Toronto – May 15, 2013 – UFCW Canada Local Union activists from across the country recently gathered in Toronto to participate in a one-day Worker Engagement Conference. As part of the event, attendees shared best practices on engaging union members and yet to be organized workers. They also developed strategies for fighting anti-worker legislation so that Canada's leading retail union can protect members' hard-fought gains and help more workers join the union.
Throughout the day, activists explored cutting-edge research on mobilizing workers and established approaches to combat anti-worker legislation from federal Government Boss Stephen Harper and "Tea Party" Tim Hudak's Conservatives in Ontario. Conference facilitator Marv Funk spoke about some of the innovative approaches that grassroots organizers have used to mobilize Walmart workers in the U.S. Many of the activists present said Local Unions can utilize similar strategies here at home to reach out to marginalized workers more effectively. Finally, participants discussed ideas for strengthening Canada's best union through future political and organizing initiatives.
"When workers understand their labour rights and stand in solidarity against Conservative politicians and their corporate cronies, we as a union movement can better ensure that ordinary Canadians have decent wages, good working conditions, and pensions that allow them to retire with dignity," says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. "The Worker Engagement Conference looked at new ways of achieving these goals, and I'm happy to report that participants emerged with great ideas that we can put to use immediately."