Outgoing Western Regional Director Joie Warnock gave a passionate update on activities in the western region to Unifor Convention delegates on Tuesday, highlighting the commitments to reconciliation with First Nations.
“As usual, it is our members on the ground making the biggest difference toward reconciliation,” said Warnock.
Crediting the testimony and wisdom coming from Indigenous communities, she urged members across Canada “to listen and act upon what we have heard.”
Activists in Manitoba earned thanks for leading Unifor’s fight for paid domestic leave. In May 2016, the province became the first to pass legislation mandating paid time off for those fleeing domestic violence.
“Now, there is domestic violence leave legislation in every province and territory,” said Warnock. “Our success has served as a valuable example of what’s possible through our mobilizing and political action.”
Warnock spoke directly to Saskatchewan Crown workers who are preparing to take job action.
“We are fighting against a premier who saw fit to increase MLA wages by 2.3 per cent and offer nothing to front-line workers – needless to say, we’re not accepting this,” said Warnock. “We’ve held rallies, days of action in our workplaces and launched an advertising campaign to get the message out there, so we’ll do whatever it takes to achieve fair collective agreements.”
The 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike reminded all workers of their collective power.
“Many things have changed since 1919, but workers’ collective power is still the most important political force in our society,” said Warnock. “Capital knows damn well that we pose a direct threat to their unfettered ability to mistreat workers and concentrate their wealth even further.”
She closed her speech with special recognition of union organizers and a call to every member to deepen their involvement in the union.
Warnock has been appointed to work in the President’s office as an assistant following Convention.