Labour Day Parade Line-up is here!
Aug. 9, 2013
CLC Statement on the Day of Mourning
Apr. 27, 2013
This is the on-line home of the labour movement in Hamilton. Browse here to learn about the Labour Council and the important contributions that working folk and their unions make to our city.
The Hamilton and District Labour Council meets on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the USW Centre, 1031 Barton Street East. (There is no meeting in July or August. The regular business meeting in December occurs on the second Thursday.)
Please bring toys and non-perishable food items to the meetings in December for distribution in the community during the holiday season.
Labour Council meetings are open to the public. Visitors are welcome!
Affiliates can view and print credential forms and per capita payment forms here.
All committees meet at the Labour Council offices, 1130 Barton St. East, unless otherwise noted.
Health & Safety/WSIB/Education/Environment: January 7, 2014 at 5:30 pm.
Human Rights and Peace: TBD
Political Action and Social Services: January 9, 2014 at 7:00 pm (OSSTF, 1423 Upper Ottawa St.)
Sisters in Solidarity: TBD
Special Events: TBD
On December 5, 2013, delegates to the Biennial Election meeting of the Hamilton and District Labour Council elected a new Executive Council to lead the organization for the next two years.
Sister Mary Long (OPSEU) was re-elected to a third term as President. Brother Tom Atterton (Unifor) was returned as Secretary. Other returning officers include: Brother Geoff Roman (UA) - 1st Vice President, Sister Geraldine McMullen (COPE) - 2nd Vice President, and Sister Anne Bradstreet (OPSEU), who moved into the Treasurer's job after two terms as Sergeant-at-Arms. Brother Jim Huff (USW) was elected Sergeant-at-Arms.
The officers are joined on the Executive Council by nine members-at-large: Sister Nancy Clark (Unifor), the much appreciated former Treasurer who decided not to seek another term as an officer, Brother Jonathan Fike (Unifor), Sister Shannon Horner (USW), Brother Gary Howe (USW), Brother Mike Landry (USW), Brother Anthony Marco (OSSTF), Brother Bob Sutton (USW), and two rookies – Brother John Dickson (OPSEU) and Sister Nancy MacBain (CUPE).
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." Nelson Mandela, "Long Walk to Freedom"
The Canadian Labour Congress is saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa and leader of the African National Congress (ANC).
Canadians will forever remember the courage and dignity of a statesman who devoted his life to end South Africa's system of legalized racial discrimination, apartheid, against black South Africans.
Krista Warnke (left) was recognized as Hamilton's latest Woman of Distinction in the category of Life Time Achievement on May 9, 2012 . Krista, a most deserving recipient, was nominated for this prestigious award by Mary Long (right) and Sisters in Solidarity, the women's committee of the Hamilton and District Labour Council.
Krista Warnke is a feminist educator, facilitator and community activist. A life-long Hamiltonian, she worked for SACHA and its predecessor, first as a 13-year volunteer and then as the Public Education Coordinator for 19+ years. For many she was the public face and voice of SACHA. Krista is exceptionally talented, dedicated, and principled; she also understands that personal relationships and integrity are the foundations of advocacy work. She has worked with numerous organizations and community groups creating awareness, confronting misconceptions about sexual assault and challenging cultural influences that contribute to the occurence and tolerance of violence against women and children. Krista's lifetime of work and actions demonstably inspires women to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.
Brother Geoff Roman, 1st Vice President of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, accepts a United Way Community Spirt Award on behalf of Labour Council from 2011 United Way campaign co-chairs Rick Bashista and Connie Smith on February 2, 2012. Let's make sure the services that folk need in Hamilton and Burlington remain viable and available. Go to www.uwaybh.ca to see how you can make a difference. Change starts here!
The Hamilton and District Labour Council and solidarity partners participated in the massive rally on January 21, 2012 in support of the members of CAW Local 27 who were locked out on New Year's Day by Electro-Motive Canada, a subsidary of U.S. industrial giant Caterpillar Inc. This profitable employer is demanding a 50% pay cut and deep concessions to pensions and benefits.
The CIty of Hamilton is about to adopt a purchasing policy that makes no provision for any sort of preference for local suppliers of goods and services. On December 14th, City Council sent the policy back to committee so that the Labour Council could comment on the document and its recommendations, as promised more than two years ago.
