Aug 31, 2017

By Bob Komsic

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With Labour Day nearly upon us, the prime minister reassures unionized workers that a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement will be a deal something they can be proud of.
(Graham Hughes / Canadian Press)
Justin Trudeau addressed the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada national convention in Montreal.
”This modernization has been a long time coming and we’re going to get a fair deal for Canadian workers”.
During the 15-minute speech he painted the Liberals as a friend of labour, citing the new Canada child benefit, higher taxes on the wealthiest one-percent and other measures to help youth employment.
“The bottom line is, after years of neglect, organized labour finally has a strong partner in Ottawa, and we will not let you down,” the prime minister said to a standing ovation from several hundred union delegates.
The national president of UFCW, which represents 250,000 workers, says while Ottawa appeared willing to listen to labour’s concerns, the standing ovation should not be viewed as a sign Trudeau’s winning over the labour vote.
“He (Trudeau) was received with enthusiasm because we’ve never had a prime minister accept our invitation before,” said Paul Meinema, who also stressed the union is not reconsidering its support of the NDP.
”It would be a discussion that we would have to have at our collective meetings, but at this point we are supporters of the New Democratic Party.”
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