Uniting labour in our community

President's Blog

Unifor Disaffiliation

As you know, Unifor disaffiliated from the Canadian Labour Congress effective January 17, 2018.  This letter is to update VDLC affiliates of our actions in response to this decision.

Under the CLC Constitution, Article 3 (Membership), Section 5(a) states that:  The Congress and its subordinate bodies will not recognize an affiliate or chartered body that has left the Congress or been suspended or expelled. (emphasis added)

The reference to “subordinate bodies” includes labour councils such as the VDLC.

Accordingly, I have written to all Unifor Locals that were members of the VDLC to advise that they are ineligible for affiliation to the VDLC as long as Unifor is disaffiliated from the CLC.

That said, we will continue to welcome Unifor members to attend our meetings as guest observers and participate in the many events and activities that are open to non-affiliated unions and the general public.

There are many Unifor activists who have contributed to our movement over the years who continue to be valued and respected, and we hope for a speedy resolution to this dispute.  No doubt, that will require our collective effort and good will.

January 2018 Regular Meeting – 1st Call for Nominations

VDLC’s Regular Meeting – Tuesday, January 16 – 1st Call for Nominations to the 2018 VDLC Executive.

Elections for the VDLC Executive will be held at the February 20 meeting.  To be eligible, candidates must be a member in good standing for at least 12 months and have attended at least 50% of the meetings in the previous 12 months.  Anyone interested can contact the VDLC to determine if they meet the eligibility requirements.  All positions are up for re-election and, with Sister Hartman’s retirement, at least one opening.

23rd Annual Labour Community Christmas Dinner

THEY NEED YOUR HELP!!  To make a donation or to volunteer please contact Marisha at labourxmasdinner@hotmail.ca or call her at 604.430.1421 / 604.306.4156

They need the following:

  • unwrapped toys & teenager gifts
  • non-perishable foods
  • gift cards & passes
  • new and gently used, washed clothing for men, women and children
  • jackets, hats, socks, gloves

Volunteers are needed at:

Vancouver at the Maritime Labour Centre on:

December 21 – unloading trucks with food and toys @ 10:00 am

December 22 – filling hampers, setting up the hall and sorting clothes @ 10:00 am

December 23 – filling hampers, sorting toys and clothes @ 10:00 am

December 24 – load the moving truck at 9:00 am, then volunteer for dinner @ 3:30 pm.

– and –

Surrey at the Whalley Legion on:

December 24 – volunteer at the dinner starting at 3:30 pm


Maritime Labour Centre 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver
Whalley Legion 13525 106 Ave, Surrey,

Please send your Name and Contact Information to labourxmasdinner@hotmail.ca advising if you are available to work the above days in Vancouver or Surrey.

For more information please call Marisha Zuckerman at 604-430-1421 or cell 604-306-4156.

Pacific Blue Cross Board Election – TOMORROW December 13

Registration at 3pm – Meeting called to order 6pm – Bring your PBC registration card.

Campaign for new Pacific Blue Cross board gathers momentum

BURNABY—Three months after the end of a 66-day lockout of staff by Pacific Blue Cross, the future of the non-profit benefits provider has come down to this: elections tomorrow (December 13) for the board of directors, at the company’s much-delayed annual general meeting, that could either signal a new era of progressive accountability at PBC or reinforce the top-down model of corporate governance that led to the lockout in the first place.

CUPE’s campaign to elect a slate of seven, new progressive candidates has gathered momentum in the final days and weeks leading up to tomorrow’s AGM. The BC Federation of Labour and many of its affiliates have not only assisted in putting forward candidates but also spread the word on social media and through their respective networks, helped line up PBC primary plan holders to commit to attending the meeting, and assisted in the logistical details of getting them to the AGM, including guaranteed seats on buses.

The progressive vision of the B.C. labour movement-supported team of candidates has generated much excitement while engaging hundreds of union members—many for the first time—in the democratic process of such a prominent non-profit extended health benefits provider.

