Retiree Report November 2018

Retiree Chairperson’s Report – November 2018

I would like thank those retirees that took the time to ride the bus to Queen’s Park in Toronto on Tuesday, October 23rd.  I always have a good time with fellow retirees and talking with them is enjoyable.  At the same time, I want to remind everyone that we went to Queen’s Park to protest what we saw as the likely changes to be made to our health care system by the Tories.  While we were there, Ontario’s MPPs were voting to stop the $1.00 an hour minimum wage increase for workers in the province which is scheduled to come into effect on January 1, 2019.

Earlier, when we were in Port Elgin in September, I signed a letter, along with 14 other Retired Workers Chapter Chairpersons, which was sent to Jerry Dias.  The letter told him that in the 2020 auto negotiations it will be time for the return of a cost of living allowance to retired workers’ pensions.  I, along with other Retired Workers Chapter Chairpersons, have since received a letter from Shane Wark, who is an Assistant to the Unifor National President.  The letter to us stated that he would be happy to meet with the chairpersons of the Detroit 3 Local Union Retired Workers Chapters in order to discuss this further.  I will include the letter in the minutes for next month’s meeting.

Long-time Tory MP, Tony Clement, has been in the news for a sexting scandal.  In 2009, as a Federal Tory MP, he helped to do a lot of harm to GM workers and especially to retired workers benefits as well as to attack our COLA on pensions.  To Tony Clement, I have to say, what goes around comes around, so grab an anchor and go for a swim.

The changes which the Liberals made to Ontario’s labour laws are being changed back to what they were before or worse by the Doug Ford government.  The Liberals in Ottawa are now saying they will fix the laws that Ford is changing and include them in the Federal labour laws.  But their changes will not include the $1.00 hour wage increase to $15.00 an hour.  We will see if these changes actually take place.  The same Federal government has not done much that I can see about Trump’s tariffs on our steel and aluminum.  We cannot be silent about this and we need a serious national debate about our trading relationship with Donald Trump’s America.

The new cooler for our Retiree’s Centre has been ordered.  It will take six weeks to get here.  The change in our cooler will take place between December 27th, 2018 and January 1st, 2019. Hopefully, it will work out good. The new cooler will load from the back which should make it more efficient for people using it.

Fred Dougan
Chairperson, Retiree Chapter, Unifor Local 199