QUEBEC CITY, Que. — All single-vehicle owner operators in Quebec, as defined under Law 135, must now become due-paying union members or lose the right to operate and lose their livelihoods.
In a decision by the Commission des transports (CTQ) published on December 7, three Quebec unions have been handed on a platter 5237 O/Os who will have to pay into union coffers, whether they want to or not.
In an oddly convenient process, the unions were apparently allowed to prepare, without CTQ scrutiny, its own lists of union members that, by a stroke of amazingly good fortune, exceeded by a mere 0.90 percent the required 50 percent of O/Os on the CTQ list that would trigger forced mandatory union membership.
“It is a joke. It is the biggest scam I have ever seen,” fumes Daniel Brulotte, former president of the now inactive Association des propritaires de camions remorques indpendants du Qubec (APCRIQ). “Today, [if I understand this ruling properly], the only thing I can say is we don’t have a government in Quebec. This is a pile of crap. The unions rule everything. It is a sad day. Go get your truck registered in Ontario. Stop being a puppet of the unions.”
Law 135 provides that if more than 50 percent of the O/Os on the CTQ list vote to become union members, all O/Os on the list will be forced to become union members. However, Law 135 also allows the unions that are certified by the CTQ to “vote” on behalf of their O/Os members.
It was a sure bet then, that if the unions could “prove” that they held more than 50 percent of the O/Os on the CTQ list, they would vote in favour of mandatory membership and drag the rest of the O/O population in Quebec into their ranks.
The Centrale des Syndicates democratique (CSD) claims 527 members, giving it 10.60 percent of the O/O population; the Association professionnelle des chauffers (FTQ) claims 1128 members, giving it 21.50 percent; and the Syndicat national du transport routier (CSN) claims 1013 members, giving it 19.34 percent of the O/O population.
The irony of this decision to force union membership on 5237 O/Os is that on October 19, 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that forced membership is contrary to Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Since, however, Law 135 came into force before the judgement, it will stand until the day it is successfully challenged in court.
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