RETAIL WHOLESALE UNION
RETIRED MEMBERS ASSOCIATION

HELD:  March 8, 2016

AT:  Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New Westminster BC

The meeting was called to order at 10:10 am with Brother Shawn Lakusta in the Chair.

MINUTES of the previous meeting were read by Brother Shawn Lakusta and adopted.

STAFF REPORT:

Brother Shawn Lakusta gave the staff report.

  • The position as the President of the Retired Members Association is open since Mr. Al Cumiford had passed away.  Please contact the Union Office if any member is interested.
  • Busy year for bargaining – about 6 Collective Agreements to be done this year. 
  • BC West – in the process of negotiating the first collective agreement.
  • Lucerne Milk Plant – Complaint filed with the Human Rights Tribunal has been dismissed.  The distribution of assets will be delayed as FICOM has not approved the retirement age 62 issue.  A Notice of Objection has been filed and we are waiting for their response.  Considerable discussion followed.
  • BC Forum – Ray Haynes was congratulated for being the Sunshine Coast representative for the FORUM (Federation of Retired Union Members). 
  • With the Milk Plant windup, Jim O’Neill will be stepping down as the retiree representative to attend the Board of Trustees’ meetings of the Pension Plan, and another representative will need to be appointed.
  • Lantic – visitors need to sign in and be escorted by a superintendent as there are safety and sanitary measures that the Company has to follow.

NEW BUSINESS: None

OLD BUSINESS: none.

NEXT MEETING: June 14, 2016

ATTENDANCE: 38

MAIN DRAW: a black golf shirt

 Meeting adjourned at 10:55 am.

CLC Winter School
“Big Bob” McEllrath, centre in plaid shirt; Willie Adams, below Bob in gray toque; Colin Bonner, above Bob in cap; Steve Nasby, lower left in gray shirt; Jeannie Magenta, lower right in black shirt; me, in glasses beside pillar and myself.

By far the greatest benefit of being in a union is that there is no shortage of fellow union members willing to accept and support you from the first moment you meet them. We understand that we’re in this together, no matter where we come from or how we earn our living. The Canadian Labour Congress Winter School experience held every year in Harrison, BC, is a perfect example of this spirit of solidarity.

This year we sent Local 517 Steward Colin Bonner, and three Local 580 table officers: President Rick Janzen, VP Mike Molag, and myself (freshly-minted Inside Guard). Rick and Mike, after taking Bargaining Level 2 can now say in all modesty that their employers had better step up their game. 

Colin and I joined a class packed with ILWU brothers and sisters, and took part in their awe-inspiring solidarity and dedication to improvement in the lives of all working people. The embodiment of “an injury to one is an injury to all” is a man named Steve Nasby, 2nd VP of ILWU Canada, and co-facilitator of the ILWU Leadership Course we attended. Steve and co-facilitator Jeannie Magenta go out of their way to ensure that affiliates like the RWU feel welcome and included in all things Longshore. Thank you, Steve and Jeannie.

And thanks to International ILWU President Robert “Big Bob” McEllrath and Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams who came all the way from San Francisco just to talk to our class and send home the message that if workers don’t have each other, we don’t have anything at all.

The CLC Winter School has perhaps the most respected curriculum in the Canadian labour movement. Just as valuable, though, is meeting sisters and brothers from all over, learning their stories, swapping advice, and toasting recent victories. I met nurses from Whitehorse, railway workers from Smithers, steel fabricators from New Westminster, and, remarkably, a union biologist from Victoria (who knew that even scientists can benefit from unions?).

So if someone asks you to go to Winter School, say yes.

 

In Solidarity,

Jay Moysey
Steward and Inside Guard
Local 580