IAM political action delegates from Local Lodges across Canada joined the nearly 400 other labour activists on the weekend at the federal NDP virtual Convention. Despite some minor technical difficulties, the Convention went well and some important policies were hammered out.
“The IAM has been calling on the NDP to put increased focus on the labour issues facing workers across Canada. Workers have borne the brunt in this pandemic and labour must hold any future government accountable as we begin to emerge from this pandemic,” said Stan Pickthall, IAM Canadian General Vice-President, who was a delegate.
Derek Ferguson, GLR for political Action added, “This is not the time for Conservative austerity, and their call for further cuts to our public services. This is the time for government to recognize that the privatization of our public services has been a failure and that instead of cutting public services we need to enhance them – we need Pharmacare – we need Child Care – we need to strengthen legislation to protect the Health and Safety of workers – labour must be heard.”
Delegates to the Convention voted overwhelmingly to raise the federal minimum wage to $20, impose a one per cent tax on wealth of over $20 million, supported at least seven days’ paid sick leave for federally-regulated workers and voted to include long-term care into Canada’s universal health-care system, in part by eliminating for-profit models from the system.
Other notable resolutions include agreement to implement all 231 recommendations made by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, as well as a plan to establish a publicly-owned telecommunications company to provide high-speed internet access to rural, northern and remote communities.
Convention attendees were well aware that a federal election could be called at any time. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh warned the Liberals not to call an election during the pandemic, but also said clearly that the NDP was ready for one if it was called.