Political Action E-mail #3

Hello to you, members of local 712.
A Conservative Member has yet again tabled Bill C-377.
Bill C-377, is an act to amend the revenue income tax act (Labor Organization), was presented as a draft bill on December 5, 2011 to the House of Commons. This Bill stipulates that the income tax act should be amended so that all trade unions are required to submit detailed annual financial statements on wages, income and expenses. This information would be published on the Canadian Revenue Agency website (CRA) and accessible to the general public, so that employers also would have visual access to the finances of trade unions in collective bargaining which would considerably reduce union strength…
At Local Lodge 712 of the Machinists Union, we are governed by the IAM Constitution and local lodge Bylaws. We need to, at each monthly meeting, present a Treasury report which includes everything that is stated in this Bill. We believe that it is necessary to do so, but only strictly to members of local 712.
June 26, 2013, the Senate adopted a series of amendments to Bill C-377 presented by Senator Hugh Segal. The Bill must return to the House of Commons where it will then have the Senate amendments.
The original Bill sought to improve the transparency and accountability of associations of workers. This Bill would have particularly obliged unions to disclose any expenditure which the cumulative value is greater than $5,000 to a payer or beneficiary. The salary of trade union leaders who earn more than $ 100,000 would have also been made public.
The Senate has proposed increasing the limit from $ 5,000 to $ 150,000. The effect of the amendment will be to exclude the operations of most of the small and medium size unions.
Raise the threshold for disclosure of salaries from $ 100,000 to $ 441 661. This amendment reflects the change made by the Conservative Government in Bill C-461, which raised the threshold for disclosure for federal employees to $ 444,000.
Exclude divisions and local lodges from the legislation; exclude trade unions of less than 50 000 members. It is not clear however if the main unions must report information on behalf of their local lodges.
The Senate’s role is to perform a second objective analysis of draft laws adopted in the House of Commons. The Senate Committee on banks was not comfortable with Bill C-377 and, in its report to the Senate, said that the Bill was poorly drafted and heard a wide range of witnesses, including the Governments of each of the provinces. They also mentioned that the Bill was probably unconstitutional and infringed the essence on the protection of personal information laws.
It must be understood that the role of trade unions in politics makes sense. Pressure and lobbying by the trade unions of this country influenced the position taken by the Senate, which is composed mainly by Senators who were appointed by the conservatives.
The opening of the second parliamentary session was scheduled on September 13 but has been postponed by the Government until Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 16:30. You’ll have a regular follow-up on the evolution of this Bill.
Eric Rancourt, Vice-President and head of political action, Local Lodge 712, IAMAW