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The use of money raised from compulsory union dues needs to be restricted to certain core issues like collective bargaining, pensions and health and safety. Dues should not be used to support political parties or fund any religious or anti-democratic entities. If unions are unwilling to impose these restrictions on themselves through amendments to their by-laws and constitutions then the necessary restrictions need to enforced through legislation.

In 2013 Tim Hudak, a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Ontario proposed legislation that would make the payment of union dues in Ontario voluntary.

Unions flipped out.

CUPE proposed calling for a national strike if the legislation was introduced. The leadership of CUPE, particularly in Ontario, was concerned about the threat that voluntary dues would pose to their own full-time, well-paid positions funded exclusively through dues if union dues were made voluntary. I don't know how other unions would react to their grassroots members calling for a restriction in union dues to core issues but I do know that it would be fought vehemently within CUPE, particularly within Ontario, where leftists control the provincial wing of CUPE. So, the hope of CUPE limiting its usage of dues money is probably a non-starter. The leaders within CUPE Ontario, though, don't reflect the attitudes of the average member. If legislation was proposed that would restrict the use of money raised by union dues to certain core issues my sense is that a majority of members would support, or at least, not oppose it. And if the leadership were given a choice of excepting legislation that restricted the use of dues money versus legislation that made the payment of dues voluntary they might be less likely to mount a full scale fight against it.

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