Fuelling hope and optimism is the beginning of a new year. In the midst of a global pandemic the beginning of 2021 may even be therapeutic. There is no short cut to worldwide healing and health, but there is a path to helping our community. The Grey Bruce Labour Council (GBLC) and organized labour in Canada have collaborated with the United Way for over six decades to help Canadians in need. The challenge to meet the needs of community members and Canadians in general, as we all collectively fightback against COVID-19, has never been more expansive.
Having donated $3,200 to the COVID relief fund in Grey and Bruce in 2020, GBLC is stepping up to the mark again as 2021 commences with a further donation of $1,650 in aid of the COVID relief fund. According to Gord Cale, Grey Bruce Labour Council Treasurer and OSSTF member, “As a result of the Province declaring a twenty-eight or more day period of lockdown in our area our concern for the wellbeing of members of our community without housing is again a priority. We have also been made aware that the women’s shelters are faced with both an increase in need and a reduction of resources”.
Grey Bruce Labour Council VP’s and CUPE members, Chris Stephen and Dave Trumble, point to the desire of all the delegates to the Labour Council to support the relief fund, but both VPs see Brother Cale as championing the efforts by continually keeping this fund on our agenda. “Well done brother! The pandemic has caused uncertainty and a sense of life’s precarity. The most vulnerable in our community are experiencing the worst that the pandemic is capable of throwing at us. The focus of the COVID relief fund is to support those most vulnerable and it is a great credit to the United Way to see and fulfill this need while it is a privilege for the Labour Council to donate.”
OSSTF member and Labour Council President Kevin Smith said that, “An engine for positive social change is a well deserved description for organized labour and this 100-plus year reputation is served very well by the voice of labour in our region, the Grey Bruce Labour Council. The council carefully stewards the resources provided by our affiliated unions. With this in mind, donating to the relief fund is supported unanimously each time it comes to the floor of the council.”
Smith further notes that the pandemic has not stopped the Grey Bruce Labour Council from carrying out the much needed work of the council on behalf of thousands of workers and proudly exclaims, “Labour across Canada is a key facet to getting all of us through the pandemic and unlocking the successes and recovery in a post pandemic world. As we proceed with caution into 2021, there is much we must undertake to look after each other. Looking after each other is not an option, it is an undeniable list of things we must collectively do to protect each other and to mount a successful recovery and post pandemic world. Organized labour intuitively and through painful experience knows that our world pre-pandemic did not work for everyone. Taking the time to do as the Labour Council has done in donating, or as the United Way does every day, is but one of the responsibilities we have to move us all forward.”
On behalf of the Grey Bruce Labour Council and thousands of workers in our region, please have a safe and healthy new year.