An Update on Unifor’s decision to leave the CLC

An update came out today from Mark Hancock, it read:

To All CUPE Chartered Bodies:

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends:

It has been a week since Unifor’s National Executive  Board made a decision to pull their union out of the Canadian Labour Congress.

I remain disappointed by the decision. I believe it has the potential to fundamentally damage our labour movement.

I am also disappointed that Unifor is sowing division among labour activists across the country by insisting they have a right to participate in federations of labour and in labour councils. The CLC Constitution is clear in this regard – Federations and Councils are chartered bodies of the CLC, and their membership is made up of locals of CLC affiliates.

In choosing to disaffiliate  from the CLC, Unifor members have lost their rights to participate in the CLC, it’s federations of Labour, and its labour councils. And that is very unfortunate for our movement, and for Unifor’s amazing and dedicated labour activists. But these are the consequences of their decision.

I know that in some cases, leaders of federations of labour and labour councils who come from Unifor have done the right thing, and resigned. And in some cases, they are fighting to stay in their leadership positions.

But there are bigger things at stake then elected positions and attendance at meetings.

Unifor’s decision to leave our house of labour will pit union against union in a fight for members who are already organized. Unifor is already actively raiding hotel workers in Toronto from another union, Unite HERE. And we know that they have their sights on other unions too.

Let me be very clear. While Unifor is raiding our sisters and brothers in other unions, there is no place for them in our house of labour – including our provincial federations of labour and our labour councils.

Our labour movement is stronger when we are united, when we work together to protect and defend the rights of our members and the rights of all workers in Canada. And our participation in the labour movement is more important than ever.

If your local is not already affiliated to your federation of labour, or your labour council, please take the necessary steps to join them. And if you are already affiliated, please make sure your members participate.

We don’t yet know all the ramifications of Unifor’s decision. The CLC Executive Committee meets next week, and the Canadian Council will meet after that. How this plays out in the labour movement will become more clear in the coming days and weeks.

I will provide you with another update in early February. In the meantime, please know that I am committed to workplace by with other labour leaders to bring movement back under one roof.

In solidarity

Mark Hancock

National President