Political will must be demonstrated if this policy is to change. The date that the Labour Couoncil presents to the committee will be posted on this site. In the meantime, let your councillor know that you are concerned about where and why the city purchases goods and services.
Local 1005 USW condemns the Harper government for letting U.S. Steel off the hook for the damage it has caused the Hamilton region steel communities since seizing Stelco in 2007. The announced $50 million settlement in the Attorney-General's lawsuit is a pittance compared with the hundreds of millions of dollars in actual and potential value that U.S. Steel has ripped out of our communities.
U.S. Steel's commitment to continue operations only until 2015 sounds like a threat to close operations completely at that time and abandon the pension funds. Local 1005 will immediately step up the work to defend the pension funds using all means at our disposal. We have not received any guarantees either from the company or from governments that they will make the pension funds secure and whole by 2015. On the
contrary, U.S. Steel executives have made threats saying that the pension funds and
other beneﬁts are not their responsibility as they were contracted with Stelco.
On December 1, 2011, delegates to the Hamilton and District Labour Council elected the officers and members-at-large who comprise the Executive Council that will guide Hamilton's major central labour body until December 2013.
President: Sister Mary Long (OPSEU)
First Vice President: Brother Geoff Roman (UA)
Second Vice President: Sister Geraldine McMullen (COPE)
Secretary: Brother Tom Atterton (CEP)
Treasurer: Sister Nancy Clark (CAW)
Sergeant-at-Arms: Sister Anne Bradstreet (OPSEU)
Brother Jonathan Fike (CAW)
Brother Gary Howe (USW)
Sister Shannon Horner-Shepherd (USW)
Brother Jim Huff (USW)
Brother Anthony Marco (OSSTF)
Sister Rose McAleer (CEP)
Brother Marlon Picken (CUPE)
Brother Bob Sutton (USW)
Brother Mike Williams (USW)
We also offer our gratitude to those candidates in the other Hamilton and area constituencies who were not elected but succeeded in advancing an agenda that put people first: Anthony Marco (Niagara West - Glanbrook), Trevor Westerhoff (Ancaster Dundas Flamborough Westdale), Peggy Russell (Burlington), Brian Van Tilborg (Brant), Ian Nichols (Haldimand Norfolk)
Ontario NDP leader and re-elected MPP for Hamilton Centre, Andrea Horwath, with Paul Miller, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, and Hamilton Mountain MP Chris Charlton on Labour Day.
The Hamilton and District Labour Council thanks the many volunteers, bands, and entertainers who, by mixing traditional elements and multi-cultural flair, transformed Labour Day 2011 into a demonstration of the vitality of Hamilton. It was a remarkable day.
The Labour Council thanks the staffs of the Dundurn Historical Site and the city's Special Events office for their cooperation and assistance during the planning of the parade and picnic. The role of the Police Service and the Public Works department is appreciated. We gratefully acknowledge the support received from the city's Community Partnership Program.
And to the workers who marched in solidarity:
Hamiltonians gathered at the Workers Monument on City Hall plaza on the evening of Thursday, August 25, 2011 to pay tribute to Jack Layton. Mary Long, president of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, Mayor Bob Bratina, David Christopherson MP, Wayne Marston MP, and Paul Miller MPP shared stories about Jack and commented on the legacy left by this outstanding Canadian. Warren Smith read a moving letter from Chris Charlton, MP. And Alex Johnstone, a school board trustee, read a "letter to my generation" that was written by a young environmental activist and posted on the web. Brother Bill Mahoney, the poet of the labour movement in Hamilton, recited an original poem in honour of Jack. The voices of Lyla Milklos and Catherine Silverglen rang out a musical remembrance as they sang "Halleluah" by Leonard Cohen, "Smile", "Yes" and "Amazing Grace".
Even prior to the announced time of 7:30 p.m., folk gathered to sign the memorial book. The mayor also opened City Hall to allow those who wanted to sign the city's book to do so.
The evening ended with a moment of silence. As candles flickered in the wind, those who came to mourn the passing of Jack Layton and to celebrate his life, joined together in singing "O Canada."
