Merged union would open membership to anyone

Concept of purely voluntary trade unions supported by small business employer group
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 06/04/2012

A merger proposal put forward by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) union may see the new union open membership to unemployed, temporary and retired workers not covered by a collective agreement — and who may never be in a position to bargain one either.

While not an entirely new concept, it’s one that has “never been executed properly,” says Dave Coles, CEP national president.

This new membership category would allow workers who are looking for work, in precarious jobs or those who could never be unionized to benefit from union membership, he says, pointing to clerical workers as the type of employees who may be interested.