A Conservative MPâ€™s private membersâ€™ bill, currently before Parliament, has ushered in a new age of anxiety for Canadaâ€™s labour movement.
Such is the consternation in union-land that members are being called to mandatory special meetings to come up with some way, any way, to sink Russ Hiebertâ€™s Bill C-377. Members of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators were informed they would be fined $50 if they failed to show up for one meeting.
The reason is that Mr. Hiebertâ€™s financial transparency bill â€“ which, among other things, would require unions to disclose how much money they spend on political activities â€“ could shatter the union business model forever.
We do not know how much of the $4.5-billion collected in union dues is spent on political hobby-horses by the leadership, since there is no requirement to disclose that information.
But we can assume that in many cases, those who are forced to donate around two weeksâ€™ pay a year to the unions do not agree with the causes chosen.