Union Security
UAW Statement to Ontario Government

Publisher:  United Auto Workers, Willowdale, Canada
Year Published:  1978  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX853

A statement by the United Auto Workers union to the Conservative government.

Abstract:  "We request your government to proceed with legislation which would provide for a compulsory check-off of union dues for all employees covered in the bargaining unit once a union has been certified and a first collective agreement negotiated." This statement is addressed to the Conservative government of Ontario which is seen in its past actions and inactions to be unambiguously placed in the camp of the most reactionary fringe of employees in our economy.
Recognizing unions in the law implies that they are a legitimate institution in society that must have sufficient strength to do its job, namely, representing workers that democratically chose the union. Union security is a necessary condition for such strength. The law imposes on the union the responsibility of defending all the employees in the bargaining unit. A logical corollary of this is that if everyone benefits, everyone should pay, a taken for granted procedure in other services in our society (e.g. taxes paid for police and fire protection).
In response to the accusation that unions are too powerful, the statement says that in spite of important achievements, unions have not yet been able to win basic protection for workers' lives and health in the plant, protect their jobs against corporate lay-off and plant movement decisions, defeat wage controls, and keep up with inflation. The issue of union security is not about the general strength of unions but their strength in recently organized units in which management is trying to destroy the union. It cannot be argued the "unions are too powerful" in such locations the authors believe.

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