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Canadian Council - Winnipeg 2017
Published: 2017-09-09

Author: Marcel Charron

Unifor's theme for the 2017 Canadian Council was "Solidarity for a Better World".

Unifor was founded on the principle that workers need to take leadership in building thriving, safe workplaces and a strong economy, but we also need to participate politically so that we can make our communities more just and equitable. This fight is more vital now than ever, as attacks on workers and public services are carried out in provinces across the country and as right wing population threatens the caring and open society that we pride ourselves on in Canada.

Canadian Council puts forward an agenda for future bargaining, lobbying and political action that Unifor will strive to achieve over the next year.

This year, there were 20 resolutions brought forward to Canadian Council, some were adopted and some were referred back to the resolution committee. For a full list, please visit www.unifor.org and search Canadian Council. In addition to the 20 resolutions, there were 7 recommendations put forward by National President Jerry Dias.

These recommendations are issues that are important to both Unifor and Canadian Society. Some of the recommendations have been adopted and some have been referred back to the National Executive Board. Some of the recommendations put forward can be negotiated into collective agreements where necessary and others are issues within the political spectrum of our country, where there is lobbying of governments or political action taken from our Union in the hopes of achieving a better life for all Canadians.

A couple examples are NAFTA where Jerry Dias has held meetings with officials in Canada, USA and Mexico to voice concerns of Union members on what a negotiated NAFTA should look like in terms of working class people.

Another is a National Pharmacare program for all Canadians. We are one of the only countries with a public health care system that doesn't have a national pharmacare program also. This program would also save companies money that provide drug benefits. I have already spoken with Glencore and have encouraged them to also lobby the government for a national pharmacare program.

I encourage all members to go to www.unifor.org and search Canadian Council for a full list of resolutions and recommendations. The full agenda is also available and will give insight to our members on the discussions your elected delegates are involved in, and the path forward for Unifor.

In Solidarity,

Marcel Charron, Delegate


Author: Lynn Jackson

I recently attended the Unifor Canada Council in Winnipeg and have returned home reenergized as an activist.

The theme of this council was Human Rights which was fitting given that Winnipeg is the home of the Canadian Human Rights Museum. As always it was a very full agenda. Upon arrival I attended a 4 hour meeting of the EFAP Committee and am pleased to announce this is now a recognized standing committee. Opening day we were welcomed by Bob Orr then given a warm welcome by the aboriginal community and treated to a Hoop Dance ceremony. We were also greeted by the Mayor who provided us with many interesting historical facts about Winnipeg. Jerry Dias addressed the members for quite some time on the state of the union and the economy. There was a very heartfelt memorial to Bob White and his family was in attendance to receive the Nelson Mandela award on his behalf.

There were many stats and reports presented throughout the weekend as well as many dynamic speakers. Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson for the Council of Canada spoke on Pharmacare and how millions of Canadians can't afford medications.

Danny Glover, Actor and Human Rights Activist gave an interesting speech on human rights, freedom, diversity and peace and spoke about the importance of organized labour in the present structure of the world economy.

Hassan Yussuf, the President of the Canadian Labour Congress spoke out about fascism in Canada as well as the importance of our union getting involved in the NAFTA issues. Unifor will be taking an active role in the softwood lumber debate going forward.

All in all, it was a very productive and informative conference.

In solidarity,

Lynn Jackson, Delegate

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