Monday, October 31, 2011

2011/ 2012 Grey-Bruce Labour Council Winter Warmth Heating Challenge

Celebrating over 50 years of Building Communities

Dear Brothers and Sisters

On behalf of the Grey Bruce Labour Council I am challenging your union to match our contribution of $500.00 to the Winter Warmth campaign of the United Way of Bruce Grey. Winter Warmth provides support to residents who are unable to meet their utility costs. Last winter our local United Way, working with their partners / utilities and partner agencies, assisted many families in our region through the winter by assisting with utility bills and pre-empting service cuts that would have put families in the dark and the cold; including families with small children!

The need in 2011 / 2012 will be even greater with more job loss in our region and more and more families plunged into making the choice between eating and heating.

Our Local United Way has been a leader in this program and is committed to its success and for that reason the GBLC is spearheading a campaign to make sure there is as much money available as possible to meet the needs that exist in the community.

As a progressive labour movement we share an understanding that our responsibilities do not stop with our members. We have a community responsibility to see that our brothers and sisters in the community have their needs met also.

Please join with us in responding to community needs by supporting with a matching donation, or more, of $500.00 to the United Way of Bruce Grey campaign to meet the Winter Warmth needs of Bruce Grey. Over $2000.00 was collected at our dinner in 2011 with OSSTF, OECTA and the CAW leading the way.

We encourage you to bring your donation to the November 28th Labour Council Activist Dinner in Tara ON or to mail it to the Grey-Bruce Labour Council, C/O Mike Dunn, RR2, Tiverton ON N0G 2T0. For more information please do not hesitate to contact me:

In Solidarity

Dave Trumble

President, Grey Bruce Labour Council

Monday, October 10, 2011

Open Letter to New MPP's Lisa Thompson and Bill Walker,Oct. 10, 2011

Oct. 10, 2011

Open Letter to New MPP's in Huron-Bruce and Bruce-Grey, Owen Sound; Lisa Thompson and Bill Walker

Lisa / Bill;

There is little doubt that Tim Hudak's attack style politics and alignment with the behaviors of GTA Mayor, Rob Ford, cost the Ontario PC's a number of seats in the provincial election. Make no mistake neither the Grey Bruce Labour Council nor any organization that is inclusive and tolerant, such as the Trade Union Movement, wanted to see a Hudak government in Ontario.

If a handful of examples could tell the tale it would be Mr. Hudak's intentional and provocative use of the meaningless / offensive term Union boss (a Harrism), his desire to take Ontario to Wisconsin type of labour law where the rights to free collective bargaining are under threat, his lies about the public sector and his clear failure to grasp the concept of tolerance and understanding as noted in his homophobic comments the week before the election. It was clear from the outset that the deplorable behavior that defined the Harris government was embedded in the statements and policies described and vocalized by Mr. Hudak and this, too, was a contributor to the failure of the Hudak campaign. There are many more that could easily be inserted, but for purposes of this letter these will suffice.

Carol Mitchell lost her seat in Huron-Bruce for a number of reasons, but central to her loss was her inability to stand up to Mr. McGuinty and tell him that his choice on closing the jails in our region was wrong. She chose the route of political expedience and blind obedience instead of what was clearly needed; a person who would look her constituents in the eye and look out for their needs. I can't always say she failed in this regards, but the fact that she stood up for flawed policy around the jail closures demonstrated that she could not be counted on in the future.

I don't know what direction Mr. Hudak will take, but I think it is safe to say that if there are opportunities for him, within the new minority government, to execute any of his anti worker / anti union policies he will do so. Both of you have the opportunity to become educated and to work to counter what is a misguided and needlessly divisive agenda within your party. Bill has worked within a highly unionized environment and should be able to contradict the misconceptions that Mr. Hudak intentionally propagates. Lisa, coming from the private sector (likely non-union), may not have the same advantage, but in a riding where many constituents depend on their union for basic protections in the workplace she should have ample opportunity to reach out and learn about the union movement and how the union movement is an engine for positive social change at every level of society. After all a little history lesson will show that three of the highlights of labour law in Ontario happened when the labour movement worked with an Ontario PC government in the 70's and 80's to lay the ground work for the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act. Sadly some of the provisions in these acts have been attacked by governments over the last decade or two.

Please don't get the wrong idea; within the Labour Council there is no cheering section for any conservative party or government, but I can tell you that in the history of your party there is a much better place than where it is today. In fact, the energies of Labour are firmly focused on progressive politics where all people share in the wealth of our Region, Province and Nation. The various conservative entities today do not have that same commitment.

Perhaps, Bill and Lisa, you will realize the value of seeing past the conservative ideology and refusing to buy into the anti union / ant-worker rhetoric of the right and actually take the time to understand how valuable the union movement is and that in fact the protections put in place are a benefit to all of society.

One last note, the Grey-Bruce Labour Council is proud of our partnership with the progressive candidates at all levels. In this election it was Paul Johnstone and Grant Robertson and we will continue to work with them to enhance the lives of people across our region, but each of you has an opportunity to distance yourselves from the anti worker politics of Mr. Hudak and that will only help our region.

Dave Trumble, President, Grey-Bruce Labour Council