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(en) Canada, Strike! #1 (Ontario Edition) - DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC: Opposition at the Canadian Labour Congress (by J.Shantz)

Date Wed, 29 Jun 2005 09:40:12 +0300

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has long
p l a y e d a conservative role within the labour
movement in Canada. At the heart of the CLC's
ineffectiveness as a powerful force for the working
class in Canada is its disconnection between the
b u r e a u c r a t i c Congress, which is made up
overwhelmingly of delegates who are members of
national, provincial or local executives, and the
r a n k - a n d - f i l e membership of CLC-affiliated
unions. Given this ongoing record of capitulation
there was some enthusiasm among reform-minded
delegates at this year's meeting of the Congress
since, for the first time in a long time a progressive
opposition candidate, Carol Wall, was running
against the incumbent Ken Georgetti. In the end
the fact that an opposition candidate, facing an
i n c u m b e n t who had the weight of the CLC
executive and affiliated locals behind him, only lost
by 400 of 1600 votes cast says much about the level
of dissatisfaction with the current CLC leadership.
At the same time, the opposition campaign was
based almost entirely on local executive members
with virtually no rank-and-file base. And that is
the crux of the issue for the labour movement in
Canada. No matter how many progressive
resolutions are passed at provincial or national
congresses and no matter which leftist candidates
get elected to executive positions, the labour
movement will pose no material threat to the bosses
and their agenda without the development of active
networks of militant rank-and-file workers such
as flying squads and rank-and-file committees
prepared to fight (rather than negotiate with) our
bosses and their government attack dogs.

Strike! Volume 1, Issue#1 July 2005 (Ontario Edition) - Anarchist News and Commentary

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