Letterhead


October 10, 2001 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL

OCTOBER 10, 2001 AT KELOWNA

AFFILIATES PRESENT

Flore Langeslag BCGEU 307

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607

David Doran Carp 1346

Gord Larkin CLC

Gord Irish ATU 1722

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

Faye Saxon OTEU 15

Dona Frayn CUPW

Pat Munro HSA

Angelee Skywork CUPW 760

Ron Bobowski CUPW

Steve Malerby TWU 6

Bob Barten BCGEU 2007

GUESTS

John O. Powell NDP

Gord Stoutenburg TWU - retired

Karen Abramsen NDP

Neil Ferguson CUPE 3523

Mike Eso BCGEU

REGRETS

David Mitchell vice-president

Judi Filion secretary-treasurer

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Acting President David Doran at 7:30 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of October 10, 2001

GUEST SPEAKERS

John O. Powell spoke on the NDP's review-renew-rebuild process and an upcoming seminar in Penticton. Mike Eso of the BCGEU spoke about the province's pre-budget consultation process and the all-party committee that is travelling the province to obtain input.

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of September 5, 2001 as mailed out and circulated

CREDENTIALS REPORT

19 present with 13 delegates and 6 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

None

FINANCIAL REPORT

M/S/C to to adopt financial report as circulated

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

Union counsellors' breakfast meeting, Nov. 27 at the Westin Bayshore. Table to the November NOLC meeting to determine how many delegates are going.

Amnesty International donation request- receive and file (The NOLC traditionally makes a donation at the beginning of the year. Amnesty asks for money every month.)

Maquila Solidarity Network renewal notice - tabled to find out if it's really time to pay up.

rabble.ca request for financial support - receive and file

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760: Canada Post and CUPW are implementing a pilot program for a new delivery model in Kelowna, for approximately 15 or 16 months, starting Monday, Oct. 15, 2001. CUPW locally has negotiated six part time to full time positions and eight new full-time positions. The staffing of these positions are designed to achieve to principal goals: 1. reduce injuries to workers; 2. review results for next term of contract negotiations. The pilot project will be closely reviewed by CUPW and CPC.

Pat Munro, HSA: A $9.5 million deficit forecasted for OSHR (Okanagan Similkameen Health Region) means health programs will be cut. Didn't Gordon Campbell and the Liberals promise "no cuts to health care (and education)" during the 2001 provincial election campaign? Privatization has crept into the operating room at Kelowna General Hospital with private companies being allowed to use our public space. The OSHR finance director assures the public that we will not pay more for our operations, but this privatization of our health care facilities is just the beginning under the (so-called) Liberals.

Gord Irish, ATU 1722: After 1 1/2 years under the Farwest transit regime, we have managed to endure the attack on our jobs and members. The cost in dollars in dealing with the company has risen by over 50 per cent, along with the related costs for day-to-day operations of the union. We have won over 90 per cent of our grievances, drawn about 10 per cent and lost one. By compressing work, the company should be able to raise profits of over $200,000 with no savings to their local taxpayers or local governments. They have managed to convince local governments that the problems with the transit system are the fault of the union, B.C. Transit and other related parties. I am here to ask for the assistance of NOLC members in helping us organize a protest on Oct. 22 against B.C. Transit over money still owed from April 1, 2000.

Gord Stoutenburg, EI Board of Referees: On Sept. 5, I received an e-mail from Tony Wohlfarth, commissioner for workers in Ottawa concerning jurisprudence on common-law spouse. In the past, the EI commission used a 12-month cohabitation rule for adjudicating claims. However, a federal court decision has now established jurisprudence that seven months cohabitation establishes a common-law relationship. On another topic, I want to reiterate what I have stated before to this body, that the current government in B.C. was elected under the banner of the Liberal party. Let there be no mistake, that this bunch is NOT anywhere close to being a party of the centre, but rather is a collection of extreme right-wing zealots, funded by, and answerable to the corporate community and the chambers of commerce. There can be no doubt that their agenda is to privatize everything now run as Crown corporations or government agencies. Our health care, ferry systems, ICBC, B.C. Hydro and our public school system are all in danger of disappearing. The sad part of it is that we in the union movement through our complacency have allowed this to happen. We have allowed the media (corporately controlled) to sway the hearts and minds of our members and they were successful in poisoning the minds of our members against the only party that has the courage to stand up for the working class, that party being the NDP. We in the union movement do not have the luxury of any labour-oriented newspapers or TV stations (Great Britain does). Therefore, it behooves us to utilize the tools we do have. We must start using our union publications to our members to give the lie to the right-wing slant in the reporting of political news in the corporate media. Every union meeting should have a political action committee report, giving our side of the stories. A classic case in point is the so-called fast ferry fiasco. I just recently had a discussion with a man who spent most of his working life building ships in B.C. shipyards. I do not know his political persuasion. (I suspect he voted Liberal.), but I asked him what he thought about the fast ferries. His response might shock a lot of our members. He emphatically stated that they were great ships. He had an answer to all of the so-called faults of these ships. In his own words, he said politics and the media destroyed the shipbuilding industry in B.C. The point of this message is that we owe it to our members and our kids to take every opportunity we have to refute this right-wing propaganda that flows daily from the media. God help the working class if we don't.

