|CAW National Council 4000 wraps up its third triennial convention in Montreal
|CAW National Council 4000 wrapped up its third triennial convention held at the Delta Montreal
Hotel from November 1 to 4, 2007, which also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Council.
The convention kicked-off on Thursday night (November 1/07) with a hospitality reception where
delegates and guests from all across Canada were able to meet and socialize. Some have
met during past conventions or union functions, so its a time to catch-up with one another, while
others get to meet new members and make new friends.
The convention began bright and early on Friday morning (November 2/07) and delegates and
guests were welcomed to the convention by Secretary-Treasurer Bill Coolen. Council 4000
President Bob Fitzgerald and Bill Coolen read their reports to the convention. Brother Fitzgerald
presided over the convention and its agenda, which included several motions and resolutions
to the bylaws of National Council 4000. This convention was smaller in size then the previous
conventions held in 2001 and 2004 based on reducing delegates from 1 for every 100 to 1 for
every 50 per Local within Council 4000.
Guest speakers were Michel Picher, the senior arbitrator of the Canadian Railway Office of
|Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (CROA&DR), Assistant to the CAW National President Bob Chernecki, and Chief Legal Counsel and Director of CAW Legal
Services, Lewis Gottheil.
The convention also welcomed the first President of CAW Council 4000, Rick Johnston, who was invited as an honoured guest. Brother Johnston lead Council
4000 from its inception in November of 1997 through to January of 2005.
Secretary-Treasurer Bill Coolen announced that he would be retiring from the Council, meaning a vacancy for the position of Secretary-Treasurer. Brother
Coolen is the first and only Secretary-Treasurer of Council 4000, being first elected at the founding convention of National Council at the CAW Family Education
Centre at Port Elgin, Ontario, alongside Rick Johnston as the first President.
A key part of the Council 4000 convention is the call for nominations for the positions of Council President and Secretary-Treasurer, which took place on
Saturday, November 3/07 near the end of the convention. Candidates who are nominated square off in a country-wide election. A simple majority of votes
determines a victor, while in cases of more than two candidates running, a candidate must capture 50% plus one vote to succeed.
Nominated for the position of President, in the order nominated at the convention, was Barry Kennedy, the Regional Representative of Council 4000's Mountain
Region, representing members at CN and Savage Alberta Railway in Alberta and British Columbia, and the current President Bob Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has
been President since January of 2005, when he defeated Rick Johnston.
Running to replace Bill Coolen is Heather Grant, the Regional Representative of Council 4000's Atlantic Region, Dave Mercer-Hazlitt, Regional Representative
for the Mountain and Prairie Regions, representing members at Rocky Mountaineer Vacations in British Columbia and VIA Rail in Western Canada, and Dan
Michaluk, the former President of CAW Local 4002.
Delegates from each of the five regional locals from coast to coast met in regional caucuses to nominate and elected an election committee person to serve
on the National Election Committee of Council 4000. Tony Andrzejewsji (Local 4001), Joey Broda (Local 4002), Brian Elcombe (Local 4003), Wally Wilkinson
(Local 4004) and George Baker (Local 4005) were elected, with wally Wilkinson once again being elected from within the National Election Committee to
serves as its Chairperson.
The next Council 4000 Convention is to be held in three years time at a location to be determined by the National Council Executive Board.
2008 will be a busy year and one of change for Council 4000, with elections being decided early in January 2008. A new Secretary-Treasurer will be elected,
and a minimum one election will be required for a Regional Representative. The year will also see contract negotiations for Council 4000 members at Coyote
Terminals in Ontario (Local 4003).