Tag Archive: mobilize

Guest Blog also posted in the Huffington Post.

Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak’s recent white paper, “Flexible Labour Markets,” has been the centre of much controversy and debate.

Hudak trumps up a lot of nonsense and feigned concern about union democracy and transparency, but in the end offers little more than selfish individualism in opposition. That his hostility towards the union principles of social cooperation and compromise for the greater good puts him at odds with the basis of Canadian democracy — from elections to tax collection — appears to be lost on him.

However, the depth of his hypocrisy is perhaps best illustrated by his total lack of concern for fairness and transparency when it comes to his corporate backers. According to a recent study of Ontario elections, between 2004 and 2011, over 40 per cent of Progressive Conservatives’ funds ($26 million) came from corporations.

By contrast, the New Democratic Party received a paltry $666,000 from corporations. Overall, corporate contributions comprised nearly 40 per cent of all election financing while union contributions made up a mere five per cent. And in a testament to the extent of internal democracy within the labour movement, it is worth noting that unions donated money to parties of all political stripes, including a handful who pitched in to the Progressive Conservatives.

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A New Year a New Class

Today the Canadian Labour Congress Ontario summer school kicked off. Many important course’s are underway to build and renew the labour movement in Canada. The participates have come from all around the province and are settled in to the Family Educational center in Port Elgin.

I have the great opportunity to deliver a course in labour technology and website building. Many trade union activist have for years relied on many forms of union communications (i.e posters, face-to-face meets and union newsletters) however this week we are going to spend our time on another form of union organizing, mobilizing members and educating the greater public with the use of web 2.0 tools. The increase in  smart phone technology and ‘soapbox’ options of transforming the message often not heard or seen in most media outlets today opens opportunity’s for labour to reach out.

In fact as brother Derek Blackadder wrote in the June/July Our Times magazine

Canadians now spend more time online than watching TV. Does your unions communications strategy reflect that? We have far more access to the web in getting out our message than we ever had to TV –

Well this week we hope to harness the tools available to our movement to create the better world that is possible.  Our workshop is focused on the content management system of weebly. A simple drop menu of widgets and elements in a system that new users can quickly pick up, get creative and quickly get their word out on the campaigns and struggles their members and workers around the world are currently facing.

As we build, develop and host discussion of broader communications using the web, I’m sure the unions who have invested in labour education will have a greater equipped activist in their member ranks at the end of this week.  Stay tuned for what’s to come.

Again, I want to thank those who have supported building and supporting the work needed in order to bring this program to our members and our movement.

Make a Difference in Your Purchase!

Did you know that what you buy can make a difference in our Country and our community’s now!! We are part of six billion people on the planet; the onus is on us North American’s – the upper 20% that consumes 80% of the world’s resources. Driving hybrid cars and limiting industrial emissions is great, but they are band-aid solutions if we don’t address the core problem: we have to consume less, to fix the environmental and ethical consequences of overconsumption. We can help by not purchasing products that contain lots of empty packaging. By leaving our packaging behind at the counter and telling the business you shop at the you didn’t need this packaging they would be responsible for disposing of the waste in extra packaging, in turn they might contact there suppliers to tell them that their customers don’t want extra packaging. By reduce the waste we create we can keep landfills from filling with harmful waste products that contain chemicals and non- bio-degradable materials that harm our environment. We also have the purchasing power to make a difference in our ethical shopping of non-sweatshop garments by insisting that the clothes we ware are made in North America or by companies that have not violated international human rights with child labour. Supporting Local farmers just makes sense. It’s fresher, safer then harmful chemicals used during transportation and best of all supports our local communities. Buying Canadian made products helps keep Canadians working. By just taking these few extra minutes to check where your spending your money can help slow globalization from driving down the cost to our communities. We are the consumers we have the power!!! I realize that not all products are going to be made in Canada… but if it means spending a bit more on a product that is made by my fellow Canadians then it might also be better material and better built. We have to hold business accountable for the products and services they sell. A recent report named the substance PERC (Perchloroethylene) a chemical used in the dry cleaning process to be hazards to our health and can lead to cancer or Liver failure, yet some dry cleaners say they would not stop using PERC. Perhaps a letter advising people that liver failure might occur by using their service is not as important as turning a profit at your customers loss.

