Making Illegal Donations, Unions Now Try to Intimidate Critics

Making Illegal Donations, Unions Now Try to Intimidate Critics

Poilievre won’t be silenced by unions that used dues from workers for illegal NDP donations

September 9, 2012

Ottawa-Nepean-Carleton Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre fought back today against political threats by the United Steelworkers and the Canadian Labour Congress, saying their behaviour is proof of the need for union transparency and workers’ free choice. Both unions were recently found to have given illegal donations to the NDP. The USW gave $81,350 and the Canadian Labour Congress gave $10,300, as part of a broader scandal in which Elections Canada required the NDP to repay $344,468 in illegal union donations.

Poilievre has backed Bill C-377, which would require transparency in how union leaders spend workers’ dues. He has also called for workers to have the free choice to opt out of union dues. Last week, the unions announced they would target elected officials who support these proposed changes.

“The USW and the CLC are perfect examples of why workers deserve transparency from union bosses. After being caught giving workers’ dues to a political party in contravention of elections law, union bosses are lashing out to silence their critics and block financial transparency,” said Poilievre. “I will not be silenced. Workers’ rights are too important.”

Just a few weeks ago federal public servants were outraged to learn that the Public Service Alliance of Canada-which also gave $28,000 in illegal donations to the NDP-had endorsed two separatist parties in the Quebec election, a decision the Ottawa-area MP condemned.

“Union bosses should not be allowed to force workers to pay union dues for political causes they do not support. Rather, workers should have the right to see how their money is spent and the freedom to opt out, if they don’t like what they see. All I seek is accountability for union bosses and free choice for workers,” concluded Poilievre.