Since Unifor’s National Executive Board decision to cease affiliation to the CLC, many in our Union have done all we could to get a conversation started about what led to that decision. What has become abundantly clear is the labour movement is not ready to have this conversation.
Specifically, we have taken issue with the lack of enforcement of Articles 4, 26 and the affiliation provisions of the CLC Constitution.
I will focus on Article 4 for the purposes of this letter. The CLC and others would like to peddle the argument that Article 4 is working, and therefore this is about Unifor and its desire to raid. This is simply not true and is completely counter to the arguments we have been making over the past year about the serious flaws in Article 4.
Article 4 is meant to provide a means for workers to change unions if certain conditions are met.
Imagine this for a moment. Over the course of the last seven years, less than ten groups of workers have ever managed to change unions. Almost none of the cases handled by the CLC have followed the process as outlined in the Constitution and frankly many affiliates are guilty of shutting down the voices of their members who have sought to change unions.
How could it be that hundreds of groups of workers file to remove their union every year in Canada through Labour Boards, but over the course of seven years, virtually no workers have successfully used Article 4 to change unions. I would submit that Article 4 is working just as well as some of the leadership in the movement want it to work.
Of course we could all sit back and pretend that all is well. We could carry on with the status quo and continue to treat workers as if they are owned by their union. Or, we could do what Unifor was born to do. We were born to create a new acceptance of unions. To create a Union for everyone. To be bold. To help build a new, more dynamic labour movement. A modern movement.
Unifor activists are committed to building a better country for everyone. This will not change. Their heart and soul is in this work. And you can be assured that our Union will continue to be a powerful political voice in Canadian communities.
Read the entire letter here (PDF).