CUPE National President Paul Moist used his convention address to tell delegates that after 42 consecutive years in power, Alberta’s Conservative government needs a ‘time out.’
Pointing to the arrogance of the Conservative regime, Moist called on the government to work with front line public employees on pension reform, rather than impose cuts on workers.
“Negotiate, don’t legislate,” said Moist. “The LAPP (Local Authorities Pension Plan) is a good pension plan and we will not accept unilateral legislation.”
Moist also took on the Harper government in Ottawa, saying their actions are moving Canada down the road toward US style labour laws and noted that the cancellation of the Federal health accord will cost Alberta $4.1 billion in health funding.
Calling for increased communication with members by CUPE leaders, Moist said member apathy would do more harm to public employees than Stephen Harper.
Saying the labour movement is not as active and engaged as it was 100 years ago during the days of the Winnipeg General Strike, Moist called for more activity and better communication among members.
“We cannot hope to avoid trouble by putting our heads down and hoping we aren’t hit by austerity, or privatization,” said Moist. “Silence and acceptance are not winning strategies.”
“An active labour movement is necessary in order to be able to fight and to win economic and political justice for the majority of our population – working people – whether they are unionized or not.”