The Rand decision: Everyone who benefits should contribute

Six weeks after the Ford workers were back on the job, arbitrator Ivan Rand, a Supreme Court judge, brought down his award, rejecting mandatory union membership, but approving automatic dues check-off.

His decision ruled that because everyone in a workplace benefits from the union, everyone should contribute to the union.

Justice Rand believed dues check-off would foster labour peace and a harmonious labour relations climate in Canada.

As a result of Rand and subsequent court decisions, dues check-off can be included in the collective agreement at the request of the union in most provinces and has become known as the Rand Formula.
That means unions can cover the cost of bargaining, enforcing collective agreements, and campaigns that advance the interests of their members.

Pooling resources this way means workers have the support they need when grievances to arbitration, or when they are forced on strike or locked out without strike pay.