Retiree Report April 2018

Retiree Chairperson’s Report – April 2018

It’s Saturday night and I am writing this report thinking that if this is the spring, I hope we do not miss summer. Things are going good at the Local 199 Executive Board, at last months meeting the local union agreed to spend $2,000 for 50 new chairs for the Retirees Centre. We have got them all ready and I hope everyone enjoys them.

The Local 199 Retired Workers Executive Board will ask the Retirees Chapter to buy 50 more chairs. We also want to get new dart boards and a new microphone. Going forward the Retirees Chapter Executive Board is looking to make whatever other improvements whenever and wherever we can. I think this will be better for  future Executive Boards if the present board not only maintains but upgrades our Retirees Centre going forward.

Look across Canada and the United States. You see that fights are increasingly starting up everywhere. These are to improve wages. You can see this with school teachers all the across the United States to workers across Canada wanting to improve the minimum wage. Workers are looking for a better life for themselves and their families. Unions need to be front and center in these struggles and should be helping to build them from the ground up not trying to hold them back. If the unions address this in the right way we will be able to see union membership finally grow again. If our unions do not get this right or comfortably sit back and do nothing we will only see them get a lot weaker than they already are. We need a movement of activists who will sacrifice some of their own time to make things happen.

I want to also remind everyone that the National Day of Mourning for Workers Injured and Killed on the Job is coming up on April 28. We need to support this event because we continue to see our members dying from cancer and other occupational diseases and because workers continue to die on the job in this country at a rate of more than one a day. National Day of Mourning Ceremonies will be held in towns and cities across the Niagara Region on April 28.

 Fred Dougan
Chairperson, Retiree Chapter, Unifor Local 199