Building for the New Millenium

Toronto, Ontario

June 9, 1999


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Building for the New Millenium
Building for the New Millenium
dated June 9, 1999

Bob White Issues A Political Challenge to the CAW
The Collective Bargaining and Political Action Convention of the CAW in Toronto received a call to arms from one of its former leaders and outgoing president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Bob White,
CLC President

"It really is fitting I think, not to be too emotional about it that my last speech to any union convention in my role as full time leader of the labour movement is to my own union."

White said it has been a priviledge to serve the membership and recalled the critical steps that led to the formation of the CAW.
While he talked about the past and the contribution of CAW leaders, staff and activists both before and after his CAW leadership, White issued a challenge to the union and the rest of the labour movement.

Bob White,
CLC President

"One of our big challenges is the incredible concentration of media and the communication system across this country and around the world. It used to be 15 years ago we had in all the major daily newspapers in the country, on CBC television, CTV television, Global, City TV had what they called labour reporters. They studied the labour movement, they wrote about issues around workers. Those issues and struggles were in the newspapers day in and day out but that has changed enormously in the last number of years."

White said labour has to mobilize if it is to counteract the propaganda of the right.

Bob White,
CLC President

"If we want to come to grips with this we have the best communications system in the world, the activists of the labour movement. In the workplace every day we've got to raise the level of discussion in the workplace about the social issues. We can not let the political elite divide us because they have been successful in the past."

One of the political targets has to be changing the way governments are elected.

Bob White,
CLC President

"The other thing we have got talk about is the political system that allows the government who gets forty-five percent to be a majority government in the country. Mike Harris in Ontario says that workers have to get over fifty percentto be certified then God damn it he ought to get over fifty percent to be the government of Ontario."

White said Canada must use proportional representation to elect its government, if working people and other members of society are to gain a greater measure of democracy through the ballot box.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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