The Hamilton and District Labour Council joins with all Canadians in mourning the death of Jack Layton. His sense of social justice and his ability to relate to people transcended economic, ethnic, racial, and linguitic differences; Jack inspired many. His courageous fight against cancer was emblematic of his optimistic approach to politics and life. We will miss his compassion, dedication, and leadership. We extend deepest sympathies to Olivia, Sarah, Michael and all of Jack's family and friends.
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." from Jack's last letter to Canadians, August 20, 2011.
The Labour Day Parade starts at 10:30 am on Monday, September 5, 2011. Participants assemble on York Boulevard, west of Queen Street North. The parade travels south on Queen to Main West, east on Main to Bay, north on Bay to Cannon, west on Cannon and York to the Dundurn Historic Site. A picnic with entertainment follows at the park. The parade lineup and other information is available by clicking here.
The Hamilton and District Labour Council congratulates Local 1005 USW on 65 years of fighting for the dignity of working people and the vulnerable in Hamilton. You've always been ready to help whenever the weak, the oppressed or the ignnored need you. We proudly stand with you in your current struggle.
ALL FOR ONE! ONE FOR ALL!
For information on the Mohawk College Labour Studies Fall course offerings in Labour Studies, Occupational Heatlh & Safety, computer workshops, and Workplace Insurance & Disability Prevention Leadership (proposed), click here.
May 2nd saw Canadians elect as the Official Opposition a party that puts working families first. It was an historic occasion that saw 102 New Democratic Party Members of Parliament elected to represent Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
The Canadian Labour Congress congratulates the NDP for a campaign that placed the issues important to workers - healthcare, retirement security and an expanded Canada Pension Plan, and job creation - at the forefront of the election campaign. These issues were debated during the election campaign because the CLC and its affiliates successfully brought them to the top of mind of voters in the lead up and during the election campaign. Read more
Mike Williams takes us to Ottawa with Local 1005 on May 1, 2011 for the rally and march on Parliament Hill: "Let us together break new ground in the fight to defend the rights of all and provide a new direction for the economy. Take up the work to change the situation!" - Rolf Gerstenberger. Click here to see the video.
Click here to watch the video: the people break new ground in historic action against US Steel on January 29, 2011 in Hamilton.
We light a candle in memory of our fallen sisters, the women who die every year from the violence perpetrated against women.
We light a candle for the 14 sisters in Montreal who died at the hands of a gunman on December 6, 1989–simply because they were women. . .
We light a candle of hope – a symbol of the human spirit, the spirit of our collective action, and our collective resistance to all violence, especially against women and children. May this candle light the way to a better tomorrow, a world in which every woman is treated with the dignity, respect, care and compassion that is her birthright.
Hamilton Labour Council president Mary Long joins Local 1005 president Rolf Gerstenberger and Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson on the line as U.S. Steel Canada locks out the workers at its Hamilton plant on November 7, 2010. (Photo credit: Mike Williams)
- Brother Rolf Gerstenberger
Community supports Local 1005 members
US Steel Lockout USW Local1005 Give Us Our EI Benefits
US Steel Lockout USW Local 1005 President Responds to Biased Media
Join the Hamilton Coalition Against the G20, various groups and community to stand with USW 1005 members by joining them on their picket lines on Saturday, November 20th from 11am to 3pm.
The Ontario Taxi Workers Union will be on the line on Monday, November 22, 2010. Details to follow.
Why is this fight important? Read the following letter to the editor published in the Hamilton Spectator:
Re: U.S. Steel lock out
My father is one of the men that USW Local 1005 is standing up for today. Let me tell you a bit about him.
He is a Second World War veteran. He hit the beach in Normandy on D-Day +3. He was a mechanic and his duty was to repair tanks and other motorized vehicles for his unit. He and his unit chased the German army through France, Belgium, Holland and finally into Germany.
In 1952 he came to Canada and got a job at Stelco. He worked three shifts and had a weekend off every 21 days. He raised four kids and bought a small house for our family.
He never missed a shift. Every eight or so years, he walked the picket line to earn the wages and benefits that U.S. Steel now wants to take away. Our family went without during those times.
