CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury told delegates the key financial priority for CUPE over the next year would be member mobilization and fighting back against the attack on workers and their unions.
Fleury announced the creation of a permanent Fight Back Fund, which will be used specifically to fight legislation that attacks collective agreements. The fund was first used to support Ontario school board workers in their fight against an imposed collective agreement.
“With Stephen Harper getting ready to bring in legislation that could make union dues optional, and any number of provincial politicians wishing to do the same thing, we know that the Ontario Fight Back Fund is just the beginning,” said Fleury.
Fleury also highlighted the added demands on locals for bookkeeping and reporting that may happen as a result of Bill C-377. “They pretend to protect the interests of workers but really are designed to make it difficult for us to continue operating and to stop our political activity,” said Fleury.
Fleury emphasized that between the Fight Back Fund to address legislative attacks and our strong National Strike Fund, CUPE was prepared to respond to attacks on the horizon. “No CUPE member will ever have to stand down from a picket line because the union can’t support their strike,” said Fleury.
Fleury closed by telling delegates that the most important thing trade unions can do to fight attacks on workers is to keep members informed and involved.