Letter to the Editor
By Peter Kennedy and Gaetan Menard
co-chairs of the CAW/CEP New Union Joint Proposal Committee, Toronto
August 16, 2012
Union tenets will be left intact;
High-stakes choice for union movement, Opinion Aug. 10
Carol Goar’s column places the proposed CAW and CEP new union proposal in its proper context. The union movement in Canada is at a crossroads. Finding new, innovative ways and means to represent workers can reinvigorate and re-energize our push for stronger workplace and social rights. Staying the current course could result in a steady, continuous decline in the relevancy of unions.
But Goar misrepresented some key features of our initiative. First, it is the elected delegates to our respective conventions who are eligible to cast ballots on the proposal. If accepted, a founding convention will be planned for some time in 2013. Second, although the doors to our new union will be opened to all workers interested in joining, the core tenets of seniority and automatic dues checkoff in units where a collective agreement is established will not be compromised. Those items are non-starters.
Our unions have embarked on an ambitious project that could change the face of labour in Canada. It would forge the largest private sector union this country has ever seen, with a critical mass of members in every province. We are excited about the possibilities.
-Peter Kennedy and Gaetan Menard, co-chairs of the CAW/CEP New Union Joint Proposal Committee, Toronto