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Moncton, NB – June 6, 2013 – UFCW Canada activists from across Canada gathered June 2 to 5, in Moncton, New Brunswick for the 27th Annual National Defence Fund Convention.
Established in 1986, NDF has helped tens of thousands of UFCW Canada members achieve fairness by providing extra financial resources to weather a strike or lockout. Bargaining strength is also built at the NDF convention, which provides delegates from UFCW Canada Local Unions the opportunity to learn and share the latest information on bargaining trends in UFCW Canada's core industries, as well as broader issues that impact workers and their local unions.
The primary issue at this year's convention was how to fight back against the growing attack on workers' rights and their unions by Ultra-Conservative parties, politicians and corporate elites. "Their real agenda is simply and ruthlessly about power," said National President Hanley in his opening remarks to the delegates. "Those who have it want more, along with the money it brings them. And these corporate elites have a financed an army of political puppets on Parliament Hill, in Alberta, in Saskatchewan, in Ontario and other jurisdictions."
"Together within our union and in our communities, and shoulder to shoulder with our labour allies, we must strike back against Harper and his cronies across Canada and their relentless attempts to demonize and destroy the labour movement," said the national president.
Brother Hanley's remarks were followed by an update on the attack on labour rights and anti-worker legislation in the United States.
The plenary session was followed by sector breakouts where delegates from the packinghouse, soft drink, hospitality, flour milling, and retail sectors joined their respective sector councils to share bargaining strategies and updates from each of their locations. A special session was also presented on how to fight back against the anti-worker, anti-union agenda through a "Together Fairness Works" campaign. This national campaign was recently endorsed unanimously by the UFCW Canada National Council (see Directions 13.41), as well as by the NDF Administration Committee at the Moncton conference.The NDF Administration Committee also endorsed an increase in the NDF supplementary picket pay benefit paid to NDF members in the event of strike or lockout.
To find out more about the National Defence Fund, visit www.ufcw.ca/ndf.