Think Globally Act Locally

Think Globally Act Locally

We are ready!! Why are you hiding?

Well, so there is a lot of public eyes waking up and seeing the big picture of what’s happening. Thousands of the most progressive, active workers in Ontario will converge on queens park for the beginning of the biggest fightback on the ideologys of the right since 1947… Stay tuned!!! I can assure that waking the sleeping giants (workers) is what we needed.

You make your profits off our labour, sweat and sacrifices! We didn’t cause this crisis, we won’t stand to be your excuse for your greedy ideas!!

The Time to Mobilize

In these times of unprecedented attacks of working men and women in Ontario, their lays an opportunity to mobilize and bring attention to the unjust decisions being made by big business and government leaders looking to undermine unions. We have all felt the results of the financial crisis and the government’s lack of addressing unfair trade, unemployment eligibility, our pensions and protecting Canadian jobs.

Then there’s the media. Reading the papers, on-line stories and radio call in shows, most have depicted Canadian Auto Workers as being the problem of the crisis. We all know that is not true. We have won countless awards for our productivity, quality, and recognition worldwide. We have brought billions of dollars to General Motors shareholders and provided enormous tax money to governments at all levels. We know that we could not have done this without our incredible ability to work together with everyone involved in the manufacturing of a vehicle. From the hard work of our brothers and sisters at local feeder plants to transportation drivers to skilled trades all of these enable us to produce incredible cars and trucks. Now we are somehow responsible for global financial fallout?? I don’t think so!

Unemployment insurance that we contribute to throughout our working lives is not helping laid off workers. The weeks of eligibility are not sufficient to cover the amount of jobs being lost. Weeks of eligibility must be 50 weeks across the country not by the region in which you live. Benefits are not nearly enough to survive on. Many of our local members are just getting EI and that benefit rate is not reflective of the loss of wages they experience. We need to implement a guarantee of 65% of your best 12 weeks in a calendar year. That’s if you qualify. Some of our members have been disqualified from receiving the employment insurance benefit. The hours of eligibility should also be the same across the country. 360 hours to qualify would help everyone from contractual workers, part time workers and many single parent homes that often have to balance childcare and work by themselves.

Pensions are under attack on the members who helped build the mighty Auto industry in North America. Men and Women who brought enormous wealth to these corporations and country are now facing attack. How many widowers will be forced into poverty as a result of the pensions being ripped away from them? Is there enough space under bridges for our seniors and pensioners? Perhaps these are the questions members of parliament should think about in their lack of attention to protecting the pensions of past workers in our society.

We MUST unite to tackle these and many more injustices taking place in Canada today. I am looking to formulate a list of all members of our great local union. This list would allow us to quickly mobilize in time for many fight back campaigns. We gained worldwide attention in our ability to fight back against the closure of the truck plant. I was very proud of everyone who supported, joined in, and came together very fast. A lot of us developed great memories of those days in June. Your local union has a long history of building a better society for members and the community. Much of this work was done by our past retirees. It’s time for you to stand up now and show your pride.

Are You Interested????
Please submit your name, city, and phone number or email to mobilizetoaction@gmail.com or call.
I will use this information to mobilize everyone interested in rallies, support and getting our messages out there.

Start responding to letters in the paper, online or call in shows. Respond to blogs, facebook, unionbook and every tool you can make use of. If you are are retired, laid off or looking to mobilize to secure a better world and community contact us.

The time for Me Me Warfare where you look after yourself and not your community is over. We are all in this together!!! Let’s start acting that way.