RankandFile.ca Weekly Labour Update – May 26, 2014

Hassan Yussuff| Halifax Nurses | BC Teachers | Home Mail Delivery | Justice for Janitors | Canadian Football League | Fight for 15 | Rana Plaza | 14 Dollar Minimum Wage | Hudak’s 100,000 Job Cuts

Hassan Yussuff and the ‘war on labour’
CBC, The Current
May 22, 2014

Two weeks ago, Hassan Yusseff was elected Canadian Labour Congress President. He is vowing to take the country’s largest federation of unions into a more activist direction, and fight what he calls a government war on labour.

Halifax’s Capital Health to suspend ‘large number’ of nurses
CBC, Paul Withers
May 22, 2014

The Capital District Health Authority in Halifax confirms it is suspending “a large number” of nurses who participated in an illegal walkout in April during in a contentious contract negotiation.

what are the BC Liberal government's priorities?
what are the BC Liberal government’s priorities?

British Columbia to lock out teachers beginning Monday
Globe and Mail, Wendy Stueck
May 21, 2014

An escalating teachers’ labour dispute in B.C. is set to become even more confrontational, with the employer announcing a partial lockout beginning next Monday. That could put extracurricular trips and activities, including high-school graduation ceremonies, at risk and make it impossible for teachers to mark exams or complete report cards, a B.C. Teachers’ Federation spokesperson said.

The ABCs of the BC teachers’ fight
RankandFile.ca, Tara Ehrcke
May 23, 2014

Repeated use of back-to-work legislation, imposed contracts, and threats of fines mean that teachers must be willing to take risks if we are going to achieve our bargaining goals. While some teachers were willing to face the threats of fines in 2012, it was not a majority of those who argued and debated at our AGM what action to take. And sadly, there was never a member-wide vote on taking continued strike action, despite the fact that a vote was called for in the action plan. Instead, teachers withdrew extra-curricular activities – a strategy that proved to be divisive in some areas.

Hopefully the experiences of 2005 and 2012 will provide lessons and guidance for the type of action necessary to be successful this round. The frustrations of the day-to-day life in the classroom need to translate into teachers insisting that their union continue to take action even in the face of legislation which may yet come. This will be the way to win a fair deal.

Most Canadians Want To Keep Door-To-Door Delivery
May 20, 2014

Canada Post’s plan to cut door-to-door delivery is getting the thumbs down from most Canadians, a new poll has found.
60% of respondents to a Stratcom survey* oppose Canada Post’s plan to replace door-to-door delivery with delivery to a community mailbox.

Raising minimum wage and defeating Hudak’s anti-union agenda
Rabble.ca, Pam Frache
May 20, 2014

Unfortunately, in the Ontario election, no political party has yet raised the banner of the $14 minimum wage. And although the ONDP has the best position with a $12 minimum wage phased in over two years, this wage would still leave full-time workers 12 per cent below the poverty line, even if it were indexed to the cost of living. Nevertheless, the Ontario election provides progressives with an opportunity to reassert the urgency and necessity of a $14 minimum wage.

Workers march on McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago

Over 100 arrested near McDonald’s headquarters in protest over low pay
The Guardian, Dominic Rushe
May 21, 2014

McDonald’s closed part of its corporate headquarters on Wednesday in response to a mass protest by workers and activists that campaigners say ended in more than 100 arrests. Over 2,000 people calling for a hike in the minimum wage and the right to form a union without retaliation descended on the fast food giant’s suburban Chicago headquarters in what is believed to be the largest demonstration McDonald’s has ever faced.

Justice for Janitors takes on Ottawa’s cleaning subcontractors
Rabble.ca, H.G. Watson
May 21, 2014

Janitors in the nation’s capital are fighting a tough battle against a government sub-contractor that they say has refused to work with their union. Representatives from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 2 allege that Evripos, which provides sub-contracted janitorial services for government offices throughout Ottawa, tried to move all but two unionized workers at 700 Montreal Road, which currently houses the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to other buildings managed by the Evripos after the company was awarded the cleaning contract by the building’s management, SNC Lavalin, April 1 2014.

Strike vote, shortened season looking likely for CFL as CBA talks break down
Toronto Sun, Paul Friesen
May 20, 2014

The CFL players union has grown a backbone, and it’s probably going to cost us part of the 2014 season.
Negotiators for the players and the league will try one last time to find some common ground toward a new agreement, Wednesday.
But the two sides are so far apart on the four core issues — money, player safety, career transitioning and pension — don’t be surprised if the talks fall apart and players vote to strike in the next few days, potentially leading to a shortened season.

How will Hudak’s 100,000 public-sector job cuts affect your community?
Cupe Ontario
May 23

With polls showing Ontarians considering a change in government this spring and the PC Party and the NDP both vying to replace the governing Liberals, it’s important to know just what is in the PC Party “White Papers” and, therefore, what we might expect if Ontario voted PC on June 12. Even a few key examples make it clear the PC’s are not a safe alternative and, if elected, will damage Ontario in a host of ways


Bangladeshi garment workers protesting unsafe work conditions, employer violence, and government inaction
Bangladeshi garment workers protesting unsafe work conditions, employer violence, and government inaction

International Solidarity and the Repression of Bangladeshi Labour Organizers
RankandFile.ca, Samantha Ponting
May 22, 2014

It has been just over a year since more than 1,100 workers died in Savar, Bangladesh, in the worst garment factory accident in history. While the collapse brought international attention to the poorly regulated working conditions of the Bangladesh garment industry, the ongoing and violent repression of the country’s labour organizers is often excluded from major narratives describing the Rana Plaza disaster.

Harris to Hudak: back to the future?
Socialist.ca, Michelle Robidoux
May 22, 2014

Listening to Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak promise to decimate public sector jobs and services brings to mind an earlier Conservative regime under Mike Harris. Anyone who lived under that regime will hear the echo of Harris’ punishing cuts and brutal attacks on working class living standards in Hudak’s platform. But what is often not as well remembered are the similarities in arguments that raged before the 1995 election about the betrayals of the NDP, strategic voting and the nature of the anger that fueled Harris accession to power. With the high degree of confusion in this current election, retracing some of the arguments from 20 years ago may provide useful insights for us today.

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