The role of retirees in the union is growing, with new retired workers chapters being formed or in the works across Canada, Unifor’s annual Retired Workers Council heard.
“Let’s keep growing this,” Council Chair Les MacDonald said in his report to the council. “My hope is to see new chapters formed across the country.”
Council was at the union’s Education Centre held the week of Labour Day and included marching in the Port Elgin Labour Day parade. The parade was coordinated with the Grey Bruce Labour Council, and included several other unions and community groups. All were invited to the Family Education Centre for a barbeque.
“We really want this to be a community event,” said Barb Dolan, Retired Workers Director.
It was a busy week for those attending the council, which opened the night before Labour Day and concluded the Friday after. Resolutions passed included support for a national pharmacare program, stronger pensions, and the push for trade deals that put working people first. Delegates also collected more than $5,900 for charitable causes, including $2,500 for the local food bank.
The Unifor Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne said retirees will play a key role in the political campaigns of the union, especially on files such as pharmacare and pensions in which their own life experiences will help illustrate the need for reform.
“Your voices, your stories, and your activism will drive this forward,” Payne said.
Also speaking to council delegates was the Assistant to the National Secretary-Treasurer Jenny Ahn who outlined many of the issues in which retirees can add their voices, including trade, Indigenous issues, equity, freedom of the press, workers’ rights and more.
Ahn closed by saying, “You get it. You know why the political work of our union is so important and you continue to make a difference.”