From Local to National: Labour Leaders Address MoveUP

November 16, 2012

Friday of MoveUP convention saw local and national labour leaders speaking to delegates. The morning started off with Vancouver and District Labour Council President Joey Hartman, the first woman to be elected VDLC president in its history.

Hartman began by acknowledging just a few of the many MoveUP people she’s met through her work in the labour movement: “One thing I notice in my work in the labour movement is how many MoveUP members are involved – not just in the work in this union – but in the work of the labour movement and the greater community.”

She also encouraged delegates to be involved in local labour councils: “Your theme of engaging, energizing and growing absolutely connects to the work of labour councils…every month delegates from those unions come together and share stories.”

Finally, Hartman touched on political action, arguing that it’s something that is ongoing. “It’s not just about the work before the election, it’s the work after the election…that’s when the most important work starts," she said, noting that if Adrian Dix and the BCNDP win the next election, they will need union’s help to give them the mandate to move forward on our key issues.

Later in the morning the convention’s attention turned to the national level, as COPE-SEPB President Serge Cadieux addressed the delegates. He echoed Hartman’s comments about the level of engagement among MoveUP members:

“In British Columbia your local is actively involved in the community. Your determination and your continued social and political activities with the BC Fed is an example for every union in Canada. When I attend CLC meetings or meetings with other affiliates I often cite your union in example.”

While Cadieux acknowledged several challenges we face as part of the labour movement, he also expressed the optimism due to events in Quebec over the past year.

"The mobilization of Quebec’s students last spring and summer is a perfect model the labour movement can copy to free ourselves of right-wing and corrupt governments," he said.

“If we continue to engage in political action from coast to coast we will be able to fire the Conservative government and elect for the first time in our history, a social democratic government to lead Canada," Cadieux concluded.