André Cornellier – Working Class Hero

Special Sunday Fifth Column

He may be the most hated man in Ottawa . During the OC Transpo strike he certainly did not endear himself with the public and he never said what he was supposed to say. Indeed I called him “the world's worst communicator”. But he spoke straight from the heart and the gut. In the midst of the chaos and hardship of the OC Transpo strike he made it clear that there was only one thing he cared about – his members' rights and their struggle against and OC Transpo's attempts to roll back previously negotiated contract provisions and Mayor Larry O'Brien's goal of breaking their union. He fought for them to the end not caring what anyone thought of him, only thinking about winning the battle for the workers he was leading.

An old school labour leader, he may not be the right man to lead the workers during the next stage of labour management relations at OC Transpo, that will be for them to decide, but he is still a true Working Class Hero.

No comments: