Passage of Bill C-377 another assault on workers by Harper government

Ottawa – December 13, 2012 – With the passage of Bill C-377, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations) the Harper government continues to show its contempt for workers, their families and Canadian taxpayers.

The legislation will now force unions and other labour organizations to provide financial statements to the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), for publication on a public web site. The information on the CRA web site will also include information such as payments made to union members for education and training through trusts, and monies paid to legal firms for defending workers rights.

“This is nothing more than a further assault on workers by the Harper government,”  says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. "In the past year,  Harper and his government have raised the eligibility age to collect Old age Security from 65 to 67, so workers will have to work longer to receive it;  passed E.I. legislation so it will be harder for workers to get E.I. during these difficult economic times; and cut public sector jobs which will eliminate many important public services Canadians need. Now, with Bill C-377, Harper has interfered in the labour relations process, which will give significant advantages to employers at taxpayers' expense," says Brother Hanley.

"Harper may preach austerity and fiscal restraint but when it comes to his attack on workers, spending taxpayers' money is not an issue.  The cost to implement Bill C-377, to develop a web-site, and to monitor, enforce, and post reports annually as required by the Act will cost taxpayers millions of dollars —  far more than the Long Gun Registry cost Canadian taxpayers,” says the national president.

UFCW will continue to follow developments in the wake of the legislation's passage, as it is expected legal challenges will be launched against the Bill relating to Charter rights, breach of confidentiality agreements, and the interference of the federal government into provincial jurisdictions.