Brian Armitage, United Way’s Director of Labour Programs and Services with me and Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress

Brian Armitage, United Way’s Director of Labour Programs and Services with me and Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress

It only seems fitting, given that Monday is Labour Day, that we take this opportunity to celebrate the long-standing relationship between United Way of Canada/Centraide Canada and the Canadian Labour Congress – a relationship solidified with the signing of the “Statement of Principles” agreement in March of 1988.

As the agreement states … “Both the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and United Way Centraide Canada (UWC-CC) are membership organizations existing to serve and represent their members.  The CLC is dedicated to the proposition that Canadian workers are entitled to secure and protect their mutual welfare and that of their families by all legitimate means.  The mandate of UWCC is to assist its locally autonomous members and the United Way Centraide movement as a whole to promote the organized capacity of people to care for one another.”

Our two organizations share a common vision of building a society which provides a wide range of social and public services which are accessible, universal and of the highest quality.  In order to achieve these mutually held objectives, the two organizations have agreed that

  • social and public services be fully staffed by properly trained and qualified government employees, supported by appropriate complementary services and programs offered and run by the voluntary sector on a nonprofit basis
  • the two organizations strive to attain the highest quality and effective delivery of public social services possible and that these services should not be put in jeopardy by the displacement of paid employees
  • the voluntary sector be supported through personal participation on boards and committees and through financial contributions to the annual United Way campaign
  • working people have the right to decent pay and working conditions, and
  • where United Ways raise over $1 Million annually a staff member be dedicated to enhancing the relationship with organized labour and educating members of organized labour about the various health and social services available for their family, friends and neighbours

This past June, we hosted a special luncheon where Hassan Yussuff, President of the CLC spoke about the numerous changes that had transpired over the past two decades – not the least of which included a significant downturn in the economy, a reduction in major manufacturing jobs and earlier than anticipated retirements on the part of labour members well versed in the need for support of United Way.

It goes without saying that these changes have impacted our organizations’ ability to address the needs of some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens.  But all is not lost!

On Monday, members of United Way and the Chatham-Kent Labour Council will celebrate their partnership with a FREE Family BBQ, entertainment and activities for kids.  The event will be held at the UAW Hall – 88 Elm Road South in Wallaceburg.

If there is a particular question that you would like answered in a future article, please do not hesitate to send me an email at karen@uwock.ca or call me at 519-354-0430.