Letter to all CLC Affiliates
On August 17, delegates to Canadian Council re-affirmed Unifor’s decision to disaffiliate from the CLC. This letter was sent today to all CLC affiliate unions.
September 7, 2018
To: All CLC Affiliates
Sisters and Brothers,
Yesterday, I am told that each of you received a letter from members of Unite Here Local 75 staff that quite frankly is disturbing but is at the very least consistent with the defamatory allegations they have been leveling toward Unifor and the former leadership of Unite Here Local 75 which are currently before the courts in Ontario.
In late August our membership voted (by 99 percent) to support the National Executive Board decision to disaffiliate from the CLC.
Despite the desire of those who wish to vilify our union and label Unifor as a raiding union, our members know better and have not fallen for the same flawed messaging many others in the labour movement wish to perpetuate about our union.
Over the past many months, we have been in discussions with the CLC in an attempt to resolve the ongoing dispute without success.
At the core of this discussion is the autonomy of Canadian workers to chart their own course and the rights of Canadian Union members to belong to a union of their choosing.
Our movement continues to be influenced, and in many ways controlled by the decisions of those beyond our borders, and union members continue to be treated as chattel owned by their union.
These are not principles our union believes in and we will not sit idle while these injustices continue.
The principled fight our union is engaged in is one to be celebrated and not vilified with lies and assertions that simply are not true.
In an attempt to move toward resolve, Unifor is prepared to sit down with affiliate leaders with the following principles as guidelines for discussions.
- Canadian workers, without interference by their U.S based union will make decisions related to the Canadian operation of their Union, including the election and appointments of Canadian representatives on International Executive boards.
- Trusteeship of union locals will not be imposed for the purposes of quelling the dissent of workers seeking to change unions.
- Affiliates will not interfere in the CLC Article 4 process. The CLC will have full access to affiliate members to conduct Article 4 investigations without interference or obstruction.
The three principles identified above are the basis for Unifor's position. Unifor has not and will not interfere in the membership of another affiliate that has not blatantly violated these principles.
Unifor remains committed to building a stronger and more fair labour movement. We remain willing to discuss our return to the CLC and ask that all affiliates consider our statement of principles and whether or not you can truly oppose the basis in which Unifor takes the positions we have.
Jerry Dias, National President
Ontario Information Sessions
Over the next few weeks a series of information sessions on Unifor’s recent decision to disaffiliate from the Canadian Labour Congress will be held across Ontario. These meetings will provide a forum to communicate the reasons for the disaffiliation and engage in an open discussion to address any questions or concerns that members may have.
For information on a session near you click here
Did the NEB decision to disaffiliate (leave) the Canadian Labour Congress violate the Unifor Constitution?
Absolutely not. The National Executive Board (NEB) acted in accordance with the Unifor Constitution. In Unifor’s governance structure the NEB is the union’s highest authority between Conventions. The NEB is empowered to make decisions on behalf of the union as set out in the Constitution. NEB decisions are approved by a majority vote, and in this circumstance the decision on disaffiliation was unanimously approved.
Article 19.2 of the Constitution specifically outlines that the NEB is authorized to disaffiliate from the Canadian Labour Congress, and thereby given the authority to act where the Board determines it is necessary. Consistent with article 19.2, the NEB is the initial deciding authority, and the action to disaffiliate is subject to final review and approval by delegates at the next Canadian Council. Unifor’s Canadian Council is held once a year in August and in 2018 it is scheduled to take place in Halifax on August 17-19, 2018.
An example of the NEB’s governing authority to make a similar decision already occurred in 2016. In November of that year the NEB first discussed a motion to suspend per capita and participation of Unifor locals in the B.C. Federation of Labour. The NEB motion was passed by a unanimous vote and affirmed at the next B.C. Regional Council by delegates. Since the time this decision was made, Unifor has resolved issues within the B.C. Federation and Unifor locals are active participants and paying per capita.
By Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director
Solidarity is what we build!
Most who know me, know of my profound respect for central labour organizations, as a force to build solidarity among unions, and bring about change for working people. This is especially true of federations of labour and labour councils across the country, where grassroots campaigning and mobilizing happens.
As a past president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL), I also know how challenging this is.
Solidarity is not automatic, a guaranteed outcome because we are part of the club. It must be built. Every single day. It is built around the work we do together. Read more.
Facts on Unifor’s disaffiliation from the CLC
Why did Unifor leave the CLC?
This dispute is about the governance of the Canadian Labour Congress and its failure to prevent attacks on workers from their U.S.-based unions. Read more.
Notice to Members on Unifor’s Disaffiliation from the Canadian Labour Congress
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. Read more.