The labour movement needs to embrace diversity, including young workers, immigrant workers, and women, a recent guest to Unifor’s British Columbia office told activists there.
Unifor Local 2002 hosted Kent Wong, director of the Centre for Labour Research & Education at University of California at Los Angeles, at the New Westminster office on April 12.
Wong said unions will not be successful in outreach to existing members, or have much luck organizing new ones, unless the movement’s leadership reflects the diversity of its membership.
Wong also stressed the need to reclaim political power through grassroots organizing. He said that, in the United States, when the labour movement has relied on the Democratic Party alone to protect the rights of workers, unions have been regularly disappointed.
Instead, Wong advocates for building and maintaining a more engaged and mobilized membership base that can put political pressure on governments of all stripes at all levels.