Thursday, 6 September 2007

Politics and the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

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.


Frank Mentes said...

The mere fact that politicians of all stripes will campaign "from the left" and if elected, will govern "from the right" illustrates the importance of labour issues based campaigns , such as the ones the SFL promotes. It is not enough to engage citizens on the issues, but to provide voters with enough tools that regardless of which party wins any election, the citizens agenda will remain front and center. Too many times politicians capitalize on voter apathy by disregarding the very issues they campaigned on. An issues based campaign directed at working families can ensure that politicians are unable to wiggle out from the things that matter most to ordinary people. This is accomplished by maintaining the focus on people's issues post election day. By not being able to duck from the issues they will have encountered on the doorstep, politicians will have no choice but to advocate on behalf of their constituents, not special corporate interests. What a novel concept! The key then lies in labour's ability to dictate the issues of the election, and then hold politicians of all stripes accountable should they choose to disregard what ordinary citizens are telling them.

Anonymous said...

Are kidding me, SFL represents 30% of population and that is the core of the NDP vote. Your not diverse you only support the NDP.

your post should say

Sorry Larry I am not buying that nonpartisan card your playing

Anonymous said...

SFL sits on the NDP executive, not?

Larry Hubich said...

To respond to larry's question - the SFL does not sit on the NDP executive.