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January 14, 2020

Linda Silas announces run for presidency of the Canadian Labour Congress

Read Linda’s January 3 letter to members of the Canadian Labour Congress, below.

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,

As we begin a new year and a new decade, I wanted to take a moment to reach out, reflect on our shared fights and common goals, and ensure you hear directly from me about my intentions in 2020.

Hardworking families are under attack from governments across our country. Well-funded forces in our society are making it harder for millions of workers to be heard—both in our democracy and in our workplaces. And instead of working to bring us together, partisan interests are dividing us in a dangerous game that gives oxygen to hate and cynicism, instead of the understanding and tolerance we need.

So serious are the challenges ahead of us that failure to meet this moment could put us in a permanent position of defense. But with a commitment to rebuilding a movement that drives our progress, I’m ready to fight, for all of us.

I grew up in a union town that lost everything. I’ve met with neighbours who have experienced setbacks that last a generation. I’ve seen how important it is for struggling workers to see the hope that comes from our movement.

My experience started in the student movement in New Brunswick. From that moment onward, I continued the fight as a local president, as a provincial labour leader, culminating with 16 years of national and international experience committed to our cause—whether it’s fighting for good jobs, better public services, universal access to quality healthcare, an inclusive society, or a clean environment.

It is my core belief that our common goals can in fact only be realized when proven fighters like us come together. Union and non-union workers alike need to know that they have allies in a strong union ecosystem. Our communities need us at our best. They need the collective strength of our labour movement on their side.

We are a big, complex organization that includes unions, Labour Councils, and Federations of Labour, all across Canada. The work we do is serious, and the reboot required will mean leveraging our experience.

I’m ready to meet this moment with a positive vision and action plan that re-energizes our grassroots membership and puts workers at the centre of our agenda.

That’s why I’m writing now to confirm my intent to stand for the position of President of the Canadian Labour Congress in May 2020.

I humbly ask for your support. It is my commitment to you that I will work to earn it—as well as that of your members and your governing body. Please accept this as a special request to meet with you and your Executive Board at your next available meeting.

In the weeks to come my team and I will reach out to you because we can’t do this without your leadership.

Wishing you peace and solidarity, always!

Linda Silas

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions