CUPE delegates demand action from CLC on IWA

DELEGATES TO THE Canadian Union of Public Employees’ national convention in Quebec City have unanimously demanded that the Canadian Labour Congress act to end the IWA’s role in undermining wages and working conditions in B.C.’s health sector.

An emergency resolution adopted Wednesday calls on the CLC’s executive committee to direct the IWA to withdraw from all certification applications and partnership agreements involving contracted out health care work or face the full sanctions available under the CLC constitution.

If the CLC does not act, delegates authorized CUPE’s national executive board to take all necessary measures to resolve the situation up to and including withholding affiliation fees from the CLC.

Hospital Employees’ Union secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt says the solidarity of more than 1,800 convention delegates representing workers from municipalities, school boards, public utilities, health care and other sectors was both impressive and moving.

“Our CUPE sisters and brothers from every corner of this country have sent an unmistakable message to HEU members that they are not alone in their fight for decent wages and working conditions in B.C.,” says Allnutt.

“Delegates also sent a clear signal to the CLC leadership that the IWA’s pacts with those corporations that are cashing in on health privatization undermines this fight and is unacceptable to Canada’s largest union.”

Allnutt says the hard work of HEU’s 75 convention delegates in educating other CUPE delegates on the situation facing health care workers in B.C. was apparent with the unanimous passage of the resolution.

CUPE’s new national president Paul Moist — elected today at the convention — spoke out strongly in favour of the resolution which he’ll bring to a meeting with the CLC national executive board scheduled for Monday.

You can read or listen to the debate on the IWA resolution by surfing to http://cupe.ca/www/Convention2003 and checking out the convention ticker or the Wednesday audio highlights.

For the text of the resolution in Microsoft Word format Click here.