A response to Pierre Poilievre's statements on union dues

In response to Conservative Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre's stated intentions to introduce legislation that would allow members to withdraw from paying dues to their union, PSAC/Union of Defence Employees member Glen Whalley wrote this open response.

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Mr Poilievre,

I have been a Federal Public Servant for 23 years and an active member of the PSAC and UNDE at the local, regional and national level. To be sure, I have not always agreed with some of the policies and decisions of the union but it is a democratic institution in which I believe. I chose to become a public servant knowing that it was a unionized position and that meant certain responsibilities and benefits came with that decision.

More to the point at hand, and to be clear on your position, as a member, by choice, of a communal entity that negotiates on my behalf for wages and benefits, represents me on issues in the workplace, and provides legal services, you feel that I should have the ability to opt out of paying for these and other services. You believe that if I do not completely agree with any or all of the actions and policies of this organization, I can be free of any financial responsibility and still enjoy the benefits of the said organization.

That'’s wonderful! Please let me know when I can expect to stop paying my taxes. You see, I kind of need some extra cash so that I can build a big fence around my property. I want to start my own country because, quite frankly, I’'m not completely in sync with my government'’s political agenda or its international affiliations. Oh, but I can still use my Canadian Passport, right?

Glen Whalley
Union of National Defence Employees

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