Feminists active in the labour movement worked with other union women to put pressure on their unions and central labour bodies to take up issues such as affirmative action/employment equity, childcare, equal pay for work of equal value, maternity leave, and sexual harassment. But some beginning steps of rebuilding workers’ confidence through successful grassroots campaigns and bold organizing drives are occurring. Sadly, that decade also saw a massive attack on the building trades across North America that devastated union density in construction. This crisis will severely affect labour councils. Labour Relations refers to the relations between employers and employees. In the coming months, every union in Ontario should be dedicating its full attention to helping bring union voice to hundreds of thousands of unrepresented workers using the tools of Bill 148. There will be some bruises and setbacks along the way. Other long-simmering issues (parallel to the split in the late 1990s over similar issues involving CAW and SEIU) organizational issues have been raised in this critical moment. Surveying the continental scene, we find conservative politicians in multiple jurisdictions attacking union security. Click here for Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6. Founded in 1963, Canadian Dimension is a forum for debate on important issues facing the Canadian Left today, and a source for analysis of national and regional politics, labour, economics, world affairs and art. There is no reason for other unions to avoid an honest discussion on what is their obligation if the removal of Unifor from councils and federations results in crippling those crucial central labour bodies. Now is the time to have a fierce debate across the entire CLC family about what “organizing to scale” would actually look like in the face of dramatic changes to the nature of work. Effective Labour Councils are crucial to the power of our movement. John Cartwright is President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council. It is a cautionary tale. Important developments internal to the local and the international are clearly at play. Unifor’s disaffiliation from the CLC has massive implications for federations and labour councils across Canada – many have leaders from Unifor, and many rely on Unifor affiliation for their financial stability. 6. At the launch, the class direction became clear. Since its adoption, the Article 4 process has generally worked, but there is always the pressure by powerful affiliates to limit its application. We are part of the Employment and Social Development Canada portfolio. But there are clear examples of the best commitment – Steelworkers and Postal Workers require mandatory affiliation, as did CAW before the creation of Unifor. Many union leaders who now demand that labour councils and federations remove Unifor from our ranks do not themselves ensure support for those same labour bodies. I work with and admire many colleagues in the United States, who are hamstrung by organizational and political decisions made by past generations. Are the procedures in place adequate for a proper democratic decision of locals to occur, or are their only formal rules mainly protecting the control over members of existing affiliates? The service sector has long been known, as the “Achilles heel of the labour movement” (Yates) due to its small base and susceptibility to employer hostility. Without involvement of the regional structures, the labour bureaucracy imposed an "interim" national executive drawn largely from the … Unifor’s disaffiliation from the CLC has massive implications for federations and labour councils across Canada – many have leaders from Unifor, and many rely on Unifor affiliation for their financial stability. Throughout history, labor worker unions continue to struggle for equal opportunities, treatment, and fair wages, sparking social criticism through films, magazine articles, and news soundbites. On January 17th, 2018 the Canadian labour movement was plunged into a crisis with the exit of Unifor from the Canadian Labour Congress and the launching of raids on bargaining units of UNITEHERE Local 75. Many students in Canada will be heading back to school after Labour Day. As we struggle with each other to find solutions to the current crisis, a vision of a powerful, effective, inclusive union movement of the future needs to arise. Students may not hold credit for both LABR 1290 (153.129) and the former 153.128. Raiding has rightly been identified as a cancer in our movement. Many are calling the Unifor actions a membership raid. Our first priority must be organizing workers and reversing the decline of union density in our country. Or are there important reasons – based on internal union organizational issues and a direction being forced on the members of the Canadian local – to challenge the International’s control of the local? No group of workers should be held captive to an organization that does not serve their needs or respect their voice. The topic of union renewal is full of landmines, but absolutely necessary. I have been both an antagonist and on the receiving end of raids, and both the Carpenters and Labourers have come under CLC sanction for raiding. Only a handful have full time officers or staff – most are run by committed volunteers who juggle responsibilities in their own locals as well as try to run collective campaigns on a wide variety of issues. There needs to be an honest assessment of what we should look and feel like a decade from now. The labour and union movement has traveled a long since then road paved with substantial achievements and very good results. It took more than ten years for the trades to return to the CLC. In Western Canada the idea of the Union became very strongly represented in labour and political movements. My union was locked into a jurisdictional war with Labourers Local 183, a bitter fight that broke out into all-out raiding many times over three decades. 1. But by that time relationships had been permanently damaged, and very few labour councils or federations have been able to regain the active involvement of construction unions. 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