All For One
Arguments from the labour trial of the century on the real meaning of unionism
Publisher: Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Date Written: 01/11/1985
Year Published: 1985
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX3201
A trial which challenged the right of unions to exist in Canada.
Abstract: ALL FOR ONE is subtitled "Arguments from the labour trial of the century on the real meaning of unionism." It deals with a legal challenge to Canadian labour unions which has been brought into the courts by the right-wing pressure groups, the National Citizens' Coalition. The NCC argues that it is illegal under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Liberties for unions to use their members' dues for nay purpose except collective bargaining, in July 1986 it won a favourable ruling in the case, which is being appealed to the higher courts.
ALL FOR ONE argues that this is "the labour trial of the century" because it "puts on trial the rights of unionists to free speech, the rights of union to be involved in issues of community well-being, and the rights of unions to basic finanacial security." ALL FOR ONE points out that while the media usually ignore trade union activities that don't involve strike, the labour movement in fact is, and always has been, concerned "not just with pay cheques and working hours, but with equal rights, better education, new technology, protection of the environment, women's suffering, public housings, political patronage and corruptions, the international solidarity of workingmen, and the overriding issue of peace and war." It was labour's battle that won the elimination of child labour, compensation for injured workers, occupational health and safety laws, unemployment insurance, old age security and medicare." The ability of the labour movement to concern itself with these issues might well be destroyed if this court challenge is successful, making this a momentous case for trade unions in Canada.
ALL FOR ONE notes the double stanadard to which trade unions are subjected through efforts to cripple their work for social programs, while corporations, without any requirement that they be accountable to their workers, customers or the public, "routinely pour thousands and thousands of dollars into their own self-advertisement and into the coffers of their cherished political and social causes -- usually to oppose legislation on behalf of the unemployed, the poor, the disadvantaged."
ALL FOR ONE is a good introduction to the history and concept of trade unionism in Canada, and to the grave challenges facing it today.
Table of Contents
2. Building a Democratic and Participative Union
3. The Little Movement That Grew
4. Labour Relations in an Educational Environment