Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Convention Report Day 3

Day three of the convention began with the usual credentials report which showed there are 1035 delegates registered and with all the alternates, guests, reps, observers and staff the total in attendance is 1582 representing 397 locals.

We then heard an address from Laura Penny (and here is her Wikipedia entry). This was followed by an address from NDP leader, Jack Layton who gave a very inspiring speech although one delegate at my table said he had heard that speech five times on TV during the election campaign. I'll admit to not being a huge NDP fan over the last number of years, but, I have to admit that it is a party that comes closest to caring about the interests of the common working person, and that certainly makes me rethink my opinions.

The Neil Reimer award was presented to Nancy Minton.

We then heard from CLC President Ken Georgetti before dealing with a couple of General Resolutions including an emergency resolution dealing with the 11 month lockout of Local 175 by Petro-Canada and calling for a national boycott campaign against Petro-Canada until a settlement is achieved and also calling on local unions to financially support Local 175 on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the lockout on November 17. I have a handout on the lockout and if anyone wants further details, just ask in the comments and I'll elaborate a bit more. The main point, I think is that the local is just seeking the pattern agreement from a company who recorded record profits in 2007 of 2.73 billion dollars. It is also interesting that the pattern was established between Petro-Canada, Edmonton Refinery and CEP Local 501 on May 13, 2007.

The afternoon session was down to business dealing with numerous Constitutional and General Resolutions. I won't bore you with every detail and even though there were some important resolutions passed, there are none that I will highlight but be sure to read tomorrow's convention report on the CEP site for further information, if you are interested. (Here is the link to today's report.)

A donation was taken yesterday (I believe) from the delegates on the floor that was designated to go to a local Montreal charity called Accueil Bonneau which helps the homeless in the city. The donation would be matched by National Union funds and I'm happy to report that $5,701 was donated from the floor and the National matched and rounded up for a donation of $11,500 to this organization.

The last item of the day was the Spina Bifida presentation where the Union makes its annual donation of 10 cents per member and locals who choose to donate come and make their presentation. Unfortunately, I was not up on this prior to convention and never brought it up with the Executive so we did not make a donation as we have in the past.

I had a good opportunity to talk with the brothers from Local 603 whose resolution I spoke against yesterday. They wanted to assure me that the resolution regarding a "me too" clause did not directly refer to us as I had said when I spoke, but was designed to help prevent their own local from going down that path in the future. It was good to clear the air and I have continued to bump into Caucus members who, while not necessarily supporting what we did, are at least understanding. Their main difficulty was our failure to keep Caucus adequately informed and I understand that.

I also find these Conventions somewhat like a revival meeting and I have to admit that I am rethinking my decision to step down from the Executive as I reported in the last Forward Look. However, I need to come back and discuss this with those who may be thinking about running because I don't want to discourage or mislead anyone. It's the nature of a Convention like this that you can't help but be inspired to become more active. Time will tell. I am trying to resist the urge......

That's it for today. I will try and get a report up tomorrow before the Banquet that happens at every convention.

In solidarity,


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