Strenghthening Union Members in Saskatchewan

Blog, Poverty, Marco Navarro-Genie

The general wisdom is that if one wants to get to the bottom of something and know what’s going on, one needs to “follow the money. “When it comes to union funding, money goes from members to employers to union bosses. In essence,  having the employers in between distances union leaders from the membership.

Media are reporting that Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is open to the idea of allowing the province’s unions to collect their own dues, instead of the employers.  While Wall should also put compulsion to membership on the table, the idea to liberate employers from such task is good.

As this report points out, the move would also make union bosses more responsible to their membership, a significant benefit to union members.  Union cadres would have to come calling on the members to collect, essentially increasing face time between the two subgroups, likely making union leadership more responsive to the needs of members but also more accountable.  The argument’s logic, by the way, is similar to that which calls for voters to fund political parties directly by individuals, without having to go through Elections Canada.

Almost any group in which leadership is more and better connected to its member will be a stronger group.

Employers win, and so do unionised employees.