Federation of Labour Presidents Speak up for Pension, Jobs, the Economy

August 6, 2010

Canada’s Federations of Labour Presidents met in Winnipeg during the week of August 3 to hold talks focusing on public pensions, job creation and the general state of the economy.

MFL President Kevin Rebeck said, “It is no accident that our meetings coincided with the meeting of Canada’s provincial and territorial Premiers. We need to bring the concerns and wishes of Canada’s working people to their attention and make sure they are aware of them when they are making their plans and decisions.”

Federations of Labour are chartered by Canada’s national central labour body, the Canadian Labour Congress, in every province and territory to represent the interests of unions affiliated to the CLC at the provincial and territorial levels. CLC affiliated unions represent more than three million men and women in Canada’s workplaces in every sector of the economy.

Rebeck said, “Our meetings focused on a number of topics – the health and future of Canada’s public pensions (Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement); the need to foster the economic conditions that create jobs; the overall state of the economic recovery and the continuing need for public stimulus spending; climate change and energy and the need to create ‘green’ jobs.”

On Thursday August 5, the Federation Presidents led a demonstration in support of these issues in front of the Hotel Fort Garry where most of Canada’s Premiers were meeting. Rebeck said, “We need to bring our message directly to the Premiers and to draw public attention to the things that are being talked about and decided on inside the Hotel Fort Garry. These are the things that will have a profound effect on the shape and quality of public policy in the immediate future.

“For example, the Premiers were urged by Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger to unite and speak out in support of the need to preserve the quality and integrity of Canada’s Census information collection system. Canada’s governments, academic researchers and business planners rely of complete, accurate census information to do proper planning and decision making. The actions we are seeing the Harper Government take are not based on sound judgement and good government. They are only ideological posturing meant to pander to the ‘Tea Party’ right wing extremists in his own power base.”