February 2014 President's Report

I am pleased to submit the following report on my Labour Council work of the past month, and on some key issues I wish to bring to your attention.

  • Fairness Works Training
  • 2014 Municipal Elections
  • Personal

Fairness Works training, Regional All-Unions Meeting
This Thursday afternoon, February 13th, I will be leading a CLC-sponsored training for union members in how to communicate effectively with fellow union members. We have over forty people registered, but are accepting more if you still want to sign up. This is part of the national labour movement’s initiative to encourage as many unions as possible to reach out and talk to all their members about the benefits of union membership. We are doing this because of the not-so-hidden agenda of the right-wing in this country to attack unions. The situation is becoming ever more urgent now, as we will very likely have a provincial election within a few months, and Tim Hudak has been quite clear about his plans to bring in US-style labour laws to Ontario. We only have a couple of months left to warn our members of Hudak’s plans before an election campaign is upon us. What is it going to take to wake up our union leadership to address this very real threat? Our Labour Council is ready to support your union in making a plan to reach all your members, but this work is going to take your resources, which means we may need to put aside regular everyday union business to do it. The OFL is holding regional meetings across the province in another effort to sound the alarm, and we are looking at Monday April 7, from 7-9pm, to hold one in Kitchener. You will hear more about this event, but in the meantime, what is your Local doing?!

Municipal Elections 2014
As many of you know, the Labour Council is participating in a community coalition called Better Choices to recruit and endorse progressive candidates for both municipal councils and school boards in Waterloo Region. Better Choices now has a ten-person Executive in place that represents diverse community interests and issues and will make all endorsement decisions. A questionnaire to be filled out by candidates seeking endorsement is on our website and will be sent to all candidates this week. If your union wants to have a say in which candidates get endorsed by Better Choices, now is the time to speak up! We will be approaching unions later this year to ask for your support for endorsed candidates, so it’s in your interest to influence our decisions! Go to www.betterchoices.ca for how you and your union can get involved.

I had the honour of being able to serve as an International Election Observer for El Salvador’s Presidential elections on February 2nd. I learned a lot from a very inspiring people who have literally paid for their democracy with their blood, and who have built a democratic system that is extremely robust (and better than ours!). Ask me about it!

Respectfully submitted,

Marc Xuereb

February 11, 2014

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