Unifor Ontario Council Report
December 1st &2nd 2017, as an elected delegate I had the pleasure to represent Unifor local 199 at the 2017 ORC. It’s a busy two days with a packaged agenda. The Regional Councils meet at least once a year, with every local eligible to send delegates to discuss and debate important issues in their region such as provincial labour laws and policies, as well as economic and social concerns. The councils are funded by a per capita share levy to each of the member locals.
On Friday Jerry Dias talked about his experience in Mexico during the NAFTA talks, he was flanked at all times by two body guards. Jerrys body guards were very nervous, specifically when he visited the mine where two miners had been shot and killed. Jerry had be advised to stay away but he insisted that’s exactly where he needed to be, much to his body guards dismay!
Following his speech Dias led hundreds of flag waving members in a protest march to the offices of Torex Gold Resources, the Canadian owners of the mine. “You are a Canadian company, please behave like a Canadian,” Dias said on a loudspeaker outside the mining company’s headquarters.
In the afternoon session, Steve Tizzard of Local 212 from Newfoundland presented on mental wellness in the workplace, urging delegates to be watchful for indicators that coworkers may need assistance while providing tips on non-judgmental listening. Delegates also heard a panel discussion on the impact of the upcoming legalization of cannabis.
On Saturday there were three excellent presentations the first by Jordan Brennan who replaced Jim Stanford, Jordan talked about politics and the track record of past governments. It was presented in a very interesting way, he used colour coding indicating which government spent the most and which had the most labour disruptions during their term of office.
Bill Murninghan’s presentation covered the changes to labour law which can be seen as nothing but a great victory. The passing of the province’s new labour legislation, Bill 148, which includes a commitment to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, to pay part-time and temporary workers the same as full-time workers, provide paid domestic leave, and to increase vacation time. A full report will be released by the legal department about the implications and changes that will affect us.
The third presentation was about the changes in political donations amount basically restricting the way we support political parties. I have asked for copies of all three presentations.
Congratulations to Greg Brady and Tim McKinnon who were both elected on Saturday afternoon. Greg was elected to the EI committee, Tim was elected to the position of member at large.
I took the opportunity to go to the mic on two occasions firstly to talk about the 300 media jobs being cut and the 30 news papers being closed, mainstream media is entering a crisis that needs to be resolved. The second occasion was to promote team Bob White and the walk for Alzheimers, several other locals are looking at entering a team in their community.
In conclusion, I want to thank the members for electing me to go to the ORC and I look forward to the 2018 convention.
As always, my camera was at hand all the time, I find it is a great way to keep track of the events speakers and issues, hope you enjoy them.
Peter Scott, Recording Secretary
Unifor ORC, Unifor Constitution, OFL & CLC Delegate
Peter Scott, Recording Secretary
Unifor ORC, Unifor Constitution OFL & CLC Delegate