The presidential election for the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is happening tomorrow at the CLC Convention. rabble.ca labour reporter H.G. Watson has put together a list of the candidates and a brief summary of their platforms.
Incumbent Ken Georgetti's campaign has focused on his accomplishments during his time as CLC president. With 15 years as president, he has an impressive list of accomplishments including the Municipalities Matter campaign and Fairness Works, the CLCs public relations effort to start changing the public perception of unions.
Georgetti drove this message home at the debate Wednesday while also responding to questions about whether he would encourage strategic voting that was not in support of the NDP, saying that the only strategy for the CLC is to vote strategically for the NDP.
He also reaffirmed his commitment to building a diverse labour movement, pointing out that his "win together" team of Nathalie Stringer, Laurie Antonin and Kelly Murphy is actually gender imbalanced, in the favour of women, and that he wants young people to take their place at the leadership table.
What Georgetti drove home was the momentum he believes he has, saying that now is not the time for a new president -- not with so much at stake. See more on his campaign website.
With the support of his own, and Husseini's supporters, Hassan Yussuff laid out his vision for a CLC that will mobilize the labour movement at the grassroots level to defeat the Conservative agenda. In an interview with rabble in April, Yussuff said that he wants this mobilization to begin at the labour council level.
His campaign has capitalized on many of the discussions within the labour movement that have called for the movement to unify in order to improve the public image of unions and ensure political parties more favourable to union interests take power. "There is a wind of change blowing in Canada's trade union movement," Yussuff wrote in the preamble to his campaign platform.
During the candidates forum, Yussuff noted that he has fought for unions everyday and would not back down, even when faced by pressure to acquiesce to the demand of special interest groups or political parties.
He also re-affirmed his commitment to creating an inclusive environment at the CLC, saying that he could work with anybody who is elected. Yussuff's vision document can be found on his website.
To borrow a phrase from Husseini, this has been an unconventional convention. Husseini added his own twist when he used his opening remarks to announce he was dropping out of the race and throwing his full support behind Hassan Yussuff.
"There has been a dialogue with Yussuff and his campaign team," he said. Once Yussuff's team guaranteed that they would advocate for the principles outlined in Husseini's campaign platform, he felt comfortable withdrawing from the race. "[It was] knowing fairly well that the issues that we've raised have been picked up by one of the candidates who has promised change."
Though he's no longer in the race, Husseini promised he would be keeping a close watch to ensure that Yussuff lives up to his campaign promises. "I told him when I was leaving, I'm going to hold you accountable -- not only me, but the movement that will survive afterwards."
Photo: flickr/M. M. Sand
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