See all convention photos
Delegates approved the union’s 150-page Collective Bargaining and Political Action Program, which outlines upcoming bargaining, economic and political priorities for the union.
The document provides background, analysis and facts, while highlighting the goals of the union in every economic sector and aspect of its social and political involvement across the country.
It examines the CAW’s bargaining philosophy, wages, pensions, benefits, health and safety, organizing, education, young workers and issues in Quebec, among many others. It also places the unions’ challenges and priorities in the context of a detailed economic and political overview.
More than 100 delegates got up to the microphones to speak with passion about various aspects of the report, providing personal stories, background from their locals, detail, and context following presentations on each chapter of the document.
CAW Research Director Bill Murnighan coordinated the research, writing and production of the document, which was initially prepared, discussed and debated by a committee of 116 local union leadership and staff before being brought to the convention for discussion and final approval.
To read the complete document, download it here.
CAW National President Ken Lewenza has been acclaimed president of the union at the CAW’s 1st Constitutional and Collective Bargaining Convention.
Lewenza accepted his re-election in an inspirational speech outlining the importance of the CAW throughout not only his life but also that of his extended family.
Lewenza said principles of equity, fairness, transparency and inclusiveness for all workers that have always guided the CAW will be the same principles that apply in the proposed new union.
“Every day I wake up and think about the soul of our union – the culture of our union…I ask am I doing the best possible job,” Lewenza said. When it’s been a tough, difficult day, Lewenza said he remains inspired by the work of past and current national leadership, CAW local leadership, activists, members and delegates to the convention.
He thanked delegates for again supporting the election of a rank and file member National Executive Board.
In addition, to Lewenza’s acclamation, National Secretary-Treasurer Peter Kennedy was acclaimed and Sylvain Martin was nominated and acclaimed as Quebec director, replacing Jean-Pierre Fortin, who is retiring at the end of this year.
“I’m incredibly honoured and humbled that you have shown your support and confidence,” Kennedy said.
Sylvain Martin thanked Fortin for his mentorship and integrity over the years. “An important lesson that I learned from Jean-Pierre, no matter how difficult the decision, always make it in the interests of the members of Quebec and the members of the union.”
“Good luck to the new executive,” said Fortin, during his heartfelt outgoing speech.
CAW Local 414 President Christine Connor, CAW Local 112 President Roland Kiehne and CAW Local 3000 President Jean Van Vliet were also nominated and acclaimed as NEB trustees.
CAW Local 302 President Nancy McMurphy was also acclaimed to the NEB as member at large.
This video was submitted by Jim Sadlemyer, CAW Local 114
The video was filmed in Cumberland and Nanaimo B.C. It features an acoustic version of a re-jigged Smithereen tune by members of the Vancouver Island band Shed.
It was made to generate thought and discussion about finding ways, old and new, to organize. Re-think, Re-Organize, Re-energize. It really is a new world out there. The video teaches us a bit about labour history. The CAW has always supported music and organizing.
The killing of Ginger Goodwin sparked Canada’s first general strike in 1918.
See all convention photos
A pro-democracy movement is taking hold in Canada and it’s happening in opposition to the Harper government’s closed, anti-democratic actions and policies, LeadNow’s Julia Pope told the CAW Convention. She called it an event of alchemy, producing an unexpected result from an unlikely circumstance.
Pope is the strategic campaigns and communications director for LeadNow, a web community-based national organization with the objective of improving society by deepening democracy, advancing social justice, extending economic opportunity and protecting the planet.
LeadNow was formed prior to the May 2011 federal election and now has 150,000 members, and continues to grow.
Canadians want something different from their government, but they have lost trust in our institutions and those who run them. “Canadians no longer trust institutions to act in their best interest,” said Pope. She said for many, decisions are being made by people they don’t know, in rooms that are closed to them.
LeadNow has been working to build social cohesion through multi-platform campaigns, have attracted tens of thousands to events and forums and online actions.
LeadNow campaigns are designed to maximize a sense of solidarity. “We’ve found that Canadians are hungry for this experience,” said Pope. She said that in her experience, and that of her organization, millions of people are ready to be part of a new Canadian community – one that addresses climate change, rising inequality and a fractured social contract.
Recent successes have come around the federal crime omnibus bill and then the budgetary bill, which saw more than 100 locally-organized rallies across the country, for each campaign. It is this kind of energy that Pope believes is building the foundation for a non-partisan, pro-democracy movement. “We will win by becoming more collaborative and open, not more closed and hierarchical.”
For more information on LeadNow, please visit: http://www.leadnow.ca/ In French: http://www.leadnow.ca/fr/index
This video was submitted by Tim Cheung, CAW Local 2002
In today’s time, so many people are working harder and longer in order to make ends meet. While they are doing so; Canadians are not forgetting that one day they will retire. The problem is that far too many of us just can’t afford to save enough.
The intention of the video is to bring awareness of the Canada Pension Plan and the federal government’s inadequacies in providing retirement security for all Canadians.
Hopefully, it sparks questions and Canadians will look for more information when it comes to the Canada Pension Plan.
This Video was filmed in Langley, BC, with special guest appearances. It encourages all Canadians to talk to their MPs, MLAs, and MPPs about improving the Canada Pension Plan.