VANCOUVER, April 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Scandals and court challenges created by the Harper government's Temporary Foreign Worker Program will be a focus of the 52nd United Steelworkers National Policy Conference beginning Tuesday in Vancouver.
Representatives of First Nations and Chinese communities, along with national labour and political leaders, will join hundreds of Canadian Steelworkers to examine the ongoing controversy surrounding the temporary worker program.
The United Steelworkers (USW) has launched legal proceedings in Federal Court to challenge the Harper government's approval for temporary foreign workers to replace existing employees at RBC.
The USW also has played a leading role in exposing the Conservative government's approval for hiring temporary foreign workers for mining jobs in British Columbia even though hundreds of Canadian applicants were not even granted interviews.
Federal New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair and bestselling author Linda McQuaig also will attend the USW National Policy Conference, being held at Vancouver's Westin Bayshore Hotel and Conference Centre, April 16-18.
Prominent national and international human rights and labour activists also are on the agenda for the three-day conference. More than 650 Steelworkers delegates from across the country are attending the conference.
Tom Mulcair, Leader of Canada's NDP and the Official Opposition in Parliament, will be the conference's keynote speaker on Thursday.
Linda McQuaig, who has systematically documented the retrograde and destructive effects of the neoconservative agenda, will appear as keynote speaker on Tuesday.
Other conference highlights include:
- A video and keynote presentation by USW National Director for Canada Ken Neumann on Tuesday, followed by a keynote address by Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard on Wednesday;
- International launch of the book Collapse of Dignity, by exiled Mexican labour leader Napoleon Gomez (General Secretary, Los Mineros), documenting corporate and political corruption and repression of labour and human rights in Mexico (Wednesday);
- A keynote address by Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of the new IndustriALL Global Union, representing 50 million workers in 140 countries (Thursday).
- A keynote address by Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti (Thursday).
Delegates attending the USW conference will debate and set policy for the union's initiatives on collective bargaining, workplace health and safety, organizing non-union workers, political action, and economic, human rights and social justice issues.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
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