Update from the 519 area code

By: Christopher Currie (Co-Chief Steward)

On September 5, while other execs were slowly marching through the Toronto Labour Day parade route, I was overseeing a table for the Guelph & District Labour Council (GDLC)’s Labour Day picnic. The vibe of this event, as in past years, was an odd mix of community gathering and activist fair: folk singers and children’s games existed side-by-side with $15 and Fairness and the decolonial beats of Darius Mirshahi.

It was duly noted at the picnic by GDLC President Janice Folk-Dawson that the Labour Day holiday recognized by the state in September is really a cheap corporate substitute – we should be celebrating the labour movement’s triumphs on International Workers’ Day, May 1. But that’s a discussion for another time …

The GDLC contingent also had a visible presence at the October 1 Rally for Decent Work at Queen’s Park, where our drums and costumes attracted some notice. And the labour council has been active in the fight against Nestle’s efforts to extract more water from nearby Aberfoyle. (On a related point, I would encourage all 1281 delegates to call out, with as much diplomacy as befits the occasion, any labour meeting or conference that carries bottled water, particularly if it’s from the Nestle brand. This is not, I regret to say, a purely hypothetical request.)

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the recent passing of Enza Commisso, a longtime CUPE 973 president with whom I briefly served in the GDLC executive. Her presence will be missed.

This article was published in the November 2016 edition of the CUPE 1281 newsletter. Click here for a PDF of the full newsletter or here to browse the website for other articles in the newsletter.