Note: The article below was written a number of years ago. SJG.
"We are involved in matters which have to do with the social direction of Canada and not just issues at the bargaining table..." -Larry Brown, Secretary Treasurer of N.U.P.G.E. (National Union of Provincial Government Employees) in "The Dossier" of Action Canada Network, Sept.-Oct., 1991.
As the above quote from a union boss indicates, unions are involved in "the social direction of Canada". But should trade unions be allowed to interfere in the personal, social, moral, political and religious lives of their members, considering membership and union dues are compulsory? Any intelligent person would say no! Any free society should say no. But today in Canada, trade unions are allowed to impose their values (which many people would say are immoral) on their forced membership.
Unions receive their certification for collective bargaining and this has progressed into collective coercion. Trade unions pay no taxes and have a money machine to pursue and finance agendas that are incompatible with personal freedom and democracy in Canada. Here are some examples of the trade unions’ agendas:
Union Support of Abortion
The B.C. Coalition for Abortion Clinics stated in its brochure that "the B.C. Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress, along with other labour organizations have long supported women’s right to choice on abortion, free-standing abortion clinics and medicare coverage for abortion."
The BC Federation of Labour (BCFL) is also on record as soliciting funds for abortion clinics. And Ken Georgetti, former President of the BCFL, and now President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), had this to say in a letter to union members on raising funds for an abortion clinic:
"in a short time, funds have been raised to pay the down payment on the $237,000 medical clinic." He goes on to say "the Executive Council urges all affiliates to send donations, consider loans or monthly pledges. . .."
Why are we compelled to pay for this kind of leadership? Is it any wonder union dues keep increasing? The Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (OCAC) has also infiltrated the labour movement; it is stated in the book Social Movements, Social Change, The Politics and Practice of Organizing (funded by our tax dollars) that "at various labour conventions in 1982 and 1983, OCAC activists were involved in garnering support for choice." The book also states that "many unions have contributed financial and material support to OCAC."
The Ontario Federation of Labour has donated money to Canada’s foremost abortionist. In fact, it is stated in the book The Charter of Rights and the Legalization of Politics in Canada by Michael Mandel, page 301, that "...the Ontario Federation of Labour has donated thousands of dollars to the Morgentaler defence. . ."
Might union members ask the question: What does abortion have to do with collective bargaining? And why are unions allowed to get away with this misuse of the memberships’ time and money?
Support of Homosexuality
"Healthcare" unions are some of the biggest supporters of the "gay rights" lifestyle. For example, the Hospital Employees Union (HEU) has already been to court on behalf of "same sex spouses" and Angles (July, 1991), Vancouver’s gay and lesbian newspaper, said this court case received "financial and moral backing from the Hospital Employees Union (HEU)". The B.C. Nurses Union has set up a "gay and lesbian rights ad hoc committee". And, according to the B.C.N.U. Update, October/November 1996 issue, "the committee made its presence felt in the Gay Pride Parade in Nelson, marching under the B.C.N.U. banner."
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) launched a court action on behalf of "same sex pensions". An article in CUPE Quarterly (October 1992) stated that "the Canadian Union of Public Employees leads the labour movement in it’s support of lesbian and gay issues". The Vancouver Sun (November 28, 1995) had an article headlined "CUPE Files a Grievance" that said a "journalism teacher" has been suspended and that this teacher "has written that sex between children and adults shouldn’t be illegal". The teacher also works "occasionally as a prostitute". The article goes on to say that "the Canadian Union of Public Employees plans to file a grievance over the suspension."
And the communist newspaper, the "Peoples Voice" (April 1-15, 2001) had this to say in the article "CLC Solidarity and Pride":
"The second ‘Solidarity and Pride’ conference called by the Canadian Labour Congress will be held June 24-27 at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel in Surrey, British Columbia.
"A letter from the CLC points out that since the first such meeting in 1997, ‘there have been many legal victories and gains for lesbian and gay workers at the bargaining table, an increased recognition of our issues in our unions, and ongoing, growing support from union leaders and members at all levels.’"
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) was also an intervenor in "The Vriend Case" that went to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Trade Unions and Religion
Parents send their children to independent schools because they want their children taught certain values. A Catholic school in Fort St. John has been closed by the Bishop because the trade union which represents the teachers - the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGSEU) - had problems with a "Catholicity Clause." The Vancouver Sun (July 1, 1999) said, "Talks stalled over a ‘Catholicity clause’ requiring staff to act according to Catholic teachings both inside and outside the school."
The Globe and Mail (July 13, 1999) said, "the union also wanted an independent adjudicator, not the bishop, to resolve disputes over Catholic lifestyle issues such as divorce, sex outside marriage, and abortion."
The Bishops are the teachers of faith and morals in the Catholic Church. And here we have the union saying "an independent adjudicator" should decide these moral issues. The BCGSEU is affiliated with the B.C. Federation of Labour (BCFL) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC); both of these organizations support abortion, homosexuality, radical feminists, etc. It is hypocrisy of the union to suggest an ‘independent adjudicator" when the unions have already taken positions (which contradict those of the Catholic Church) on these moral issues.
Even if a "Catholicity clause" was signed and the union was in the school, some of the Catholic teachers’ union dues would still go to support these controversial issues, through affiliation fees to the BCFL and CLC.
One wonders if there is a union agenda regarding Catholic Schools and others. First you get the union organized in the school. Then the union refuses to sign a "Catholicity clause." The union knows the Bishop will close the school without the clause. Thus, the children will have to go into the public school system, which in turn will need more teachers. This will result in more union dues to help finance all the politically correct causes of the unions.
BCTV News (July 28, 1999) reported a dispute between the BCGSEU and the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army wants its employees to demonstrate a "Christian Lifestyle," which the union objects to. This news report went on to say that the Salvation Army might close down this operation rather than give in to the union. A union official was quoted in the National Post (July 29, 1999) as saying, "This attitude [of the Salvation Army] is not only outrageous, it’s unconscionable." The question must be asked: Why should a Catholic school, the Salvation Army, or any other institution have to agree to a trade union’s version of morality?"
The slogan of abortion supporters is "freedom of choice", yet union members in this country have no "freedom of choice"; they are compelled into supporting abortion and homosexuality and a myriad of fringe groups. Democracy is a dirty word in the union movement and freedom is a farce. Big Brother and Big Sister in the Labour Movement dictate to union members, and compulsion is their instrument of power. If you don’t pay union dues you do not work.
Union members’ social, moral, and religious life has become the domain of union bosses and their supporters. Unions many years ago were oppressed and many people suffered and died to get decent wages and working conditions. But now the wheel has turned full circle and the oppressed have become the oppressors.
Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical Letter "On Human Work" had this to say about unions:
"However, the role of unions is not to ‘play politics’ in the sense that the expression is commonly understood today. Unions do not have the character of political parties struggling for power; they should not be subjected to the decision of political parties or have too close links with them. In fact, in such a situation they easily lose contact with their specific role, which is to secure the just rights of workers within the framework of the common good of the whole of society; instead they become an instrument used for other purposes."
Stephen J. Gray