People’s Social Forum | Taking Back the Labour Movement | Honour our Deal in Regina | U of S kills President’s veto power | Workers refuse to unload Israeli ship | Child labour at McDonald’s | Firefighter invade city hall | Solidarity with LOT pilot | Sex injury on a business trip not work related

RankandFile.ca coverage of the People’s Social Forum (Ottawa, August 21-24, 2014)

RankandFile.ca was at the PSF hosting discussions on labour reporting as activism and providing coverage on Twitter and Facebook. Checkout the photos we took throughout the event. We even hosted a party on August 22. RF pics

From Taking Back the CLC to Taking Back the Labour Movement
August 23, 2014

The 2014 Canadian Labour Congress convention in Montreal resulted in a number of breakthroughs that are necessary to realize a strong grassroots, inclusive, militant labour movement in Canada. The defeat of the incumbent CLC President (the first ever at a CLC Convention) is a clear indication of the appetite for change within our movement.

However, convention delegates and activists across the country are clear that democracy in the labour movement is more than a change of leadership at the top. Now is the time to reaffirm and define the change we are seeking in the Canadian labour movement.

Honour our Deal: Regina Civic workers calling for retirement security
Tria Donaldson and Mark Janson, RankandFile.ca
August 20, 2014

Last month, workers and the local community were shocked when the provincial government’s pension regulator, the Saskatchewan Superintendent of Pensions, announced that it was consideringcancelling the Regina Civic Employees Superannuation and Benefit Plan. This plan represents 4,000 current employees, and 2,000 retirees, that include teaching assistants, librarians, firefighters, bus drivers, city workers and management who work for five different employers. The average pension earnings are just $1,600 a month.

Please take a stand with these workers and go to www.honourourdeal.ca to take action.

Saskatchewan farmers cry foul over child labour investigation
Bonnie Allen, CBC.ca
August 7, 2014

The owners of a farm in east-central Saskatchewan say they’re shocked they are being investigated by the province after it received a complaint about minors working in the family’s processing business.

“I was flabbergasted,” Janeen Covlin told CBC News about the investigation by the Occupational Health and Safety Division (OHS). “Our whole farm vision was to include our kids.”

An OHS officer arrived at her farm near Endeavour on Tuesday.

Cool Springs Ranch and Butchery raises, butchers and sells free-range chickens.

University of Saskatchewan labour deal kills president’s veto power
CBC News
August 21, 2014

A new labour deal at the University of Saskatchewan takes away the president’s power to veto a professor’s tenure.

The tentative three-year collective agreement affects 1,100 faculty members.

“We believe this agreement is a critical step forward in order to place the recent events at the university behind us and continue to build the reputation of the U of S as a world-class post-secondary institution,” said Jim Cheesman, chief negotiator for the Faculty Association, in a statement released this morning.

Ernie Barber, interim provost and vice-president academic, said he’s pleased they’ve reached this agreement.

UNB professors upset by president’s contract
CBC News
August 18, 2014

Professors at the University of New Brunswick are celebrating the release of President Eddy Campbell’s contract, but its contents are not likely to improve labour relations.

The university posted the contract on its website last week, following an access to information request from the Federation of New Brunswick Faculty Associations.

Firefighters, supporters invade Montreal city hall
Rene Bruemmer and Kalina Laframboise, The Gazette
August 19, 2014

MONTREAL — Dozens of Montreal firefighters and municipal employees protesting pension reforms stormed city hall Monday night, pushing past security guards trying to hold the doors closed and marauding through the city’s ornate seat of power.

They tossed papers throughout the building and in council chambers five minutes before city council was scheduled to begin its evening session. They threw water at city councillors who refused to leave, blew horns and whistles, and hoisted a banner in council inscribed “Coderre Voleur.”

“Us-v-Them” bargaining trend continues at City of Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Federation Labour
August 22, 2014

In response to the City of Saskatoon’s refusal to bargain in good faith, members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 615 have been forced to file an unfair labour practice application with the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (LRB). In accordance with what seems to have become a trend since the introduction of the Saskatchewan Employment Act (SEA), the employer has focused more on attempting to defund the union than on dealing with important workplace issues.

Tape recording of bargaining session excluded by arbitrator
Lancaster House
August 14, 2014

An Ontario arbitrator hearing a grievance over the application of a wage schedule negotiated in collective bargaining rejected the union’s attempt to enter into evidence an audiotape it surreptitiously made of discussions between the parties about the wage schedule during the contract negotiations. The arbitrator pointed to the harmful effect on labour relations that would result from allowing such improperly obtained evidence and the dangerous precedent it would set.

