Blog | What's in a Name?
/ Author: Paul Wilson
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Blog | What's in a Name?

Early on Easter Sunday I headed down to my local gas station to fill my car. Much to my surprise a sign on the door said, “We will open at 8 a.m.” It was 7:50 a.m., so I decided to wait. While I was waiting a man approached the locked door, and I shared the news that the store was closed and would open in ten minutes.

After a few seconds a conversation began. We exchanged names, talked about the cold weather and how pitiful the Leafs season was. Eventually my chat with Alan landed on the topic of where we worked. Alan shared with me that he was a millwright and that he had worked in the Cambridge area for many years. In answer to his question about where I worked, I responded, “I work for CLAC, an independent, multi-sector trade union.”

“What does CLAC stand for?” he asked. “The Christian Labour Association of Canada,” I replied.

“Christian?” he asked. “Yes.” I said. “We are a union that is based on Christian social principles of respect, fairness dignity, integrity, co-operation and partnership. We are convinced that there is a better way of providing union representation where employees and employers work together in partnership to achieve shared interests and goals.”

“Can anyone join your union?” he asked. “Everyone is welcome to become a member,” I responded.

“Who doesn’t want that?” he asked. At this point the store opened, and our conversation ended with me giving Alan my business card, encouraging him to check out our website and wishing him a “Happy Easter!”

I have no idea if Alan has followed up and checked out our website, but my conversation with him had a profound effect on me. I came away more convinced than ever that the core identity of our organization matters, and it is something we should be proud of. I know that for many people the “Christian” in our name is an obstacle, but it also offers us an opportunity. If we have the courage to boldly and proudly share what we stand for there will be those like Alan who will see the value of what we have to offer and respond with, “Who doesn’t want that?” Who indeed?

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