Unifor Local 27 Retirees Chapter

Retired from the job, but not the fight

A Personal Message from Hector McLellan, Local 27 Retirees Chapter Chairperson

Posted on January 11, 2015

CAW and CEP are in the final stages of becoming one Great Union with an estimated membership of over 333,000 that potentially will have the opportunity to speak through their members to the members’ families and could potentially reach one million Canadians. This is a great opportunity for organised labour to change the political landscape in Canada.

There should be no doubt the ultra right agenda of political parties federally and provincially are, with the help and self interest of National Corporations, trying to bring workers back to the 1800s when workers were treated no better than slaves and were kept in extreme poverty.

Collectively workers, after many great struggles, have succeeded in bringing families from extreme poverty to what could be perceived to be a better way of life for many not only here in Canada but around the world. The right to organize collectively is enshrined into law. Free collective bargaining and improvements to the labour code here in Canada, the 40 hour work week, paid holidays, workplaces free from harassment, the right to refuse unsafe work, company pensions, Canada pension, Old Age Security, Workers Compensation, medical benefits, life insurance the list goes on and on as to what workers collectively have achieved. Not only for unionized workers and also workers in general.

Now it is very clear that what we have gained is being taken away from us slowly and surely. In many cases not slowly for in the guise of the global melt down, organized labour has to make concessions during collective bargaining, issues such as less holidays, reduction in pay, changes in company pensions from defined to contribution, and the take back continues and will not stop unless we all take back that power by electing governments that are influenced by people collectively and not the ultra rich and the Multi National corporations.

I would suggest that to achieve a government that truly speaks on behalf of workers at this time in Canadian history, we have the opportunity to elect such a government. The New Democratic Party is positioned to form the next Federal government in Canada and Provincially here in Ontario. There is a theory within the labour movement that strategic voting will keep out the Harper Government. So far that has not worked and we now have a majority of conservatives ruling Canada, a government that will do whatever it wants by attacking workers. Even when they were in a minority and with the help of the Liberal party they were successful in repealing progressive motions put forward by the NDP.

Bill C377 was supported with the help of some liberals; A Bill put forward to stop scab labour was repealed by Liberals and Conservatives together. I have the parliamentary records showing where the Conservatives and Liberals voted together to stop progressive labour laws. Let workers unite and vote with faith and courage for a government that will support the majority of Canadians. The new Democratic Party of Canada.

Hector McLellan