CAW Convention Adopts New Political Role
August 16, 2006
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The over eight hundred delegates at the 8th Canadian Auto Workers union Constitutional Convention in Vancouver, B.C. have overwhelmingly endorsed a new independent political role for the union. Rank and file leaders and staff members including Tim Carrie of Local 27, Hemi Mitic, assistant to CAW national president Buzz Hargrove, and Gary Parent of Local 444 debated the political policy paper.
| Hemi Mitic |
"In my view this paper has to be ratified. In my view this paper is ten years late. We should have done it years ago."
| Gary Parent|
"The New Democratic Party had better sit back and really take notice of what's happening around them. Just getting elected is not the ultimate goal. Getting elected to serve the needs of people, that is what's needed. That's what should happen. I fully support this document."
The Political Policy paper entrenches the Caw's "issue-based" political philosophy and confirms the union's independence from the New Democratic Party according to national president Buzz Hargrove.
CAW National President
"We will never, ever, as a union, accept that the party is going to tell us what to do. I've been suspended and I find it even more insulting when the leadership of the party said publicly ,"well Buzz can come back in , all he has to do is apologize and say that he will never do it again." Well not as long as I have breath in my body brothers and sisters, will I ever apologize for carrying out the decisions of my union."
The delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of issue-based rather than party-based politics.
Later in the day the president of the Canadian Labour Congress Ken Georgetti told the delegates they have to fight the corporate agenda which is based on greed. He lambasted the top corporate executives for pocketing over 40 billion dollars a year from their company's profits.
| Ken Georgetti|
"This is money that used to get shared across the company used to go to workers for their pay, and their benefits and their pension plans that need funding. It used to go to research and development. It used to create new jobs. It even used to go to share holders sometimes. My Friends they are not just skimming the cream off the top anymore these guys are stealing the milk and it is time it came to a stop."
Also speaking at the convention was Jinny Sims, president of the B.C. Teachers Federation who urged the delegates to continue their drive to organize the unorganized.
"The union movement is needed today more than it was in the 18th century when it was first founded because when you look around in our society and the kind of world I want to leave for my grandchildren there is no other collective voice out there that is taking a stand for universal heath care, for universal childcare, that is progressive when it comes to a public education system, for human rights."
Thursday the delegates will elect the national president, secretary treasurer and Quebec Director to lead the union for the next three years.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."