Your Union at the 2023 Canadian Labour Congress Convention
May 17, 2023
The 30th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) took place in Montreal from May 7 – May 12, 2023.
The CLC represents more than 3 million members from dozens of Unions nation-wide and is the largest labour organization in Canada.
The week began with a UFCW Caucus meeting where more than 200 delegates received an overview of what to expect from the week in terms of resolutions and action plans. In addition, Team Unite led by CLC President Bea Bruske, dropped in to speak to everyone for a few minutes about their hopes for re-election and a strong plan to represent workers as we move forward.
The CLC Action Plans adopted by convention delegates during the week set a strong agenda for the coming three years to tackle:
- Indigenous Reconciliation;
- The Climate Crisis;
- The Care Economy;
- Social and Economic Infrastructure, and;
- Organizing Workers.
Resolutions, many of which involved respectful and important debates on the floor, addressed a number of important issues including:
- Strengthening labour laws across the country;
- Banning scab labour;
- Protecting our public health care system;
- Taking action to plan for and manage the climate crisis;
- Fighting back against rising hate, transphobia and homophobia;
- Supporting Indigenous Reconciliation, and;
- Tackling systemic racism.
On Wednesday afternoon, the election procedures began and it was announced that Team Unite – Bea Bruske, Lily Chang, Larry Rousseau, and Siobhan Vipond – was running unopposed. A standing ovation greeted the news that your CLC President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Executive Vice-Presidents, were re-elected by acclamation.
Delegates were inspired by a number of guest speakers throughout the convention. Day one kicked off with the incomparable Canadian musician Jully Black who sang a beautiful rendition of Solidarity Forever and had the almost 2,000 delegates in the room singing along. Opening ceremonies included remarks from Magali Picard, President of the Fédération des traveilleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), a welcome from Elder Alan Harrington of the Iskatewizaagegan Independent First Nation #39, and an address from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Over the week, delegates were treated to more motivational speakers and panel discussions including:
- Minor League Baseball organizer and former MLB player Josh Thole who helped organize 5000+ players across North and Central America.
- Cree Leader and Indigenous Rights Advocate Romeo Saganash who is also a former Member of Parliament.
- A wonderful conversation between comedian and activist Margaret Cho and Shawn Dearn about choosing to stay and fight.
- Union organizer Chris Smalls (@Shut_downAmazon) who founded and organized the Amazon Labor Union.
- And panel discussions on:
- Workers and the Affordability Crisis;
- A workers’ plan to tackle the climate crisis;
- Delivering the care we need, and;
- Organizing for a Brighter Future which included Sarah Broad (USW) who organized the first Starbucks in Canada and James Russwurm (UFCW) who helped organize the first gaming industry workers.
On Thursday afternoon, the nearly 2,000 delegates took to the streets of Montreal to march in solidarity behind their newly re-elected CLC leadership.
Learn more about the Canadian Labour Congress at https://canadianlabour.ca/.