I have to say that my faith in this Union was extremely challenged over the last eight months. As a new member of the National Executive Board, my experience with this group has been very different then what I expected it to be. There has been a lot of tension within this group, there has been a lot of in-fighting, and there has been a lot of time wasted on throwing stones and defending actions.
This is a time we could have been spending making the working lives of our members better. That, after all, is our purpose: to better the lives of our members through collective fighting, making sure we have thorough well laid-out approaches to solve member issues.
When I look at what has happened over the last few months I have a lot of unanswered questions. These questions will probably never get answered as there is reluctance to participate in the investigation process leaving a large void of uncertainty. Uncertainty cannot be the future of Unifor. We have been given the biggest challenge of our trade unionist careers and we have to make a major decision on how we as Unifor move forward. The team of Lana Payne, Len Poirier, Gavin McGarrigle, Dayle Steadman and Jennifer Murray is that way forward.
When you look at the track record of success for this group, it is unmatched. Each of these individuals has shown to all of the membership their dedication and desires to make the lives of our members better. They have had tremendous success doing so! I have had the privilege of working with most of this team before. I have seen them in action and I know they have what it takes to move us beyond what has happened and into the brighter future we the membership deserve. Their core principles and action plan show their clear commitment to fixing key problems using the input from the members as a guide. This is the way forward.
Integrity, transparency, a commitment to bringing us back to our founding principles, this is all so important moving forward. The Forward Together Team’s platform ensures we won’t make the same mistakes of the past that we will make all the necessary changes moving forward, and in the end the members win. There is so much more to do, convention is just the tip of that iceberg but we can rebuild this Union to ensure it is a Union for everyone. Let’s all move Forward Together!
Matthew Blois, Unifor Atlantic Regional Chairperson, Unifor Aerospace Council Secretary-Treasurer