Unifor members in British Columbia are not slowing down.
At the British Columbia Regional Council meeting held in Vancouver during November 20 and 21, delegates discussed shared workplace challenges and adopted plans to escalate Unifor’s social justice work.
National President Jerry Dias and Western Regional Director Joie Warnock welcomed delegates on the opening day and laid out the challenges ahead for workers in B.C.
“We’re upping our activism,” said Dias. “It would be easy to sit back and criticise outcomes from the side-lines—but that’s not Unifor. We have the ability to shape social change and we do that at every turn.”
Warnock recognized the continuing activism of B.C. members. “It’s been such a great year. We’re exceeding expectations and it’s because of your hard work.”
She pledged to continue the push for justice for all members, including those whose livelihoods are under threat from Trump’s tariffs, “Our fight back mobilization is going to be strong and successful.”
Delegates were presented with honest and raw experiences from keynote speakers Max FineDay and Kevin Chief. They talked about the intergenerational trauma of colonialism in Canada, and challenged all delegates to directly engage in reconciliation in all aspects of their lives.
Throughout the course of the Council, delegates debated resolutions about lobbying the government for decent work and addressing workplace challenges ranging from pay equity to mental health supports. The Council is the first in the country to adopt a resolution pledging to pressure governments to end the practice of carding and racial profiling in policing.
A full list of adopted resolutions and recommendations will be posted on the B.C. Regional Council page.
The imminent deadline of the province’s Proportional Representation referendum was discussed throughout the meeting. Simka Marshall, an organizer with the Vote PR BC coalition, delivered a presentation and asked delegates to make a final push to encourage friends and family to vote for a more representative electoral system.
The two days before the Council were jam-packed with organizing and leadership development. A one-day Aboriginal and Workers of Colour conference welcomed nearly 50 delegates, many of them at their first union event. On the following day, young workers from across the province met to strategize on building power in their local unions.
In the weeks and months ahead, the plans made at the B.C. Regional council will be put into action by Unifor locals, committees and activists in every region the province.