Retiree Chair Report October 2019


October 16th, 2019

Bruce Allen and I were acclaimed in the Retired Workers Chapter Executive Board elections. Bruce was acclaimed for the position of Recording Secretary and I was acclaimed for Chairperson. I am looking forward to serving for another three years as your Chairperson and working with the other Executive Board members. There is an election today for the other three positions on the Retirees Executive Board.

I believe that we must show leadership as an Executive Board and have to prepare for changes that could take place over the next three to five years at the GM plant given its uncertain future. I think we must build a nest egg in order to have enough money to make any changes that may become necessary in the future.

There will be another Ontario Health Coalition Rally in Toronto. This time it will be at “Nathan Phillips Square” and take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 11:30 a.m. We will be putting up a sign-up sheet for those who would like to attend. The Unifor National Office has said they will pay for our bus to this rally. Doug Ford’s government is planning to cut public health funding and close 25 out of 35 local public health units reducing the number down to 10. They want to close 49 out of 59 local ambulance services and close 12 local medical dispatch centers. Hopefully, we can put on a show of force big enough to stop some, if not all of these inhumane cuts.

While writing this report, the strike at GM in the U.S. is still ongoing. This is day 31 of the strike. GM looks like they are willing to make some contract changes for new workers and part-time workers as well. But the devil is in the details and GM also wants to have more of what are called “permatemps”. These are temporary workers who have remained temporary for as long as 5 years. I am hoping to see significant positive changes in their pensions for future retired American autoworkers and for the existing retirees as well.

The UAW has GM up against the wall in this membership driven strike. I hope the strikers remain strong and squeeze GM. GM is long overdue for this. Remember! What happens there will impact auto contract talks in this country next year