Francois Laporte President Teamsters Canada
Francois Laporte President Teamsters Canada

This was the letter François Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada, sent on Tuesday to Canadian local unions on the issue of Bill C-4.

Sisters, brothers,

Good news out of Ottawa.

Bill C-4, which restores automatic card-check certification for federally regulated workers, passed and will officially come into force on Friday. This is a major victory for workers. People can now once again safely form unions, unbeknownst to unfair and sometimes abusive employers.

As you know, automatic card check certification (often simply called ‘card check’) allows workers to automatically form a union when a majority of their colleagues sign a union membership card.

In 2014, the old Conservative government introduced a new system, which forced a vote to take place after workers had signed their cards. Employers were notified in advance of votes, giving them time to launch anti-union campaigns in the workplace.

This was incredibly wrong – it meant that workers could face retaliation for exercising their democratic right to join a union.

Later, we learnt that the Conservatives had studies showing that getting rid of card check was one of the best ways to weaken unions in the private sector.

C-4 also repeals a series of Conservative measures which were designed to drown unions in red tape and to force us to publicly disclose our members’ personal information. Luckily, these measures never actually came into force.

Restoring card check and repealing union-busting Conservative laws were major Liberal campaign promises. I would like to thank Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, MP Rodger Cuzner, and Senator Diane Bellemare for their tireless work on this issue.

In solidarity,

François Laporte
Teamsters Canada