CURC

Hamilton-area CURC Council shows the way for retirees’ political action

Les membres de l’ASRC appuient fermement les membres de la section locale 1005 des Métallurgistes unis sur la ligne de piquetage érigée devant les installations de US Steel à Hamilton. De gauche à droite : Malcolm Buchanan, président du conseil de l’ASRC regroupant les régions d’Hamilton, de Burlington et d’Oakville; Joe Ortalizio, membre à titre individuel de l’exécutif; Bill Thompson et Royce Arnold, membres de l’ASRC; Lena Sutton, présidente de la section 10 de la Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR), Bill Scandlan, de la SOAR, ancien permanent des MUA et directeur du divertissement durant la grève contre Stelco en 1946; Ray Silenzie, membre de la SOAR, ancien permanent des MUA, ancien président de la section locale 1005 et ancien président de la section 10 de la SOAR.

CURC members have been solid in their support of Steelworkers Local 1005 on their picket line at US Steel in Hamilton. From left to right, Malcolm Buchanan, president of CURC's Hamitlon, Burlington and Oakville Area Council; Joe Ortalizio, member at large on the Council executive; CURC members Bill Thompson and Royce Arnold; Lena Sutton, president of Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) Chapter 10, Bill Scandlan of SOAR, a former USW staff member and director of entertainment during the 1946 Stelco strike; Ray Silenzie of SOAR, former USW staff member, former president of Local 1005 and former president of SOAR Chapter 10.

CURC’s Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville Area Council holds bimonthly meetings. Since December 2010, the major topic for discussion and action has been the CLC/CURC campaign for retirement security and pension renewal. Representatives attending the council meetings receive the latest information from the CLC and the Hamilton and District Labour Council. A CLC representative attends the CURC council meeting. All representatives are requested to share the information received with members of their local retiree organizations. All are requested to implement the agreed-to actions as determined by the CURC council. Actions include: direct personal lobbying of local MPs and MP’s, letter writing and e-mails to local MPs and MPPs, letters to local newspapers, etc. Model briefs and speaking notes are provided to help representatives carry out agreed lobbying actions.

In the last several months, the Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville Area Council directly lobbied all of the Hamilton-area MPPs on the enhanced CPP proposal.

Since January, 2011, the focus of the Council’s activities has been lobbying for support of John Rafferty’s Private Members Bill C-501: An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and other Acts [pension protection]. Lobbying materials have been shared with the Hamilton and District Labour Council, the Oakville District Labour Council, and area NDP riding associations. The Hamilton CURC executive prepared a written brief and presented it in person to David Sweet and Mike Wallace, Conservative MPs who serve on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology that is currently reviewing Bill C-501. All Hamilton NDP MP’s have received the CURC brief.

Members of CURC's Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville Area Council were among the 10,000 who demonstrated their support for locked-out members of Steelworkers Local 1005 at US Steel in Hamilton Jan. 29. The workers have been fighting US Steel's demand to gut their pension plan for nearly a year on the picket line.

Members of the CURC Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville Area Council were among the 10,000 who demonstrated their support for locked-out members of Steelworkers Local 1005 at US Steel in Hamilton Jan. 29. The workers have been fighting the US Steel demand to gut their pension plan for nearly a year on the picket line.

Since December, the Area Council has been supportive of the locked-out USWA Local 1005 workers at US Steel in Hamilton. Representatives of Local 1005 are invited to the regional CURC council meetings to provide reports and requests for assistance. CURC members and union retirees attended a major rally on Jan. 29 in support of the locked-out USWA workers. CURC members have received lawn and window signs supporting the locked-out workers and have attended the locked-out Steelworkers’ picket line on a regular basis. The Council has embraced the slogan: “Their struggle is our struggle –Protect pensions for pensioners.”

Most recently, the Council has helped distribute a petition supporting Bill 45, the proposed anti-scab legislation in Ontario.

In addition to CLC/OFL initiatives, the Council organizes educational seminars and presentations. At the January council meeting, the topic was poverty in Hamilton. A poverty and community activist with the Hamilton Social Planning and Research Council made the presentation.

The Hamilton and Area Chapter regards itself not as a social group, but as the politically active arm of retired trade unionists.

CURC members and representatives from Local 1005 USWA (locked out) attended the Hamilton, Oakville and Burlington Area Council's meeting to hear guest Speaker Deirdre Pike from the Hamilton Social Planning and Research Council.

CURC members and representatives from Local 1005 USWA (locked out) attended the Hamilton, Oakville and Burlington Area Council's meeting to hear guest Speaker Deirdre Pike from the Hamilton Social Planning and Research Council.

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