Retiree Report – March 2016

CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT: March 2016 by Barb Abrams.

I’d like to thank all of you who attended the rally in support of the “Steel Workers” in Hamilton on January 30, 2016. It was one of the better rallies that I have attended. Not to cold and the walk was not far. I spoke to one of the retiree’s from steel and he told me with the stroke of the pen his benefits were gone. I asked him about his pension and he said “not yet”. I enquired whether they were given the opportunity of a Health Care Trust and he said “no”. I listen to complaints about the Health Care Trust that we have and all I can say is thank heavens that we have it. We are so lucky. Can you imagine having to pay hundreds of dollars just for a prescription?

At our January meeting we touched on the TPP and wondered why we had not heard much from the CLC regarding this important issue. Well, since then, I have received a copy of a six page letter that the President of the CLC, Hussan Yussuff has sent to Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of International Trade outlining his concerns over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In his letter he spoke about the effect that it is going to have on the Auto Industry, Health and Pharmaceutical Drug Costs, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, the Environment, Dairy Sector, International Labour Mobility and Labour Rights. Given the economic and political stakes, Canadians deserve no less that a full and substantive discussion on the potential consequences of this draft agreement.

The Local will be having their election the week of March 14th, 15th, and 16th at our membership meeting. Pre-Vote at the hall will be March 10th. Nominations have already been closed at the Local. Peter Scott has been acclaimed as Recording Secretary but there are elections for other positions. The election committee will be here on our meeting day, so the retiree’s will be able to vote.

We will be having elections for (2) delegates to send to the Ontario Federation of Labour Conference to be held May 16-19th in Port Elgin. Nomination box will open today and close March 4th, 2016 so that we can have the ballots made up. Nomination forms are on the Bar.

At our March 16th meeting, we will be having our Easter giveaway of (50) hams. We will be giving out vouchers that you will have to go and pick up the hams yourself.

We had a conference call with the National last week regarding the PCOLA. Sometime in March, we are supposed to have a meeting about this with all the “Big 3 Retired Workers Chairpersons”. I was also told that sometime in June that we will have a meeting with the “Master Bargaining Committee”.