Workers of the world unite for James

Big labour is here for the big event. We just spotted British Columbia Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair among those who have shown up for today's provincial council meeting. Late last month, Mr. Sinclair threw his support behind embattled New Democrat leader Carole James, telling CKNW, "Absolutely, absolutely she can win. But it's not just Carole that can win, it's going to be a set of ideas, a set of visions for this province. A province where people are listened to, where young people are considered one of our most important assets. Where they can afford to go to school, where working people are told they're important too, and not just Howe Street."

3 Comments

Labour is part of the NDP and always will be. Nothing wrong with that.

But the optics of the head of the BC Fed appearing at the provincial council meeting are not great. Whatever happened to Carole's attempt to distance the party from the BC Fed?

Sinclair has put the point across very well. The grassroots of the Party are concerned about the issues not about petty quibbling amongst those that should know better.

You know something, Jim Sinclair is very much part of the old boys network of silver backs that has to go. The BC Federation of Labour is a perfect example of an organization that is treading water and going nowhere under the same old, stale ideas and tactics as most labour and political organizations. Don't believe me, or think the criticism is unwarranted. Just look at their webpage. They've been fighting the same unsuccessful campaigns for years. For an organization that receives so much money from it's affiliated unions, where is all the training and real action? See for yourself:

http://www.bcfed.ca/

Another piece no-one seems to be talking about is the split that Jim has created in the BC Fed by breaking his long-time partnership with Angela Schira and running with Irene Lanzinger for secretary-treasurer. From where anyone sits that smacks of old boy politics, deciding what woman is "worthy" to sit with the big boys. How about Jim & Angela BOTH stepping down and getting some new blood pumping into the old horse/corpse that the BC Fed has become. There is lots of talent in the movement that could easily replace both.

Perhaps in a Darwinian way the labour movement deserves to die, with union density slipping, with 2007 numbers putting union membership at 31% in BC. As delegates & others go to the upcoming BC Fed convention, look around and see the death knell of the union movement with the sea of gray hair & only a handful of young workers struggling to fight their way into getting anywhere in their unions (and many giving up).

Younger workers are waking up and realize that their Boomer union "brothers and sisters" were able to claim the biggest pieces of pie (salaries, benefits, pensions). Union "leaders" of today have been bargaining less and less each year and allowing more employers' concessions that impact younger workers. This is the real truth about how far into the muck the union movement has sunk and how little use it is for protecting and advancing the rights and interests of younger workers.

It's time for a massive housecleaning in the house of labour and the NDP for new ideas, strategies and action to break lose. The eyes of the province will be on the outcome of this weekends NDP Provincial Council & the survival of the party is at stake.

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