The Windsor and District Labour Council's first ever Solidarity Conference 2013 brought together over 300 local labour and organizational leaders on May 11th. The day provided many guest speakers that spoke to the attacks upon working people and the need for collaboration between, not only unions, but also with community partners. It was a great day that instilled the need for Solidarity amongst those in attendance. View Pictures from the event Here
Grace MacAluso, The Windsor Star| Feb 22, 2013 | Last Updated: Feb 22, 2013 - 7:10 UTC
The Windsor and District Labour Council will hold an "emergency meeting" to find ways of fighting government-led attacks on unions, Dino Chiodo, council president, said Thursday. The meeting, tentatively slated for March 1, will bring together the leadership of the region's labour movement, including the heads of about 54 labour council affiliates representing about 27,000 private and public sector workers, said Chiodo.
"This is about our future and the future of the next generation of workers," said Chiodo, who is also president of CAW Local 444. He said legislation such as the federal government's Bill C-377, which forces labour groups, including unions, to publicly disclose their finances, are designed to undermine labour's influence, said Chiodo. He also pointed to the Ontario Conservative party's push for right to work legislation as another threat against unions. The meeting would generate discussion on developing a plan of action, he said. "We have to be prepared," added Chiodo. "We have to understand what they are trying to do and we need to know what we're up against."
The federal government has argued that Bill C-377 is designed to make unions more transparent and accountable, while Opposition Leader Tim Hudak has said right to work legislation would simply bring Ontario in line with other countries that give workers a choice.
Centre for Training & Consulting in the Not-for-Profit Sector
To learn more about the Centre for Training and Consulting's 2013 workshops, including descriptions and details, click here.
Bill 115 - Rally at the Liberal Convention
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On Sunday, April 28, 2013 Windsor-Essex will join communities in nearly 100 countries worldwide to commemorate the National Day of Mourning which is a day of remembrance for workers killed and injured on the job.
Since 1984, observances of this day have become very widespread in Canada, led by unions and labour councils and often with the participation of municipalities, social action groups and other non-government organizations.
To bring increased awareness to this important day we will be publishing a special promotional feature in The Windsor Star on Friday, April 26, 2013. As Canada’s #1 read newspaper in print and online readership per capita, this promotion will reach 139,000 Windsor Star print readers and will be featured prominently on the windsorstar.com homepage under the “Special Features” heading. Windsorstar.com receives more than 250,000 unique visitors each and every month, making it by far the strongest local website in the region.
This feature will include stories and photos regarding the National Day of Mourning event and its roots. As one of our valued partners we invite you to join us in our efforts to sponsor this important day. We believe this is a significant event and would sincerely appreciate your participation in this campaign. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Tracie Edward, Chairperson, National Day of Mourning Committee at 519-257-9942 or
No? It’s not surprising! Once again, our federal and provincial government and business leaders are negotiating a “free trade” deal behind the backs of Canadians. This time, it’s called the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA for short. It will change the face of Canada as we know it, and Harper wants to sign it in a hurry — before anyone has a chance to debate it!
If you worked for a gigantic and extremely profitable company, and that company, in the middle of negotiating a new contract with your union, abruptly and unilaterally took an axe to your wages, would you object?
Of course you would.
That's what Caterpillar Inc., which owns Electro-Motive Canada in London, did. Electro-Motive tabled its final offer. The Canadian Auto Workers rejected it. The company locked out the workers. On New Year's Day. Happy New Year.
The final offer: slashing wages by 55 per cent. The majority of the 465 workers, who manufacture locomotives, were making $34 an hour.
That would plummet to $16.50 an hour. Could you support your family on $16.50 an hour? You're darn right it would be hard.
The history of the struggle of working people emphasizes the point that in unity there is strength. Through collective action, workers formed unions so they could have a voice in deciding wages, working conditions and addressing the many problems and issues that arise in the workplace.
But just as workers use collective strength in the workplace to achieve their goals, so should they use collective action to improve the quality of life in the communities in which they live. Labour councils are the vehicle to provide the collective strength and a strong voice for workers and their families in the community. Understanding the important role played by councils, the Executive Council of the Canadian Labour Congress affirmed its support tor labour councils by adopting the following statement, unanimously, in March 1993.
CLC Executive Council Statement on Labour Councils
CLC district labour councils play an integral role in promoting and carrying out the programs and policies of the CLC The day-to-day operation of labour councils, along with the additional actions requested by the CLC or federations of labour, in most cases is undertaken by volunteer trade union activists.
The Executive Council of the Canadian Labour Congress recognizes the efforts labour councils undertake, and we wish to express our gratitude. We also recognize the challenges councils face.
In order to rid ourselves of the right-wing corporate agenda in this country, tremendous effort must be made at all levels, particularly at the grass roots. Therefore, the Executive Council of the CLC calls on all locals, lodges and branches of CLC affiliates to take steps to affiliate and participate in the labour councils within their area.
Identifying Issues -
Labour council meetings and activities are opportunities to share information on issues affecting unions and their membership in the community. Through identifying issues, local awareness is built Furthermore, support can be generated through collective action.
Conflict and/ or Strike Support-
Labour councils can provide support for local unions who are in conflict with employers. When locals participate on a regular basis at labour councils, all other locals participating are aware of the issues well before any conflict, strike or lockout takes place. This ensures community and union support can come quickly in an effort to resolve problems.
Community Networking -
Labour councils are participating more and more in networks and local coalitions. This provides the opportunity for local unions to keep informed on current issues affecting community groups. In addition, it gives locals who may be looking for support the avenue to reach directly into numerous organizations and tell their story. When more people understand me issue, more support for an issue is usually generated.
Educational Opportunities -
Every labour council has at least one opportunity during the year to host a weekend Trade Union School. As a participant in the labour council, each local union has the chance to be part of the discussion process regarding courses which will be offered. The vast array of courses offered through the CLC education programs provide local unions opportunities for trade union education among their activists and members.
Committee Work -
Each labour council has a number of committees which allow local union delegates to use their skills to great advantage by becoming active members of these bodies.
Examples of committees a council may have include: Women's Education, Human Rights, Union Labour & Labour Day, Community Outreach, Membership and Strike Support.
Municipal Political Action -
Many labour councils over the years have been very effective in shaping the political landscape in their communities. Municipal politics can have a great impact on local unions, their members and the public at large. As a voice for progressive change, social justice, equality and workers' rights, the council can play a significant role in supporting labour candidates or progressive candidates who share Labour's views on the above issues and others. Your local union can be part of all discussions on Labour's municipal political actions
Leadership Roles -
As a participating local in the labour council, local delegates have the opportunity to take on leadership roles, whether it be as an executive member or committee person. Labour council experiences can bring new skills to people aspiring to leadership positions in their locals.
Labour councils can be of great importance to the communities in which we all live. However, labour councils can only make a difference when local unions care enough to be part of building labour's voice in the community.