The Agriculture Union is launching our latest campaign to sign-up ‘Rands’ – co-workers who, for one reason or another, have never signed a membership card in our bargaining agent, the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The six-month campaign runs from now until the end of this year.

The term ‘Rand’ comes from a landmark ruling made by a Justice of the same name some 70 years ago.  The principle is that all workers – whether union members or not – benefit from a union-negotiated contract.  While no-one would be forced to join the union, no one could expect a free ride.  If you got the benefit, he ruled, you should help pay the cost.

So, Rands are required, in fairness, to pay union dues. However, unless they sign a union card, they are not eligible for some benefits of being a member in good standing.

The simple reason most Rands have not signed union cards is that no-one ever asked them. Transfers, job competitions and new hiring also complicate the task of identifying who are signed-up members in good standing.

With negotiations now underway for new contracts for our members employed by Treasury Board and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, solidarity and unity in the ranks are of critical importance. We want, and need, as many members as possible to participate and have their say in our union.

To make our Rand sign-up campaign both easier and more fun, we’ll be holding a draw from the names of all Rands signed up each month during the campaign. The prize is an Agriculture Union hoodie.

But, of course, a stronger, more united Agriculture Union means everyone is a winner! So, let’s get busy reaching out to any and all Rands in our Locals.