Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Workers Program to Defeat the Right-Wing Agenda

Canadian Labour Congress

The election of a majority neo-conservative government is a major threat to those pillars of Canadian society, including public services, that we hold dear such as our health care system, social programs, our public and private pension system and our traditional approach to international relations such as peacekeeping.

We need to send a signal to the Harper government: if they attempt to destroy those things that we hold dear, we will respond and we will respond strongly and strategically.

We will not stand by while medicare is destroyed and we will not stand by while unions in the public sector, such as CUPW or PSAC, are attacked or while private sector unions are weakened through the continued elimination of their jobs. We will all work together so we strengthen and defend all affiliates.

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and the National Campaign Committee (NCC) will work with our affiliates through the federations of labour and the labour councils to build momentum by mobilizing our membership and our allies in the community through education, public demonstrations and direct action where necessary to defeat the right-wing agenda.

As outlined in the policy paper, Building on Our Success – Mobilizing for Our Future, adopted by the delegates, we will continue the work of the CLC in mobilizing targeted, effective, focussed campaigns that build capacity, visibility and power for the labour movement.

We will combine the work of this workers action plan with the ongoing political work of the CLC and we will utilize these efforts toward building an effective broad-based opposition to the mean-spirited, right-wing agenda. At the 27th Constitutional Convention in 2014, the CLC will bring forward a political plan to defeat the Conservative government and to elect a federal New Democratic Party government.

1. We will create a strong and principled opposition both within the labour
movement and with our coalition allies that will anticipate and counter the
government’s legislative initiatives with a series of targeted and specific actions.
We will also work to develop a parliamentary strategy on lobbying and
parliamentary committee work.

2. We will utilize the CLC National Campaign Committee to develop strategies, create materials in traditional format and electronically (Facebook, email, Twitter, websites, etc.) for our activists, membership, canvassing and for our social allies in order to build community-based opposition. We will poll our members and the general public to gather information to develop common messaging based on broad labour and progressive, Canadian values such as our commitment to medicare, education, and equality. We will use this information to also anticipate and counter the Conservative government agenda.

3. We will work with the affiliates, provincial and territorial federations of labour and labour councils to commit resources to coordinate both direct and indirect political campaigns in support of progressive parties and candidates in their respective provincial and municipal elections over the next three years. We will continue to use these elections as a means to test and modify our strategies and tactics as a lead up to October 19, 2015, the date of the next federal election.

4. We will work with affiliates, federations and labour councils to build a strong, progressive workers movement to counter the right-wing corporate agenda in this country. This will include engaging in member-to-member campaigns, public outreach and direct action, based on issues affecting the affiliates specifically on the broader political issues of the day. We not only need to build support within our own membership for this program, we also need to build support among the broader public.

5. We must strengthen our coalitions and work to develop stronger relationships with civil society partners to broaden the base of our campaign work. We must find ways to assist civil society and our coalition partners to improve their capacity and resources, and link their work to our labour council activities in our communities.

6. We will continue our campaign and fight for improved pensions through the CPP/QPP, defend defined benefit pension plans and work to ensure adequate funding for the health and social transfer programs prior to the upcoming review.

7. We will work with affiliates through the CLC Canadian Council to develop strategies and support for unions who are in difficult bargaining and/or political situations and take whatever actions are necessary to defend our affiliates.

8. We will work with affiliates to defend and expand union density and will coordinate with the federations of labour campaigns to change provincial and territorial legislation to achieve automatic certification through card check in order to build a strong worker base.

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