Unifor pulls out of the CLC

65 posts / 0 new
Last post
Unionist
Unifor pulls out of the CLC
Unionist

This just in:

Notice to Members on Unifor’s Disaffiliation from the Canadian Labour Congress

Quote:

Over the course of the past year Unifor has been vocal and public about our concern with US-based unions trampling on the rights of workers and their democratic right to choose their own representation or to express dissent. In light of the ongoing lack of action and will by the affiliates of the Canadian Labour Congress to address the aggressive and undemocratic tactics shown by US-based unions towards workers in Canadian locals, a decision was made by the leadership of our union. 

The National Executive Board (NEB) made a unanimous decision on January 16, 2018 to discontinue Unifor’s affiliation and membership in the Canadian Labour Congress effective immediately. The CLC has been notified of this decision today, along with other labour federations.

Our union will remain affiliated and continue to participate in and support the federations of labour and labour councils and our collaborative campaign work. The NEB and leadership of Unifor feel strongly that this is the principled action to take at this time. Ongoing communication will be provided to members in a timely matter as we move forward.

Unifor stands in support of union democracy and the rights of workers. Our union is opposed to any union that threatens, harasses, intimidates, or silences workers for simply asserting their democratic rights to choose a union or for the purpose of quelling dissent within the local. 

Unifor is proud to defend the rights of working people and unions and will continue to do so in a stead fast manner.

Should you have any questions on this decision please contact the Executive Assistant to the President, Scott Doherty scott.doherty@unifor.org.

Please see this letter that was sent to Brother Yussuff on Wednesday, January 17. 

In solidarity, 

Jerry Dias, National President and Renaud Gagné, Quebec Director

Unionist

The CLC's reply to Unifor's sudden departure:

A message from Hassan Yussuff on Unifor’s decision to disaffiliate from the CLC

Quote:

I was deeply disappointed by today’s news that Unifor has decided to disaffiliate from the Canadian Labour Congress.  

This evening the CLC held an emergency meeting of our Canadian Council, the CLC’s highest decision-making body between conventions. At this meeting, our affiliates reaffirmed their unanimous support for the CLC and a strong labour movement.

In turn, I stressed that as CLC president, I am committed to resolving this issue and reuniting Canada’s labour movement, and that I take my responsibility to do that very seriously.

I also emphasized that we will not let this development distract us from our important work to improve the day-to-day lives of all Canadians, including:

  • Our campaign for a universal prescription drug plan for all Canadians
  • Winning proactive pay equity legislation
  • Winning fair labour laws and a $15 minimum wage across Canada
  • Negotiating a worker-friendly NAFTA

The CLC has a 61-year history, and is more than just one affiliate – we are 55 international, national and provincial affiliates. We will come out of this stronger than ever.

JohnS

Now that is news:) I'm with Dias on this one for sure. Time for CLC to wake up and smell the coffee. It's got a good labour program...how much energy are they putting into it?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

OK.  So why would OTHER unions want to preent Unifor from choosing its own representatives to the CLC?  Was it an issue with the selection method(as it had been with IBEW)?

Unionist

Ken Burch wrote:

OK.  So why would OTHER unions want to preent Unifor from choosing its own representatives to the CLC?  Was it an issue with the selection method(as it had been with IBEW)?

You misread it, and I can hardly blame you - everything is written pretty obscurely.

The issue is the ease (or not) with which dissatisfied union members can change unions. And an ongoing battle between Unifor (which wants it to be easier) and various U.S.-based unions (who definitely do not). Here's a fairly good summary of what led up to this. [NOTE: I don't necessarily agree with the opinions and value judgments, but at least it presents some of the facts.]

Unifor-CLC split demands unity from below

MegB

Great discussion and links. Thanks Unionist and all!

WWWTT

This dispute is not easy for me to follow. And this is due to my refocus of attention away from labour/NDP politics towards my family. Now don’t get me wrong, I will never regret making the right choice, however, my union UA local 46 is affiliated with CLC, I have been asked to stand for nominations as one of our unions CLC rep and I have sat on the e board with Gogi Bhendal NDP brampton west riding association so all it would take is a few phone calls and a bit of time to get right back in there. Now it’s next to impossible for me to this. But I’d like to read some opinions here on babble for and against. Links are nice and helpful. Would b nice if there are polarized opinions about this dispute. 

josh

Yes, could someone break this thing down as to what the real story is in an objective fashion?

