On November 28, 2023, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) held a successful lobby day on Parliament Hill (Ottawa, Ontario). OSSTF/FEESO proudly joined over 250 workers from coast-to-coast-to-coast and met with over 100 Members of Parliament (MP). Workers, led by the CLC, sent a strong message to decision-makers:
“Workers need good, sustainable jobs, action to make life more affordable, and power at work. And we won’t stop until it’s a reality.”
When workers join in solidarity, they win. Winning in this sense is measured by our ability to pressure the federal government to put an end to scab labour, ensure there are sustainable jobs as the economy evolves to address the threats caused by climate change and to complete Tommy Douglas’ vision for universal health care by implementing a universal, publicly funded, publicly delivered, single-payer, national pharmacare program.
Federal lobby days have been a crucial component of the CLC’s political action strategy for over five years. The November 2023 lobby day continued to build upon the theme from last May’s CLC triennial convention theme – “Canada’s Unions: Lifting Everyone Up.”
Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the largest labour organization in Canada, representing more than 3 million workers across the country, the CLC’s efforts have led to unprecedented legislative movement in the House of Commons and the introduction of bills C-50: An Act respecting accountability, transparency, and engagement to support the creation of sustainable jobs for workers and economic growth in a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy and C-58: An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Industrial Relations Board Regulations, 2012 – aka anti-scab legislation.
The supply and confidence agreement between the Liberal government and the New Democratic Party (NDP) was essential in creating an appetite for progressive, albeit imperfect, worker-friendly legislation; however, every worker in Canada should celebrate bills C-50 and C-58 as historic moments in history.
OSSTF/FEESO was proud to be part of another successful CLC lobby day; however, much more advocacy is required for long-term improvements and success. That is why every OSSTF/FEESO member is encouraged to join the effort, lobby their MP to improve bills C-50 and C-58 and support the call for national pharmacare.