On behalf of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour (NBFL), and its 35,000 affiliated members, I would like to extend my best wishes to all workers in New Brunswick for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.
I wanted to especially thank and recognize everyone who works hard over the holiday period to ensure that our families and communities are safe and that we continue to receive the services that we all depend on.
The new year, like this past year, will bring with it challenges for workers in our province. Labour will continue to face employers and governments who use the courts and legislation to erode workers’ rights.
Household debt will continue to rise if we do not curb the decade old trend of giving workers wage increases that are below the cost of living. With stagnant wages, precarious work and diminishing union density, as well as continuous attacks on free collective bargaining rights, workers, their families and our communities will continue to suffer. “We cannot slash our way to prosperity.”
We were all shocked and saddened at the news, this past year, that resource giant Glencore chose to close the smelter in Belledune. This was devastating news for the local economy and the members of United Steelworkers local 7085. I want to thank all the NBFL affiliates and members of the local community who rallied to support these workers during this difficult time.
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour, and its affiliated members, will continue to forge ahead in the New Year. We will continue to stand and defend workers rights. We will continue to work with political parties to make it easier for unorganized workers to join a union. We will continue to demand that organized labour be a stakeholder and that our voices are heard by decision-makers.
The labour movement in New Brunswick is at a crossroads. Collectively, we have a choice to make. Do we continue to have our standards of living and our working conditions eroded? Or do we demand to be given our place at the table and to have our voices heard?
When employers and governments invest in working people, we are putting more money into our communities and our local economies. This will ensure that we all prosper and thrive, not just the wealthiest.
Finally, the NBFL will hold our governments and elected representatives accountable in 2020 should they decide to continue with their attacks on working people in our province. My friends, if we all stick together and demand better for ourselves, our families and our communities, then 2020 will be a good year.
It is the New Brunswick Federation of Labour’s New Year’s wish that that all workers in our province prosper and that our communities thrive.
For additional information, please contact
New Brunswick Federation of Labour
(506) 381-8969 (cell)