NDP divorce Unifor over voting strategy

Partisan politics seeps into labour relations
By Sabrina Nanji
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 10/27/2014

he divorce between federal NDP staffers and their union was an amicable one — but the split shines a light on the partisanship of the labour movement.

More than 600 employees for the federal NDP left Unifor in mid-October after the union failed to give its unequivocal support to the party in Ontario’s provincial election in June. During the campaign period, Unifor urged its members to vote strategically, thereby endorsing the non-Progressive
Conservative member most likely to win,
regardless of whether they belonged to the Liberal or NDP faction.

For the bargaining unit at the federal NDP, the move was not only an affront to their political beliefs, it also put their jobs at risk. With the writ for the federal election expected to drop in 2015, the president of the local union said they needed representation that would unequivocally support their party and their employer.