March 2015 President's Report

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

  • Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
  • United Way Spirit Awards
  • International Women's Day Luncheon

Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
I have spent some time in the last month pushing for labour to get representation on the new Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation. After inviting union members to notify me of their interest in serving on this Board, I decided to recommend two strong women who I believe would both be excellent candidates: Sandi Ellis and Darlene Wilson. I think we need a perspective on this Board that will prioritize jobs and worker incomes over corporate profits, and I wrote this in a letter to the members of the Board Selection Committee, which includes the Mayors of our three cities and our Regional Chair. To date only Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig has committed to advocating for a labour representative. We need to keep the pressure up on the other three – Regional Chair Ken Seiling, Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky, and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

United Way Spirit Awards
I attended the Community Spirit Award events of both the United Ways in our region in late February. The KW and Area United Way reached its fundraising goal, and the Cambridge and North Dumfries United Way fell less than $50,000 short of theirs. Both events did a great job of recognizing the many employers and unions who helped raise the funds to support vital services in our community, and also recognized the volunteers who make these services work. I was proud to represent our Labour Council at the events in recognition of our longstanding support of the United Way.

International Women’s Day Luncheon
I was one of about a dozen men who helped to serve about 200 union sisters this past Saturday at our Labour Council’s annual IWD Luncheon. Congratulations to the fifteen sisters on the Labour Council’s Women’s Committee who put in countless hours soliciting sponsorships, ordering food, setting up and decorating the hall, and all the other work that made this event a success. Women’s Crisis Services in Waterloo Region will be the beneficiary of all their work, as net proceeds from the event will go to them. I’m proud to be part of the Labour Council which made this happen.

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