Fight of Our Lives – The Opening Skirmishes

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These agents of an alien class have been bought and paid for by Corporations. These Corporations are rich, powerful and ruthless. They have only one mission maximum profit. To achieve their goal – people’s lives, the environment and even democracy are of little consequence.

People are not without their shield.

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Trade Unions have been struggling to protect and extend the rights of workers to a safe workplace, collective bargaining and freedom of association for a long time. Unions fought when there seemed no hope of victory, succeeding over the last century to force the employers and their politicians to make concessions.

We have a right to belong to Unions. We have the right to bargain with the employers.

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But the Corporations wanted to strip or curtail these fundamental rights guaranteed under the Canadian Constitution.

Prime Minister Harper does not attack us head on. He is using the ruse of Private Member’s Bills to push through anti-democratic, anti-union legislation. Bill C-377 was designed to hurt our Unions, Health and Welfare Plans and Pension Plans by forcing reporting of all Union expenditures over $5,000. This information is already available to members but would now have to be reported and published publically adding expense and violating the privacy of our   Pensioners and Members.

True Conservatives in the Senate rejected the unfairness of a bill which made Unions report but kept Corporations and Employer Associations private behind closed doors.

Tim Hudak, the leader of the Conservatives in Ontario has publically called for the outlawing of Union checkoff for dues. Not only would the Union be forced to spend its time collecting dues, instead of representing the members. Union revenue could fall be 30%, crippling our ability to oppose Corporate excesses.

Christy Clark, our newly re-elected Premier, wants to impose a 10 year agreement on the teachers, the first of many attacks on public and private sector workers.

The Machinists are not taking this lying down. Over the next year you will all hear about the new campaign, the Fight of Our Lives. This is our opening move to stop the Anti-Union politicians in their tracks and elect a government for People not Corporations.

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Memorials for Jack Layton in BC

Jack Layton gave a rousing speech at the 2011 CLC Conference

Jack Layton’s Service
Join Together to Watch and Remember

 
Vancouver Canada Place Outdoor Video Screen
999 Canada Place (near waterfront skytrain)
10:00 am – Outdoor gathering
11:00 am – Watch Service on Outdoor Screen
Prince Rupert Ocean View Pub
950 1st Avenue West
11:00am
Kitimat CAW Hall
233 Enterprise Ave
11:00am
Terrace Community Room – Skeena Mall
4741 Lakelse Avenue
11:00am
Smithers Alpenhorn Pub
1261 Main Street
11:00am
Courtenay Florence Filberg Conference Hall
411 Anderton Ave
10:30am
Nanaimo Diana Krall Plaza
90 Commercial St.
11:00am
Victoria First Metropolitan United Church
932 Balmoral Rd.
10:30am
Memorials are planned in many other BC Communities. Contact your local NDP for details.
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Jack Layton’s Final Message to Canadians

Written 2 days before his passing

August 20, 2011

Toronto, Ontario

Dear Friends,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well. I want to thank each and every one of you for your thoughtful, inspiring and often beautiful notes, cards and gifts. Your spirit and love have lit up my home, my spirit, and my determination.

Unfortunately my treatment has not worked out as I hoped. So I am giving this letter to my partner Olivia to share with you in the circumstance in which I cannot continue.

I recommend that Hull-Aylmer MP Nycole Turmel continue her work as our interim leader until a permanent successor is elected.

I recommend the party hold a leadership vote as early as possible in the New Year, on approximately the same timelines as in 2003, so that our new leader has ample time to reconsolidate our team, renew our party and our program, and move forward towards the next election.

A few additional thoughts:

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.

To the members of my party: we’ve done remarkable things together in the past eight years. It has been a privilege to lead the New Democratic Party and I am most grateful for your confidence, your support, and the endless hours of volunteer commitment you have devoted to our cause. There will be those who will try to persuade you to give up our cause. But that cause is much bigger than any one leader. Answer them by recommitting with energy and determination to our work. Remember our proud history of social justice, universal health care, public pensions and making sure no one is left behind. Let’s continue to move forward. Let’s demonstrate in everything we do in the four years before us that we are ready to serve our beloved Canada as its next government.

To the members of our parliamentary caucus: I have been privileged to work with each and every one of you. Our caucus meetings were always the highlight of my week. It has been my role to ask a great deal from you. And now I am going to do so again. Canadians will be closely watching you in the months to come. Colleagues, I know you will make the tens of thousands of members of our party proud of you by demonstrating the same seamless teamwork and solidarity that has earned us the confidence of millions of Canadians in the recent election.

To my fellow Quebecers: On May 2nd, you made an historic decision. You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together in partnership with progressive-minded Canadians across the country. You made the right decision then; it is still the right decision today; and it will be the right decision right through to the next election, when we will succeed, together. You have elected a superb team of New Democrats to Parliament. They are going to be doing remarkable things in the years to come to make this country better for us all.

To young Canadians: All my life I have worked to make things better. Hope and optimism have defined my political career, and I continue to be hopeful and optimistic about Canada. Young people have been a great source of inspiration for me. I have met and talked with so many of you about your dreams, your frustrations, and your ideas for change. More and more, you are engaging in politics because you want to change things for the better. Many of you have placed your trust in our party. As my time in political life draws to a close I want to share with you my belief in your power to change this country and this world. There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Your energy, your vision, your passion for justice are exactly what this country needs today. You need to be at the heart of our economy, our political life, and our plans for the present and the future.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

 

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Jack Layton’s Passing

 

Jack Layton gave a rousing speech at the 2011 CLC Conference

The Machinists Union mourns the passing of Jack Layton. Jack was Leader of Canada’s New Democrats and of Canada’s Official Opposition. He was 61 years old.

Jack’s vision and his tireless energy transformed the NDP into Canada’s official
opposition. He was someone who believed in social democracy and spent his whole life bringing that message to Canadians.

It is a sad day for Canadians and democracy that this great leader has passed away just as he was reaching his peak. Jack launched the NDP into Canada’s official opposition for the first time in its history after the May 2011 general elections. The dream of forming Canada’s governing party falls to those who follow in his footsteps.

Jack supported the Machinists Union in our many struggles and was always available to speak to us when we needed him.

The Machinists Union in Canada and the officers, staff and members send our deepest condolences and our strength to Olivia and Jack’s family. Jack will be missed by all.

Dave Ritchie
General Vice President IAMAW Canada

Please visit http://www.ndp.ca/
Jack Layton’s final message to Canadians

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Message of support to Jack Layton as he receives treatment

 

Jack,
On behalf of the entire Machinists membership, I want to commit to you our complete cooperation while you step away to take care of your health. Furthermore, I want to send a message of support in this new battle and let you know that the Machinists, as always, are prepared to do whatever is necessary, both personally or in the political arena during this trying time.
Here’s to a speedy recovery. Yours in Solidarity,

Dave Ritchie
General Vice President IAMAW Canada
 

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