MegB

Here is David Climenhaga's blog on the Unifor CLC split.

Quote:

Summarizing the reasons in a length suitable for tweeting -- in this case by quoting yesterday's Tweet by Unifor President Jerry Dias -- "#Unifor has decided to disaffiliate from the Canadian Labour Congress due to inaction on U.S.-based unions trampling the rights of Canadian workers to choose representation or express dissent."

Also see this article in the Briarpatch.

Quote:

There are multiple factors at play. Unifor is a major power broker in the Canadian labour movement, arguably more powerful than the CLC itself. As an umbrella organization, the CLC is designed to unite workers across unions, but many CLC affiliates, Unifor included, actually have much more staff, resources, and political power than the congress to which they belong.

josh

Thanks. 

Unionist

josh wrote:

Yes, could someone break this thing down as to what the real story is in an objective fashion?

Unions aren't supposed to "raid" each other - though historically, that's often a protectionist type of cartel thing to ensure that dissatisfied members can't exercise their constitutional right to switch unions. The CLC, in particular, like other federations, has "no raiding" rules among affiliates.

However, over more recent years, the CLC (and the Québec Federation of Labour) and others were forced to introduce processes whereby members could rid themselves of really crappy dictatorial unions. That's set out in Art. 4 of the CLC constitution.

Unions in Canada were originally craft unions (like everywhere), mostly set up as branch plants of U.S. unions - late 19th and early 20th century. The first major Canadian, and industrial-style, union was probably the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway and Transport Workers - first decade of the 20th century. It organized the unskilled and semi-skilled railway workers that the U.S. craft unions (IBEW, IAM, Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, etc.) didn't deem worthy of expending resources on. It later went on to organize in other mostly transport sectors.

The 1930s saw the struggle between conservative craft unions and new progressive industrial unions (auto, steel, etc.) also transplanted into Canada. We're still talking almost exclusively U.S. based unions here. The two groups actually had separate labour federations (parallel to the AFL and the CIO), until they merged (as they did in the U.S.) to form the CLC - I'm guessing around 1960.

The 1960s saw the acquisition of the right to bargain by public sector workers federally, provincially, municipally. Suddenly large Canadian unions came into being, notably CUPE (municipal, health care, etc. - now Canada's biggest union by far at about 700,000), PSAC, provincial equivalents, etc. But the private sector remained largely U.S. branches. Québec evolved somewhat differently because of the Catholic trade unions (they were secularized during the Quiet Revolution, and now mostly are grouped in the CSN, a rival federation to the FTQ, and there are others) - won't go into that right now. But industry was still largely U.S.-based craft or (increasingly) industrial unions, same ones as mentioned above.

In 1985, Bob White and the Canadian section of the UAW refused to go along with concession bargaining being done by head office (remember Chrysler's threats of bankruptcy?). Fuelled by big worker struggles (United Aircraft, others) and a militant mood in the Canadian and Québec working class, the UAW split became organizational, with the formation of the CAW. It had a huge reputation for militancy, and it attracted interest from many workers tired of being shackled by dictatorial business unions with U.S. headquarters. Not much "raiding" at the time, but groups in many sectors started merging with or being directly organized by the CAW - airline workers, railway workers, fisheries, on and on - such that by the 1990s, CAW was a leading force in the Canadian labour movement, and far more than just an auto union. Skipping ahead to 2013 (I think), they merged with the CEP (itself a merger of 3 unions - communications, energy, paper) - to create "Unifor", over 300,000 members, billing itself as the largest private sector union in Canada (though it has thousands of public sector members as well).

Because of the attractive power of the CAW, and unorthodox leaders like Buzz Hargrove (1990s and early 2000s), CAW got into lots of "raiding" situations with the internationals, like SEIU (health care workers in Ontario), UFCW, etc. - leading to temporary expulsion of the CAW from the Ontario Fed, and even from the CLC for a couple of years (2001?). The internationals fought back any way they could (except, sadly, with some exceptions, by democratizing themselves, empowering rank and file, providing better services, not dictating from Chicago and Washington and other such HQs). They would put locals in trusteeship, or remove elected local leaders from office, if there was any hint of a movement to look for another union - or (shudder) to adopt a more militant stance than the parent ship could tolerate.

