Why I will be voting for Hassan Yussuff

get_imageBy Geoff Bickerton (CUPW Research Director and CUPE 1979 delegate)

At the upcoming CLC convention we are being offered a choice between leaders who have very different visions for the future of the labour movement.

Here are some of the reasons I will be supporting Hassan Yussuff:

A commitment to activism
Yussuff has committed himself to strengthen Labour Councils and adopt a more activist orientation for the CLC. We need to strengthen our lobbying activities with mobilization at the workplace and with our allies in the communities.

Diversity and respect
Yussuff has devoted his life to making the movement more diverse and inclusive. We need to foster a culture of respect and openness at all levels of the movement including the CLC Headquarters. As president I think Yussuff will be up to the challenge.

Yussuff’s experience working with affiliates will be very valuable when it comes to repairing the divisions within the movement.

Yussuff was and is an organizer. We need to approach organizing more strategically with more cooperation and less competition between affiliates. Yussuff gets it.

Courage to break the slate
Yussuff could have stayed on Ken Georgetti’s slate but he didn’t. He has taken a big risk because he knows we need real change. I like that. It’s time we had more risk takers and change makers.

His supporters
I like the people supporting his campaign. Strong endorsements from people like John Cartwright, Lana Payne and Sid Ryan Mean a lot to me.

His allies
Although there is no slate Yussuff is working with other candidates I greatly respect including Donald Lafleur of CUPW. Donald has played a strong leadership role in many struggles during the 24 years I have worked with him.

Yussuff has the experience and determination to push the NDP to represent the interests of working people and unions.

It’s about the future
I am happy Yussuff finally broke with Ken Georgetti. Now we have a real opportunity to build a stronger and more active movement. This election is about the future.

Yussuff can win
This time we can win and we can actually make a difference. I’m taking it.

And I am thankful to Hassan Husseini. When Hassan Husseini announced he was running for CLC president I signed up to support him. I have known Hassan for years and have great respect for him as an activist, intellectual and leader. I was also very impressed with his platform.

Hassan has a great group of people supporting him, people I deeply respect. I believe his decision to run is largely responsible for the political opening that now exists. He is running a principled and thoughtful campaign and for this he deserves everyone’s thanks and respect.

However, given Hassan Yussuff’s progressive campaign and the recent emergence of a Pro-Georgetti slate I now believe it is crucial to support Hassan Yussuff for all of the reasons cited above. The labour movement is clearly at a turning point and I believe it is essential that we turn forward.

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3 thoughts on “Why I will be voting for Hassan Yussuff

  1. Isn’t this interesting?
    I expected better from Geoff B.
    In any case it will take a lot more than a new Pres to turn this bureaucratic ship around.
    And if Ken happens to get re-elected?

  2. Geoff Bickerton


    “Expected better” A curious and somewhat judgemental choice of words.
    Brother I said what I think. How can you expect better than that.
    I don’t claim to have any monopoly of truth. I realize many people I respect will have different views. But I would never claim the right to stand in judgement if they simply say what they believe.
    If you disagree with me then I invite you to present your views and we can discuss. Maybe you will convince me. But saying you are “expect better” of me does not move this discussion forward in any way and
    makes me feel you claim the right to judge me for saying what I think.
    I happen to think Yussuff would make a good president. That in no way takes away from my respect for Husseini. Maybe you could explain what more you could have “expected” of me.

    In Solidarity
    Geoff Bickerton

  3. I am new to this. How can we show a united front when one of the 2 top officers of the CLC waits till 2 weeks before the convention to announce he is running against his President?
    Am I missing something?

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