“People can see that Pacific Blue Cross is going through an uncertain period right now, with a lack of clear leadership and direction,” said CUPE 1816 President Beth Miller.

With the CEO gone, it’s more important than ever that we elect a board that will do its best to protect plan members and return stability to the organization. Our members are very excited about this campaign, because it appears that people are really ready for change at PBC.”

Registration for the AGM, being held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel (1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver) runs from 3-6 p.m. tomorrow, followed by the AGM at 6 p.m. sharp. Primary beneficiaries, or plan holders of PBC who would like to attend the meeting to vote should bring their PBC card (the same card used to pick up a prescription, printable at the CARESnet website) and photo ID.

There is still room available on shuttle buses being provided for service to and from the hotel between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Shuttles will leave from:

  • Waterfront Skytrain and Seabus terminal. Look for the CUPE flags for directions to the bus. Shuttles will be running continuously from 2-6 p.m.
  • PNE Lot 9B West (east side of the PNE off Highway 1 on Bridgeway – see attached map). Buses will be leaving every half hour from 2-5 p.m. Free parking is available. NOTE: Those who show up at the PNE or at Waterfront SkyTrain station do not need to reserve a seat.
  • Pacific Blue Cross office, Canada Way and Gilmore in Burnaby

Surrey: Pick up and parking is at Queen Elizabeth School – 9457 King George Blvd, leaving at 3:30 p.m. The bus will be there 30 minutes before departure.

Langley: Pick-up is at 20090 91a Avenue, at the Colossus Theatre. The bus will be there at 3:30 and leaving just after 4:00 p.m.

Abbotsford: Pick up is at the McCallum Road Park and Ride, 1626 McCallum Road (coming from the 315 Chilliwack stop). The bus will be there for 3:45, and leave at the latest by 4:10 p.m.

Chilliwack: Pick up is at Cottonwood Mall 45585 Luckakuck Way, outside the old Target/Zellers. The first bus will be leaving at 3:15, the second at 4:00 p.m. The buses will be there 30 minutes before departure.

To book a seat on a bus, or for more information, contact Tina Meadows at: tmeadows@cupe.ca.

At the Westin Bayshore Hotel paid parking will be available across the street at the Bayshore lot, and in the surrounding area. Food will be available in CUPE’s registration room, where you can also sign up to win a prize while waiting for the AGM to begin. The election portion of the meeting should be over quickly, and those who have arrived by bus will be returned to the point of pickup after the meeting.

COPE 491

December 6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. They died because they were women.

As well as commemorating the 14 young women whose lives ended in an act of gender-based violence that shocked the nation, December 6 represents an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the phenomenon of violence against women in our society. It is also an opportunity to consider the women and girls for whom violence is a daily reality, and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. And finally, it is a day on which communities can consider concrete actions to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

November and December are important months for raising awareness of gender-based violence in Canada and around the world. In addition to the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women takes place on November 25 and marks the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which ends on December 10, with International Human Rights Day.

– from Government of Canada Website – Status of Women – http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/vaw-vff/remembrance-commemoration-en.html

Events in Vancouver

Shoe Memorial – http://shoememorial.com/ 

Remember Our Sisters Everywhere – http://www.rememberoursisterseverywhere.com/events/the-national-day-of-remembrance-and-action-on-violence-against-wo

BC Fed Union Sisters & UFCW Local 1518 – http://bcfed.ca/sites/default/files/attachments/Union%20Sisters%20Poster%20export%20with%20location.pdf

Pharmacare: A Plan for Everyone

3.5 million Canadians can’t afford to fill their prescriptions. Judy Pope was one of those Canadians. Her impossible choice was between keeping her family home, and paying for medication that would prolong her life. Help us win a universal prescription drug plan for everyone.


Join us in supporting the Canadian Labour Congress’s Pharmacare campaign.

Labour College of Canada – Application Deadline Oct. 29

Applications for Labour College of Canada close this Sunday!

The Labour College of Canada Certificate Program is back and more accessible, flexible, and affordable than ever before.

