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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Provincial Election Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 14, 2013 – All Trade Unionists Should Vote

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Here is a link outlining the Election Act of BC which mandates 4 unbroken hours free from work while the polls are open without any loss of pay or sanction:
http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/voting/#timeoff

you be the judge

Adrian Dix, leader of the New Democratic Party of BC, stopped off at Water Wheel Park in Chemainus for a stump speech. He was joined by NDP incumbents and candidates, Bill and Doug Routley.


The event was tightly controlled, with supporters arrayed behind him for the remarks told to ditch their signs supporting the local candidates for the main campaign slogan, “Change for the Better”. After 10 minutes of talk, Mr. Dix walked over to accept a T-Shirt from a delegation of Steelworkers and was on the bus and gone.

Jane Sterk, leader of the Green party, campaigned in downtown Victoria on Monday, May 13. Asked about the role of Trade Unions in the future, Ms. Sterk responded small scale production in developing alternate energy would create jobs for machinists, elections and other skilled trades. Ms. Sterk’s hopeful forecast ignored the advantages of large scale production both in efficiency and in controlling pollution. The Greens have no knowledge or understanding of industry and it is reflected in their platform.sterk(1)sm

More interesting was her call to create a Provincial bank to finance development in BC. The control of finance is essential to any democracy; just look at how the Big Banks pressure our democracy through their chequebooks. But again, the fine sentiments did not seem to be grounded in an appreciation of the present state of our society where the corporate monopolies pay the piper and call the tune.

But regardless of what party or candidate you choose, make sure you vote and, when the new government is formed, let us keep their feet to the fire for Labour’s issues like card check and Labour law reform.

It is bad not to vote but it is almost as bad to vote and then go to sleep.

Your Union will engage in the political process to advance Worker’s interests, during and between elections.

 

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Local Lodge 1857 Comes to Vancouver Island for a Special Meeting for Members

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Business Representative Walter Gerlach, President Bill Macpherson,
Recording Secretary Rob Kidson and Secretary-Treasurer Dave Betker

 

On May 3, 2013, the Executive of LL1857 and Walter Gerlach, Business Rep traveled by ferry to Nanaimo to hold a special meeting for Members of the Local Lodge on Vancouver Island. President Bill Macpherson, Secretary-Treasurer Dave Betker and Recording Secretary Rob Kidson and Walter arrived in the morning and visited both LL1857 shops in Nanaimo at lunchtime, Inland Kenworth and Berks Intertruck.

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Inland Kenworth lunchroom

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Berks Intertruck lunchroom

Time did not allow a trip to Pacific Chevrolet in Port Alberni this time, but the Executive hope to visit in the future. The delegation also visited the newly built Mercedes and Subaru dealerships in Nanaimo which are LL456 shops.

The meeting was held at the City owned Bowen Park Recreational Centre. Thanks to the outstanding efforts of Inland Kenworth Chief Steward John Humphrey, 15 Members for Berks and Inland Kenworth attended, a truly amazing turnout for a Friday night. Pizza was supplied and the participants had no trouble doing justice to nine large pizzas. During the food break, lively conversations were held about Unions and Politics. Really a great event!

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In the meeting, the Members where brought up to date regarding Local Lodge business. The highlight of the meeting was the guest speaker, Barry Avis, NDP Provincial candidate for Parksville-Qualicum. Barry was a City Councillor in Qualicum Beach for nine years and has extensive experience directing large scale industrial facilities.  This man would be a great asset to any government. John Humphrey presented Barry with a donation of from LL1857 towards his election campaign.

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Barry Avis, NDP candidate for Parksville-Qualicum

After the meeting, the Executive joined Members at a local pub for beer, discussion and to watch what turned out to be the ill-fated Canucks.

 

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Spring 2013 Edition of Our Newsletter Northwest News

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12 page NWN

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BC Federation of Labour: We need your help to protect BC Hydro

 

Christy Clark and her BC Liberal government are proposing massive rate hikes and layoffs of dedicated BC Hydro employees who have made BC Hydro the jewel of BC’s Crown Corporations.

An average family will pay an additional $130 or more next year, and as many as 1,000 people could lose their jobs, despite BC Hydro running a record $589 million profit this year.

Why?  Because of the Christy Clark government’s failed energy policies.

Independent Power Producer agreements are adding hundreds of millions of dollars to Hydro’s costs, unnecessarily.

And, the BC Liberals ill-advised plan to install “Smart Meters” on every home in BC will cost $1 billion.

We can stop these rate hikes and wrong-headed layoffs, but I need your help.

I am asking you to do three simple things today.

1. We’ve prepared a letter that you can send online with a single click to Energy Minister Rich Coleman – telling him to scrap smart meters and end these expensive power purchase agreements
2. Read this opinion-editorial from Jim Sinclair. It emplains what’s really wrong – and how the problems with BC Hydro start and stop with the BC Liberal government.
3. Share this message with five of your friends.

Please click here to send a letter to Energy Minister Rich Coleman and urge him to scrap smart meters and end these expensive power purchase agreements

Time is running out.  Please take action on these 3 simple things, right now.

Summer McFadyen
Director, B.C. Federation of Labour

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