A slight variation on the argument for card check certification | What's Left

| September 29, 2015


In Canada, there is a two step process for most workers to form a union. There is a card signing process which acts as a poll asking workers if they want democracy in their workplace. Then, if enough of them do, there is a vote asking those same workers if they want workplace democracy through a union.


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This means that current labour law on union certification starts with the premise that the neutral position for workers is as an unorganized mass who are essentially anti-democratic.

It is rather odd for a democratic state to force organizations to poll citizens whether they want democracy before they can vote. In fact, no other structures of association have ever been forced to do this.

The current union argument is that only a “card check” certification would make it easier to form a union. But this argument does not go far enough.

The neutral position for groups of people in a democracy is of course not anti-democratic, but is a process of discussion, agitation and education; the building blocks of any democracy. It should be assumed that unorganized workers are no different. In their ‘natural state’, groups of workers are already on-board with (and even practising) some aspects of workplace democracy.

In a democratic country, workers should not to be assumed to be ignorant of their right to democracy. As such, a single vote by signing a union card should be the only step to forming a union.

More: Reforming Labour Laws: There’s a Lot on the line

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