Uniting labour in our community


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. 

Vancouver City Council By-Election – Candidate Endorsement


The VDLC will be recommending labour endorsed candidates for the October 14 Vancouver City Council seat vacated by Geoff Meggs and also for the Vancouver School Board Trustees.

Candidates seeking VDLC endorsement need to complete the appropriate questionnaire and submit it to VDLC President Joey Hartman by 5:00 pm on Friday, September 8, 2017.  The form is (linked here) and available on this website under “Committees – Political Action”.

If interviews are requested by the VDLC multi-union vetting committee they will be held the evenings of September 12 and 13.

For additional information please call Joey Hartman’s cell 778-870-0703

CUPE Local 1816 Labour Dispute at Pacific Blue Cross

Message from CUPE Local 1816 *  Notice to Pacific Blue Cross members

[PBC] members looking for ways to support CUPE 1816 are being asked to forgo using online services of Pacific Blue Cross and instead submit their claims by paper only via postal service. While this may result in payment delays, it is the Local’s belief that this action will hasten a resolution to the labour dispute and a return to normal service levels.

As you know, members of CUPE Local 1816 have been involved in a lengthy labour dispute with Pacific Blue Cross over the company’s decision to claw back retiree benefits for current employees. PBC has refused to withdraw this serious concession and will not attend the bargaining table unless the union concedes it.

Since July 7, these workers have been locked out by the company. During this period, all benefit claims for PBC members have been processed by non-union exempt employees of Pacific Blue Cross.

CUPE 1816 wishes to thank PBC members who have shown their support in various ways, including attendance at the picket line.


Pope Francis: Labor Unions are Essential to Society

Labor unions that protect and defend the dignity of work and the rights of workers continue to have an essential role in society, especially in promoting inclusion, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

“There is no good society without a good union, and there is no good union that isn’t reborn every day in the peripheries, that doesn’t transform the rejected stones of the economy into corner stones,” the pope said on June 28 during an audience with Italian union leaders.

“There is no justice together if it isn’t together with today’s excluded ones,” he told members of the Italian Confederation of Union Workers.

Unions, he said, risk losing their “prophetic nature” when they mimic the very institutions they are called to challenge, he said. “Unions over time have ended up resembling politicians too much, or rather political parties, their language, their style.”

Labor unions must guard and protect workers, but also defend the rights of those “outside the walls,” particularly those who are retired and the excluded who are “also excluded from rights and democracy.”

Pope Francis denounced situations in which children are forced to work rather than being allowed to study, which is the “only good ‘job’ for children.”

Turning to one of his frequently voiced concerns, the pope told the union leaders that a society that leaves young men and women without jobs is “foolish and shortsighted.”

“When young people are outside the world of work, businesses lack energy, enthusiasm, innovation and the joy of living which are precious common goods that a make a better economic life and public happiness,” he said.

The pope’s speech kicked off the union’s national conference on the theme: “For the person, for work.”

Reflecting on the conference theme, the pope said that work without respect for the person “becomes something inhuman,” while a person without work is incomplete.

People truly flourish when they have a job, “the most common form of cooperation that humanity has generated in its history,” the pope said.

Men and women, he continued, are not created solely for work but also must enjoy a “healthy culture of leisure,” which “isn’t laziness but a human need.”

Pope Francis said he asks working parents if they play with their children and is often told that some mothers and fathers leave for work when their children are still sleeping or arrive home when they are already in bed.

“This is inhumane,” he said. “For this reason, this other culture (of leisure) must go together with work; a person is not made just for work, because we don’t always work and we shouldn’t always work.”


Junno Arocho Esteves – Catholic News Service

Pride Statement from Canadian Labour Congress

Over the next few months, Canada’s unions will join others in communities across Canada to celebrate Pride and support LGBTQ2SI equality and justice.

While Pride is a time to celebrate, it is also a time for reflection and activism. Pride originated in response to the police crackdown on LGBTQ2SI spaces like the 1981 bath house raids in Toronto.

“It is important for us to continue to challenge ongoing discrimination and the challenges faced by members of the LGBTQ2SI community,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

There are still many countries where homosexuality is illegal and subject to extreme punishment and even execution. In Chechnya, for example, gay men are being detained in concentration camps, tortured and in some cases killed, and families are being pressured to kill their gay sons.

Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organization that helps LGBTQ2SI people who face physical violence, imprisonment, or death, has been working with Russian LGBTQ2SI organizations to bring Chechnyans to Canada as refugees. At this May’s CLC Convention, delegates gave unanimous support for a resolution calling on the Canadian government to actively support these efforts and to condemn Chechnya’s actions.

Canada has its own dark history of state-sanctioned discrimination and much work needs to be done to make reparations. Canada has yet to formally apologize for a decades-long national security campaign that targeted public service workers and members of the RCMP and military perceived to be homosexuals. Many were questioned, outed, and fired.

“These individuals and their families have waited decades for justice. It is long past time not just to apologize to those whose lives and careers were destroyed, but to secure pardons and provide compensation for the harm inflicted upon them,” said Yussuff.

“We encourage everyone to be loud and proud at parades and pride events across the country and we will celebrate the ways Canada’s unions have helped advance LGBTQ2S1 rights. But we also commit to continuing our work to achieve more fairness and justice for these communities in Canada and abroad,” Yussuff added.

This link contains the CLC Pride statement issued June 1, 2017 – http://canadianlabour.ca/news/news-archive/canada%E2%80%99s-unions-celebrate-pride-committing-work-more-justice 

Why BC Employment Standards Need to Change: Workers’ Stories of Exploitation & Abuse Summary Report

A very compelling read!  The summary report of the BC Employment Standards Coalition is out.  This summary report provides an overview of Workers’ Stories of Exploitation & Abuse: Why BC Employment Standards Needs to Change, a forthcoming report produced and published by the BC Employers’ Standards Coalition.  The Coalition brings together organizations, advocates, and workers in a campaign for employment standards legislation that provides decent wages, working conditions, respect, and dignity for all workers in the province of BC.