Karen Abramsen, Council of Canadians: On Oct. 23, the Council of Canadians is sponsoring a WTO caravan that is travelling from Vancouver to Ottawa. In Kelowna, they will stop at the college, attend a downtown rally and at 7:30 p.m., there will be a public meeting at Immaculate Conception Church on Sutherland (between Ethel and Richter). The next WTO meeting is scheduled for later this fall in Qatar (a good place for a WTO meeting, in this writer's opinion). The caravan is co-sponsored by CUPW, among other organizations. For more information, call 769-1977.

Deregulation of Hydro: Contrary to claims of the Liberal government, the threat of privatization and de-regulation of B.C. Hydro is very real. WAC Bennett expropriated B.C. Electric and created publicly owned B.C. Hydro. As a result, we have the lowest hydroelectricity rates in North America. After de-regulation, costs in Alberta have gone up 500 per cent. (Thank goodness for gas and oil revenues to subsidize the impact on consumers.) We are in the process of making presentations and soliciting the positions of the local MLAs on this issue. Be on alert!

Gord Larkin, CLC report: Sweatshop alert pamphlet contains information on working conditions around the world and we are asking affiliates to take the action indicated. Thanks to the affiliates for participating in the child labour petition campaign. Reminder of the CLC Web site: www.working4you.ca

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000: Staff at The Daily Courier and Penticton Herald were summoned to mandatory staff meetings on Oct. 5 to hear management tell us how terrible the financial picture is at our papers. Ad revenues have dried up since Sept. 11, we were told, although no numbers were provided. Costs will have to be cut, the bosses said. While they insisted they're open to cost-cutting ideas, they've been telling other media outlets that layoffs and reductions in working hours are what they have in mind. CEP 2000, in conjunction with the B.C. Fed, is launching a boycott of Purdy's chocolates. About 105 CEP 2000 members have been on strike against the company since April 30 An arbitration hearing was held Sept. 19-21 over Event magazine. Our union contends it's a scab publication while the company, even though it admits ownership, maintains Event is an independent operation. The hearing will resume in January.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

NDP provincial convention, Nov. 2-4: M/S/C that the labour council not send any delegates due to budgetary considerations.

NDP federal convention, Nov. 23-25: M/S/C that the labour council not send any delegates due to budgetary considerations.

Spring school March 2-3, 2002: A letter on proposed course offerings will go out again with these minutes. Let Cathy Seagris or Judi Filion know if you have any preferences as courses will be selected at our November meeting.

Vacant vice-president's position: Ron Bobowski of CUPW acclaimed to the position. Term expires at February's annual general meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

Budget consultation meeting: M/S/C that President David Doran make a presentation on the NOLC's behalf at the Oct. 15 meeting in Vernon.

GOOD AND WELFARE

Karen Abramsen reported: A dinner with NDP leader Joy MacPhail will be held Dec. 9 at Reid Hall (next to the Benvoulin Heritage Church) at 6 p.m. Cost is $100 with 75 per cent coming back to you as a tax deduction. Hope to see many sisters and brothers at this year-end Christmas event. Joy to the World. For more information, call Karen at 760-1977.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

19 total, 14 delegates, 5 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, acting recording secretary.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, November 7, 7:30 p.m. at the Village Green Hotel, 4801 27th St., Vernon.


Go back to News & Notes

PreviousHomeNext