Fast forward to recent days:

In March 2014, the CAW (or Unifor, whatever) went all out to unseat long-serving USW guy Ken Georgetti as president of the CLC - and they succeeded, with the election of Hassan Youssuf, a CAW-Unifor leadership member. The internationals were not happy, but it wasn't the end of the world.

Meanwhile, attempts by groups of workers to invoke Article 4 procedures (peaceful transition from one union to another) weren't being respected, at least according to the CAW - nor were attempts by U.S. HQs to clamp down on members' right to change unions. And Unifor started being accused again of fomenting raids. The most high profile recent case was the Toronto transit workers - about 12,000 of them - Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union. Their president, Bob Kinnear, was accused last year of conniving with Unifor to switch unions. The ATU HQ put the local into trusteeship and forced Kinnear out of office - this was I think in March. And Unifor's president Jerry Dias points to another recent example in his letter, but he doesn't name it and I'm not sure what it is.

So, conclusion: Unifor says it can no longer remain in the CLC when it means that workers' democratic constitutional rights to change unions, or to fight back against foreign masters' actions (trusteeship, removal from office, etc.) are being systematically denied.

I understand their position. But still, colour me shocked when I saw that communiqué saying they had actually pulled out.

And it's confusing. Hassan Yussuff (who I think is a good guy) has seemingly gone from being Unifor's man to the guy who is perpetuating the CLC's unwillingness to ruffle the feathers of the big players. And Hassan issued his own statement, expressing the CLC's disappointment at Unifor's departure, and pledging to carry on building unity and pursuing the key campaigns of the day. Ironically, because Hassan is no longer a member of an affiliated union, I believe the CLC constitution requires that he step down! But I'm not sure, that remains to be seen.

All the above is my take, so there will inevitably be factual errors - but I tried not to colour it too much by my own subjective views and preferences.

Ok josh, you asked for it! Over to you. Questions? Comments?

josh

Thanks for the info, and history lesson.

Don't know what to think.  Unifor may have a point, but is it worthy dividing the union movement over?  In any event, these divisions seem to crop up every now and then.  Like when the UAW left the AFL-CIO, only to return.  But these days, I would think unity is more important than ever.

Unionist

Just remembered what the other recent battle was... and it seems to have escalated:

Hotel workers voting to switch unions

Quote:
Across Toronto and Mississauga, hundreds of hotel workers are seeking to leave their American-based union that recently seized control of local offices and removed elected officers. 

"It is clear that the kind of movement we have been building among hospitality workers no longer has a home within UNITE HERE," said Lis Pimentel, who resigned as president of Local 75 on Tuesday and signed a Unifor membership card on Wednesday.

The American parent union of Local 75 placed the local into trusteeship earlier this month in a dispute over the right of the local to set its own course, including in bargaining. It also removed elected officers and seized the local's assets. Pimentel said the hostile takeover is a clear sign of how little UNITE HERE respects the democratic voices of its Canadian members and she turned to Unifor who has been vocal about U.S.-based unions trampling on the rights of workers.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

OK, so Unifor is, in part, a successor to the CAW.

Is Unifor STILL pushing for "strategic voting"?  If so, why?  The argument for "strategic voting"(I.E., "just vote Liberal because we damn well told you to" ) was that getting the Conservatives out in Ottawa ands Queen's Park mattered more than anything else. 

Workers voted "strategically".

The Conservatives are out in Queen's Park and Ottawa. 

Doesn't that mean, by the logic of the argument CAW/UNIFOR would have made, that "strategic voting" has served its purpose and is no longer necessary, and that workers can therefore go back to voting for their own class interests again?
 

Unionist

Ken, with respect, that's an important conversation, but maybe for another thread. Whatever underlies the Unifor-CLC split, it certainly isn't "Liberals vs. NDP" or strategic voting. Hopefully there's room here for a serious conversation about what this split means for Canadian workers, can it be healed, is there a "right" and a "wrong" side in this debate, etc.

WWWTT

Thanks for the links MegB and other babblers comments.

This looks ugly! Sid is now saying that Yussaff has to step down according to CLC charter. For crying out loud Unifor repatriation has to be given the highest priority!!!! What steps did Unifor take to voice their concerns? Did CLC try negotiating/talking? 

