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RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:14 am    Post subject: Union transparency bill passes in Ottawa Reply with quote

Union transparency bill passes, heads to the Senate
Updated
7:28 am, December 13th, 2012
7:50 pm, December 12th, 2012




It was a good day for the Conservatives. PM Harper escorts recently elected MP Joan Crockatt in the House of Commons on the same day the transparency bill headed to Senate, Dec 12, 2012.

Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie





OTTAWA - Union members are closer to uncovering how their dues are spent after legislation passed Wednesday night that would force labour bosses to disclose their salaries and bonuses and how much is steered to political activities.

Tory MP Russ Hiebert's private member's bill heads to the Senate after the Conservative majority in the House defeated NDP and Liberal opposition to C-377. Five Conservatives voted against the government. The bill passed 147-135 and then MPs headed home for the holidays.

The legislation to amend the Income Tax Act is creating headaches for union leaders, but less so for the rank and file - many who oppose how some of their tax-deductible dues are used.

Some members of the federal government's most militant union - Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) - griped over the summer about their dues being used to fly planes pulling banners over Parliament Hill that said: Harper Hates Us.

Union brass with the support of the NDP has accused the Conservatives of using Republican-style tactics to destroy collective bargaining and workers' rights.

They say the bill infringes on provincial jurisdictions, is unconstitutional and will cost millions of dollars to implement at the Canada Revenue Agency.

"It will be thrown down by the courts. I have no doubt about that. And it's just red meat for the Reform party base. It's pure demagoguery," said NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.

"It's inapplicable. It will never work. It's going to be a bureaucratic nightmare and this from a government that says it's against red tape."

They also fear the Conservatives will follow C-377 with right-to-work legislation, which would allow workers to opt out of paying dues and union membership - similar to what's happening in the United States.

Bill C-377 is similar to a law unions opposed in the United States that has helped to lead to a stream of union officials being carted off to prison after millions of dollars in union dues disappeared.

Charges ranged from embezzlement to using dues to pay for prostitutes, weddings, vacations, golf tournaments, NFL tickets and other things.

Conservative MP Maxine Bernier says the bill is all about transparency and the right for union members to see where their dues go.

"They want to know what's happening with their money," said the minister of state for small business and tourism.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/s.....95053.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the point of the transparency unless they mean to strike down the union shop?

Most workers I know know the union takes care of itself before it takes care of anybody else. They don't think they can do anything about it. But when given an opportunity to save two or three hours pay -- well, that's an easy choice.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
What's the point of the transparency unless they mean to strike down the union shop?

Most workers I know know the union takes care of itself before it takes care of anybody else. They don't think they can do anything about it. But when given an opportunity to save two or three hours pay -- well, that's an easy choice.


I think that is the goal.

Holding Unions to the same levels of Transparency as any publicly held Corporation is step one. The moment we start seeing what these Union heads spend year over year as "expenses" is going to inflame the masses;

Then right-to-work legislation follows.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in local 416 of the Retail Workers Union for awhile. The local had thousands of members who paid over $3 million in dues annually.

They posted a financial report. The names of the accounts often had nothing to do with what was being financed. There was a 'building fund' for instance ... and a 'strike fund' ... but, you know, retail workers don't strike, they have no leverage. The union had recently bought a building out by the airport. They are 'slush funds'.

A lot of retail workers are in transition, going to school, or working to supplement family income. The union handles grievances ... as it wishes. I had the feeling that the union used grievances to get thuggy with management. They definitely had a 'thug' component on their 'team'.

The real management of the union was the Steelworkers, from 'business agents' up. None of the elected posts have anything to do with where the real power resides.

The financial report showed that over $2 million of the $3 million went to the Steelworkers. About $800,000 financed the grievance procedures, which were often successful. As far as I could see, much of that $2 million probably financed a mix of political and lobbying activities.

The Steelworker guys were at an income level higher than the people they were negotiating with, had better lawyers, etc. They dressed out of Harry's, while the managers across the table dressed out of Moores, if you know what I mean.

The unions operate under the assumption that the police will not act against them. It gives them a 'freedom'. They have slush funds and they have beef on hand, and a kind of immunity. They can create political theatre. They tap off their money as middlemen ... if you want a job, you pay. That simple.

I think unions, collectively, are one of the most powerful centers of malignant power in the country.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

The unions operate under the assumption that the police will not act against them. It gives them a 'freedom'. They have slush funds and they have beef on hand, and a kind of immunity.


I think that in the same manner that public outrage spawned thousands of nuisance lawsuits against corporations during the financial crisis, and unions (especially the autoworkers) were spared from such scrutiny because of the lack of disclosure, we will see the gates open once Unions in Canada are required to be transparent.

