Executive Board statement regarding the transparency of Unifor Local 4304 Recreation Committee Finances
Unifor Local 4304
600 Wabanaki Drive
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Subject: Transparency of Unifor Local 4304 Recreation Committee Finances
To all members of Local 4304,
Your Executive Board members have a responsibility to safeguard the union finances for the benefit of the entire membership. The Local’s Financial Secretary reports monthly to General Membership Meetings on the financial status of the union and those finances are audited regularly by the Local’s Trustees which are then also reported to the National union.
For nearly a year, the Executive Board has been making requests of the Recreation Committee to be held to the same standard of financial accountability to the membership as the committee has been raising funds for union activities through 50-50 draws and other such efforts and then holding those funds themselves in a separate bank account away from union scrutiny. Funds raised for union activities by union committees under the Unifor Local 4304 banner are the property of the union and need to be auditable. The Executive Board has requested bank statements and other such documentation to ensure that funds that our members have been contributing to these draws are being held and used appropriately. However, these requests have been largely ignored and even outright rejected by certain members of the Recreation Committee.
While fundraising for union activities is a laudable endeavour, the raising of funds through gambling activities, such as 50-50 draws, is actually illegal without a raffle license from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario; individuals and unions are not eligible for these licenses. This, combined with a lack of financial transparency is extremely concerning to your Executive Board members.
As such, your Executive Board is asking all Unifor Local 4304 members to not continue to provide their personal funds to these 50-50 draws and other gambling activities since they are illegal and since we do not know how much money is being raised, where these funds are being held or how these funds are being used. We are also asking that the Recreation Committee return to the appropriate members any funds raised through illegal gambling activities, that all future fundraising efforts for union activities be of a legal means and that all legitimately obtained funds be turned over to the union’s Financial Secretary to be included with all other union funds.
The Executive Board does not make this statement lightly, we simply want to ensure that all the funds raised by our Recreation Committee are raised legally and are appropriately accounted for to ensure they are used properly for the benefit of the entire membership. If any member has further questions or concerns in this regard they may contact the President, Tim Jewell, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 519-496-1201.
Yours in solidarity,
The Unifor Local 4304 Executive Board