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Author Topic: IBEW IVP Phil Flemming : The Ugly Truth About Bill C-377  (Read 4354 times)

Offline PSperanza

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IBEW IVP Phil Flemming : The Ugly Truth About Bill C-377
« on: February 08, 2013, 11:59:21 AM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/phil-flemming/bill-c377-labour-canada_b_2639500.html?utm_hp_ref=tw&just_reloaded=1#slide=more252530

The Ugly Truth About Bill C-377

Posted: 02/07/2013 3:06 pm



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U.S. Senate , Unions , Canada Politics News , Bill C-377 , C-377 , Construction , House Of Commons Bill c-377 , Senate Bill c-377 , Union Transparency , Canada Politics News


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The recent post written by the President of Merit Canada, Terrance Oakey, is just more rhetoric coming from the biggest proponent of Private Members Bill C-377. Throughout the procedural process of the Bill, Merit Canada, an anti-union contractor-based organization, has been lobbying the Conservative government quite regularly, including 12 meetings with MP Russ Hiebert, five meetings with Finance Canada, and another 12 meetings with the Prime Minister's Office, a record that those opposed to the Bill have been unable to match. A quick search of Communication Reports on the website of the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying, confirms just how often Merit President Terrance Oakey met with the above groups and people. It seems very hypocritical of Mr. Oakey to question union members for lobbying the government, while he has been making a living doing the exact same thing.

While we are on the subject of transparency, it is interesting to point out that while the President of Merit Canada is representing an organization involved in the construction industry, his background is far from that industry all together. He has served as a Conservative Party staffer for several years, and worked in various positions as a Lobbyist on Parliament Hill. Could it be that it was in part because of this experience that Bill C-377 came to be -- and not out of a desire to help middle-class working men and women of Canada?

There are some other key points that should also be brought to light for Canadians.

Merit Canada is an anti-union group consisting of about 3,500 small and mid-size contractors who employ about 60,000 workers in eight provinces in Canada. Unionized work forces are their direct competition. So don't they stand to benefit from the government forcing unionized work forces to open their books for everyone to scrutinize under the guise of transparency? More specifically, Merit's competition is the Canadian Building Trades, who have approximately 450,000 members employed by various contractors across Canada. Under this new law Merit contractors will be able to specifically see the financial details and inner workings of their unionized competition. The competitive advantaged gained by Merit Canada is like a game of poker in which the unions are forced to play with their cards dealt face up.
The wild claim by the President of Merit Canada that "These funds are funneled into a wide range of causes" is very misleading. Union members decide how their dues are spent democratically at regular union meetings by a vote for or against the motion.

Suggesting other jurisdictions in the world have a form of similar legislation is not entirely accurate. The writer failed to mention that those jurisdictions also have reporting obligations for employers and employer organizations, such as Merit. Bill C-377 does not include those same reporting obligations, so that counter-balance is conveniently missing in the Canadian legislation. Only unions and union members will be affected. Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner, Cape Breton-Canso, put forth an amendment that would require all not-for-profit organizations and contractor organizations, like Merit Canada, to file the same documents and have them posted publicly on the Internet; however that amendment was handily defeated by Conservative Party MPs.

Canadians should be made aware that Bill C-377 is a competition issue, not a national public policy issue. Canadian tax payers will be footing the bill for the design, start-up, maintenance, and monitoring costs that the CRA will incur for this reporting. The Canadian Labour Congress has estimated that setting up this system will cost Canadian taxpayers between $32-million & $45-million dollars per year. And for whose benefit?
I love our local 353, SOLIDARITY and SUCCESS to the members in Alberta!

Offline PSperanza

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Re: IBEW IVP Phil Flemming : The Ugly Truth About Bill C-377
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 10:39:13 AM »
In light of this bill being passed into law in Canada it worth re reading the article written and published by the late Phil Flemming IBEW IVP.

Brother Flemming said...

"The wild claim by the President of Merit Canada that "These funds are funneled into a wide range of causes" is very misleading. Union members decide how their dues are spent democratically at regular union meetings by a vote for or against the motion."

