RankandFile.ca Labour News Update: September 29, 2014

University of Windsor dispute | Canada Post | Age and gender inequality | Nova Scotia health mergers | CEO compensation | Study on sex work in Canada | Aftermath of B.C. teachers strike | Saskatoon transit lockout

Dispute continues after ‘exploratory’ talks between U of Windsor faculty and admin
Dalson Chen, The Windsor Star
September 24, 2014

The “exploratory” talks between University of Windsor administration and the union representing faculty have yielded no apparent change in their ongoing labour dispute. The two sides met with a provincial mediator on Tuesday — the first talks between them since negotiations broke down in July. According to a statement by the mediator, Greg Long of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, no further meetings have been scheduled at this time.

Health merger bill will steer workers into government-chosen unions
Michael Gorman, The Chronicle Herald
September 25, 2014

The Liberal government’s health merger legislation will also dictate which unions represent workers.

A week after saying a separate bill would deal with the labour aspect of merging nine district health authorities, Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine said on Thursday there will be only one piece of legislation, to be introduced Monday evening.

“We will identify who will represent nurses, who will represent technologists, clerical and administration,” he said.

Transit union rejects city’s invite to resume bargaining talks
CTV Saskatoon
September 27, 2014

10233755Saskatoon’s transit union isn’t ready to return to the bargaining table.

The City of Saskatoon issued a media release Friday afternoon inviting the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615, which represents the city’s bus drivers, to resume bargaining talks. Union president Jim Yakubowski responded Saturday, stating bus drivers won’t sit down to talk until the city shows it’s willing to move on its previous contract offers.

“We suggested, until that happens and you have something further to offer, we’re not prepared to come back to the bargaining table,” Yakubowski said.

Dave Bush, RankandFile.ca
September 26, 2014
On Saturday September 20, hundreds of postal workers and their allies rallied outside of Conservative Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s constituency office in Toronto. The rally to Save Canada Post was organized by Socialist Action and endorsed by CUPW, CLC, OFL, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council and host of other national and local unions.

negotiated deal may have ended B.C. teachers’ months-long labour dispute, but Premier Christy Clark says she believes the court case over their right to bargain class size and composition will go to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Clark made the comments during her first CBC interview since the resumption of school, with Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.

Clark also defended her actions during the heated dispute.

High-Flying Drones and Basement Wages: Alarming Trends in Package Delivery
Alexandra Bradbury, Labor Notes
September 24, 2014

Their employer is the U.S. Postal Service, but a few unlucky Bay Area letter carriers were hired only to find out their job is actually delivering groceries for online retailer Amazon at 4 a.m.

It’s an experimental program being staffed with City Carrier Assistants—the lowest tier of union letter carriers, permatemps who make $15-17 an hour. To find their way in the dark they’re issued miner-style headlamps.

“Some carriers hear about the program and they quit,” says longtime letter carrier Angela Bibb-Merritt. “They were under the impression they were going to be carrying mail and working in the daytime.” She worries people could be attacked and robbed, carrying groceries around at such a lonely hour.

Did Lear Strike Really Beat Two-Tier?
Scott Houldieson, Labor Notes
September 26, 2014

A one-day strike paid big dividends at a Ford supplier. In fact, union leaders proudly proclaimed the deal won September 14 would end two-tier wages at the Lear Corporation plant in Hammond, Indiana. The plant supplies seats to Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant. Unfortunately, it turns out the devil is in the details.

People worldwide think CEOs should make a tiny fraction of what they do
Noah Berger, Quartz
September 24, 2014

Executive pay has gotten incredibly high, to the point where the chairman of the America’s largest grocery chain admits things havegotten out of hand. In the US, the average CEO makes an estimated 354 times as much an average unskilled worker ($12,259,894 vs. $34,645)

People all around the world are broadly unaware of how wide the pay gap is, and they are almost universally of the opinion that CEOs should be paid much, much less, according to a new study (pdf) from Harvard Business School. According to the survey data, people in the US think that the ideal pay gap between an unskilled worker and a CEO is 6.9—or 50 times less than the real gap.

