Serge Cadieux: Pensions, Bill C-377 and Political Action
COPE SEPB National President Serge Cadieux began his report by detailing the major events and initiatives of the National Union in last three years since the last convention. From subsidizing organizing initiatives in each region to the Mid-Term National Conference, to the continued work with the Canadian Labour Congress – which includes an unfortunately necessary campaign to protect Canada Pension Plan / Quebec Pension Plan – the National Union has continued its work on behalf of its members, coast to coast to coast.
Cadieux told delegates a lot of recent energy has been devoted to fighting back against Bill C-377. This bill will force labour organizations to file intrusive financial reports that will be posted on a public website for every employer to see.
“This bill is trying to solve a problem that does not exist,” said Cadieux. Union financial statements are already available to all members and the vast majority of provincial labour codes, as well as the Canada Labour Code, recognize the right of union members to have access to financial information upon request.
The solution is political, Cadieux told delegates. “Working people have power when they stand together. We know this at the bargaining table,” he said, saying that solidarity needs to translate to choosing our government together. “A stroke of a politician’s pen can strike away gains we thought were permanent … but I am convinced that with our political involvement we will make a difference,” he finished.