Monday, 27 October 2008

Convention Report Day 2

Day 2 of the convention got underway this morning with the credentials report which I didn't catch. However, the afternoon report indicated that there were 1033 delegates registered and 1481 total in attendance.

Each day of the convention there is a 50-50 draw with half the proceeds going to the winner and half to the Spina Bifida Association. I report on this because the winner's take today was $1805. I won't say who won but he did a very generous thing in taking only $500 and donating the rest back to the Spina Bifida Association. A very commendable thing to do in my opinion.

There then followed and presentation from the Young Workers Committee and then a CMAW video. The CEP Humanity Fund report followed and I think this is something that we should have a real good look at in our local. It works on the idea of 1 cent per hour donation with a matching company donation if you can negotiate that. The fund is another useful tool in the fight to end poverty and that interests me a lot.

Next was an address by Riccardo Petrella who spoke on issues surrounding capitalism's attempt to own everything. You can read about Riccardo and the other guest speakers here. We then dealt with several General Resolutions dealing with NAFTA, Energy Security and Jobs Campaign, an emergency resolution on the Financial Crisis and a revision of the Energy Policy. The Energy Policy was defeated but later in the day a motion to reconsider was passed and it was then sent back to the General Resolutions Committee for reconsideration with instructions to delete one particular paragraph.

Just as the Constitution Resolutions Committee began their report they were interrupted because Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe had made a surprise visit and he then gave a speech.

The afternoon session was mostly down to work dealing with resolutions but first CEP presented a peace prize to Willie Adams, International Secretary-Treasurer of the ILWU who gave a fairly rousing and inspiring speech.

We then viewed a video on the Forest Industry Crisis followed by the unanimous passage of a General Resolution calling for a Forest Jobs Campaign.

Once again, the Constitution Committee took their seats and the first resolution we dealt with was submitted by Local 603 and called for the doubling of union dues for any local that takes a "me too" clause in their contract. The committee recommended non-concurrence but several speakers spoke and I felt compelled to speak on behalf of our local because this resolution was pointed directly at us and Local 686 and I couldn't let that pass. My job here is to represent the membership and I did not apologize for what we did, but I did explain some of why it was done. The committee's recommendation of non-concurrence passed (which means the resolution does not become part of the constitution. I have to tell you that even though I'm not usually nervous speaking in front of big groups, I was shaking pretty good before and after (must be the coffee.) Hopefully, I'm now used to it because there are two more resolutions that I'm going to have to speak about.

I won't go through all the resolutions that were passed or rejected. You should be able to read the reports on the CEP site. Here's the link to Monday's Newsletter. And here is President Coles' opening speech. Tomorrow is more of the same (here's a link to the Agenda). I'll have a report up after supper (EDT) tomorrow night of those highlights. If you have any questions or want more information about anything specific just leave a comment and I'll try and get it for you. Also, I haven't proof read this report so if there are any spelling or grammatical errors, please excuse me and/or leave a comment and I can correct it.

In solidarity,


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