Thursday, December 9, 2010

The freedom NOT to associate

Have you ever had a job where you were told that you will automatically "join" a union as well? I have. I was just happy to get the job, way back then. I was young, really needed the job and as a bonus I belonged to this large group of like-minded individuals all striving for the betterment of education, in this case. They didn't even call it a 'union', it was a 'federation' (OSSTF) so I felt better about belonging. They had lofty goals, some that I liked, some that I didn't like, but my dues were automatically removed from my paycheque, and I was too busy doing my job to really concern myself with the doings of the federation/union.
That's very likely the way it is for many Canadians who have jobs in a variety of businesses, not just government related fields like teaching.
The Charter guarantees the rights of individuals to associate freely. But do workers have the right NOT to join a union? That is the question that will be appealed in this interesting case described by Karen Selick of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.  

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