Let's consider the term "democratically", I believe democratic decisions should be made by informed members.

I believe the democratic process must be fair, if it isn't then it's not proper democracy.

Is it fair and proper democracy when union members are denied comprehensive information about financial issues that require their vote?

In my opinion, no.

Is it fair democracy when proper parliamentary procedures by members at union meetings are denied by some officers to limit information to members when members need that information to make proper informed decisions about the expenditure of union funds?

In my opinion, No.

I see IBEW local 353 officers violating the proper parliamentary rules at union meetings to unfairly deny information to members that would allow for informed decisions related to financial expenditures.

Not allowing comprehensive information and a fair opportunity for debate by informed union members undermines the use of the term "democratically". 

In light of that the statement made by the late Brother Phil Flemming in his article is misleading.     
I love our local 353, SOLIDARITY and SUCCESS to the members in Alberta!

Offline PSperanza

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Re: IBEW IVP Phil Flemming : The Ugly Truth About Bill C-377
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2015, 12:26:26 PM »
I hope someone can explain better for me, is it an "Anti-Worker Bill" or is it an "anti-union bill"?

The following article posted on the IBEW website seems to say both on separate lines, in the title and then in the first sentence of the article.

Is it the same thing?

http://www.ibew.org/media-center/Articles/15Daily/1507/150721_Canadian

Canadian Senate Approves Anti-Worker Bill

July 21, 2015

Conservative senators approved anti-union bill C-377, late last month, forcing labor unions to publicly disclose all their financial transactions to the federal government — everything from office supply purchases to salaries — creating onerous reporting requirements for union leaders and staff.

Conservative senators approved anti-union bill C-377, late last month, forcing labor unions to publicly disclose all their financial transactions to the federal government — everything from office supply purchases to salaries — creating onerous reporting requirements for union leaders and staff.

“This bill, whatever may have been its laudable transparency goals, is really an expression of statutory contempt for the working men and women in our trade unions,” said former Conservative Sen. Hugh Segal.

C-377 was first introduced by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert more than three years ago. While ostensibly a private-member bill (meaning it was introduced without official support of the prime minister’s office), it received wide support from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

In fact, the Senate rushed a vote on the bill without a public hearing, a rarity for a private-member bill.
“You rarely ever see the senate cut short debate on anything besides a government bill,” said First District Political Action/Media Strategist Matt Wayland. “This is unprecedented.”

It was opposed by all the chamber’s Liberal members, as well as three Conservatives and two independents.
"This is an unconstitutional bill to begin with and it does not comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," Conservative Sen. Diane Bellemare told Blacklock's Reporter earlier this year.

In many ways, C-377’s reporting requirements are even more stringent than those in the United States.
As Ella Bedard at Rabbel.ca writes:
Unlike the U.S. financial disclosure laws, Canada's C-377 requires the same reporting standards for all labor organizations, regardless of their size. [United Steelworkers President Leo]Gerard said that his union's accountants have estimated that it takes the equivalent of roughly three or four people working full-time to file their financial disclosure reports to the U.S. government.

That's time and money that smaller locals just cannot afford.
Despite this setback, Wayland says that he is hopeful that it will be overturned at the ballot box.
“The best way we can get rid of C-377 is to throw out Harper and his government,” he said.
Federal elections are scheduled for Oct. 19. Leaders of the Liberal and New Democratic parties – both of which are running closely with the Conservatives in the polls – have vowed to repeal the bill if they take power.
“It’s helping mobilize our members to unseat the Conservatives in the fall,” said Wayland.

I love our local 353, SOLIDARITY and SUCCESS to the members in Alberta!

Offline Conversationalist

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Re: IBEW IVP Phil Flemming : The Ugly Truth About Bill C-377
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2015, 09:27:12 PM »
Does this mean that the $37000 expense that the union officials refused to tell the members at the May union meeting what it was for will now have to be disclosed to Revenue Canada?Hey bravo to Revenue Canada for forcing stuff to be uncovered











 union officials refused to discuss at the June union meeting will now be ^
forced to be exposed to Revenue Canada/