December 31, 2015

CANADIAN ORGANISED LABOR'S WHENCE AND WHITHER written by Andrew Taylor, Dec 31, 2015

Canadian Labour Congress Sec-Treasurer Barbara Byers has been nominated for the Order of Canada...
The verdict on the political significance and implications of the bestowal of this award from the representative of the Crown to a high official in Canadian Trade Unionism depends entirely on the goal of labor as it stands on the doorstep of 2016. 
What condition do the average Canadian working people find themselves in as 2016 dawns? 
Are we in a time that sees labor organising the private as well as the public sector working class? 
"Figures from Statistics Canada suggest the labour movement in Canada is in a 30-year decline. And while numbers have stabilized in recent years, organized labour is surviving but not thriving — and anchored disproportionately in the public sector."

Are victories in conditions, social programs and living standards as well as political campaigns by the CLC for the progress of all Canadians being pressed forward today? 
Or are we in the age of neoliberalism worldwide, an era of the shrinkage of the middle-class, of Labour timidity, concessions, cutbacks and the reduction of the NDP's historic demands? 
Did the social democratic party aligned with the CLC  retain the Official Opposition in the recent federal elections or did it lose significant support and a large proportion of NDP parliamentary deputies? 
The answers to these questions are the criteria for discerning the actual class-meaning of receiving the Establishment recognition at this era from The Liberal Government via Rideau Hall . - AT
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“I’m absolutely humbled by this,” Byers said. “I share this honour with everybody who has dedicated themselves to the labour movement, the social justice movement, and the equality movement. I could not do what I do without their efforts, so this is a recognition I share with all of them.”

Order of Canada Recognizes Barbara Byers' Labour Movement Contributions


Link: http://canadianlabour.ca/news/news-archive/order-canada-recognizes-barbara-byers-labour-movement-contributions
December 30, 2015


the 3 grades of the Order of Canada

When Canadian Labour Congress Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Byers found out she had been nominated for the Order of Canada, she was stunned.

Byers was one of 69 Canadians named yesterday as a Member of the Order, one of the country’s highest civilian honours. Governor General David Johnston chose to recognize Byers “for her contributions as an important voice in the Canadian labour movement.”

Byers has a long history of fighting for the underdog. As a social worker in Saskatchewan she addressed issues of poverty, youth unemployment, aboriginal concerns, inequality, and labour rights. 

Her political activism brought her to the leadership of the SGEU, where she spent four year opposing the Grant Devine Conservative government’s attempts to privatize public services, weaken labour laws for both unionized and non-unionized workers, and cut social services.

As President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour, Byers worked to overwhelmingly defeat the scandal-ridden Saskatchewan government, and led the fight for a better province for over 14 years. 

In 2002 she was elected Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress and in 2014 she was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

“I’m absolutely humbled by this,” Byers said. “I share this honour with everybody who has dedicated themselves to the labour movement, the social justice movement, and the equality movement. I could not do what I do without their efforts, so this is a recognition I share with all of them.”

A few of the other Canadians named as Members of the Order of Canada yesterday include authors Joseph Boyden and Rohinton Mistry; Arctic explorer Richard Weber; Stratford Festival director Antoni Cimolino; photojournalist Ted Grant; lung cancer research leader Dr. Frances Alice Shepherd; and the first woman House of Commons clerk, Audrey O’Brien.

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