Unifor leaders support repeal of controversial union legislation
Local union leaders in Windsor, Ont. are applauding the Liberal government's plan to reverse controversial labour laws passed by the Conservative government in the last Parliament.
Liberals introduced a bill in the House of Commons on Thursday that would reverse changes to the laws that were made under Bill C-377, which requires unions to disclose how they spend members' dues, as well as Bill C-525, which makes it harder for unions to organize in federally regulated workplaces.
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"These bills were an attack on unions because they were upset with our level of involvement in politics, and that's a shame," said Chris Taylor, the president of Unifor Local 200, which represents Ford workers in Windsor.
"We have the absolute right to voice our concerns and oppose the government when we feel it's wrong and is against workers," Taylor said.
Dino Chiodo, the president of Unifor Local 444 which represents workers at Caesar's Windsor and at Fiat Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant also voiced his support for repealing the two bills.
"It was a bill aimed at one group of individuals," Chiodo said. "There are all kinds of groups that get money from memberships and dues, but [the Conservatives] were going after us."
But the Tories are already signalling they could use their majority in the Senate to block passage of the legislation.
Gérard Deltell, the Conservatives' labour critic, said his party would consider asking Tory senators to kill the bill.
"We'll fight for that for sure," Deltell said. "The second chamber will do its job. We are sure that senators will do what they have to do for that."
Bill C-377 requires unions to disclose all transactions over $5,000 and reveal the details of officers or executives who make over $100,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency, which would publicly post the information to its website.
Bill C-525 changed the union certification process for workers in federally regulated industries like banking, telecommunications and broadcasting, among others.
With files from John Paul Tasker