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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Letter from President of Local Lodge 764 (Aveos) to the Prime Minister

click to download pdf file of letter


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NDP and Labour should continue to be Full Partners – Ritchie!

General Vice President Dave Ritchie Leads 40,000 Canadian Machinists

Monday September 12, 2011

For Immediate Release

TORONTO – “Union members all across Canada are concerned about the apparent change of rules in the upcoming NDP leadership,” says IAMAW Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie.

“The IAMAW will abide by the rules as they appear to be set, but we voice a strong objection to a simplistic one member, one vote leadership process.”

“Machinist members elected me to represent them – in their jobs and in the political arena, where decisions about their working lives are made,” said Ritchie. “I have a strong belief in democracy and it is that belief which drives me to say this publicly at this particular time,” said Ritchie, representing more than 40,000 IAMAW members in Canada.

He added, “I believe no-one really wants to debate the issue because it seems unpopular at this time. The NDP was created in 1961 by an historic partnership of the CCF (forerunners of the NDP), and the labour movement and the Machinists were very much a part of that creation. This created an alliance between organized labour and the political left in Canada. This proposed new system, brings me to question that partnership.”

Removing the weighted vote from the leadership process removes the weight of those organisations representing Canadian workers and goes against the founding principals of the party. “Under this new system I question who will represent organized labour and how,” said Ritchie.


For further information: Dave Ritchie – IAMAW Canadian General Vice President
416-386-1789 Ext #6323

Bill Trbovich – IAMAW Director of Communications
416-386-1789 Ext #6331/416-735-9765

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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
Kitimat CAW Hall
233 Enterprise Ave
Terrace Community Room – Skeena Mall
4741 Lakelse Avenue
Smithers Alpenhorn Pub
1261 Main Street
Courtenay Florence Filberg Conference Hall
411 Anderton Ave
Nanaimo Diana Krall Plaza
90 Commercial St.
Victoria First Metropolitan United Church
932 Balmoral Rd.
Memorials are planned in many other BC Communities. Contact your local NDP for details.
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