Unifor’s third BC Council opened this morning with a celebration of past efforts and calls for continued action – both in the workplace and on the election trail defeating the Harper Government.
“We have the confidence in our members that they are going to vote out this bad government, because they know, and we know, how much it has hurt workers,” Unifor Western Regional Director Joie Warnock said.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias said the stakes are high in the current federal election, with Harper Government policies that benefit the rich at the expense of working people. He cited increases to the Tax Free Savings Account to $10,000, which would only benefit the richest families.
“How many of you have a spare $10,000 to put in a savings account,” Dias asked, to chuckles from the crowd. “It is our role as a progressive organization to make sure this election is about equality.”
Warnock congratulated several locals for their efforts, including collective bargaining efforts that improved the lives of their members, and the debate over transit funding in Vancouver, where Unifor’s efforts spurred an important discussion on the role of public services.
Dias said the referendum debate set the stage for significant federal investments in public transit after the October 19 election.
Warnock also noted the work of Unifor media locals to maintain the quality and integrity of the news they produce in the face of continued cutbacks in a struggling sector, and Local 2182’s central role in making the closure of Coast Guard stations a public issue.
The morning also included welcome messages from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver District Labour Council President Joey Hartman.
Warnock called on members to participate in upcoming Local Union Task Force meetings.