Finally getting a chance to get finish posting events of day 2. Saturday morning opened with a speech from
Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. Hassan's address to the delegates started with praise for COPESEPB and other unions for getting members out to the ballot box . " if not for the labour movement, we would still have Stephen Harper as a Prime Minister" he said. Although he would prefer to work with the NDP, he is cautiously optimistic about the Liberals. "This government is working with us on issues that affect working people," he said. "Its a refreshing change." The current government has repealed some anti-union legislation brought forward by the Conservatives, with more to come. " No government will ever take away our right to defend our members in the political arena," stated Yussuff.
Yussuff talked about the long lasting affects of asbestos exposure. "We need to ban asbestos in every way, import and export," he said.
He then turned his attention to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, he urges caution. "Its a far reaching deal with big implications," he warned. It would put auto sector jobs at risk and have a devastating impact on Canada's dairy industry. He states the need for Canadians to become more aware of the details and hopefully this will start public debate.
Yussuff spoke about global warming. "Climate change is real," he said. Unless we start to fix the problem now, It will have a devastating impact on future generations. The labour movement needs to be at the table where these decisions are being made and help make decisions about transitioning to a low-carbon society.
Lastly, Yussuff talked about the eight years the labour movement has fought to expand the Canadian and Quebec Pension Plans. "We've raised the public profile, and this is our moment, every generation has the obligation to fight for a better life for the next generation, we can't take this for granted and we have to do better."
After a report from the Constitution Committee and a presentation to Serge Cadieux, former National President, delegates welcomed the afternoon guest speaker , Trevor Johnson, BIGWU General Secretary, Trinidad Tobago. He comes from an average sized union of about 6,000 members and represents nearly all his country's banks and credit unions. They also represent members in the media, the energy sector and supermarkets. He reflected on their success at organizing employees at the Royal Bank of Canada in Trinidad and Tobago. Although their efforts were met with every possible barrier to prevent them from being successful, their persistence prevailed.
The day concluded with a report from the Resolutions Committee and Vice-Presidents reports from region 3 and 4.
Saturday evening was also the banquet, dinner and dance.