Thursday, June 17, 2010

Was the Rand Decision a Fix?

I wrote this some years ago. SJG

“It cannot be stressed enough that the coercion which unions have been permitted to exercise contrary to all principles of freedom under the law is primarily the coercion of fellow workers” (F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty).

The architect of compulsory union dues in Canada was an appointed judge: Mr. Justice Ivan C. Rand. Judge Rand was appointed arbitrator in the dispute between the Ford Motor Company in Windsor, Ontario, and the United Auto Workers Union now known as the C.A.W. He handed down his decision on January 29,1946, a decision, that made union dues compulsory.

The Liberal politician who helped “bring about his appointment” was Mr. Paul Martin Senior, who wrote in his memoirs, A Very Public Life (Volume 1, pages 395-396),

“Although I knew that Rand’s views on the rights of labour were encompassed within a progressive social outlook, I wondered whether I could convince the cabinet to appoint him…Privately, I knew that the workers were getting fed up and might revolt against the strike leaders if a settlement was not found soon. This I wanted to avoid, for it would set the cause of unionism in Canada back ten years…I encouraged Pat Conroy and George Addes to urge the mass meeting on 14 December to vote for a new ballot. Conroy knew, because I had told him confidentially, that Mr. Justice Rand would be the arbitrator…”

Mr. Paul Martin Senior, a Liberal cabinet member at the time, is also quoted in an article by David Moulton (in the book On Strike, edited by Irving Abella, page 147):

“…Martin, who knew Rand personally, recalls, ‘I talked with him [Rand] about these problems…I knew his views…he was a man who knew the evolution that was taking place in social thinking… he had been thinking about these questions for a long time…and it just happened I was in a position to help bring about his appointment’”

And the union leaders are quoted on page 146 of On Strike as saying:

“…Conroy came up and gave us to understand that the government would pick a strictly impartial person sympathetic enough… they almost told us they would give us some kind of union security…we couldn’t tell the workers that…” [emphasis added]

(Note: Pat Conroy was Secretary/Treasurer of the Canadian Congress of Labour at this time.)

It would appear by the aforementioned quotes that arrangements had been made and that the politically correct decision would come down, and it did. A person didn’t have to “belong” to the union, but must pay union dues. Involuntary dues payment was now legalized in Canada.

This decision by Justice Rand was eventually enacted into labour legislation across Canada. Now over 30% of the workforce are compelled into financing and supporting--with their compulsory union dues--socialism, same-sex marriage, abortion clinics, and numerous other issues unrelated to the workplace.

Stephen J. Gray
December 1, 2007