The following is an open letter by Marianne Hladun, PSAC Prairies Regional Executive Vice-President.
Click HERE for Labour Day event listings across the prairies. The following is an open letter by Marianne Hladun, PSAC Prairies Regional Executive Vice-President:
This Labour Day, we celebrate our victories and our solidarity for the struggle ahead!
PSAC Prairies has achieved some major victories this last year with our sisters and brothers across the prairies and Canada. We put boots to the ground and joined with our communities to bring down the Harper government! That is a victory worth celebrating.
We also had some regional victories. We were successful in organizing over 1,200 new members at the University of Saskatchewan and Security staff at the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg. The Supreme Court of Canada rejected an appeal from the Winnipeg Airports Authority that means over 60 PSAC/UCTE members will get paid the premiums they were initially denied by the employer.
We were central in organizing Fight for $15 rallies in the prairies and continue to support our members at the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, the University of Saskatchewan and young workers everywhere.
We held the first ever Aboriginal conference in any region and are moving forward on a commitment to call for clean water in our First Nations communities. We have been working closely with Idle No More to fund and co-ordinate an independent assessment of the damage from the oil spill in Northern Saskatchewan.
But above all, I was moved by the PSAC Prairies’ solidarity. When wildfires caused a state of emergency in Fort McMurray, our members were on the ground helping at emergency centres, collecting toys for children and raising funds through our union locals. This was incredibly powerful and moving solidarity.
While we celebrate our 50th anniversary and our successes, we have much work ahead of us. We must continue our fight for a fair no-concessions collective agreement with Treasury Board. We must continue to support our members facing hardship because of the Phoenix fiasco. We must continue to work with the community of Churchill and our members laid off at the Port of Churchill and #SupportOurPort.
I want to reiterate PSAC National President Robyn Benson in her Labour Day statement: “As we take time to celebrate the gains our movement has achieved, we must renew our resolve to not only fight for better working conditions today, but also fairness for future generations of workers.”
In short, there is plenty to celebrate, and plenty of work to do. This Labour Day, let’s celebrate what we have achieved. And then let’s keep going.
Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC Prairies