Rand formula
In Canadian labour law, the Rand formula (also referred to as automatic check-off) is a workplace situation where the payment of trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 dues is mandatory regardless of the worker's union status. This formula is designed to ensure that no employee will opt out of the union simply to avoid dues yet reap the benefits of the union's accomplishments (such as ensuring higher wages, better job security or other benefits). Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts, and its decisions...

 Justice Ivan Rand
Ivan Rand
Ivan Cleveland Rand, CC was a Canadian lawyer, politician, academic, and Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada....

, the eponym of this law, introduced this formula in 1946 as an arbitration decision ending the Ford Strike of 1945
Ford Strike of 1945
The 99-day Ford Strike of 1945 took place in Windsor, Ontario, Canada from September 12, 1945 to December 19, 1945. Under UAW Local 200 President Roy England, 10 000 workers walked off their jobs after 24 of their demands went unmet by the Ford Motor Company...

 in Windsor, Ontario
Windsor, Ontario
Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada and is located in Southwestern Ontario at the western end of the heavily populated Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. It is within Essex County, Ontario, although administratively separated from the county government. Separated by the Detroit River, Windsor...

. The Canada Labour Code
Canada Labour Code
The Canada Labour Code is an Act of Parliament of the Canadian government to consolidate certain statutes respecting labour. The objective of the code is to facilitate production by controlling strikes & lockouts, occupational safety and health, and some employment standards.Generally speaking, the...

and the labour relations laws of a majority of provinces contain provisions requiring the Rand formula when certain conditions are met. In those provinces where the labour relations laws do not make the Rand formula mandatory, the automatic check-off of union dues may become part of the collective bargaining agreement if both parties (i.e., the employer and the trade union) agree. If there are religious objections to paying dues the dues may be donated to a mutually agreed upon charity per Canada Labour Code Section 70. (1)

(Quoting Canada Labour Code Part I Section 70)

"Compulsory Check-Off
Union dues to be deducted

70. (1) Where a trade union that is the bargaining agent for employees in a bargaining unit so requests, there shall be included in the collective agreement between the trade union and the employer of the employees a provision requiring the employer to deduct from the wages of each employee in the unit affected by the collective agreement, whether or not the employee is a member of the union, the amount of the regular union dues and to remit the amount to the trade union forthwith.

Religious objections

(2) Where the Board
Canada Industrial Relations Board
The main responsibility of the Canada Industrial Relations Board is to interpret and administer the Industrial Relations and Occupational Health and Safety sections of the Canadian Labour Code...

 is satisfied that an employee, because of their religious conviction or beliefs, objects to joining a trade union or to paying regular union dues to a trade union, the Board may order that the provision in a collective agreement requiring, as a condition of employment, membership in a trade union or requiring the payment of regular union dues to a trade union does not apply to that employee so long as an amount equal to the amount of the regular union dues is paid by the employee, either directly or by way of deduction from their wages, to a registered charity mutually agreed on by the employee and the trade union.

Designation by Board

(3) Where an employee and the trade union are unable to agree on a registered charity for the purposes of subsection (2), the Board may designate any such charity as the charity to which payment should be made. "

Freedom of association issue

The Rand formula applies to all employees whether they are union members or not. The Supreme Court of Canada has found that the freedom of association is not undermined by the Rand formula. In the 1991 Lavigne decision, the Justices of the Court held in various concurring reasons that if the Rand formula did violate section 2(d), it could be justified under section 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982...


I would suggest that a worker like Lavigne would have no chance of succeeding if his objection to his association with the Union was the extent that it addresses itself to the matters, the terms and conditions of employment for members of his bargaining unit, with respect to which he is "naturally" associated with his fellow employees. Few would think he should not be required to pay for the services the Union renders him in this context. Significantly, he does not object to these matters. With respect to these, the Union is simply viewed as a reasonable vehicle by which the necessary interconnectedness of Lavigne and his fellow workers is expressed.
When, however, the Union purports to express itself in respect to matters reflecting aspects of Lavigne's identity and membership in the community that go beyond his bargaining unit and its immediate concerns, his claim to the protection of the Charter cannot as easily be dismissed. In regard to these broader matters, his claim is not to absolute isolation but to be free to make his own choices, unfettered by the opinion of those he works with, as to what associations, if any, he will be associated with outside the workplace.
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