UFCW 1006A members joined thousands of workers from across Canada for the 30th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) to discuss and set the agenda for how unions can lift everyone up.
Key issues discussed were housing affordability, stopping the privatization of Canada’s public health care system, Indigenous justice, climate change and organizing worker power. Resolutions were also passed on tackling systemic racism and combatting homophobia and transphobia.
“It was a powerful and extraordinary conference,” said Valrie Francis, a member of the local union’s executive board who works at a Real Canadian Superstore. “There was space created throughout for all topics to be discussed. It’s important to get involved in our labour rights and understand what is taking place in our communities and economy. I have gained a greater understanding of the action plan to improve labour laws and the changes in our CLC constitution that will strengthen Canadians.”
Maria Cabral, a member of the local union’s executive board who works at Maple Leaf Poultry, said she learned a lot from participating in the CLC conference.
“I’ve been a union member for almost 20 years and after participating in the conference, I feel we need more action from our governments because things are getting worse and worse and our political leaders are not listening,” said Cabral.
Natasha Grey, a member of the local union’s executive board who works at No Frills, was featured in a special CLC video and received a standing ovation from the convention delegates.
"What I liked from the conference is the passion all the delegates have to make change for our labour movement,” said Grey. "It was an incredible experience from the amazing speakers to the many union members who went to the mic and spoke out on key issues. I gained new friends and allies and information to take back to my membership to see how we can lift all workers up.”
“I learned what an important role the CLC and the unions have in working together for members,” said Annie Sundar, a member of the local union’s executive board who works at Loblaw Great Food. “Together, they advocate to get sick days for workers, equal pay for work of equal value, living wages and raise health and safety standards for all.”
At the convention, Bea Bruske, a former grocery worker and Secretary Treasurer of UFCW Canada Local 832, was re-elected as CLC President. Lily Chang was re-elected as CLC Secretary-Treasurer, Larry Rousseau and Siobhan Vipond as CLC Executive Vice-Presidents.