RankandFile.ca Weekly Labour Update – June 9 2014

BC teachers | Boycott IKEA | Halifax baristas | Aerospace strike | Suncor deaths | Federal sick leave | Save Canada Post | Bonfield strike | Prostitution laws | Sao Paulo transit workers

BC teachers strike: Essential reading

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

BC teachers to vote June 9-10 on province-wide strike after pay cut ruled legal
CBC News
June 4 2014

A history of bad faith in BC Liberals’ dealings with teachers
Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun
June 6 2014

Putting children first means supporting the teachers
Miranda Nelson, Straight.Com
June 3 2014

Striking BC teachers reduce wage demand
Alexandra Posadzki, Globe and Mail
June 4 2014

Debunking myths: 8 untrue statements about BC education
The Coal Mine (blog)

Boycott IkeaBoycott IKEA: Some Assembly Required
Doug Nesbitt, RankandFile.ca
June 5 2014

Locked out for thirteen months, over three hundred IKEA workers in Richmond, BC are still holding out. While setting record profits in 2013, IKEA is trying to impose a two-tier wage system and seriously weaken benefits. The stakes are high as IKEA Richmond sets workplace standards for non-union IKEA stores.

Halifax baristas at Coburg Coffee apply to unionize
Stephanie Taylor, Halifax Media Co-op
June 7 2014

The vote on Monday June 9 will determine if Coburg Coffee becomes the next coffee shop in Halifax to unionize. Just Us! Coffee Roasters Cooperative on Spring Garden Road and Second Cup on Quinpool both unionized last year. Workers filed a union certification application with the provincial labour board last Tuesday after a two-week union drive and several months of discussion. The campaign’s goals are three-fold: job security, fair treatment and equal voice in the workplace.

Workers strike at Cascade Aerospace in Abbotsford, BC
Kevin Drews, Canadian Press
June 4 2014

More than 400 employees are on strike at the Abbotsford, B.C., company that services Canada’s fleet of military transport and search-and-rescue aircraft. Members of Unifor Local 114 walked off the job at Cascade Aerospace’s Fraser Valley operations late Wednesday morning, in an apparent dispute over benefits and concessions. The union has announced previously that the company wants to roll back benefits and force other concessions on its workers, but Cascade Aerospace disagrees.

Union loses faith in Suncor after four deaths in 2014
CBC News, June 3 2014

The union that represents most of the employees at Suncor Energy says it has lost faith in the company’s safety systems following the fourth death of a worker this year. On Monday, a 37-year-old man employed by North American Construction died after a part fell on his head while he was working on a dozer at Suncor’s Steepbank Millenium MIne near Fort McMurray. Roland Lefort, president of Unifor Local 707-A, the union that represents all but the most recent worker to die, says he is disappointed and angry over the man’s death.

10 Things you need to know about federal sick leave
#Cdnpoli, May 30 2014

As they get ready to bargain with federal public sector unions, which together represent around 200,000 workers, the Harper Conservatives have been spreading a lot of misinformation about the sick leave system in the public service in order to set the context for the introduction of a private, for profit insurance scheme that will only benefit big insurance corporations.

More than 70 towns and cities now oppose Canada Post home delivery cuts
Sammy Hudes, National Post
June 2 2014

Cities across the country have launched an effort to preserve door-to-door mail delivery, even as the first cuts loom this fall. Canada Post announced last December it would begin phasing out door-to-door delivery for the one-third of Canadian homes that still have the service, replacing it with community mailboxes. Since then, over 70 municipalities have joined together in opposing the measure, which Canada Post says would save $500-million per year.

Tentative agreement ends 10-month Bonfield, Ontario municipal strike
CUPE-Ontario, June 6 2014

Following two days of mediated talks convened by a vice-chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the union has ratified a tentative settlement in the 10-month long dispute between the Township of Bonfield and CUPE Local 4616-2.

Unifor presidents vows to shut down JCI if plant closes
Reuters, June 4 2014

The head of the Unifor said on Wednesday the union would strike at Johnson Controls Inc’s Whitby, Ontario, plant, which supplies interiors to the General Motors Co Oshawa factory, unless JCI reverses plans to shutter the Whitby plant. Jerry Dias, Unifor president, said at the United Auto Workers convention in Detroit that the Canadian union would “shut down GM” at its Oshawa plant unless JCI reverses course. Dias said the deadline for JCI to act is August, when the current contract for 300 workers at Whitby expires.

New prostitution laws, same old harms to sex workers
Kyle Kirkup, Globe and Mail
June 4 2014

The newly proposed federal law comes five months after the Supreme Court struck down three of Canada’s sex work laws. In its unanimous decision, the court found that the former laws violated sex workers’ right to security of the person under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It gave the government one year to enact a new law.

Poll show majority of Canadians see unions positively
CAUT Bulletin, June 2014

In a Harris/Decima survey conducted last month, 56 per cent of Canadians had favourable views of unions, with 70 per cent saying unions are still needed today. By contrast, just 28 per cent of Canadians hold negative views of unions and a similar number said they are no longer needed.

Sao Paulo subway workers refuse to stop strike before World Cup
Agence France Presse, June 8 2014

A court on Sunday ordered São Paulo subway workers to pay a daily fine if they continue a strike threatening to disrupt the World Cup’s opening game in Brazil’s biggest city. Disgruntled subway workers who have caused transport chaos in Sao Paulo days before it hosts the World Cup opening match voted Sunday to continue their strike, ignoring a court ruling.

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