Last Wednesday, a delegation from the Canadian Labour Congress(shown above, with VWC Healthcare Organizer Erika Simard) visited the Workers’ Center. The visit was part of a week-long class called The Changing Face of the Canadian Labour Movement: Unions Responding in Solidarity led by Karl Flecker, National Director of the Congress’s Anti-Racism and Human Rights Department. The purpose of the course was to help rank and file trade unionists examine the changing demographics and new issues facing workers today, including water/trade, immigration, globalization, security, and migrant issues.
The Canadians got a chance to speak with Donna Iverson, a Burlington paraeducator and leader of the livable wage victory, and Vermont NEA staff and former director of the Vermont Livable Wage CampaignEmma Mulvaney-Stanak, about the strategies and tactics used in the long struggle for livable wages in the Burlington school district. They also spoke with VWC Healthcare Organizer Erika Simard about the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign, and, like most international visitors, expressed shock at the inhumane and inefficient and healthcare “system” in the U.S.
VWC Coordinating Committee member Jonathan Kissam gave them a walking tour of the Old North End, discussing the demographics and some of the neighborhood community struggles that the Workers’ Center has been involved in, including supporting efforts to keep Lawrence Barnes school open.