Rankandfile.ca Weekly Labour News Update – March 24

CN Rail | Port Metro Vancouver | Nova Scotia nurses | Alberta pensions | CLC presidency | Canada Post | Carleton U | Halifax Second Cup | BC foresters

Workers at CN reject second contract offer
CTV News
March 20, 2014

Three-thousand workers at CN Rail have rejected a second tentative contract, prompting the company to suggest the talks go to binding arbitration. CN issued a statement Thursday night saying it was notified by Teamsters Canada, which represents conductors, yard workers and other train workers, that its members rejected the deal. The latest tentative deal was reached in early February in the face of a threatened strike by the employees. (for background on the second contract offer, click here)

Striking truckers at Port Metro Vancouver vow to defy back-to-work legislation
The Province
March 20, 2014

Unionized container truck drivers say they will remain on strike at Port Metro Vancouver despite an announcement Wednesday by the provincial government it’s drafting legislation forcing them back to work. Dozens of drivers marched in a circle at the port Thursday, waving placards and shouting, demanding the federal government negotiate with the more than 250 unionized and 1,200 non-union drivers. (more background here)

Alberta’s public sector workers rally to defend provincial pension plan
Lethbridge Herald
March 20, 2014

The average public-sector pension in Alberta is about $14,000 per year. Before imposing big changes, Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said in a release, the PC government should engage in negotiations with frontline public employees to find agreeable solutions. United Nurses of Alberta Local 120 president Susan Shelton said potential pension cuts would make it more difficult for hospitals, schools, universities, jails and other public-sector employers to find and keep skilled frontline employees, which would in turn impact on the quality of public services in Alberta.

Nurses vote to resign en masse against Nova Scotia essential service law
CBC News
March 20, 2014

The Capital District Health Authority is locked in contract negotiations with 2,300 registered nurses, represented by the NSGEU. At a union meeting on Wednesday night, nurses in Local 97 voted overwhelmingly to support a mass resignation if the provincial government tries to bring in essential services legislation that would stall any walkout.

The Race for Canadian Labour Congress president heats up
March 21, 2014

On Thursday, March 20 Hassan Husseini, a negotiator for the Public Service Alliance of Canada and a member of Unifor local 2025, declared his candidacy for president of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). He will be challenging the current president, Ken Georgetti, in the first contested race in nearly a decade. The election will occur during the CLC conference in Montreal from May 5-9.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality: don’t stamp out mail delivery
Cape Breton Post
March 18, 2014

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality became the latest in a long line of local governments Tuesday calling on the federal government to step in to stop Canada Post’s plans to phase out residential door-to-door mail delivery.

So much for those “overpaid public sector workers”, Tony Clement
Press Progress
March 18, 2014

Treasury Board President Tony Clement often sounds like a broken record, taking shots at the public service whenever he can. If he’s not complaining about a “complete disconnect” between public sector and private sector compensation, Clement is talking about clawing back salaries of public servants. Clement must have been disappointed, then, when his office was handed a document last fall that undermined his talking points.

Interview: The OPSEU 404 strike at Carleton University
Samantha Ponting, Rankandfile.ca
March 19, 2014

On March 10 the fifty members of OPSEU 404, representing Carleton University campus security, went on strike to win a first contract after unionizing in 2013. Samantha Ponting conducted this interview with Devon Reeves, president of OPSEU 404. Devon discusses the issues that led to the strike, the actions and inactions of the employer, campus safety concerns, and the solidarity exhibited by Ottawa’s labour movement.

Second Cup, workers told to enter arbitration after talks fail
March 21, 2014

The Nova Scotia Labour Board ordered arbitration Thursday for unionized Second Cup workers negotiating a first contract with their Halifax employer. The board order follows a failed March 4 and 5 conciliation effort. About six workers at the Second Cup franchise at 6100 Quinpool Rd. are seeking their first collective agreement. The full- and part-time employees are members of Local 2 of the Service Employees International Union.

Fewer forsters leaves BC without proper forest management, says union
Vancouver Sun
March 20, 2014

The province has cut back the ranks of professional foresters by more than a quarter in the past five years, which is reducing its ability to monitor logging and enforce forest practices, the union that represents them says. At the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Forests employed 525 Registered Professional Foresters, down from 722 in 2009, according to the count of the Professional Employees Association.

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