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May 27, 2008
 
Canadian Labour Congress opens it's 25th Convention in Toronto
The President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Ken Georgetti,
opened the 25th Convention of the CLC with a call for increased unionization
in Canada.  The convention is being held at the Metro Toronto Convention
Centre from May 26 to May 30.

“Our goal must be to give far more workers the union advantage – defined
benefit pensions, better wages, better working conditions, and better benefits,”
said Georgetti in his opening speech.

The Convention brings together over 2,000 delegates from unions, federations
of labour and labour councils from every part of Canada.  The CLC holds
conventions every three years; they are the supreme governing body of the
Canadian Labour Congress.

“We urgently need to increase the labour movement’s organizing efforts.

Because we simply have to, in order for us to get the changes that working
women and men need – to improve their lives.

The recent Statistics Canada report on median income shows that while the
rich have gotten richer over the past 25 years, not only have the poor become
poorer but also the wages of middle income Canadians are completely
stagnant.

We’re not surprised – we predicted it, workers experienced it, we still feel it.
25 years of bad trade deals, the assault on the rights of workers to join unions, and tax breaks for the rich – none of this has improved the quality of life for the
majority of Canadians at all.

The only way we can help most workers is – by increasing unionization,” said Georgetti.

Guest speakers to this weeks convention includes Phil Fontaine, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations; Mike McCracken, President of Infometrica (on
jobs and the economy); Armine Yalnizyan, Community Social Planning Council of Toronto (on the Growing Gap and Women’s Economic Equality); Lorne
Calvert, Saskatchewan NDP Leader; Marie-Claude Prémont, École nationale d’administration publique Law Professor and noted public health care advocate
on Pharmacare; Jack Layton, Leader of the federal New Democratic Party, and Sharan Burrow, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (video
address).

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers.  The CLC brings together Canada’s
national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils.  

Source:  Canadian Labour Congress / CAW National Council 4000
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