The role of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is to advocate on behalf of working people. As an umbrella organization representing over 93,500 working families from 36 different and autonomous unions comprised of over 700 different locals we have a diversity of opinion within the memberships of those unions and consequently within the SFL.
In the lead-up to the 2003 provincial election the SFL ran a labour issues campaign that focused on issues important to our broad and diverse membership. Political parties who were interested in garnering support from working families responded to our issues with policy statements and election platforms.
You see it's this way - working men and women elect governments. It's not the other way around.
Because union philosophy and principle is rooted in collective action and in ensuring workers have a democratic voice in the workplace - their political orientation can be described as "progressive". Unions defend worker rights, negotiate for a more fair and equitable distribution of wealth, advocate for healthy and safe workplaces, and fight discrimination to name just a few things.
It will come as no surprise then, that politicians and political parties who respond effectively to these matters of social justice will enjoy broad based support from working families, and consequently their unions.
In the near future, you can expect to see the SFL engaging in a membership based campaign to talk about issues important to Saskatchewan families and urging people to support candidates who support them.
If you are a candidate or political party who attacks working women and men, and/or who attacks their democratic organizations - don't expect a warm reception.
Remember, workers elect politicians - it's not the other way around.