The CAW and CEP have issued their Final Report on their proposal to form what would be Canada’s largest private sector union. The next step is to seek approval at the CAW and CEP national conventions on August 20 -24 and October 14 – 17.
In a previous post we reviewed the proposal in its early stages. The Final Report continues with the same themes but with a more strident tone and a greater emphasis on social unionism and political action. It also details how the new union would be structured and hints at some of the challenges in uniting with a strong Québec base which demands recognition of national status and officially supports the Bloc Québecois and Parti Québecois.
The Final Report notes the decline of union presence in the private sector and makes two signficant proposals in response: commit 10% of the national budget to organizing (estimated to create an organizing fund of $10,000,000 per year) and open up membership to the unorganized.
The first priority for the organizing funds will be industries where the new union is are already strong, with the intention of using the publicity and energy generated by the merger to assist immediate, coordinated efforts.
The most innovative idea is to open up membership to those who are unorganized. The idea is to give the unorganized support and a taste of union representation, even if they are currently unable to organize, or an organizing effort has failed.
Watch for the results from the CAW convention in August. If the Final Report is rejected there, the merger dies. But if accepted, it will move on to the CEP convention in October.
In the meantime, you can review the Final Report, which has a summary of the recommendations at pp. 39 – 43.