It made us stronger. Sometimes Mom would go to work, Dad might get a job, and we learned how to get by when times were tough. Those four children of a steelworker and Second World War vet are hardworking, responsible, taxpaying citizens all. We contribute to this community.
After 32 years Dad retired. They had a good retirement and he always appreciated his Stelco pension and benefit. He never appreciated the benefits as much as he does now. He is 85 years old; he is most afraid he won't be able to pay for the medication he is currently prescribed. Even with indexing, his pension does not go far in today's dollars.
I have read a lot of negative personal comments directed at the people who are affected by the current actions of U.S. Steel. You are wrong. This is one man of many like him who have no voice in this matter. They have no standing with this company and no vote on this offer.
I thank the current members of Local 1005 who are not willing to leave them behind.
Maureen McCarthy, Hamilton
For updates, go to www.uswa1005.ca
Hamilton's Common Campaign Coalition is a gathering of like-minded people that worked to ensure poverty reduction was a key priority for all Hamilton residents, challengers and incumbents during the 2010 municipal election. Pre-election polls indicated that the issue was a major concern of voters.
Recognizing that poverty reduction work crosses over all parts of society, the coalition is composed of participants working to ensure all Hamiltonians have equity and access to a living wage, housing allowance/rent supplements while on social housing wait list, and affordable and accessible public transit. The campaign is developed around these three specific areas of improvement which we believe are integral to reducing poverty and are, therefore, important to all community members.
For more information on the Common Campaign Coalition and its ideas to put poverty reduction in Hamilton on the municipal agenda, visit www.25in5hamilton.ca/ccc.
2010 Labour Day March in Hamilton: "One Big Union". Watch the video.
Labour Council's Multicultural Exposition at Dundurn Park. Take a look here.
The Hamilton and District Labour Council thanks Mike Williams for producing these videos that capture the excitement of Labour Day 2010 in Hamilton.
Three Days of Solidarity on the picket line with members of USW 1-500
Click here to watch a video, from September 17, 2010, that gives a sense of the soldiarity on the line and in the community.
The text of a press release from the Ontario Federation of Labour:
Fifteen long months later, and three days after the start of intensive labour action, word has finally come that Engineered Coated Products (ECP) Brantford is ready to get down to business.
Only hours ago, Canadian Director of the United Steelworkers (USW) Ken Neumann, told the cheering crowd outside the Brantford Courthouse the union and company would now be returning to negotiations and thanked the OFL for its role in helping to make progress in what has been called a "nightmare strike."
This is day 754 of a strike that could have been settled a long time ago if the provincial government had restored anti-scab legislation.
OFL President Sid Ryan, who has been on the picket lines for the past three days, called the news a major example of what union solidarity can accomplish. Workers from across the province arrived in Brantford to support the USW strikers and stayed on the picket lines
24-hours a day.
The plant has been closed for the past three days and there has been no productivity.
"This turn of events holds promise for workers; but the real heroes are the 84 members of USW I-500 who fought this battle for two long years on behalf of the entire labour movement. Not one of them crossed that picket line," said Ryan.
"We can move mountains and we have. We must now turn our energy to the absence of anti-scab legislation."
"We want ECP and its U.S.-based parent company Intertape Polymer to understand that we will be watching and will return if necessary. We won't tolerate any more hardship heaped upon the shoulders of the employees. You're not going to be allowed to starve these people into submission."
"We'll go employer by employer, city by city, to confront companies using scabs. And we will mount as much pressure as possible on Premier Dalton McGuinty to restore anti-scab legislation," said Ryan who has made its reinstatement a priority objective for the OFL.
The ECP campaign has been led by the OFL, Brantford and District Labour Council, USW Local I-500 and Ontario largest unions.
On Monday, August 23rd, a contingent from Hamilton joined with members of USW Local 1-500 and the Brantford and District Labour Council to mark the second anniversay of the start of a strike against ECP. The company has used scabs to operate the plant during the strike while demanding significant concessions from the workers, fueling anger and bitterness in the community. Prior to the picket line rally, senior labour and community leaders met to discuss ways to bring this dispute to an end. Workers at the company's plant in British Columbia successfully negotiated a new collective agreement without a strike or lockout. Why the difference? In BC, it is illegal to use scabs to steal work from workers on strike. In Dalton McGuinty's Ontario, scabs are welcomed. ECP is a perfect example of why anti-scab legislation is needed this province. The Hamilton and District Labour Council urges everyone to support the workers at ECP in every way possible, including writing to the Premier and your local MPP demanding that the government enact anti-scab legislation now.
