CLC Convention: Without Unions, the Standard of Living Will Drop for Everyone

The president of the Canadian Labour Congress, Ken Georgetti, said that unions have had many successes in standing up for working people, and he is calling on the labour movement to use every form of media available to tell that story. “We have to make the winning argument that a strong labour movement whose members have good wages and benefits lifts everyone up, including non-union workers and all businesses. Because without unions, the standard of living will drop for everyone,” Georgetti said.

He was speaking to 2600 delegates and visitors at the CLC’s 26th Constitutional Convention occurring in Vancouver this Week.

Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour, emphasized labour’s need to hold governments and corporations to account when dealing with workers’ health and safety. He noted two recent deaths of construction workers, including one at the convention centre.

The economic system is not performing for working people in Canada. That message was loud and clear as the Economic and Social Policy Committee introduced their report to the CLC convention. The report shows that the economy has failed to deliver good jobs, better standards of living, decent workplaces, and equal, inclusive societies. The session passed resolutions that set out key building blocks of a new economic model – one which puts forward labour’s vision for a much more democratic economy and a fairer society.

On Tuesday 10 May, Sharan Burrow, ITUC general secretary, addressed the CLC Convention. “This is a critical moment. We need to fight for Jobs, Jobs and Jobs. We must build a new internationalism. The financial crisis might be finished for the bankers, but not for the workers,” emphasised Burrow. “We need to fight back as millions of young workers, men and women are looking for decent jobs. Today, 60% of the labour force does not have a solid job, but a precarious one,” she added.

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