First national study sheds new light on sex work in Canada
Rachel Browne, Maclean’s
September 24, 2014

Earlier this year, Justice Minister Peter MacKay promised that Bill C-36 would eradicate prostitution in Canada and protect the most vulnerable in the sex industry by “going after the perpetrators, the perverts, those who are consumers of this degrading practice.” Despite criticism and repeated calls for the bill to bewithdrawn, it will likely become law before the government’s December deadline.

Sex workers are concerned for their future. And while the bill’s opponents voiced their concerns even before it was tabled, they haven’t had much influence on it.

Why aren’t women advancing at work? Ask a transgender person
Jessica Nordell, New Republic
August 28, 2014

Fifty years after The Feminine Mystique and 40 years after Title IX, the question of why women lag in the workplace dogs researchers and lay people alike. While women are entering the professions at rates equal to men, they rise more slowly, and rarely advance to the top. They’re represented in smaller numbers at the top in fields from science to arts to business.

Some suggest that there is something different about womenwomen have stalled because of their personal choices, or their cognitive and emotional characteristics, whether innate or socialized. Another possibility is that the obstacles to women’s advancement are located within their environmentsthat they face barriers unique to their gender.1

But while bias has been experimentally demonstrated, it’s hard to study in the real world: Just as it’s hard to isolate a single environmental pollutant’s effect on human health, it’s been near impossible to isolate gender as a variable in the real world and watch how it affects a person’s day-to-day experience.

Performance review or personality critique?
Erin Anderssen, Globe and Mail
September 5, 2014

When it comes to workplace evaluations, men get performance reviews. Women, a new analysis suggests, get personality critiques.

At least that’s the finding of a study conducted by Fortune contributor Kieran Snyder, who asked men and women working in tech to submit their annual reviews. As detailed in the article, headlined “The abrasiveness trap,” Snyder noticed a marked difference by gender. Of the 248 reviews assessed, male employees were more than three times as likely to receive only constructive criticism in their evaluations, compared to women. Snyder also found that the nature of the critical feedback differed – men typically received suggestions about developing new skills – for example, “take time to slow down and listen.” Women received similar advice, and then some, Snyder found. The criticisms were more personality based. For example: “You can come across as abrasive sometimes. I know you don’t mean to, but you need to pay attention to your tone.”

Age eclipsing gender as Canada’s major income gap, report warns
Barrie McKenna, Globe and Mail
September 23, 2014

Canada has made huge strides narrowing the pay gap between men and women, but the big challenge now will be to fix a rapidly growing generational divide.

It’s a chasm that risks hobbling the economy and sowing social strife as the population ages.

A sobering new report being released Tuesday by the Conference Board of Canada says the income gap between older and younger workers has expanded massively since 1980s, leaving today’s twentysomethings the first generation of Canadians to be worse off than their parents.

OECD Employment Outlook 2014

Unemployment remains well above its pre-crisis levels in many OECD countries despite a recovery in job growth. Modest declines in unemployment are projected over the rest of 2014 and in 2015. The persistence of high levels of unemployment has been translated into a rise in structural unemployment in some countries, which may not be automatically reversed by a pick-up in economic growth, as it has led to a loss in human capital and motivation to find work, especially among the long-term unemployed. For the OECD area as a whole, 16.3 million people – over one in three of the unemployed – had been out of work for 12 months or more in the first quarter of 2014, almost twice the number in 2007. Given these developments, promoting demand should remain a key policy objective where the recovery has been less robust, accompanied by reinforced measures to combat structural unemployment. Priority should be given to employment and training measures for the long-term unemployed who typically face significant barriers to finding work and are most likely to quit the labour force.

The complete guide to flexible work that doesn’t kill your career
Stanley Leary, Quartz
September 22, 2014

Many people work happily and effectively from home. Research suggests that these “flexible” workers can be more productive, and that they have higher levels of well being, and much less depleting conflict between work and family.

But these types of schedules come rarely and at a cost: There’s significant evidence that there are career disadvantages, including a “flexibility stigma” on advancement. And there’s a significant gap (paywall) between the promise of flexibility and the reality.

It takes extra effort, planning, and thoughtfulness to overcome these career penalties. Looking at research, successful people and companies, we’ve come up with a few tips for those trying to make “flexible” work.


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