Canadian Labour Congress president Ken Georgetti brought greetings from the 3.2 million affiliated members of the CLC.
Thanking Paul Moist for his support and leadership at the CLC, he recognized the work of CUPE, both on the home front and international front. “CUPE understands that international development cannot happen without workers and without workers’ solidarity across borders,” said Georgetti.
On Harper’s Speech from the Throne, Georgetti said it is not about moving us forward as a people.” It is about moving people out of the way so big business can achieve its agenda.”
Georgetti focused on political activism to defeat Harper’s privatization agenda. Referring to CUPE’s Strategic Directions document, Georgetti agreed that privatization cannot be fought only at the local, provincial or regional level, but instead demands a national response, a national initiative, and in many cases, a national campaign.
“And as President of the Canadian Labour Congress, I am here to tell you that the entire labour movement is behind you and we will fight privatization with you right across this country.”
Georgetti pointed to our victories. “Of all the municipal candidates endorsed by our labour councils across Canada, we elected over half of them – over 50 per cent.”
He reminded delegates of last month’s votes at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities against accepting TILMA – the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobiliy – and in favour of a $10 minimum wage, as well as the Toronto Transit Commission’s successful advocacy that 234 new subway cars be built in Canada, not in Korea or some other country.
He also talked about the Bill 29 victory in B.C., saying that the Canadian Labour Congress intervened in support of the Hospital Employee’s Union at the Supreme Court.
Georgetti said bluntly that the CLC only sees one political party – the New Democratic Party – that cares about issues of concern to working people. “Working together, we have literally changed Canada for the better. Our workplaces are safer. Our families and communities are healthier. Our incomes are more secure.”