oversized handbag CLC head accuses Unifor of leaving lobby group to raid another union
Severed ties between the Canadian Labour Congress and Unifor have culminated in the head of the national lobby group for the labour movement accusing Canada largest private sector union of raiding another union for members. The head of the CLC retorts that Unifor left so it could lure members away from other unions to boost its own membership, a move that is forbidden under the CLC constitution.
the disaffiliation, they are now involved in raiding Unite Here in Toronto, CLC president Hassan Yussuff said.
you leave the congress, then, of course, you free to go and solicit any members that they wish to join their union. And that what they doing right now. president Jerry Dias insisted leaving CLC is not about boosting its membership.
have zero interest in raiding any unions. We will respond to those that attempt to raid us, but this has absolutely nothing to do with raiding, he said.
The infighting has left some inside the movement scratching their heads over who is to blame and others asking why they are blaming each other at all, given the challenges the entire movement faces, including an overall decline in unionization rates.
some elements of truth on all sides, said Stephanie Ross, an associate professor at McMaster University School of Labour Studies.
However, she added, there are many critics within the movement of the CLC difficult process to make a change in union representation, and it would be in the movement best interest to re examine its process.
a disunified labour movement is a serious problem. has recently struggled to expand its membership by attracting new workers,
said Ross, pointing to a recent failed effort with some Toyota workers in Ontario.
There likely some internal frustration that the union is unable to recoup the members they losing due to factors such as job losses through new union drives, she said. But whether that is a factor in their decision remains to be seen, she said.
Among the CLC 65 members, there are 33 international unions. and Canada.
While unionization rates have fallen drastically over the past two decades in Canada, the drop in the United States has been even larger. organizations, there financial incentive to keep Canadians in their unions, said Dias, considering 28 states have so called right to work laws that make union dues unenforceable.
Unifor is the product of a variety of unions that broke away from their American parent, said Ross. So their viewpoint is one that is very sympathetic to union members in situations like those that Unite Here Local 75 describes, she said, where they disagree with the parent chapter over the union direction, including on upcoming collective bargaining.
Yussuff disagreed with Dias assertions that the CLC has failed to act on member complaints, adding its received 46 complaints between May and December last year and all have been resolved. The group can address complaints it doesn receive, he added.
If Unifor has issues with the group constitution, Yussuff said,
the union should have worked within the system to build a consensus around how to improve the structure.