To see a short video produced by Brother Mike Williams that features strikers and others talking about ECP and the need for an anti-scab law, click here.
Mary Long, President of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, marches at the G20 protest rally in Toronto on June 26. Maternal health was a major issue brought to the G8 table by Canada. It is important, said the women who lead the march down University Avenue, to address all ways to make sure that mothers are safe and healthy.
New! To view G20 rally and march video produced by Mike Williams, 2nd vice president of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, click here.
Oppose the Police Tactics at the G8-G20 protests, says Rolf Gerstenberger
Local 1005 congratulates its members and pensioners who participated in protests against the agendas of the G8 and G20 in Toronto last week, especially in the Saturday Day of Action. So too we congratulate the members of the Hamilton unions and, most importantly, the youth from our city who together with thousands of others courageously defied the campaign of fear which sought to persuade them not to take a stand against the G8/G20 agendas and in defence of their right to protest and express their views. Read more.
OFL President Sid Ryan comments in the Toronto Star: Thousands stood up for humanity
Last Saturday, more than 30,000 people — much higher than media estimates — from across Ontario joined the People First rally in Toronto during the G20 Summit. Our message was clear: we told world leaders — including our own Prime Minister Stephen Harper — to put the needs of human beings and the environment ahead of all other considerations as they deliberated over the weekend.
The rally organizers, including the Ontario Federation of Labour, worked diligently to ensure that our democratic right to lawful assembly would be respected, and that citizens could participate in a safe and peaceful event. Read more.
Statement by CLC President Ken Georgetti on vandalism at the G20 summit
The Canadian Labour Congress abhors the behaviour of a small group of people who have committed vandalism and destroyed property in activities related to the G20 summit in Toronto.
The CLC, in conjunction with a number of other groups, including the Ontario Federation of Labour, the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace, Oxfam, and the Canadian Federation of Students, organized a peaceful demonstration in Toronto on Saturday which attracted 30,000 people. We cooperated with police in choosing the route and had hundreds of parade marshals to maintain order. Read more.
Hamilton and District Labour Council president Mary Long travelled to Ottawa on May 27, 2010, joining with members of USW Local 1005 and other workers from the Hamilton area, to support the 3000 members of USW Local 6500 in Sudbury on stike against multi-national giant Vale Inco. The members of Local 6200 in Port Colborne, who negotiate jointly with Local 6500, are also on strike against the same employer. The key issues in the dispute are pensions, the nickel price bonus and transfer rights.
Labour Council president Mary Long joins OFL president Sid Ryan and Local 1005 president Rolf Gerstenberger in leading a march of workers and solidarity partners through Hamilton's downtown on May 1st.
Mary Long, president of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, addresses those gathered at the workers' monument on the grounds of City Hall to commemorate the Day of Mourning, April 28, 2010.
Bill Mahoney, a retiree from USW Local 1005 recites a poem that he wrote in remembrance of those who have died on the job or from occupational diseases.
Glenn Greene conducts a smudging ceremony to honour the dead and injured.
OUR PENSIONS ARE UNDER ATTACK
Canadian Labour Congress and the Congress of Union Retirees of Canada Action Plan to Improve Retirement Security
Today pensions are at risk. Many of today's retirees face the problem of loss of, or reduction in their pensions when their firms go bankrupt; others lost much of their personal or defined contribution plans in the stock market melt down. Tomorrow's retirees face even greater challenges. For many of them, the old advertising slogan Freedom 55 has turned into the revised hope of Freedom 75.
It is time to speak up for secure pensions. Workers should not have to "fend for themselves" in retirement. All Canadians deserve security and dignity in retirement.
Original artwork by Regan Turner (SEIU)
"Communities are best able to set their own economic priorities and achieve economic security when most of their basic needs are met by local businesses that employ local labour and use local resources to meet the needs of local residents for employment, goods, and services." - David C. Korten, Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth (San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler, 2009), 128.