Now I'm very familiar with other unions raiding. Happened to the plumbers low rise sector (housing) 20 years ago and I was on the front line. Local 183 labourers set up a plumbing division with piece work rates and tried to convince me to move over. Even the general builder, Great Gulf homes was pushing this! Great Gulf thought it would be a good idea if all the skilled labour was lumped together with the labourers on their job sites. Since my father was a UA member since  1961 and brought me in, the thought of abandoning UA local 46 for 183 was gut wrenching and disgusting! Not to mention very limiting since I'm a highly skilled plumber, pipe fitter, gas pipe fitter. If I moved over to 183 I would be bound to only working in the housing sector for just a few contractors. In UA local 46, I can work in many different sectors and have greater opportunity.

Also familiar with other unions raiding UA local 46 scope of work. An example would be installing undermounted kitchen sinks. According to local 46 contract, this is my job! But in the past other union(s) and non union contractors that I will not mention tried to say that this was a part of their job, and their members/employees actually did this until my brave comrades stepped up and called in our business reps to put a stop to this!

So I understand where Unifor is comming from, but I'm wondering if there wasn't more that could have been done to prevent them from splitting off?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Unionist wrote:

Ken, with respect, that's an important conversation, but maybe for another thread. Whatever underlies the Unifor-CLC split, it certainly isn't "Liberals vs. NDP" or strategic voting. Hopefully there's room here for a serious conversation about what this split means for Canadian workers, can it be healed, is there a "right" and a "wrong" side in this debate, etc.

Fair enough.  Won't bring it up again in this thread.

WWWTT

Ok Unionist I read over your lengthy comment and I’m glad I did. From a link posted by MegB, Sis Ryan agrees with you that Yussuff must now step down. You also sound like that Unifor wants to allow raiding but you’re against it? Please confirm this position. I believe I understand Unifor position, but I know from experience raiding is a big fuckin no no! However I can see Unifor’s justification for it. 

Now back to my experience in relation. The UA (united association) that I belong to is headquartered out of Washington. UA local 46 has been there since 1889!!! Our charter even has guidelines for a PAC (that I once chaired) and there isn’t much problems with our US/Canada relationship or anything I’ve heard. Now the UA journal that I receive monthly sometimes has US war pig propaganda and other typical US bullshit all over it, but I’ve never heard of any interference from Washington into any Canadian chapters. 

Unionist

WWWTT wrote:

From a link posted by MegB, Sis Ryan agrees with you that Yussuff must now step down.

I don't think Yussuff should step down. But the CLC constitution might require it. It's open to some interpretation. We'll see what happens.

Quote:
You also sound like that Unifor wants to allow raiding but you’re against it?

No. I hate the word "raiding". It's like, "union bosses". These are words created to make something you don't like sound bad. I believe that if workers want to dump their union and sign up with a new one, they should be able to do so without any restraint whatsoever. Weak unions and what are called "business unions" that live in fear of losing their members need "no-raiding" clauses to protect their turf. It's like countries which don't allow divorce. Those laws are made to imprison women.

I could never stand workers who said, hockey fan style: "Wow, my union (CAW/Teamsters/Steel/Whatever) is the best! Those other assholes are just trying to steal our members!!" Yeah, right. No union is the "best". It's what they do, how they're structured, and how they fight which defines them. And that could be different from local to local of the same union.

I also can't believe there are people in labour today saying we need "international" (read: U.S.-headquartered) unions, because that makes for greater cross-border unity and power etc. What a misreading of Canadian history. If anyone can provide one single example where an international union has actually been able to mobilize meaningful cross-border campaigns to win a struggle against an employer, let me know. It doesn't happen. And Canadian workers don't think they need the paternalistic help of their U.S. masters. That's why almost all these internationals insist on how "their" Canadian branch plants are totally absolutely fully autonomous, etc. Which they never are.

Hope that answers your question about where I stand on that issue.

So what does that mean when it comes to Unifor splitting from the CLC? I have no idea yet. It seems totally wrong. But overemphasizing the importance of "unity" of all unions within the CLC isn't right either. The CLC doesn't do much any more, much less than it once did (and that wasn't much). Other than imprisoning workers within structures they might not approve of. I wish it were otherwise. But will splitting up the CLC solve that problem? I don't think so. Still reflecting and observing.

