Day 4 – BC Federation of Labour Convention 2018

“Looking forward”

Day 4 was a resounding cry of solidarity.

First up, the election of a new BC Fed Executive. With support building all week, shoe-in running mates Laird Cronk and Sussanne Skidmore secured the presidency and secretary-treasurer, respectively, the same way their 5 new Executive Council members did: by acclamation.

Support for postal workers striking for safe work conditions and job security has been unanimous all week and today that ramped up further. BC union workers holding the strike line strike line at the Richmond mail processing plant the night before for the Canada Post Workers who’d been forced back to work by Bill C-89 on Tuesday, was a shot in the arm for the labour movement.

Another was delegates voting as one in favour of an emergency resolution on Bill C-89 brought to the floor this morning after hearing CUPW members present share their reality. Of single routes daily routes comprising 30,000 steps and 33 flights of stairs. Of backs, shoulder, knees & feet blown by routes that have doubled and tripled in size. Of bullying and pressure to work forced overtime. Of a Gov’t of Canada report that found disabling injuries among postal workers have jumped 93 per cent in three years.

Voices against such insane conditions were loud at a noon CUPW-support rally outside the Convention Centre.

After lunch the rallying spirit continued. Through an unanimous vote to increase financial support for the BC Federation of Retired Union Members. During a moving President’s Tribute for much-admired, outgoing-President Irene Lanzinger. And for Harry Bains, BC’s Minister of Labour, who declared during his address that all workers should come home from work in the same shape as when they went. He also promised to introduce legislation updating both the Labour Code and the Employment Standards Act and vowed to eliminate the “self-help kits”, a system that deters employees from filing complaints, and workers be fired for raising employment standards complaints.

When Ivan Coyote took the stage the rallying was of a different kind. With their masterful storytelling, Ivan rallies human capacity for empathy and evolution. Today they kicked our minds open to the realities of life a Trans person in the kindest of ways, weaving humour and heartache until their personal became our universal. Considering the storm of controversy surrounding us as a delegation arising from VPL’s booking of a mind closed to Trans life, Coyote couldn’t have been more on point. Solidarity in the movement and beyond!

Later that evening, dancing to the beats of Delhi to Dublin on a ballroom dance floor at the Westin Bayshore, delegates showed solidarity in appreciating another timeless tradition: kicking up your heels with friends.