Regarding NUPGE's relationship with the Canadian Labour Congress
Ottawa (25 Nov. 2010) – The National Executive Board (NEB) of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has unanimously decided to suspend its participation in the activities of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the national labour central for unions in Canada.
NUPGE and its Components are committed to continuing our participation in provincial Federations of Labour and community Labour Councils across the country.
The decision is effective November 25, 2010.
NUPGE’s National Executive Board made this decision because the collective leadership of the CLC has made no progress in finding an effective solution to the destructive practice of raiding (when one union tries to take members away from another union).
This decision was not hastily made, nor was it an easy decision.
It is the right decision because the strength and unity of the labour movement is fatally compromised by raiding.
NUPGE has always believed in, supported and promoted a strong and united house of labour.
Labour centrals can play an important role in uniting the labour movement around core principles, shared goals and collective actions that will improve the lives of all working families.
Clearly, strong and effective labour centrals are built on the mutual respect for, and adherence to, the bargaining relationships that affiliated unions have established on behalf of their members.
Raiding is destructive to solidarity, does not advance the interests of workers and wastes precious resources.
However, raiding campaigns continue.
These situations make it clear that the CLC’s constitutional rules with respect to raiding are not sufficient to stop it or to ensure the union that has violated the rules will face meaningful consequences.
For many years, NUPGE has voiced its opposition to raiding and submitted proposals at CLC Conventions and constitutional and structural reviews to address the problem.
Unfortunately, there has been no progress within the CLC in dealing with this very serious problem.
Increasingly we find it difficult to remain in the house of labour when our partner unions are violating a fundamental cornerstone of labour unity.
Therefore, NUPGE is suspending its participation in CLC activities.
We hope that a solution to raiding can be found so that NUPGE can proudly resume its full participation in all activities of the CLC.
Our decision is made more in sorrow than anger.
We are disappointed.