Retiree Report February 2018

Retiree Chairperson’s Report– February 2018

Spring is almost here as is the next Ontario provincial election. Ontario’s Tories are set to elect a new leader in a couple of weeks. They seem to agree with each other on just about everything including legislation to stop the minimum wage from rising to $15 an hour next year. These are the same old Tories wanting to keep Ontario’s working poor living in poverty. This is the same party that froze the minimum wage for 8 years when they were in power. So at least they are consistent. If they get elected you can be sure that stopping another increase in the minimum wage will be just one of the rotten apples they will be giving the people of Ontario.

A couple of years ago a great many of us got on buses and rode them all the way to Montreal to help to elect our union’s candidate for President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). We went there believing he would really make a difference and that we would have a more powerful labour movement with him leading it. That has not happened. Not only did he let us down he has accepted a membership in the Public Sector Alliance of Canada, the federal public sector union, in order to hang on to his position which pays $180,000 a year plus expenses. He did this because our union pulled out of the CLC and it was the only way he could keep his position. This is corruption and it is not what we went to Montreal two years ago to get. There is no telling how long the split between our union and the CLC will last. But one thing for sure is that it will weaken us just when we need a united labour movement to fight for things like a national pharamcare program.
This split must end for the sake of the well being of all workers in this country and it must end now. All of us must make our voices heard on this situation. It is unacceptable and there is no reason why the issues now dividing the labour movement cannot be resolved.Local 199 Retirees Chairperson

Fred Dougan
Chairperson, Retiree Chapter, Unifor Local 199