New bill will reduce power of big labour unions in Alberta — are student unions next?

Alberta’s Minister of Labour and Immigration Jason Copping has announced Bill 32, an act that will dramatically change the way labour unions operate in the country.

Firstly, the bill will change how radical union activists are allowed to picket. Albertan farmers saw major fuel supply disruptions last winter when Unifor picketers came to Alberta from Saskatchewan to lock up fuel hubs that farmers relied on to work and go about their lives.

Under Bill 32, restricting access to a business as a disgruntled employee will be illegal.

Good. But it gets better.

The bill will also restrict unions from using mandatory dues from hardworking Albertans to do political work, which the union membership may not agree with. If the union wants to spend money making political attacks, they need the explicit permission of a member to use their money in that way.

The union bosses are furious – because they rely on soft conservative, blue collar workers to fund their radical political operations. Under the current labour law, pipeline workers in Alberta are forced to pay union dues to an organization which actively advocates to cancel every single pipeline project in existence. It’s unfair and wrong, but the union leadership know that.  

Agriculture LARPers and union obsessionists hit the nail on the head and understand the true genius of this bill. Everything about unions are political, and they shouldn’t be allowed to spend a dime without the explicit permission of their members.

At their root, unions are political organizations that only exist because they are empowered to steamroll those who disagree with them. If "Steve The Pipeline Worker" with a wife and three kids doesn’t like that his union is advocating for his industry to shut down, he can quit and starve.

Jason Copping is ending that unfair relationship. Unions are going to have to get "Steve’s" explicit permission to act now, and that is the way it always should have been.

But why stop there? Why not do the same with student unions, which are even more unaccountable and radical than their cousins in labour? Well, I spoke with the Minister of Advanced Education to get his take on it.