Coffee Wagon Solidarity
June 29, 1999
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The Canadian Auto Workers has a history of activism and supporting workers regardless of their union affiliation.
In recent years the CAW has played a key role in supporting the rights of workers at home and around the world.
CAW leaders and rank and file were very evident on the picket lines during the teachers' protest against the Ontario government.
They also played a pivotal role in organizing and manning the Days of Action protest marches throughout Ontario.
This year the CAW launched the CAW Coffee Wagon service to help support workers of other unions on their picket lines.
CAW local 112
"What we are doing is picket line support on behalf of the national union and our local. We come around every day, and we've done this for the support workers with the schools, we did it with Ontario Hydro, we did it also with the CBC ."
"All workers are in the same fight, the same struggle. Whether it be these guys, with the federal government and cut backs, whether it's the Ontario government and cutbacks. And it all boils down to corporations not being happy until we are all working for part time wages, minimum wages and part time pay, no benefits. They won't be happy until they take away good paying jobs with skilled people."
The reaction to the CAW Coffee Wagon is building bridges among organized labour.
One striking Bell Canada worker summed it up.
CEP Local 25 Picket Capt.
"You can be sure of that we will be there. I, myself will be there for sure, This is really about solidarity, all about unions I'm not a very solid union but now definitely I am now."
The Coffee Wagon operation pays dividends to everyone involved including the volunteers.
"We get as much from them if not more than what they get from us. This is just great to belong to a union, showing this kind of solidarity. If Mike Harris and Chretien have done anything they have united the labour movement."
The CAW Coffee Wagon, operated by Local 112 in Brampton funded in part by the local and the national union, will continue whenever the need arises to bring support to striking workers throughout the Toronto area and elsewhere.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."