Dear Sisters and Brothers:
This reporting period, notwithstanding the summer season, has been a very busy one for our union on a number of fronts.
Municipal members in London, Ontario and Water Workers in Halifax, Nova Scotia walked the picket line, in both cases in defence of longstanding collective agreement rights and benefits. I was pleased to walk with their members and with the successful conclusion we achieved in both.
Our country was thrust into a federal election, the longest in our modern history, by the Prime Minister triggering the official election call on August 2, 2015. This cynical move in mid-summer was motivated by Prime Minister Harpers’ desire to silence third-party campaigns and to exploit the Conservatives’ financial clout to outspend all other parties. Notwithstanding this development, as detailed within this report, we have an historic opportunity on October 19th to elect our first-ever federal NDP government. Now is the time for all of us to work harder than we ever have.
On the global scene, most recently in the Mediterranean, the English Channel and in Austria, we see tens of thousands of refugees seeking a new life and escaping from violent regimes and a life of abject poverty. These tragedies playing out before our eyes on a daily basis point to a world where corporate power has never been stronger, and migrant mobility never more constrained. The image of a young Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, dead on a beach in Turkey, drew global attention to the plight of refugees.
Within this report I detail our sister union’s struggles in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom, proof positive that the pressure on public sector workers is both relentless and increasing.
Final preparations are underway for CUPE’s 27th constitutional convention to be held in Vancouver November 2 to 6, 2015. Our national parliament, CUPE’s highest decision-making authority, offers us the opportunity to debate key issues and to continue to build our union’s solidarity. I sincerely hope your local has made our national convention a priority and that we’ll see you in Vancouver.
To all activists and staff, thank you for your daily efforts on behalf of our 633,000 members.