October 7, 2015 minutes
MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT VERNON
AFFILIATES PRESENT: Andrew Pritchard, President, Unite Here Local 40, Ron Bobowski, CUPW, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Louise Gibson, COPE 378, Ian Gordon, CUPE 3523, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon, Ken Robinson, HEU Kelowna
Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518
GUESTS: Ron Stipp, CLC Rep., Tracie Mundy, Union Liaison for Jacqui Gingras NDP team
REGRETS: Wendy Mah, BCGEU, Wendy has changed positions and will not be available for meetings until further notice.
Susan Bauhart, COTA, Helen Repole, BCGEU, Carmen Belanger, HEU, Doug Gibson, BCFORUM, Wynn Hartfelder, BCGEU
BCFORUM Delegates: Greg McGowan
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Pres. Andrew Pritchard at 7:00 pm
ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C
GUEST SPEAKER: Tracie Mundy, Union Liaison for Jacqui Gingras NDP team
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C
CREDENTIALS REPORT: 12 Present with 9 Delegates 2 Guests 1 BCFORUM delegates
OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES:
FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, financial summary was given. M/S/C.
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE:
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS -- STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS -- CLC REPORT:
LOCAL UNIONS REPORTS:
Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here Local 40, Ken Robinson, HEU, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
Sisters in Spirit Vigils - October 4
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) marks October 4, 2015, as a day to honour and remember the lives of too many missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Across the country, the labour movement will join families, Indigenous and women's organizations at vigils
and events to support the Sisters in Spirit movement.
The RCMP now estimates that over 1100 Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been murdered -- but many agree the number is likely much higher. This disproportionate violence experienced by indigenous women in Canada has received the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, which has called out the Canadian government for its failure to act.
Barbara Byers, Secretary-Treasurer of the CLC, said that
"this crisis may not be on Stephen Harper's radar, but it is
on ours. The CLC and its affiliates believe a public inquiry is
necessary in order to begin to repair the injustices and bring
some closure to the families of the missing and murdered.
This October, we have a chance to honour these women and girls by voting for a party that is committed to calling a public inquiry."
The CLC encourages members to support the families by attending vigils and events being held across the country. "Whether it's a vigil, a rally, a moment of silence or a community feast, let's all take some time to mark the day," said Byers.
Attend a vigil: (www.nwac.ca/policy-areas/violence-prevention-and-safety/sisters-in-spirit/ october-4th-vigils/)
Light a virtual candle: www.october4th.ca/
2016 Pacific Region Winter School
Winter School registration is now open. To register go to https://sms.clc-ctc.ca/imis15_prod/wcm
Labour Council Officer Development is in week 4; Tuesday, February 9 to Friday, February 12, 2016. This course is not available on-line, talk to your CLC representative to register. For a complete listing of courses and course descriptions go to http://canadianlabour.ca/labour-education
We are excited to offer new courses this year; Building Health and Safety Activism, Building Psychologically Health Workplaces, Representing and Engaging Women in the Workplace. Get your registrations in early for the best course selection.
CLC Young Workers
The Canadian Labour Congress Young Workers Department has been working on the Youth Votes Matter initiative to engage young members and encourage youth to vote in the Federal Election. Youth Votes Matter materials have been distributed in door-knocker & leaflet form via social media and at the Carleton University Youth Votes Matter student strategy session. The CLC Young Workers Committee also planned the October
5th Youth Vote Day of Action, in coalition with community partners, where young workers spoke to their co-workers about the election, distributed materials, volunteered in campaigns, and changed their Facebook profile pictures to a sign with the reasons why they are voting.
Winter School brochures will be arriving shortly!
Syrian Refugee Crisis
Sadly, it took the picture of a dead three-year-old boy lying on the beaches of Turkey to bring home the tragic reality of the Syrian refugee crisis. Yet, this crisis has been with us since 2011 as the civil war
in Syria led millions to flee their homes and some four million to become actual refugees, mostly in neighbouring countries.
As attested by the flow of refugees now seeking asylum in Europe, the situation is becoming ever more untenable, and too many displaced Syrians are willing to risk their lives to find a proper haven.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is calling
on our government to respond with means commensurate to the exceptional nature of this crisis. The Canadian Government should first of all commit to a minimum of 10,000 government-assisted resettlement places for Syrians to be brought to Canada immediately.
It should also facilitate, as much as possible, the solidarity efforts of private citizens and organizations by eliminating the barriers to private sponsorship of refugees. This should include the restoration of the full Interim Federal Health coverage and lifting of the documents requirement for Group of Five
sponsorships. Canadians, who want to do right in this crisis, should find a government willing to ease their efforts, not add red tape.
