Unifor is pushing the B.C. government to “Make it Fair” and move quickly to implement the promised $15 an hour minimum wage so working people don’t have to live below the poverty line.
“We worked 16 long years to get rid of a vicious government that only cared about their wealthy friends. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” said Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director.
The BC NDP campaigned on a $15 minimum wage by 2021 during the election but Unifor says that’s too late.
“The time is now—not after the Ontario Liberals or after the Alberta NDP because B.C. workers need this yesterday,” said Gavin McGarrigle, BC Area Director, who spoke in support of a motion that passed unanimously at B.C. Regional Council, which wrapped up Sunday.
Unifor is proposing to eliminate the $10.10 per hour server wage and piece rate for farmworkers, and is advocating for an aggressive timeline to make B.C. the first province to reach a $15.
Delegates also supported a campaign for Proportional Representation (PR). Unifor will be working with the wider labour movement to “make every vote count” in support of PR in the pending provincial referendum.
Delegates heard from Assistant to the National President Katha Fortier on progress in implementing Local Union Task Force recommendations, including improvements to Unifor’s website, education, online education, new members kits, high school outreach, and other key resources.
“These are your ideas, and we have delivered to make the information you need much easier to find,” said Fortier.
Cassandra Sinclair, Co-Chair of the Young Workers’ Committee, welcomed the improvements to Unifor’s training for young activists: “Young workers are vital to the union and they just need to know it.”
Delegates also adopted a motion to lobby the B.C. government to require mandatory licensing, certification, and enforceable compliance for safe handling of asbestos and other hazardous materials.
“Unifor activists had a terrific year and we have momentum to build on our achievements in 2018,” said Regional Council Chair, Ben Williams.
To view the photos from the 2017 BC Regional Council visit Facebook.com/UniforCanada/photos