Thousands of retirees from GM who were thrown under the bus in 2008 will get to see exactly where their hundreds of thousands of dollars of union dues over their careers potentially went;

We have the Toronto Star hit the spin cycle when a consultant takes a "limo" from the Toronto Airport downtown (at a cost of 65 dollars compared to a taxi which can span from 55 - 80 mind you) I can only imagine the Suns pure glee in laying out every dollar spent and how it was spent by every non-worker within these unions.

Make no mistake; this is a very very significant piece of legislation.
machiavelli





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TYRANNY OF BIG UNIONS

What are the chances that the greedy, socialistic Big Union bosses, with their psycho talk, will
stop continuously throwing workers under the bus as they have being throughout their history?

Companies are simply refusing to build new factories in more expensive
unionized states that are ran by greedy, often corrupt, Big Union Bosses who fund
far-left political parties even when their unionized worker support non leftists parties.

Non partisan study after study illustrates that more jobs are being created in “right to work”
regions that are attracting companies to invest, create secondary industries, and lower individual taxes, all while improving employee's standard of living.

Unions slices off a couple of percentage points of workers' pay and
sluices some of it to elect left-wing politicians who use it to grow the
size of government, thereby growing the size of the union with the new hires and
thereby growing the number of contributions to the unions,
The larger union then can contribute even more to far-left politicians who
are elected and grow the government even larger. Repeat until
bankruptcy, or bailout.

If we were to elect legitimate fiscally responsible governments they would
accept reality and legislate “right to work” legislation, eliminate public service unions,
mandate the unions to collect their own fees, and demand transparency pursuant to union's
expenditures and have done intrinsically been doing throughout their history?
ronald





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This can be considered fair and aboveboard.
In other words: "The right stuff!"
The Dippers are being flushed now that they have been flushed out.
A long time coming, but it is done.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ronald wrote:
This can be considered fair and aboveboard.
In other words: "The right stuff!"


I tend to agree.

Corporations are held accountable to their shareholders with regular filings, I see no logical reason why Unions should not be held accountable to their members.

There is no reason why CAW members should not be able to see every dollar spent by Ken Lewenz in any given year.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:

Corporations are held accountable to their shareholders with regular filings, I see no logical reason why Unions should not be held accountable to their members.

There is no reason why CAW members should not be able to see every dollar spent by Ken Lewenz in any given year.

Certainly the ideal is that corporate management is accountable to the shareholders, who 'own' the company. But how often does reality conform to the ideal?

I can't think of a single major corporation that is effectively controlled by its 'ownership'. And the bigger the corporation, the less likely the shareholders have anything to say about anything their companies do. Otherwise, do you imagine those hedge funds who own so much APPL stock would be content to allow the company to retain $billions and $billions overseas, beyond the reach of tax-collectors?

In fact, the major Wall Street merchant banks were family owned enterprises until the 1990ies. When the families put their banks into a corporate form, the value of their banks multiplied while effective control passed to the management of the company. People have to wonder if these banks would have been so reckless if their gambles were backed up with family money?

That's why the very idea of corporate responsibility has become a bad joke on the general public.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By Accountable I am simply referring to the fact that I get a copy of the books every quarter and I can request the big version for me to dive into at my leisure.

This is something that union members largely lack access to;
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unions often post statements from apparent auditors -- though not on a real letterhead, I concede -- but then, how good are corporations at giving the pubic the detailed truth that one would want in order to make rational investment decisions.

The real point ... as far as serving as a 'check' on management, a union member and a stockholder are probably in parallel situations.

Anyway, have a Happy New Year, folks, 'cuz the coming year could be a doozy.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unions often post statements from apparent auditors -- though not on a real letterhead, I concede -- but then, how good are corporations at giving the pubic the detailed truth that one would want in order to make rational investment decisions.

The real point ... as far as serving as a 'check' on management, a union member and a stockholder are probably in parallel situations.

Anyway, have a Happy New Year, folks, 'cuz the coming year could be a doozy.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Unions often post statements from apparent auditors -- though not on a real letterhead, I concede -- but then, how good are corporations at giving the pubic the detailed truth that one would want in order to make rational investment decisions.

The real point ... as far as serving as a 'check' on management, a union member and a stockholder are probably in parallel situations.


I would argue the difference is that there is a legal consequence for misleading your shareholders, the enforcement of that may be debatable but the reality is you can serve time for doing so.

The parallel check and balance does not exist for Unions.
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Union transparency bill passes in Ottawa

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