The new program will relaunch in January.  Prospective students from CLC-affiliated unions have until October 29 to submit their applications.

The new LCC program continues to offer post-secondary level learning created by, for, and with workers their unions.  Courses are offered online and at week-long schools.  Students now have more time to complete the program which also gives unions the opportunity to spread the cost over two or three fiscal years.

Application deadline is October 29.  If you or someone you know is interested in applying, detailed information along with the application form can be found at labourcollege.ca 


VDLC Endorsed Candidates for Vancouver’s October 14 By-election

The September VDLC meeting voted on the recommendations of the multi-union vetting committee regarding which candidates to endorse for the upcoming by-election in Vancouver.  More information about the committee composition and process is available under Committees: Political Action.

The following candidates were endorsed by the meeting, with 62 voting delegates representing 31 affiliated unions in attendance:

Vancouver City Council

  • Judy Graves, OneCity


Vancouver School Board Trustees

  • Joy Alexander, Vision
  • Ken Clement, Vision
  • Theodora Lamb, Vision
  • Mike Lombardi, Vision
  • Allan Wong, Vision
  • Carrie Bercic, OneCity
  • Erica Jaaf, OneCity

Pacific Northwest Labor History Association – Call for Proposals

PNLHA – Celebrating 50 Years 1968—2018: Honoring Our Past, Creating Our Future – April 6 to 8, 2018 – Seattle Hilton Airport & Conf. Ctr. – Proposals due by October 31, 2017

Our goal is to have our program and displays reflect the multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, gender-diverse history of the working class and how we will together create a better future for working families.

The PNLHA brings a history of struggle for labor and human rights to the forefront of our consciousness. Over fifty years, we have explored regional, national, and international issues, and used music, drama, and re-enactments, talks and papers to highlight labor history. In this era of disaster capitalism and income inequality, we especially need to remember what working people and unions have done to make the world a better place.

We invite proposals for academic research, panels, individual presentations, interactive workshops, drama, music, art, memorabilia displays and other forms of presentation.  We welcome presentations and workshops based on the theme Honoring Our Past, Creating Our Future or other topics of interest.

Please send a short summary of your proposal and a brief biography of all presenters and any audio-visual needs to Conor Casey, at email conor.michael.casey@gmail.com
Or to Susan Levy at email sjlevy.01@gmail.com – Or by mail to PNLHA, 17502 47th Ave. NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155.

PNLHA 2018 Flyer

CUPE 1816 ratifies agreement with Pacific Blue Cross

[From CUPE BC ]  BURNABY, British Columbia, Sept. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CUPE 1816 members have ratified a new collective agreement with Pacific Blue Cross that includes annual wage increases, preserves retiree benefits and establishes a health and welfare trust to be managed by joint union-management trustees.

The six-year contract, ratified at a union meeting last night, includes wage increases of 1.5 per cent for year one (retroactive), 1.75 per cent for year two, and 2 per cent for each of the final four years.

The contract came with a return to work agreement that will see PBC’s 600 employees back on the job next Monday (September 18). The union’s picket line outside PBC’s Burnaby office will be down today.

“It has been a long and difficult struggle for this contract, but we are very happy with the result. We feel that the new agreement addresses the main concerns we had raised, so we had no hesitation in bringing it back to the membership,” said CUPE 1816 President Beth Miller.

“We understand that PBC plan holders have been seriously inconvenienced by this dispute. We wish to thank them for their patience over these past few months and assure them that we will do our very best to bring service levels back to normal as soon as possible. We also want to thank everyone who supported us during this labour dispute.”

Beth Miller, president of CUPE 1816: (778) 388-2792 
James Richardson, CUPE Servicing Representative: (604) 831-6210
Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications Representative: (604) 999-6132


The VDLC extends it’s thanks to Jason Woods, Secretary Treasurer, ILWU Local 400 for supplying picket support to keep the lines up, allowing members of Local 1816 to attend the meeting.