To this end, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is committed to establishing a special fund with the Canadian Council for Refugees to help support the settlement of Syrian refugees in Canada. Please note that cheques should be made out to the Canadian Labour Congress - IAF as we will tally the full amount and ensure each union and labour council is recognized for their contribution.
Trans-Pacific Partnership -- Trade Deal Must Not Be Rushed Through
The Harper government is pushing ahead with an investment deal that will have long-term implications for jobs in Canada's auto and dairy industries, and drive up prescription drug costs for patients here and around the world.
"Trade deals are supposed to benefit ordinary working families, but this deal has nothing to do with balanced trade and developing Canada's exports," said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.
"Instead, it will benefit a select few by extending investors' power to protect profits, opening up our auto industry to low-wage competition and expanding monopolies for powerful multinationals, like pharmaceutical companies," he added.
Yussuff says the auto-manufacturing sector will
be especially hard hit by the deal, which includes significant reductions in local content requirements for vehicles and automotive parts.
"This government has overseen enormous damage to Canadian manufacturing capacity and employment, and our auto industry is already reeling," he said. "Now it will now be forced to compete with low-wage parts sourced from other countries, and that's bad news for thousands of good manufacturing jobs."
Yussuff is also concerned about the deal's impact on Canadian dairy and poultry farms, saying it threatens farmers' ability to continue to make a decent living wage, while providing good, safe food for Canadians.
A technical summary released by the government contains only vague information, leaving many questioning Trade Minister Ed Fast's assertion that
he doesn't anticipate job losses. It does reveal that the deal maintains monopoly powers for pharmaceutical multinationals over generic producers. And more questions are raised than answered about how opening up procurement rules will impact local government autonomy and the ability to generate local jobs and community economic benefits.
Yussuff says the Conservatives appear to be using the deal as an electoral prop, while keeping Canadians in the dark about the long-term implications.
"Canadians need to know now, not after the election, what this deal will mean for jobs in the auto industry, or for pharmacare and the cost of medication, or for the ability of municipalities to promote local economic development and job creation, without fear of being sued by corporations," said Yussuff.
"Voters wouldn't accept a vague 'technical summary' of the parties' commitments, and they shouldn't be kept in the dark about the implications of this deal," he concluded.
We are 13 days away from Election Day and the Better Choice Campaign 2015 is in full swing.
Better Choice is the Canadian Labour Congress' election campaign to promote key issues that matter to working Canadians: Good Jobs, Retirement Security, Health Care and Childcare.
Visit the Better Choice website (betterchoice.ca) and have a look at the new issues' videos. Join union activists across the country and order your Better Choice Activist Kit, or join our Edu-Action on-line platform to access election and member-engagement tools and materials.
Leading up to E-Day, labour volunteers are canvassing in ridings across the country. See below for an upcoming canvass near you.
The countdown is on and with your help, we can bring change to Ottawa on October 19.
Remembrance Day, November 11, 2015 - The wreaths will be purchased by the NOLC and those who are volunteering to present will be notified soon where and when the wreaths will be available.
CLC Winter School -- NOLC offers a full scholarship to the Winter School (wages are not covered) Please advise the LC if you are wishing to be a delegate attending the CLC winter school. We will discuss this at the November 4, 2015 and December 9, 2015 LC meetings.
United Way response to letter regarding the UW Breakfast held in Kelowna -- the responding letter was received by the NOLC in response to our complaint about the proceedings at the UW Breakfast on October 7, 2015. It was read aloud at the meeting.
BC NDP Convention, Vancouver -- November 6, 7, 8, 2015 -- NOLC has two credentials to attend this convention. The Executive has recommended that we send one delegate, covering the registration fee only. Accommodation and transportation is left up to the delegate.
A motion was made to send Nikki Inouye, HEU to the BCNDP Convention. If any other Labour Council delegate and a member in good standing of the BCNDP would like to put their name forward please contact Andrew Pritchard, President.
BC Fed Conference -- Nov. 15-18, 2015 -- The Executive recommended that NOLC send one delegate to the Conference. The NOLC will cover the registration fee, accommodation, travel and per diem. A motion was made that the NOLC sponsor Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523 to attend the Conference. M/S/C
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 12 Present with 9 Delegates 1 Guest 1 BCFORUM delegates
GOOD & WELFARE:
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 7:50 pm by President, Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here Local 40
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
BCGEU office, 1064 Borden Ave., 7:00 pm