WWWTT

Ok thanks Unionist. It sounds like you and I are the two posters here in this thread that are going to polarize! I don’t like the term “union bosses “ but I will use the term raiding. In my context of skilled trade that term fits so let’s call that my first jab at you.  I’m also a proud member of UA local 46! Plumbers steamfitters and pipe welders! Now I don’t really care for the USA involvement but the US locals did unite before the Canadian plumber unions and were better at organizing non union plumbers in the past. This I believe contributed to the UA success. And organizing non union workers in my opinion has to be central to unions! You agree or disagree?

Now perhaps Unifor circumstances is too separated from my experience in the skilled building trades to draw comparisons but at the same time I also believe that there should be some kind of limitations to jumping from union to union at the drop of a hat. Reorganizing an entire work place to kick out one union and bringing in another has got to be real stressful! 

MegB

Quote:

I don’t like the term “union bosses “ but I will use the term raiding. In my context of skilled trade that term fits so let’s call that my first jab at you.

We're not here to "jab" at each other. 

lombardimax@hot...

In my humble opinion, the timing suggests that this has less to do with raiding and more to do with election strategy as the Ontario and federal Liberals are getting ready for two elections in the next year and a half. Jerry Dias is skating on thin ice and leading his members like sheep to the slaughter — into the hands of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, Justin Trudeau. Dias led Unifor out of the CLC and into The Liberal machine. As Justin wipes labour’s blood from his blade after TPP, the NAFTA shoe will fall next. Jerry needs to go.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

WWWTT I was a proud union carpenter for 15 years. Our local of the UBC&Jof A held all its property in a untouchable trust and our motto was that if the International comes for our Local the only thing they can claim is the plague on the wall. The BC Council of Carpenter's fought a decades long battle against the International and had various of its Locals put into Trusteeship. I don't despute your experience with the UA put don't extrapolate it to all building trade unions. 

On the other side the Steelworker's have a President of their International, Leo Gerrard, who is a Canadian. He is from the Sudbury Local 6500 and there is no doubt he thinks that his union is a true international with autonomy for the Canadian section. The Steelworker raid against Mine Mill in the mid 1960's goes down as one of the pivitol moments in union history.  Of interest the Mine Mill Locals, like Falconbridge, that long ago survived the raids in Trail and Sudbury are now Unifor. 

I agree with Unionist that workers need to have the right to switch unions because it is after all their union and no one elses. I would love to see more polyparty type certifications where more than one union represents workers in a plant although they all bargain jointly. Something similar to some of the Europe's unionized industries.

In the meantime I wish that Unifor had put it to a membership vote instead of merely an Executive decision. This kind of major change should be membership driven and the lack of participation by the workers affected highlights  for me why the union movement is in such distress in this country.

WWWTT

OK kropotkin1951, it seems that I am not very familiar outside my locals comfort zone and this is probably the cause of my indifference towards other unions members (brothers and sisters)  greivances. My apologies to everyone.

But I believe the members of Unifor can take action if they feel strongly enough to do so. Something like forwarding a motion to rejoin CLC? Maybe not? I don't know? I believe that you are right that the members (or at least a big chunck of them) lack the desire to be more vocal/active. However an opposing argument can be made using the 2014 Ontario provincial election where union members had an serious impact on the election result. Perhaps this is one of those issues that simply just doesn't garnish much interest?

NorthReport
Pondering

Thanks for the history lesson, that was great. From what I have read so far I am firmly on the side of Unifor and the freedom of workers to switch unions if they so choose. Belonging to the same umbrella organization should facilitate the process not prevent it. "Raiding" is certainly a pejorative term. 

lombardimax@hot...

Unifor local 222 delivers stunning rebuke to Jerry Dias...
http://rankandfile.ca/2018/02/08/unifor-local-222-opposes-unifors-split-...

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Unifor wrote:
Unifor stands in support of union democracy and the rights of workers. Our union is opposed to any union that threatens, harasses, intimidates, or silences workers for simply asserting their democratic rights to choose a union or for the purpose of quelling dissent within the local.

Apparently Unifor's support for union democracy does not extend to letting Unifor members decide whether to remain affiliated with the CLC.

The executive of Unifor should have sought a mandate from it's members before withdrawing from the CLC. In the absence of such a mandate, Unifor's withdrawal from the CLC is a blatantly undemocratic move.

EDIt: Note that I am not disagreeing with Unifors desire to make it easier for union members to change unions. What I am disagreeing with is Unifor's decision to quit the CLC without holding a one member one vote referendum on the matter.

