May 17, 2013

Need for political action and involvement continues—CUPE BC

BURNABY—The results of Tuesday’s provincial election demonstrate how important political action is, and how important for CUPE members to get involved in the political process, CUPE BC President Mark Hancock and Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro said today.

“We put a tremendous amount of effort into our member-to-member campaign to support the NDP, but the re-election of the BC Liberals clearly demonstrates that we must do more between elections to engage people in the political process,” said Hancock.  “A key component of CUPE BC’s action plan, agreed to unanimously at convention in April, was to work with the BC NDP to elect a progressive government that understands the issues that face working families. While we weren’t able to achieve that goal, we will continue to work with the NDP Official Opposition to put forward positive solutions, and to protect public services.”

“I want to thank everyone who came out to work on our member-to-member campaign,” said Faoro. “Our zone coordinators across the province did a great job, and our phone banks at the Regional Office in Burnaby and across the province did a tremendous job working to contact CUPE members to provide them with information about the election.”

“But we must do more,” said Faoro. “We will be meeting with other unions through the BC Federation of Labour to put together a plan on how we’ll work with the NDP and other groups to send a clear message to Premier Clark and her government that the rights of workers are not to be reduced. And, while the election clearly delivered a mandate to the Premier and her party—for which we congratulate her—a very significant number of voters did not support her agenda. Those British Columbians deserve a voice at the table as well, and we hope the Premier will break from past patterns and listen to those voices as well.”

“As we always have, CUPE BC is willing to work with the new government, particularly if there is a genuine effort on the part of the BC Liberals to reach out to the labour movement,” said Hancock. “But we will aggressively and passionately defend our members’ rights, our members’ jobs and public services in general against any attacks, whether they come from the provincial government, the federal government, or local governments.”

COPE 491