President’s Message April 2011
The Federal election has been called. May 2 is the big day. The CLC has 2 different campaigns on the go at this time. The materials are out on the tables and I urge you all to take some back to your local unions to pass out to your membership.
I am currently working with the CAW National union and expect to be there until May 3. I am working directly with area local unions and discussing various voting strategies with CAW members.
I have had an opportunity to go and hear 3 leaders speak. The only problem was that because I had a union jacket on, I was denied entrance in to hear the Prime Minister speak. Ignatieff spoke well, but did sound a lot like an NDPer. Iggy and Harper were both in Hamilton last week and it was a pleasure to join the angry steelworkers on the protest lines.
This past Sunday, I was able to attend the Hilton Hotel where the NDP launched their platform for the election. It was pretty simple. It is what normal every day Canadians need from this election. It is time to make a change. The fat cats have run their course and it is time for the mice to take over.
March 31, Tim, Iain, Edie and myself were all at the Anti-Scab legislation second reading. We were protesting outside and then followed inside to watch the discussion and subsequent vote. We lost that vote that day. The CLC had lobbied Liberals to vote in favour of the legislation. The fact that it was not voted on to move to a third reading and was a disgrace. The fact that there is a provincial election coming in the fall would have killed the bill regardless but the fact that the Liberals and Conservatives defeated the private members bill from France Gelinas makes me sick to my stomach.
April 9th, we had the Halton Eco-Fest in which we were one of the sponsors. Thanks to all who stepped up to bring literature from their local or national unions and/or take care of the booth. Nancy Parkhill, Brian Donelly, Roy Ariado, Wally Syme and Tim Batke all contributed and helped take care of our booth. If I forgot anyone, please forgive me. It isn’t on purpose.
Later that day, Tim and myself went downtown Toronto to join in with over 10,000 protesters who were joining in on the Rally For Respect. Linda Jones spotted us and joined us as well as a few 707 members. Great turnout by labour, by citizens and it was a tremendous success. We did not stay for the walk to city hall because we had to get back and close up the Eco-Fest but we did make our presence known by bringing our ODLC flag as well.
Days of the week and dates are foggy right now because I have been going non stop since the election was called but one night about 2 weeks ago there was a Day for Democracy rally at the Operating Engineers Hall. Max Khan, the Liberal Candidate in Oakville, was the first candidate to speak and he berated the Conservative government, Stephen Harper and his policies. Following Khan, MP Terrance Young got up and stated that he was disappointed that the event had turned into a debate more or less and that he came to speak about democracy. After he spoke briefly, Terance left the building. This was front page news at the Oakville Beaver a couple days later. The Green party candidate spoke and then James Ede spoke also. I must say that James is one of the smartest candidates I have ever heard speak on politics.There will be an all candidates debate here at the CAW Local 707 union hall on April 21, 2011 at 7-9 pm. All 4 candidates will be here that evening. On April 26th, there will be an all candidates debate at the Operating Engineers hall in which there will be 2 ridings debating that evening (Oakville and Halton). Im interested to see how that one plays out.
United Way of Oakville will have their selection of Labour Staff rep soon. We have done all of the interviews and we are in the final stages of the hiring process. 46 people applied for the position after the job was advertised in the local papers, advertised on the United Way of Oakville Website, circulated amongst local unions through our email list and circulated amongst the CLC’s Labour Council President’s List Server. Applications came from all over the area and as far away as Ingersoll and Niagara Falls. We interviewed 6 people after short listing down to 7 and one person never showed up for his interview.
I am hoping that I will have an answer by sometime tomorrow as to who we will be hiring but I am also happy to tell you that whomever we hire, it will be someone who is a strong labour activist and has been involved in the labour movement for many a year.
April 28th is the day of mourning. Please take some of the leaflets to your workplace. We did get a bunch of them out to the community at the Eco-Fest and we have Wally going around to the fire departments yet again on our behalf. The ETFO has been given a box of the material already also but anyone else who can take the leaflets out to their workplace, please do so.
Chris MacDonald, the Ontario Director of the CLC will be our guest speaker that night. He is confirmed. And the mayor has told me that he will also join us that night. We have to figure out what we are doing for food that night and move a budget on the Day of Mourning for this year. I would ask that the council give Tim the day off work to organize on the 28th and also another day to get anything else organized like food, music, microphone, wreathes etc.
I will not be at the next meeting as I will be in Vancouver for the CLC convention. Geraldine will be with me if she is not hired as the United Way of Oakville’s new LSR. In the event of Geraldine not being able to attend, I think that we should have a back up plan as the hotel and air flight for Geraldine are already booked and paid for. I will be open to suggestions from the council as to how to deal with that issue.
Hoping that everyone can put in some volunteer time with a local candidate in their area to make sure that we do not end up with a Conservative majority.
With that I move for adoption
905-844-9451 ext 4