Unionist

Left Turn wrote:

EDIt: Note that I am not disagreeing with Unifors desire to make it easier for union members to change unions. What I am disagreeing with is Unifor's decision to quit the CLC without holding a one member one vote referendum on the matter.

One member one vote referendum? No union that I know of has ever made any decision via an all-member referendum. If I'm mistaken, please correct me.

And as a lifelong trade unionist, let me assure you that very few members know or care about the CLC. If asked to vote, I'm not even sure what knowledge or interest they would have in making a decision. Please let me know the last time the CLC did anything of interest or value to workers. Name a campaign, or a victory, or an effort by the CLC. Please.

So personally, I disagree with Unifor leaving the CLC for unjustifiable reasons. But to seriously suggest that the process followed was wrong, profoundly misses the point. They followed their own constitution. The NEB made the decision, and it can yet be overruled by Council or Convention.

Even if Unifor held a one-member-one-vote referendum and it resulted in a decision to leave the CLC - I'd still disagree. Because I believe it's the wrong thing to do.

NorthReport

Woiuld not any major decision like this by the union executive have to at least be ratified by the rank and file members at their regular membership meeting.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Kropotkin1951 wrote:
In the meantime I wish that Unifor had put it to a membership vote instead of merely an Executive decision. This kind of major change should be membership driven and the lack of participation by the workers affected highlights  for me why the union movement is in such distress in this country.

Hear Hear!

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Unionist wrote:
One member one vote referendum? No union that I know of has ever made any decision via an all-member referendum. If I'm mistaken, please correct me.

And as a lifelong trade unionist, let me assure you that very few members know or care about the CLC. If asked to vote, I'm not even sure what knowledge or interest they would have in making a decision. Please let me know the last time the CLC did anything of interest or value to workers. Name a campaign, or a victory, or an effort by the CLC. Please.

North Report wrote:
Woiuld not any major decision like this by the union executive have to at least be ratified by the rank and file members at their regular membership meeting.

Yes, getting the decision to split from the CLC ratified at regular union membership meetings sounds like a good course of action to follow.

The fact that Unifor split from the CLC based on a unilateral executive decision, makes a mockery of their claim that they split from the CLC to stand up for union democracy.

Unionist wrote:
Even if Unifor held a one-member-one-vote referendum and it resulted in a decision to leave the CLC - I'd still disagree. Because I believe it's the wrong thing to do.

I support the right of unifor members to pull Unifor out of the CLC. Or to keep Unifor in the CLC, if they so choose. North Report has pointed out that ratification of the executive decision by union locals is the best way to make this decision "democratic". It deals with the fact that many union members may not care about this issue.

I DO NOT support the right of the executive of Unifor or any other union to make a unilateral decision regarding the organizational affiliation of the union.

NorthReport

Don't unions hold general membership meetings on a monthly basis?

My hunch is that Unifor probably already has had their decision to bolt from the CLC ratified by the rank and file members at the subsequent general membership meeting.

But hey, what do I know. 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

You might also categorize a strike vote as an OMOV referendum as well...

NorthReport

Who else has disaffiliated from the CLC over the past 5 or so years?

 

lombardimax@hot...

It has begun — the predictable cheerleading of the Wynne Liberal budget and re-election campaign by the Dias-led Unifor. It is so sad actually. Maybe Bob White and Dennis McDermott are spinning in their graves. It wasn’t so long ago that auto workers and paper workers were leaders in building progressive political alternatives to the “bad and worse” Liberals and Conservatives of Bay   Street, corporate tax cuts and privatization. Now Dias has led Unifor to be the lead horse in the race to divide and conquer organized labour. If Unifor does make a move to return to the CLC, it will only be after the Ontario election or even after the federal election, so Dias does not even have to pretend to respect solidarity with the labour movement’s drive to build the only Labour Party that can form government or weird power in a minority parliament— the NDP. 

lombardimax@hot...

To answer North Report, since about 2000 there have been splits from the CLC involving CAW, SEIU and NUPGE. All eventually reconciled after reforms around raiding. During the CAW conflict, there was talk about starting a new labour federation with the Quebec CSN fed, the one aligned with the Bloc Québécois and PQ. 

lombardimax@hot...

