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Union Members' Apathy To Blame

on Wednesday, 01 July 1959. Posted in Societal debates

We have from time to time, and not without reason, criticized the activities of the unions and the harmful results issuing from these activities. We have always been careful to state that we are not opposed to the principle of working men and women uniting into unions for the purpose of bettering their conditions and safeguarding their rights — always, of course, having due care for the welfare of the community at large.

We have also stated with emphasis, that if unions are to accomplish the good for which they were originally founded and were to avoid hurting the community and leading their members into captivity, the members themselves must exercise the utmost vigilance to see that the officers and executives, elected by the rank and file, remain what they are supposed to be, the servants of the union members, not their lords and masters as is the case in several lamentable examples.

We were therefore somewhat pleased to run across a letter to the Editor in the Montreal Star of May 16, 1959, which seems to bear out our contention. Here below are quoted the pertinent passages. Let all our readers who may happen to be union members, ponder their message seriously:

"This writer, who must obviously at this time remain incognito, has been a member of one of our most important unions for more than forty years. He has served his cause illustriously and is a recognized authority upon union affairs as they exist in unions in general and his own union in particular."

Having thus established his right to speak, the writer then goes on to state quite categorically what, in his opinion, is the cause for the alarming developments taking place in unions everywhere today.

"I can state unhestitatingly that the blame for conditions pertaining in most unions, as far as the rank and file are concerned, lies fairly and squarely upon the shoulders, not so much of the leaders, as the members themselves who richly deserve ninety nine percent of the time, the rough going over they receive at the hands of their paid servants, whom they mistakenly recognize as their bosses."

In other words, the rank and file don't run the unions as they ought and can be severely treated if they don't fall in line with what their "bosses" lay down. The writer then goes on to state the reason for this usurping of power by the men who have been elected by the rank and file and are paid by them.

"They (the members) attend few or no meetings of their associations, and if they do attend they sit on their seats like a bunch of dumb animals, afraid to open their mouths to voice opposition to the doctrines propagated by corrupt, crooked, dishonest, racketeering leaders.".

Obviously, the unions could benefit from the methods of the Union of Electors which teaches its members how to act so as to protect their rights and keep their representatives in line; how to apply pressure so as to get what they the members want and not to give in like jellyfish to the propaganda of a few working for certain private interests. Note, too, that this veteran of the unions verifies the type of leaders infesting our unions today. And he is writing for Canadians. He now goes on to describe the "bosses" who have taken over the unions for their own interests:

"Small wonder then, that self-appointed bosses take upon themselves the attitude of invulnerability or untouchableness. Even though they are "elected" by the members, the method employed to win election can be, but never is, questioned and the dictates of these leaders is accepted as "law" even when they infringe upon the constitutional policy of the parent body or the governments.?

"...most, if not all, unions are as they are because those who want to fight the corruption in their own locals cannot enlist the cooperation or support of the members because these members are afraid to show opposition. Under the present set-up until these conditions can be remedied this situation will always prevail in spite of any labor laws passed by our own Federal government or that of the U.S.A."

This, of course, is self-evident. Where people are not ambitious enough or haven't the intelligence and gumption to take an interest in the affairs of the particular organization they belong to, whether it be municipal government, provincial or federail, or a union, where they haven't the hardihood to stand up against ambitious ruthless leaders and force them to stay in line, then under such conditions their affairs are taken from their own hands and run to the interests and profit of someone else.

"Unions are a necessary evil today. They have become "big, business" through the astuteness of their leaders, many of whom are forthright men. Even the redoubtable Hoffa is not to be condemned if his members do nothing to curb him in his relentless drive for power and more power in the labor world. Who is to stop him if it is not the rank and file, and as long as they are dociley content with just the mere monetary returns of their investment in being a member of his or any other union, this will never be changed."

Another case of people sacrificing liberty for security. Another manifestation of the swing to socialism — the willingness to be organized, to have ones life planned for one just so long as there will be a few more dollars in return.

This is what the Union of Electors is against — not unions, as such, but unions as instruments for stripping men of that terribly important personal liberty. When men allow themselves to be robbed of this independence they allow themselves to be degraded to the status of cattle, herded this way, and that, unprotestingly, by those who should by rights be serving their best interests.

Social Credit is fighting for security for the individual with liberty. That is why we exhort all people to stand up and speak out and act for the protection of the rights we have and for the acquisition of the rights, we should have but have not, as yet.

Let the union members take a page from the Social Crediters; let them learn to pressure their leaders to get what they, the members, want: Then, and then only, will unions cease to menace the national community and become instead the benevolent organizations they are supposed to be, working for the good of their individual members and the good of the community as a whole.

EARL MASSECAR

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