Labour News Update: Dec. 16, 2013

Local governments urging Canada Post to reconsider cuts: UBCM is concerned for vulnerable citizens

News 1130
Dec. 15, 2013

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The group that represents local governments across the province is concerned about a plan by Canada Post to phase out door delivery. The Union of BC Municipalities has been urging against service cuts for a while now.

Workers go on strike at delayed World Cup stadium

CBC News
Dec. 15, 2013

Workers went on strike over late pay at one of the stadiums enduring the longest delays ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, officials said Saturday. The work stoppage happened in the southern city of Curitiba, where world champion Spain is expected to be based during football’s showcase event next year.



Labour court halts work at Brazil World Cup stadium after death: 3rd death at a World Cup venue in less than a month
Dec. 15, 2013

A labour court on Sunday halted construction in part of the World Cup stadium where a man fell 115 feet (35 metres) to his death while working on a roofing structure in the jungle city of Manaus, further delaying the venue that will host England vs. Italy and three other matches next June.

Striking workers call for better wages, ‘business as usual’ at ACC: Dozens of striking workers braved frigid tempartures on picket lines ahead of Saturday night Toronto Maple Leafs game

Jessica Diarmid
Toronto Star
Dec. 14, 2013

Dozens of striking workers huddled deep into winter coats, red scarves tied over wind burnt faces, as the second day of picketing for better wages saw temperatures drop to –12 C.

Snow fell heavily and wind gusted around the outside of the Air Canada Centre, where about 600 Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment employees walked off the job on Friday.

City workers out on strike Saturday

Prince George Citizen
Dec. 14, 2013

City of Prince George workers were out on strike on Saturday, closing several public facilities for the day.

The one-day strike was slated to last from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. The strike closed CN Centre, the Prince George Coliseum, Prince George Aquatic Centre, Kin Centres, and Elkcentre, according to information released by the city. The Four Seasons Leisure Pool has been closed for pool maintenance since Dec. 2.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 1048 president Janet Bigelow said workers want to tell city administration that it’s time to, “come back to the table with a fair collective agreement.”

Local labour groups demand minimum wage to be increased

Dec. 14, 2013

As Christmas approaches, labour activists are trying to sell the province on an idea they believe could help stabilize the community. They want the province to increase minimum wage from the current $10.25 an hour to $14 per hour.

“Even if you are finding a full time job at $10.25, you’re barely making ends meet. After paying the rent and maybe a bit of food and transportation, there’s nothing left,” says Deena Ladd of the Worker’s Action Centre.

Economics, labour and the miseducation of Stephen Harper and Tim Hudak

Rick Salutin
Dec. 13, 2013

Tim Hudak is a great example of the damage a good education can do. So is Stephen Harper. Both are products of university economics departments in the late 20th century. Each has a proud MA in the field. Like their American cognate — Paul Ryan — they’ve chosen to implement economic policy with no or little experience in the work world. Hudak worked briefly at a low level for Walmart; almost an internship. Since then — all politics.

Labour reforms will give government the tools it needs to reduce PS wage bill

Kathryn May
Ottawa Citizen
Dec. 12, 2013

OTTAWA — The new labour legislation for Canada’s public service gives the Conservative government the tools to start chipping away at the nearly $44-billion annual wage bill.

The labour reforms in the government’s omnibus budget bill passed Thursday evening overhaul 50-years of collective bargaining, giving the government the power to decide which public servants can strike, are essential workers or can go to arbitration to settle a labour dispute.

The battle at Canada Post and the future of our public servicesCUPW struggle

Dave Bush
Dec. 11, 2013

The announcement this morning that Canada Post Corporation will end home delivery in urban areas, increase the cost of postage and layoff between 8,000 to 10,000 employees over the next five years is shameful.

Management at the Crown Corporation cites the decreasing volume of mail and the losses accrued since the lockout of 2011. Never mind the facts that before 2011 Canada Post was profitable for 16 straight years and in 2012 Canada Post reported a profit of 98 million dollars. It is worth noting the financial woes have occurred precisely when management invested 2 billion dollars in new equipment, instituted a number of structural and operational changes despite the clear signs that letter volume was lessening.

Personal support workers strike: 4,500 off the job across Ontario

CTV News
Dec. 11, 2013

Approximately 4,500 personal support workers walked off the job Wednesday across the province. The workers are employed by Red Cross Care Partners and are part of the SEIU Healthcare union. They don’t directly provide medical care, but do help improve the lives of their clients by helping them with their daily needs.

Canada Post to phase out urban home mail delivery: Up to 8,000 jobs will be cut, while cost of stamps is going up

CBC News
Dec. 11, 2013

Canada Post is phasing out door-to-door delivery of regular mail to urban residents and increasing the cost of postage in a major move to try to reduce significant, regular losses.

The Crown corporation announced its plans Wednesday, saying urban home delivery will be phased out over the next five years.

Starting March 31, the cost of a stamp to mail a standard-size first-class letter will increase to 85 cents if bought in a pack, up from 63 cents. Individual stamps will cost a dollar.

Canada Post said that over the next five years, it will eliminate 6,000 to 8,000 positions, but it expects 15,000 workers will leave the company or retire within that period.

‘Volatile’ Labour Relations Coming In 2014: Conference Board

The Huffington Post Canada
Dec. 11, 2013

As 18 unions and labour organizations representing federal government workers line up to sue the Harper government over changes to public service labour laws, a think tank is warning that 2014 could be a year of labour strife in Canada.

The People’s Potash

Andrew Stevens
Dec. 10, 2013

Less than a week into December, Saskatoon-based Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) announced that it would be cutting its workforce by about 18 percent. Over a thousand employees across the company’s North American operations will be laid off, with the most significant job losses hitting Saskatchewan. Around 440 workers will be left unemployed in PotashCorp’s home province. Workers at PCS mine sites were told about the downsizing through a televised broadcast of PotashCorp CEO, Bill Doyle. The CEO’s “Operating and Workforce Changes” message can be found on the company’s website.

In his address, Doyle failed to point out that PCS had $555 million of cash on its balance sheet in the third quarter of 2013. Earnings for the same period reached $356 million, down from $645 million the previous year, but still the second highest nine-month cash flow from operating activities in companyhistory. By restricting output and shutting down operations, PCS is working to inflate potash prices and increase profits, all on the backs of workers.

New non-partisan anti-union group emerges as Tories push labour issues to the forefront

Robert Benzie
Toronto Star
Dec. 9, 2013

A new anti-union group has sprung up just as the Progressive Conservatives threaten to make labour issues a key ballot question in the next election. With Ontarians expected to go to the polls as early as May, Working Canadians wants to raise awareness about the influence of “union bosses” on the province.



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