Dauphin – Over one hundred union activists from across Manitoba gathered on April 8 -11 at Credit Union Place in Dauphin for the annual convention of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Manitoba.
“We are proud to host this year’s convention in Dauphin,” said Kelly Moist who was re-elected as president of CUPE Manitoba. “Dauphin has a rich history of progressive movements, from the ground breaking guaranteed wage project to our union activists today.”
Keynote speakers included Premier Greg Selinger, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre Pat Martin, and Mayor of Dauphin Eric Irwin. “We’ve seen all across Canada the role CUPE plays in fighting for equality and justice,” said Premier Selinger. “The role of the labour movement in advocating for safe workplaces is fundamental.”
“We need to build an economy that benefits everybody in the community: fair wages and working conditions, working together to create good jobs and public services,” said Mayor Irwin. “None of that would be possible without CUPE.” Irwin reminded us that while some governments “beat up on unions” we need to “work together to oppose those governments that don’t share our beliefs and values.”
Members debated resolutions over the course of four days, including a re-commitment to pushing for a national inquiry on missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. Other resolutions were passed strengthening our fight for defined benefit pension plans for school sector and long-term care sector members, continuing our fight against privatization, as well as a resolution to fight against racism in our workplaces and community.
Delegates also spoke on the importance of our relationship with the New Democratic Party, emphasizing the need to get involved in the upcoming federal and provincial elections to help elect a labour-friendly federal government in Ottawa and re-electing our party here in Manitoba.
CUPE Manitoba was proud to honour brother Mike Davidson of Local 500 with the prestigious Jack Rodie award in recognition of his long-standing commitment to the labour movement.
Kerri Irvin-Ross, Manitoba Minister of Family Services, Housing and Community Development, also stopped by the convention to meet with delegates.
Special thanks to our brothers and sisters from the labour movement including CUPE National President Paul Moist, CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury, CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham, Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck, Canadian Labour Congress Representative Cindy Murdoch, and Carolyn Unsworth, 1st Vice-President of the Hospital Employees’ Union in B.C.