• authored by remote_viewer
  • published Sat, Nov 29, 2003

MFD Weekend: Getting in the Faces of the Lords of Labour

As controversy continues inside the Canadian labour movement over IWA-Canada's sweetheart deals with health services corporations in BC, the boys at the Canadian Labour Congress give us even more insight into how membership in their elite organization has its priviledges. The CLC's constitution, it seems, is a flexible thing that can be warped and twisted to suit the needs of its most valued members - the guys who make up its inner circle. Time for union members to put some writing on the wall of the official house of labour:

We Won't Take Any More Shit and Abuse
- Who's Got the Balls to Say It?

In October of 2003, two thousand delegates to the Canadian Union of Public Employees national convention passed a resolution that sent the strongest message yet from the large public sector union to IWA-Canada and to the Canadian Labour Congress about the IWA's sweetheart deals with employers in British Columbia's health services sector. Those deals have taken work that was once performed by members of the Hospital Employees Union (a CUPE affiliate) for decent pay and benefits and transformed it into low wage McJobs, covered by shameful partnership agreements between the IWA and its corporate partners.

Delegates at the CUPE convention poured out their disgust and their frustration with the CLC's beating around the bush on the issue.

The 2,000 delegates to the biennial convention of Canada's largest union expressed their repugnance at the IWA actions in a strongly worded resolution that was adopted unanimously. Angered by fresh news that the IWA was raiding HEU members, the delegates called on CLC president Ken Georgetti to impose sanctions on the IWA and questioned why it had not done so earlier.

"The actions of the IWA mean that people have to beg for their jobs," said HEU president Fred Muzin. "They are blacklisted, demeaned and isolated."

What the IWA is doing in B.C. has incurred the "wrath of all working people in this country," Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president Michael Hurley said. "We do not accept the IAW's collusion with the government and employers."

The CLC's Executive Committee did not support the CUPE/HEU resolution.

Instead, the CLC Exec's passed their own resolution which looks an awful lot like what IWA Canada President Dave Haggard said he was prepared to do to bring his union into compliance with the CLC constitution earlier in the month. It is not known which unions, of the 20 that had a vote, rejected the CUPE resolution. The CLC doesn't have to provide those kinds of details to the 2.5 million members it claims as part of its turf.

The CLC's resolution is a pretty transparent effort on the part of the CLC inner circle to say, "Brother Haggard, you're alright!". The whole thing.

By MFD on-line contributors.

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