Canadians Must Respond to Humanitarian Crises
December 10 is celebrated around the world as International Human Rights Day to mark the anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This historic document is heralded for setting out fundamental human rights that would be universally protected and which set a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations.
This year, international Human Rights celebrations are set against the backdrop of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the Middle East. This catastrophe has blurred the boundaries of every international border; challenged every nation; and summoned the compassion of every citizen to re-evaluate our collective role in promoting peace and human rights around the globe. However, it impossible for Canada to examine its international humanitarian obligations without critical self-reflection about ongoing humanitarian crisis in Aboriginal communities within its borders. Continue reading
November 5, 2015
(Toronto) Ontario unions and local union activists have put forward a team of three principled, determined and experienced trade unionists to run for the election at the upcoming convention of the Ontario Federation of Labour. The team is running under the banner of FedForward, with the goal of uniting the labour movement in Ontario and advocating for progressive labour law reform.
The Ontario Federation of Labour Convention will be held November 22-27 at the Sheraton Centre, downtown Toronto.
Chris Buckley is a long-time trade unionist, social justice advocate and former President of Unifor Local 222 in Oshawa, a large amalgamated local union. During his time as a rank and file leader, Chris was also the chair of the General Motors master bargaining committee and led negotiations with GM in four rounds of talks. Chris is running to be the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour.
“I believe we owe it to working people, whether they belong to a union or not, to have strong representation at the provincial level,” said Chris Buckley. “I know what it is to take on challenges and to win – I will bring this determination to the job.”
Patty Coates is an educational assistant, a passionate activist and the President of the Educational Assistant Bargaining Unit of OSSTF District 17 Simcoe, representing educational assistants and early childhood educators. Patty is also the President of the Barrie and District Labour Council. Patty is running for the position of Secretary-Treasurer.
“With Prime Minister Harper now gone, I believe we have tremendous opportunities to make changes that will improve the lives of working people and their families. We can only do this by working together,” said Patty Coates.
IAM Canadian General Vice-President Dave Ritchie and 120 other Canadian labour leaders met with new Canadian Prime minister, Justin Trudeau as part of the Canadian Labour Congress’ Canadian Council, a democratically elected group that governs the CLC between its national conventions.
Ritchie met briefly with Trudeau to talk about, among other things, investment in an industry ignored by the previous Conservative government. The conversation is on the heels of a $1 billion investment by the Québec government, which has now become Bombardier’s partner in the production of the C-Series jet.
Ritchie believes he received a positive response as the Prime Minister indicated that Canada’s new Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, is already looking into the file. “I am optimistic that the government will do the right thing for all these workers and invest in the Canadian aerospace industry,” said Ritchie.
Late last week stewards from throughout the greater Toronto area took part in basic stewards training at District 78 offices. No doubt they are eager to get back to their respective workplaces and put their new skills to work assisting the membership. Great work everyone!
Union Brother James Harold (Jim) Ryan passed away Suddenly at his residence, on Sunday November 1, 2015, in his 69th year. Beloved husband of 45 years to Diane (Fraser) Ryan. He worked at Champion/Volvo and was a member of IAM&AW LL 1863, now LL 1975.