Unifor delegates had their once a year meeting in Toronto to discuss Resolutions and Recommendations Submitted by various Locals and the Ontario Regional Director.

The delegates voted and passed the following resolutions: “End Police Racial Profiling & Carding,” “WSIB’s end the practice of weighing on Medical Evidence,” “That all Unifor locals provide a person to assist members on Worker’s Compensation,” “That the Ontario Government restore the Green On. Program” and “To end the First Nations Water Crisis.”

Unifor members passed the recommendation to support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. “Canada produces a disproportionate amount of green-house gas pollution-triple its population-adjusted share-and 30 percent more than it did in 1990.” The burning of fossil fuels has generated greenhouse gases that have warmed the surface temperatures of the earths land and sea. “A warming world is associated with rising sea levels, extreme weather events, a reduction in crop yields and a loss of biodiversity, among other calamities.” Climate change refugees from vulnerable islands have already begun. Recent UN scientific communities have just reported we have a mere 11 years to reverse our greenhouse emissions before its damage on earth are self propelling. We see this in Canadas’s far north with the new phenomena of Tundra fires that burn endlessly. Canada is not on target to meet its 2030 Paris accord and yet these targets are not aggressive enough to solve climate change.

I refuse to listen to politicians that deny Scientific based evidence. Human Behaviour can change. Note how we acted decades ago on the destruction of the Ozone layer which is now healing and rebuilding its protective layers. “Never let them tell you it cannot be done. (Jack Layton)”
Unifor is now preparing for the 2019 Federal election. We have seen what happens in our first past the post electoral system in Ontario when the majority progressive vote is split against a united conservative minority. The leader of the opposition Andrew Scheer Conservatives will be no different than former Prime Minister Harper. Andrew Scherer’s goal is to safe guard and enhance the wealth of the rich elite by un-doing working class rights and social economic securities. An actively educated engaged Unifor membership can make a difference once we all come to the realization of what we stand to lose.

Unifor delegates and members participated in a protest march up University Ave in Toronto to the Ministry of Labour offices where Jerry Diaz held a very passionate press conference.

Recently Purina Pet Foods announced their last Canadian plant closure in Mississauga. They are moving its production to Georgia USA. We were also rocked by the announcement of Oshawa GM plant closure. GM Canada is losing five vehicles, one to the USA and four to Mexico. With GM announcement of 5 plant closures, 45% of them are Oshawa workers.

Predictable Premier Doug Fords reaction was quickly to blame the Liberals for job losses on what he calls the $14. an hour (1.8 million Ontarians’ work for minimum wage) and the carbon tax on polluters, a job killer.

So laughable, even the conservative economist and business talking heads disagree with Ford’s partisan statements. “the Man of the People” has no energy or drive to defend good paying jobs.

Doug Ford thinks that putting up the sign “Ontario is open for business”, which is code for we are removing worker rights, is the total responsibility of his job.

A real Premier would not revert to clichés. Quote “the ship has left the dock”, but remind GM that under Ontario Law a signed contract means something and that it is still in their interest to stay in Ontario. Canada is GM’s fourth largest market in the world. If 20,000 jobs are lost in the symbolic heart of Canadian auto industry, does not matter, then expect more of the same.

Canada can sign some more “give it away now” trade deals, that should help right!

The GM Oshawa plant is a continuous winner of the Harbor Labour efficient reports, J.D. Power quality and internal GM plant ranking. This plant is dubbed the only North American Flex Plant with the capacity to build 600,000 vehicles, producing both cars and trucks. It also has a world class paint shop and yet no future? Ponder that for a moment. What does it take to keep a plant open? GM will be building 900,000 cars in Mexico next year. My conclusion is a yellow company union, slave wages and corrupt Mexican governments.

Jerry Dias has told GM to get ready for one hell of a fight in 2019. It will be difficult but for a union to be relevant it must defend and fight back using all means. Google Unifor recent success in Goodrich Ontario with our Salt Mine take over. I, Maurice Kenny would rather fight back in the political and economic realm then meekly concede to the greed of the rich Corporations.