OTTAWA, Aug. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Unifor National President Jerry Dias welcomed Prime Minister Trudeau today as he addressed more than 1,800 members at the union's second national Convention, at Ottawa's Shaw Centre.
"Prime Minister Trudeau recognizes that labour has a huge role to play in shaping the economic and social fabric of this country, said Dias. "Unifor is pleased to be part of the dialogue with the Prime Minister and his government."
Trudeau joined delegates to share the message that the last federal election marked a new era in labour relations with the federal government.
"The labour movement has been essential to building a stronger economy, one that's centered on the principles of fairness and inclusion," said Trudeau. "You hold employers to account, and that includes my government. You fight for the interests of the middle class, and you demonstrate a sense of community in everything you do."
Since its foundation, Unifor has played an active role in Canadian politics lending its voice to key issues including opposition of the TPP, support for an enhanced CPP and just transition, and good jobs with a living wage for all workers. During the last Federal election the union mobilized its members to engage in electoral politics and pushed for a government to make a difference in the daily lives of working people.
"We believe in partnership and collaboration," said Trudeau. "We believe in renewing our relationship for the betterment of all Canadians. And we believe that Labour is a solution, not a problem."
Trudeau pledged to officially repeal the oppressive anti-union legislation introduced by the previous Conservative government, telling Unifor members that after a decade of neglect the labour movement deserves fairness from the federal government.
"The government's agenda has been a pinnacle start for working people. It must now go beyond getting rid of Harper's laws and respond to the needs and aspirations of real progressive change in Canada, because it's time," said Dias.
"I promise you that when it comes to fairness for Canadian workers, we're just getting started," said Trudeau.
Unifor, founded on Labour Day of 2013, is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every sector of the economy.