Monday, February 17, 2014

Unifor Leadership Meeting in New Westminster 114- Fighting Back against Attacks on Labour

Local 114 Vancouver Island Member at Large Jim Sadlemyer (L) Unifor National President Jerry Dias (C) Local 114 Southern B.C. Member at Large Ann Cody (R)
Hi Everyone in Local 114 who attended the Unifor New Westminster Leadership Meeting and those who will be attending the Prince George Leadership meeting this evening.  
I just wanted to thank all of you who attended the Leadership meeting this morning in New Westminster.We certainly have a fight before us to protect what we currently have as union security. The right wing agenda and attacks will keep coming, we can’t let our guard down. 
These types of presentations and scheduled meeting dates for a series of Leadership meetings across the country from our Leadership of our National Union (Jerry Dias, Peter Kennedy, Scott Doherty, Andrea McBride, Gavin McGarrigle) are needed and appreciated to bring the membership together and to bring the message of hope to all of us, standing up and challenging does make a difference. 
What a great presentation from  our Unifor Research Department and what an inspiring speech from our National President Jerry Dias.  Our National President shows us all that rolling up our sleeves and bringing the issues to the forefront and challenging the right-wing agenda is the only way to defend our labour rights and this will be a defining moment for our new union.  We need to show that we have the full support of our members behind us, and that together we can make a difference in this historic debate. 
As Jim Sadlemyer (Local 114 Member-At-Large) stated at the conclusion of the leadership meeting “Our local was out in front at the end of 2013 trying to engage our membership and this type of outreach work needs to continue if we are going to reach a majority of our membership and talk to them about our union and what we have to preserve.  We have to engage our members over and over again to get our message out and likewise any campaign material needs to be more than just one delivery, it needs to be delivered in multiple languages and more than just once.” 
Unifor and our local leadership plans to fully commit to this campaign to defend labour rights. Our work must start, first and foremost, with our own Members. Each and every Unifor member needs to better understand where our labour rights came from, the struggles earlier generations of trade unionists endured, the logic and fairness of the Rand Formula. And the historic importance of standing up for those rights today. 
Defending our fundamental human and labour rights must therefore be the top political priority of Unifor, and the whole labour movement. If right-wing politicians and their business backers succeed in gutting the fundamental rights that underpin our unions, Canada will never look the same. 
There will be information packages developed to have to assist in our local campaigns and this will be helpful material to present to our membership when we are talking to them about these important issues. 
It’s time to seriously engage our members and start the process of mobilizing to defend our fundamental rights. 
Bill Gaucher 
Bill Gaucher
Secretary Treasurer
Unifor (CAW)  Local 114

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