Instead of the CSN labour federation in Quebec, perhaps Dias would be much happier joining the Confederation of Canadian Unions (CCU), whose mission is for independent Canadian unions — no international unions there. There, Unifor would be the only big fish in a pond of smaller unions. Raiding those little guys would perhaps be too easy. But of course, would not be able to use the excuse of American domination.

Nam

Just to be clear.  When Unifor was playing games with ATU 113, Bobby Kinnear was almost alone in wanting to move to Unifor.  Of the ~25 members of the Executive, 23 (I think) supported staying with ATU and were shocked Bobby was flirting with Unifor.  He was acting (almost) alone in courting/being courted.

 

Bobby Kinnear ran to be an International Vice-President in the last ATU convention and he lost.  I, and many others, believe Bobby was simply full of sour grapes and was trying to get back at ATU.  In the days since, there is no talk among ATU 113 members of going over to Unifor.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

When are these union jokers going to start organizing people who work in warehouses for shitty pay? Distributors and the like. Now the manufacturing industry is just about dead because of imports, we still need to work in warehouses to distribute all the imported shit.

lombardimax@hot...
progressive17 progressive17's picture

None of these unions give a fuck about the most of us who are working on shit wages. Whether Unifor is in the CLC or not is completely irrelevant. Why don't they organize where we work? Because they are chickenshits who are cashing in on our exploitation. All you will do is conspire with the bosses to make us work harder while your bureaucrats collect executive salaries on union dues. Although if our taxes are paying your salaries, what do you care anyway? We are just a bunch of suckers to you.

Unions of bureaucrats and bureaucrats of unions telling all the rest of us what to do. The state monopoly capitalist system in a nutshell.

Again, something else poor people and low-paid wage earners can point to while voting for a "fuck you" candidate.

Unions had better start being relevant to the working classes in this country, or their memberships will continue to decline. Otherwise, the working classes will start forming real unions demanding board seats like they have in Germany, and the boss's unions like the CLC and Unifor will be out in the cold.

lombardimax@hot...

Hey Progressive17, there is a conversation on Babble about codetermination here: http://dev-acquia.rabble.ca/babble/labour-and-consumption/why-has-no-candidate-ever-spoken-out-favour-codetermination .

Unfortunately, codetermination has no history anywhere in the world except in Europe. Canadians need to learn how to walk before they can run. Consequently, codetermination is only feasible in places that already have a strong labour movement. Canadian unions need to stop wasting time and resources on raiding each other. Instead, focus on organizing non-union workplaces. 

Finally, if you want your workplace to become unionized, then someone needs to take the initiative. You or a co-worker should consider contacting a union organizer.

lombardimax@hot...

I googled “warehouse workers union” and found that UFCW seems to be a leader in organizing these workers. http://www.ufcw1006a.ca/index.php/join-our-union/contact-a-union-organizer

And just to make it interesting: https://www.google.ca/amp/s/m.wikihow.com/Unionize-Your-Workplace%3famp=1

 

lombardimax@hot...

Now even independant labour watchers have taken notice and are openly bashing Jerry Dias...

http://rankandfile.ca/raiding-over-organizing-for-unifor/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..txs for the updates

lombardimax@hot...

The GM workers of Unifor local 222 are standing up to Jerry’s Liberal backroom deals: http://solinet.ca/unifor-local-222-endorses-ndp/

lombardimax@hot...

Unifor Canada tweeted this today: With the announcement by Wynne today it’s clear that in the #ONelexn we need to do whatever we can to stop the conservatives. The strategic vote to stop Ford from winning and to defend the rights of workers and families is to vote #NDP.

I say, Thank you to all the rank and file Unifor activists who pushed back against the top and made this happen. Let’s hope the efforts from the Unifor leadership to elect an NDP government are sincere.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

lombardimax@hotmail.com wrote:

Unifor Canada tweeted this today: With the announcement by Wynne today it’s clear that in the #ONelexn we need to do whatever we can to stop the conservatives. The strategic vote to stop Ford from winning and to defend the rights of workers and families is to vote #NDP.

I say, Thank you to all the rank and file Unifor activists who pushed back against the top and made this happen. Let’s hope the efforts from the Unifor leadership to elect an NDP government are sincere.

Finally.  Is it in time to make a difference?

Unionist

I'm trying hard to imagine what makes anyone believe that workers vote as their union leaders tell them to. That's not reality. 

Pages