades. In this environment I have come to appreciate the work unions do for their members. We pay a fee (dues) for this service which I feel is very fair for what we receive in return. I believe in a large employer environment it would be much more challenging to have your single voice heard as opposed to a collective voice.

I’m seeing a lot of both Pro and Negative union comments here.

How about this…. there is room for both unionized and non-unionized companies, take your pick and be happy with your choice. Yes there are unions that use some poor tactics when attempting to unionize a company and some unions have bargained for unblieveablely crazy benefits which I also disagree with. At the same time there are non-union employers out there that treat their workers like crap and threaten job security (or lack of it) to get them to work in poor conditions for poor wages.

The world just isn’t fair, but the government forcing a private entity to make their financial statements public is down right scary. What’s next, all companies will have to post their finances publicly? How much Big Brother do you want in your lives? I’d like to see those of you in favour of it to post your personal finances for all of us to see!

I am a life-long Conservative supporter (until this past Provincial election, couldn’t support Hudak) and if Bill C-377 goes through, that will be the end of my support.
Bill C-377 is a very scary proposition. Be careful what you wish (or vote) for, you could be next.”


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