Oct 31, 2011

CUPE BC president welcomes ‘biggest convention ever’

VANCOUVER—CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill opened the 25th annual CUPE national convention this morning on behalf of 85,000 CUPE members in British Columbia. O’Neill noted that the 2,500 convention delegates are taking part in the largest ever CUPE convention – representing 610,000 members from coast to coast to coast.

On the economic downturn, O’Neill said that throughout the province, across Canada and around the world, business is blaming ‘workers’ greed’ for the economic meltdowns.  “But the champions of the right should understand that the world situation is not the result of workers’ greed – it is the greed of the banks. Workers are the engine of the economy.”

In response to Canadian business groups that have taken to targeting workers, O’Neill said “we do more for independent business than those associations ever will.”

In a nod to the nearby Occupation Vancouver encampment, O’Neill said “the movement across the country and around the planet shows that we must do more and we must do it differently to move things to the next level. It is for us to determine what our Canada should look like.”  He added that “it’s not Oh Canada – it’s Our Canada!”

Delegates are planning a noon rally tomorrow outside the Vancouver Convention Centre in support of the Occupy movement.

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