Music for labour and social justice
Unifor Community Chapter Information
An Innovative New Union Organizational Approach
Singers and accompanists in the Left Coast Labour Chorus are members of an innovative new union organization — a Community Chapter, affiliated with Local 114 of Unifor, a 4,500-member local drawn from diverse workplaces in B.C. When two major private sector unions, the Canadian Autoworkers and the Communications, Energy Paperworkers, merged in 2013 to form Unifor, community chapters were proposed as a new way of creating closer cooperation with community organizations and putting the support of union organization behind them.
The Left Coast Labour Chorus Community Chapter is the first in British Columbia. In welcoming members, Local 114 president Gord McGrath noted that “music…is a powerful language to educate and connect us and remind us of our strength and history.”
In establishing the new organization, members endorsed the objectives of their Community Chapter, which are:
To celebrate and carry on the musical traditions of the labour movement through the Left Coast Labour Chorus and to promote the work of the Chorus in the labour movement
To honour the core values of the labour movement, including unity, solidarity, equality and social justice, in the musical work of the Chorus and the Community Chapter and to reflect those values back to the labour movement
To be of service to the labour movement and the broader social justice movement, by performing for labour audiences, providing music on picket lines, conducting musical and educational workshops for local unions and promoting the development of a singing culture in Unifor and other unions.
Members pay dues to the Unifor Community Chapter — $10 per month for working members and $5 for retired — but all of the dues collected are returned to the Chapter to to assist it in carrying out its activities.
Click here to read the March 2015 announcement by Unifor Local 114 of the formation of their first community chapter, none other than the Left Coast Labour Chorus!