Rebooting the “brand”

February 14, 2012

“Unions must overhaul themselves dramatically—and fast—or face a slow death.” This was the conclusion of a recent leaked document, as reported by the Toronto Star. The “secret” paper was prepared for discussion at merger talks between the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union and the Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers (CEP) union. According to the Star, the [...]

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Power Politics

December 19, 2011

It was a done deal. The recent decision by the International Trade Union Confederation of (ITUC) to suspend CLAC’s membership clearly had been made long before the process even got started. The suspension came at the request of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and was an exercise in pure power politics. The investigation, report, and [...]

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Reflective Spirit

March 14, 2011

If turning 40 came as a great shock to you, or is looming ominously, wait until you hit 60! I recently reached this milestone, and although I am not usually affected much by birthdays, for some reason this time I was hit by a reflective spirit, forcing me to stop and think about the impact [...]

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World Cup of Labour

March 14, 2011

Every four years in June and July, more than one billion people crowd around television screens to watch and cheer the world’s best soccer players in the World Cup. The excitement, intensity, emotion, and sheer joy of the tournament is wonderful to see and experience. Within CLAC, with its large and diverse membership, I would [...]

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Lessons From e-waste

March 14, 2011

I was watching CBC recently and Patrick Brown was doing an update on a previous story on recycling e-waste, that is, computers and other electronic gadgets. He traced e-waste shipments to China and learned that the electronic garbage was being dismantled in the most unhealthy way, and children were drinking chemical-laden water as a result. [...]

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Running Scared

February 25, 2011

A couple of years from now, CLAC will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary with a nationwide stewards conferece in Vancouver.  We anticipate that 600 stewards will put down their regular jobs for a few days to participate in celebrating the fact that Canada has had a responsible alternative labour union for a very long time.  [...]

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Making Honey

November 27, 2010

If you’re like most people, you probably avoid bees. Not me. One of my sons is an apiarist—a beekeeper. During my vacation last summer, I gave him a hand extracting honey from the 1,000 or so hives he maintains. Beekeeping is very rewarding. It was amazing to see all that rich, sweet honey flow from [...]

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