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Marie Clarke Walker, executive vice president of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and former CUPE NEB member, brought greetings and a message of solidarity to our convention from the CLC Executive board and their millions of members.

Walker said being at this convention was like coming home and she thanked CUPE members for their commitment to working people and particularly to members of the Airline members saying “Your fight is our fight. Your right to have freedom of bargaining is our fight.”

The expansion of the Canadian Pension Plan is long overdue,” she told delegates. “Working closely with CUPE and others we hope to bring payments from poverty level 12,000 dollars annually to a living income of 20,000 dollars”.

Citing the pro-privatization Mayor of Toronto, she said the CLC will work with CUPE to elect progressive candidates at all levels of government.

Extolling delegates to be proud members of the 99 per cent, she said we must address change and inequality.

Walker received a standing ovation when she closed with: “We must work together, there is strength in numbers. We won’t let them tell us it can’t be done. We’ll win if we work together”.