Ottawa – November 3, 2020 – The recent statement from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) endorsing the former Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, for the role of Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) “shows absolute contempt for workers, unions, and labour councils,” says Paul Meinema, UFCW Canada National President.
CLC President Hassan Yussuff issued the Morneau endorsement jointly with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and without any input from the affiliated members of the CLC.
“Let me be clear, UFCW Canada was in no way consulted on this endorsement or statement,” says the UFCW Canada leader. “This underhanded action disrespects our members and all Canadian workers, and to partner on an endorsement with the Chamber of Commerce is unacceptable.”
UFCW Canada has heard from its Local Union Leaders who are also outraged by this announcement and the video released on Mr. Morneau’s Twitter account. As finance minister, Bill Morneau sided with big corporate interests when it comes to the prospects of Canadian workers and their families. He was on the opposing side of issues like retirement security, pharmacare, and the collective bargaining process, when Morneau legislated postal workers back to work. More proof of Morneau’s anti-worker animus can be found in the book, “The Real Retirement,” which he co-authored in 2013. The book at one point states “accepting reduced compensation goes against the grain of the labour movement, but it is in the best interests of employees to be open to the idea.”
The CLC leadership decision to endorse Morneau shows complete disrespect for union members and affiliates by acting without the affiliates’ consent. It is just the latest evidence of the need for new leadership at the CLC, and why UFCW Canada is endorsing the Team Unite for election at the upcoming CLC convention: Bea Bruske of UFCW for President; Siobhan Vipond of IATSE for Executive Vice-President; and Lily Chang of CUPE for Secretary-Treasurer.
UFCW Canada firmly believes that members of the Team Unite slate will bring the change union members and Canadian workers deserve on the National and International stage.