Canada Post ‘superbox’ battle brews in Kanata neighbourhood
Blair Crawford, Ottawa Citizen
August 18, 2014

The conversion from door-to-door mail delivery is not going smoothly in one Kanata neighbourhood where some residents say Canada Post is ignoring their suggestions about the placement of the street’s new community mailbox.

David Downing is upset that a new postal “superbox” for about 60 homes is going in directly across from his house on Bernier Terrace, off Kakulu Road near Castlefrank Road. Not only will the box be unsightly, Downing says, but the area is poorly lit and piled high with snow during the winter.

Human rights tribunal awards over $185,000 to developmentally-disabled employee who was paid $1.25 per hour for over 10 years
Lancaster House
August 19, 2014

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled that an employer’s practice of paying developmentally disabled employees $1.25 per hour, while paying employees without developmental disabilities the minimum wage for doing substantially the same work, was discriminatory. Ruling that the employer’s decision to blatantly breach the Ontario Employment Standards Act by paying the complainant and other employees with developmental disabilities below the minimum wage was an affront to their dignity and sent the message that their work was of less value than that of non-disabled persons, the Tribunal awarded the complainant almost $162,000 in lost wages, as well as $25,000 in damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect. The Tribunal also directed that the decision be delivered to the Ontario Human Rights Commission to allow it to determine whether such practices are widespread in Ontario and to make recommendations if necessary to the Ontario government on how to rectify the situation.

Israeli ship is blocked from unloading in Oakland for four straight days
Charlotte Silver, Electronic Intifada
August 19, 2014

San Francisco Bay Area activists have not allowed a vessel from Israel’s largest shipping company to unload in the Oakland Port for four consecutive mornings.

On Tuesday, 19 August, at 6:45am, activists declared yet another victory against the Zim Line, which has been trying to make its way into Oakland since Saturday, 16 August.

Lara Kiswani, the executive director of the local Arab Resource and Organizing Center, told The Electronic Intifada that they are now waiting to hear if the Zim Line will leave the Port of Oakland today with the cargo it brought. “If not,” Kiswani wrote in an email, “we will continue to mobilize until it does.”

The latest defeat: The ILWU leadership has accepted a deal that will further cripple their union

Robert Brenner, The Jacobin

August, 2014

The tentative agreement reached between the ILWUand the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association (PNGHA) contains no surprises. It would impose a major reduction in working conditions and shop floor power, the latest in a cascade of defeats that started with the signing of the union’s historic contract with Export Grain Terminal (EGT) at Longview, Washington in February 2012.

McDonald’s summer camp seems to be thinly veiled child labor
Joanna Rothkopf, Salon
August 7, 2014

There is an actual McDonald’s summer camp for elementary school children in the Philippines. Called the Kiddie Crew Workshop. What the holy hell.

The website reads:

The McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop is a 5-day summer program specially designed for kids 6-12 years old. During each workshop day, Kiddie Crew members will get to experience on-floor training like greeting customers and assisting the crew at the drive-thru and front counters; showcase their skills through creative art workshops; and learn the importance of hard work, discipline and teamwork, through values formations lessons.


Once a child has completed the “workshop” (labor camp), he or she can pick up their Kiddie Crew Club Card which entitles the cardholder to a “freebie” of the month, however the cardholder must “meet the required purchase requirements for each category to qualify for the redemption of featured freebies.” Freebies include a bonus toy with a Happy Meal, a McSpaghetti Meal on the kid’s birthday, and a free ice cream cone when you’ve spent enough money at the chain.

Poland: LOT sacks union leader

On 25 July 2014, the President of LOT Polish Airlines has dismissed the vice-president of the ITF and ETF affiliated cabin crew union ZZPP, Andrzej Jeżewski. This dismissal is not only as a violation of trade union rights, but also an attempt to disrupt on-going collective agreement negotiations. The state owned airline has a bad record of similar anti-union practices. Over the last five years, the airline dismissed eight trade union leaders.On 4 August 2014, the Civil Aviation Secretaries of the ITF and ETF sent a joint letter to the President of LOT Polish Airlines, demanding the reinstatement of the dismissed union leader. The airline management preferred to keep silent about the issue and avoided the phone calls from the ETF office. Now the situation is escalating into a dispute.

Please write to the president of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, to remind him about the responsibility of the Polish State as the owner of the company to ensure fair and good faith industrial relations and demand the reinstatement of Andrzej Jeżewski.

Voice your support!

Injury during lovemaking while on business trip not work-related, Australia’s top court rules
Lancaster House
February 20, 2014

Turning out the lights on a strange legal saga that garnered international attention, Australia’s top court has ruled that a civil servant who suffered facial injuries and psychological trauma when she was hit on the head by a falling light fixture while having sex with a friend on a motel room bed during a business trip was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because the injury was not work-related.




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