A renewed action plan to take us into the next century, a new solidarity levy to support CUPE members on the picket line and eight new National Executive Board members including two diversity representatives are just some of the results of an intense and action-packed convention in Montreal in October.
As a result of the resolution adopted by the convention to strengthen the National Defence Fund, the NEB is in the process of establishing a task force to examine defence fund issues. The task force membership will be announced in the new year and locals can expect to receive background material concerning the consultation process.
On the Front Line, CUPEs action plan to fight for jobs and services into the next century was adopted overwhelmingly by convention delegates. The action plan commits CUPE to continue to fight privatization, to step up our efforts to organize more unorganized workers and to break new ground at the bargaining table on wages and benefits as well as issues like workload and pensions and equal pay by strengthening sectoral bargaining and building greater membership strength. Now the work begins to put this action plan into all of the work CUPE does.
One of the most moving events I can ever remember at a national convention was the overwhelming show of solidarity by convention delegates to the members of Local 302 in Verdun, Quebec who had been on strike for 13 months. After an impromptu support rally on the convention floor, delegates raised $170,000.00 in just an hour-and-a-half for the strikers of Local 302. This tremendous show of solidarity and compassion sent a powerful message to both the Verdun municipal administration and any other employer that is trying to impose concessions that CUPE members are strong and that all the locals in Canadas largest union will stand behind them when they take on a fight.