I was sitting in line for the ferry so I couldn't post the info right away, but was pleased to find this in my inbox upon my return to a computer:
And, for the record, the full text of the accompanying news release:
January 24, 2008 - For Immediate Release-
Union Leaders are Putting YOUR Money where THEIR Mouths are
Edmonton — "Union Leaders are putting YOUR money where THEIR mouths are" This statement is the theme behind an ad campaign co-sponsored by the National Citizens Coalition and Merit Contractors Association of Alberta.
The campaign responds to the recent series of attack ads launched by the so-called "Albertans for Change" coalition of labour unions headed up by leaders of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) and the Alberta Building Trades Council (ABTC).
In Edmonton, Stephen Kushner, President of Merit Contractors Association stated, "The AFL and ABTC are umbrella groups for individual unions comprised of thousands of workers who are forced to contribute to political ad campaigns through union dues. It is illegitimate for these union leaders to say they speak for all workers when many of the workers they purport to represent are forced against their will to pay full union dues simply to keep their jobs."
For decades, the National Citizens Coalition (NCC) has fought forced unionization and the misuse of union dues for political purposes. According to NCC President, Peter Coleman, "Trade unions and affiliated groups spent the most money in third party advertising during the last federal election campaign. Under Canada’s outdated labour laws, union leaders are free to take forced dues and use them to finance "pet" political projects whether employees agree with them or not. This is in spite of the Leger Research in 2003 finding that 76% of unionized employees opposed to having their union dues used for non-workplace activities such as supporting political parties and other causes. Yet, that doesn’t stop union bosses from playing politics."
Coleman’s comments were echoed by Kushner, "The recent attack ads show how little accountability there is with the current laws. Every employee should have the right to know where his or her money is going and should be able to opt out of contributing to political campaigns such as this."
Kudos to the Merit Contractors Association and the National Citizens Coalition for bring attention to this abuse of members' hard earned money. These kinds of tactics may be commonplace in other provinces, but Alberta's tradespeople won't be swayed by fancy rhetoric paid for out of their own wages.