Labour News Update: October 7, 2013


UFCW 401 Reaches a Tentative Deal with Loblaws


Around the clock negotiations between union officials and Loblaw bargaining team have been ongoing since last Thursday.

Sequestered in a Calgary hotel in a basement meeting room, your union negotiating committee has been unrelenting in pursuing a new deal for Alberta Superstore & Liquorstore employees.

That deal has been struck.

Superstore strike forces shoppers to debate crossing pickets

CBC, October 6, 2013.

All Superstore and Liquorstore locations remain open while negotiations continue between Superstore workers and parent-company Loblaw.

8,500 Superstore workers across Alberta went on strike Sunday morning after last-ditch bargaining failed to produce an agreement. Late Saturday night, a spokesperson with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union said the two sides were still far apart on several key issues.

The union says Loblaw’s owner, Galen Weston, is out of touch with Alberta’s booming needs, which leaves workers scrambling to maintain quality and safety despite slashed hours and high employee turnover.


Jobless but not broken: Youth workers gather to talk unemployment

By H.G. Watson, October 3, 2013

“Who here has worked two or more jobs at the same time?” asked Roxanne Dubois, a staff member at Unifor and former Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) chair, to over 30 people, most under 30 years old, in a conference room at Ryerson University.


‘Potentially biased’ poll did not violate professional standards: ruling

By Peter O’Niel, Vancouver Sun. October 3, 2013.

A complaint against a 2011 poll that was used to promote legislation opposed by unions was dismissed Thursday by the organization that oversees polling standards in Canada.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association panel review found that Nanos Research, a prominent Ottawa-based polling firm, did not violate association standards or bring “discredit” to the polling profession.

The ruling, made public Thursday, dismissed a complaint against Nanos by the Canadian Labour Congress.

But the ruling did say Nanos’s handling of two questions in the poll resulted in the release of “potentially biased information” on public attitudes about that proposed law.


Students at University of Windsor occupy President’s office in support CUPE 1393 workers

Monday September 30th, 2013 – University of Windsor President Dr. Alan Wildeman sits down with students occupying his office to discuss their demands for a resolution to the CUPE 1393 strike. Voices on track include graduate students/occupiers Travis, Mia and Brent as well as Dr. Wildeman. Content is Creative Commons with attribution to Student-Worker Alliance.


EI crackdown criticized for drop in Atlantic recipients

Canadian Press, October 2013

A disproportionate drop in employment insurance recipients in Atlantic Canada suggests federal EI restrictions are having a negative impact that will only get worse as seasonal industries lay off staff, critics say.

“Those changes target seasonal workers,” said Erin Weir, an economist with the United Steelworkers Canadian national office. “We’ve already seen in the data that the number of employment insurance recipients has been cut more sharply in the Atlantic provinces than nationally.


Thunder Bay newspaper cutbacks a ‘new low’

CBC, October 3, 2013

The union representing workers at the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal says it’s worried by recent developments at the paper.

John Webster, the staff representative with Unifor, says a decision by the Chronicle Journal to stop paying some columnists — and to lay off local reporters — is taking a toll.


Hey teachers: Stephen McNeil won’t save you

By Ben Sichel, Halifax Media Co-op. October 3, 2013

The education system is part of a society which has allowed a tiny minority to gradually accumulate vast amounts of wealth at the expense of everyone else while destroying the natural environment, yet public education focuses more and more on preparing kids to become cogs in the great machine. No matter who is elected in Nova Scotia next week, on October 9th teachers, parents and students should follow the excellent example of the Chicago Teachers Union and start fighting for a real education. I hope to write more about this in coming months.


Not our dads’ unions anymore

By Larry Savage and Stephanie Ross, Hamilton Spectator. October 4, 2013

A typical union member in Canada today is likely to be female and work in the public sector, a big change from the primarily male, blue-collar, industrial workforce that dominated the union movement well into the 1980s. The demographic makeup of the Canadian labour movement has undergone a slow but dramatic transformation over the course of the past three decades.


Prison inmates’ strike over pay spreads

By Maureen Brosnahan, CBC. October 3, 2013

A strike by federal inmates over a cut in their pay that began in Ontario has now spread to prisons in New Brunswick, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

The inmates are protesting against a 30 per cent pay cut that took effect this week. The federal government began deducting the money from prisoners’ pay cheques as part of a move to recover costs under the government’s Deficit Reduction Action Plan.


Kathleen Wynne withdraws Liberal support for EllisDon bill

By Richard J. Brennan, Toronto Star. October 2, 2013

Premier Kathleen Wynne has pulled a surprise about-face, withdrawing Liberal support for controversial Progressive Conservative legislation giving EllisDon relief from a deal forcing the construction giant to hire only unionized workers.

Wynne told the Legislature Wednesday that private member’s Bill 74 is unnecessary because an Ontario Divisional Court decision on Friday overturned an earlier Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruling holding the London, Ont.-based firm to the 1958 agreement.


Thunder Bay Transit talks hit speed bump

CBC, October 3, 2013

Despite help from a conciliator, negotiators for the city and the bus drivers union were unable to make enough headway yesterday to reach a collective agreement at Thunder Bay Transit.

The talks were adjourned, but Amalgamated Transit Union Local 966 president Sheila Kivisto said she isn’t ready to predict a strike.


No end in sight for Richmond Ikea labour dispute

By Wendy Stueck, Globe and Mail. October 2, 2013

A labour dispute at an Ikea store in Richmond appears no closer to resolution, as no talks are scheduled between the company and the union representing 300 full- and part-time employees.

 Most employees at the store have been off the job since early May. The store has closed some departments, including a restaurant and children’s play area, and is currently closed one day a week.

OHRIA: Horse Racing Industry Job Losses Double That Of Blackberry

the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association issued a press release which states that the job losses caused by the cancellation of the Slots-at-Racetracks Program are more than double the expected worldwide job losses of Blackberry.


Review: How the Early Flight Attendants Fought Sexism and Homophobia

By, Amanda Armstrong, Labor Notes. October 1 2013

In his new book, Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants, Paul Tiemeyer collects stories about, generally, white men who worked—or tried to work—as flight attendants for U.S. airlines.

Their stories are compelling, and tell us about aspects of the airline industry that haven’t yet been discussed in writing. But because Tiemeyer mostly leaves their sister flight attendants outside the frame of his discussion, the book feels incomplete.







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