38th Grand Lodge Conducted With Style In Toronto

 

International President Tom Buffenbarger displays the custom-made gavel he used to chair the Convention

On Friday, September 14th, 2012, International President Tom Buffenbarger declare the 38th Grand Lodge Convention of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers adjourned. This capped a week of education and business conducted under his friendly and relaxed style of chairmanship.

General Secretary Treasurer Robert Roach reported the Machinists are the best funded large Union in North America. The dues adjustment of four years ago has returned financial stability to our organization.

There were minor amendments to the constitution made and resolutions passed.  Full report on these will be made once the offical documents are published. But for most delegates, the panel discussions and guest speaker were the most memorable interludes.

Obama receives the endorsement of the Machinists

Jerry Springer’s speech stands out as a real crowd pleaser. We are all familiar with his TV show where the occasional chair gets thrown between his guests. Most of us are unaware Jerry is a friend of Unions in general and the Machinist Union in particular. He served as the Mayor of Cincinnati and has been a life long Democrat. His defence of Health Insurance was humourous and cutting. Before the current law, popularily dubbed Obama Care, was enacted, 30 million Americans had NO health insurance. Now all will be covered. People who got sick, or worse whose children got sick, could be denied coverage when insurance needed to be renewed. No longer is this allowed. Obama Care is still hobbled by the decision to continue to use private insurers, unlike the single payer (i.e. the government) system the rest of the industrialized world uses. But it is a giant leap forward considering where they started.

Jerry told an anecdote to illustrate his point. Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for the presidency, promises to repeal the health laws on the first day in office. This would strip the insurance from 30 million Americans immediately. Jerry suggested that not one Repulican would turn down aid to a sick child if a desperate parent came to their door. But, as a group, they are willing to do just that to a whole phlanax of children with the stroke of a pen.

Yukio Manaka, President of the Japanese Association of Metal, Machinery and Manufacturing Workers

The IAM is involved with Unions around the world. The new global alliance Industriall brings together Aerospace unions to challenge multi-national corporations on their own playing field. As Valter Sanches of the German National Conferation of Metalworkers pointed out, corporations running just-in-time or lean-manufacturing operations, where parts from around the world are brought together on the morning of their use, are now vunerable to disruptions in far off countries if local Trade Unionist can delay a part for even a day. International Solidarity can effectively support brother and sisters in another country in a way that never existed in the old era of large inventories. Now a lack of a $5 part can bring an entire assembly line to a halt.

Thomas Mulclair, leader of the Offical Opposition

Human Rights are important to our Union. What we desire for ourselves, we desire for all. One panel tackled the issue of Labour Rights, a second the toxic legacy of Corporate Criminals. Also speaking that day were Thomas Mulcair, leader of the Officical Opposition and leader of the NDP and Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian labour Congress. General Wesley Clarke gave an inspirational presentation of leadership.

Britsh Columbia’s own Tania Canniff, Chair of the Women and Human Right Committee

Health Care was the front and center for both in the US and the world, Jobs Now! was the theme on Thursday and Women Around the World was the focus on the last day.

The Canadian Women at Convention

Highlight videos of the proceeding are available for viewing at the International Machinists’ web site goiam.org.

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Day of Mourning 2012 – Lake Cowichan, BC

 

The Nanaimo Duncan and District Labour Council held the first of three events for the Day of Mourning, April 28, 2012, in Lake Cowichan at the Forest Workers’ Memorial Park. 

 

 

 

 

The gallery below of memorial bricks shows the impact of workplace safety on this small town. All these mostly young men were killed on the job.

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Unions In Solidarity with the Quebec Student Strike

The Quebec student strike against an increase in tuition fees and for free education is a crucial battle against the austerity agenda and for accessible, quality post-secondary education. This is the longest student strike in Quebec history, with over 170,000 students on strike and over 200,000 demonstrating on March 22. It remains strong in the face of the Charest government’s refusal to negotiate and university/CEGEP administration efforts to use injunctions and threats to force students back to school.

We recognize that students in Quebec pay lower fees than in the rest of Canada because of a long tradition of activist mobilization for quality, accessible education. We stand in solidarity with the student strikers and the professors, campus workers and community members who have supported this movement. Students in Quebec are fighting against the commercialization of education and user pay through tuition increases that create massive barriers to access and student debt that profits the banks while haunting students for years after graduation. We believe victory for the student movement in Quebec will signal a new level of mobilization for proper funding of quality, accessible education and against the austerity agenda. We commit ourselves to the defense of those arrested. We strongly support the mobilizations to defend free political expression on campus and to continue the strikes until victory, even in the face of repression.

Together, we can stop the hike.

 

Jamie Ross
President
CAW Local 2002

Chuck Atkinson
President & Directing General Chairperson
IAMAW Transportation, District 140

John Reis
President
CUPE Local 4092

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Act On The Facts – Bringing CLAC Members Back to the Union Movement

Published by the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Page Publication
http://iamdistrict250.ca/pdf/CLAC_SFL.pdf
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B.C. Federation of Labour Supports Occupy Wall Street

B.C. FEDERATION OF LABOUR STATEMENT ON OCCUPY WALL STREET

The Occupy Wall Street movement expresses an underlying desire for fairness and equality in the economy and our society. The B.C. Federation of Labour stands in solidarity with that desire, and calls on the governments of British Columbia and Canada to act swiftly and decisively to narrow the gap.Members of the B.C. Federation of Labour will gather at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 12:00 noon, Saturday, October 15, in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement’s call for good jobs, fair taxes and strong public services.
[editor’s note: There are events in many other communties in British Columbia including Nanaimo, Victoria and Kelowna]
 
Global economic uncertainty is shining a bright light on the rapidly growing gap between rich and poor in North America and around the world. In the United States, the consequences have been widespread and severe. Real unemployment is approaching 20 per cent. People are losing their homes to foreclosures. And, for the first time in generations, few young Americans believe their lives will be as prosperous and secure as their parents.

Here, well paying jobs, fair taxation and strong public services built the Canada we know and love. For 20 years across Canada, however, real wages have stagnated, the richest Canadians and corporations have avoided billions in taxes, and successive governments have weakened public services. This has created a gap between rich and poor not seen in generations, and the gap is widening.
The Conference Board of Canada has identified that Canada had the second largest rate of income inequality growth among peer nations from the mid-1990’s to the mid-2000’s. Clearly, the same conditions that have lead to Wall Street exist in Canada as well.
In British Columbia, a decade of tax cuts for the richest British Columbians and corporations combined with stagnant wages for average income earners have left British Columbia families struggling to make ends meet and nervous about their futures. As the cost of living has increased, household debt has piled up and savings eroded. This has got to stop.
The Occupy Wall Street movement expresses an underlying desire for fairness and equality in the economy and our society. The B.C. Federation of Labour stands in solidarity with that desire, as part of the 99 percent, and calls on the governments of British Columbia and Canada to act swiftly and decisively to narrow the gap. The BC Fed will support an ongoing peaceful occupation in Vancouver on these important issues.
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