CAW Delegates Vote to Include Youth Committees in Constitution

August 25, 2009, 3:25 PM EST

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Over 1000 delegates to the CAW Constitutional Convention in Quebec City voted unanimously to endorse a resolution that would amend the national constitution to include "youth committees" as recognized standing committees in all local unions across the country, where practical.

Over a dozen young delegates (aged 30 or younger), representing a diverse range of workplaces, spoke in favour of the resolution.

"This is an important step as our union continues to confront the challenges of generational change," said CAW Local 4005 member Sebastien Bezeau, who is also the Chairperson of the local's youth committee. "Our union has always supported young workers and the establishment of youth committees, but this constitutional amendment shows our union is proactive and that young worker development is a priority."

CAW delegates also endorsed a series of other resolutions over the course of the four-day convention, including:

- A commitment to encourage local unions to advocate for the appointment of union members, specially educated in the area of pensions, to sit as trustees on pension funds to protect the interests of workers;

- Support for green anti-poverty (GAP) job creation strategies across the country that link environmental sustainability efforts with the creation of good jobs, income security and social justice. This resolution was intended to build on the success of CAW Local 112's effort to work with low-income community partners to create a GAP coalition in the Jane/Finch community in Toronto;

- The establishment of a plain language constitution review committee to ensure the language of the CAW constitution is clear and accessible. The committee is scheduled to report back at the next Convention in 2012.

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