Over 75 retirees from Local 2002 gathered at the Fairfield Inn in Mississauga, Ontario on Thursday, June 18, 2009 to discuss the benefits of starting a retiree chapter.
The enthusiasm of the group made this initial meeting a great success and by the end of the meeting, six people had volunteered to form a steering committee.
Dean Lindsay, CAW National Coordinator for retired workers spoke to the group about staying involved both socially and politically. He was joined by guest speakers, Len Harrison and Len Hope, retired CAW workers who remain very involved at local and national levels of the CAW.
Also available to answer participants’ questions was CAW National Pension and Benefits Representative, Marcia Gillespie.
CAW retirees make invaluable contributions to their communities by supporting organizations through volunteer work and lobbying the government about issues of the day that affect so many retirees, like health care and pension cuts.
“We get involved in campaigns that affect everybody, whether they are working or retired, and we have a lot of fun while we do it,” said Len Harrison, Chairperson of the Retired Workers Association and National Executive Board member.
Retired workers have clout at the polls; politicians know that more than any other demographic, retirees voice their opinions through their vote. They are not afraid to get involved; no one is going to fire them for speaking out!
Not surprisingly, the CAW retiree’s motto is: Retired from the job, not the fight!
The CAW National Retired Workers’ department assists 59 retiree chapters to set up programs and services for monthly meetings and special events. They also help to set the agenda for the annual Retired Workers Council and Conference, held every year in September at the CAW Family Education Centre at Port Elgin, Ontario.
At this annual conference, resolutions submitted by retired workers chapters and area councils are debated and approved. These resolutions form the briefs and lobbies for all levels of government, to protect the rights and dignity for all senior citizens. It is concluded with a retired workers’ parade, with delegates from across the country proudly participating.
Every local union with at least 25 retired members can form a retired workers chapter. It is hoped that Local 2002 retirees in regions across Canada will chose to stay connected with each other and their unions and form their own area councils.
Retirement is not the end of activity within the union, it’s a new beginning.
For more information please contact:
Rita Reid, VP Central Region
Sandra Cormier, VP Eastern Region
Patty Southey, Financial Secretary