RankandFile.ca Weekly Labour Update – June 2, 2014

BC teachers strike | Impark workers | Ontario minimum wage | Save Canada Post | Nova Scotia nurses | Lac-Mégantic fallout | Manitoba NDP & IBEW | GO Transit

Why I’m on the picket line
Tara Ehrcke, Staffroom Confidential
May 31 2014

I believe I deserve a raise, but just like other teachers, that isn’t the main reason I voted yes to strike. A society is measured by how it treats everyone. This includes the poor, the disenfranchised, the ordinary. In British Columbia, these children get overcrowded and underfunded. The children who need it the most – the hungry, the hurt, the struggling ones – get the least. In contrast, the one’s whose parents can pay get better.

BC parents support teachers over government
Angus Reid Polling, May 26 2014

Just over half (51%) of parents and caregivers with children in BC schools support the teachers in the labour dispute with the BC government. Only 28 percent support the government.

Occupy YYZ: Pearson parking lot workers fight back
by James Taylor, RankandFile.ca
May 27 2014

Workers at Impark in Toronto followed up their April 30 wildcat strike at Pearson Airport with a blockade on Saturday, May 24. Around 75 workers and their supporters blocked the main parking entrance at Terminal 1 and shut down the terminal departures roadway.

Windsor anti-poverty rally calls for $14 minimum wage
Joel Boyce, Windsor Star
May 30 2014

CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn said the increase is a good start, but still not good enough to bring workers over the poverty line. “It needs to be $14,” he said. According to the Raise a Minumum Wage campaign, the current increase to $11/hour still leaves full-time minimum-wage workers earning more than 16 per cent below the poverty line.

Organizing our way out of Ontario’s political mess
Doug Nesbitt, RankandFile.ca
May 30 2014

There are no easy answers in Ontario right now. No words on paper can provide a solution to the electoral dilemmas that are forcing us to vote strategically. The only way to shift the politics of the province and put employers and anti-union parties on the defensive – and keep the NDP on side with workers and the poor – is long-term strategic organizing.

Oakville joins over 50 other municipalities in opposing Canada Post cuts
Inside Halton, May 27 2014

Oakville Town council has joined numerous city and town councils from across Canada in fighting Canada Post’s plan to cancel door-to-door delivery.

North Bay posties hit the street to Save Canada Post
Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles, North Bay Nugget
June 1 2014

About 75 Canada Post employees and their family and friends took to the streets Saturday spreading their message in hopes of garnering more support. The union distributed thousands of flyers and asked people to sign a petition to be presented in the House of Commons. Bradford said currently about 60 per cent of North Bay residents or about 14,000 get their mail delivered to the door.

Employer demand for Nova Scotia nurses to confess is rescinded
Michael Lightstone, Chronicle-Herald
May 30 2014

Capital Health has withdrawn its directive to dozens of unionized nurses that they write confession-like letters regarding last month’s wildcat strike in the Halifax region. According to a letter from the employer made public by the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union, nurses don’t have to write anything acknowledging they allegedly violated professional ethics by taking part in the controversial job action.

Steelworkers to help rail workers fight charges in Lac-Mégantic disaster
CBC News, May 26 2014

The United Steelworkers set up a fund today to help pay for the legal costs of two of the men charged in connection with last summer’s runaway train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Que., that killed 47 people. Daniel Roy of the Steelworkers in Quebec called the trial of the rail workers “a smokescreen” and pointed his finger at the federal government and MM&A Railway for the cause of last July’s tragedy.

Manitoba IBEW local goes Tory to stop NDP contracting out
Bruce Owen, Winnipeg Free Press
May 26 2014

Angry at losing out on work for Manitoba Hydro under the NDP, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 2034 has enlisted the help of Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservatives. IBEW business manager Mike Velie made no apologies for joining forces with the PCs, at times vilified by the NDP and the unions at being the enemy of organized labour.

GO Transit bus service strike averted
CBC News, June 2 2014

In the early morning hours Monday, the union representing more than 1,850 bus drivers, station attendants, maintenance and safety personnel and some office staff reached a tentative deal with Metrolinx —​ the company that operates GO Transit — averting a labour strike that would have affected about 53,000 commuters.

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