RANKANDFILE.CA LABOUR NEWS UPDATE: OCTOBER 27, 2014

Minimum wage doesn’t kill jobs | CBC cuts | Worker dies at PCS mine | Harper and the average worker | Sawmill explosion | CUPE workers | Woodgreen community services

Harper Doesn’t Care About the Average Canadian Worker

Huffington Post, October 21, 2014

It has been widely reported over the last few months that the Harper Conservatives want to attack the working conditions of public service workers by drastically weakening their sick leave provisions.

In true Conservative “divide and conquer” fashion, they hope that this will pit unionized public service workers against the larger group of non-unionized workers in the private sector, many of whom do not have paid sick leave provisions in their contracts. Indeed, the Conservatives, led by Treasury Board president Tony Clement, are making every effort to foment animosity between these sets of workers –mostly with false claims relating to cost and absenteeism rates — rather than striving to improve working conditions for all Canadians and prioritizing public health.

Saskatchewan’s PotashCorp pleads guilty in workplace death at mine

Metro News, October 21, 2014

A judge has fined Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan $280,000 in the death of a worker.

The judge ruled PotashCorp failed to provide a safe working environment.

Christopher Reid, who was 28, had been working underground for six months when he was crushed by a heavy conveyor belt at the Allan mine in June 2012.

Injured sawmill explosion workers cry foul over WorkSafe BC treatment

Globe and Mail, October 23, 2014

John Engstrom was sitting in the lunchroom at the Lakeland mill, waiting for a seminar to begin, when a massive explosion blew out the wall to his right and sent an orange fireball toward him so powerful that it twisted the vertebrae in his neck. He followed his instinct and ducked under a table, scorching his lungs in the acrid air, waiting to die.

Guelph fiberglass maker Owens Corning to cut 119 jobs

CBC News, October 21, 2014

Fiberglass fabric maker Owens Corning is cutting 70 per cent of its workforce in Guelph as the company moves a significant portion of its production line to Tlaxcala, Mexico.

The company’s workforce at its facility in Guelph will be cut from 169 to 50 employees, confirmed spokesperson Amanda Meehan said in an interview Tuesday.

The Guelph plant was responsible for making at least two types offiberglass fabric, chopped strand mat and continuous filament mat. The material is used to make everything from the hulls of motor boats to the blades of wind turbines.

Yet more cuts at CBC/Radio-Canada as details filter out

CMG, October 23, 2014

CBC President Hubert Lacroix has shared more details about the corporate-wide job cuts he first announced in June.  In a meeting with union leaders, Lacroix said the CBC will lose another 400 jobs by the end of March 2015 bringing the total number of jobs cut at CBC this fiscal year to 1057. There will be another 400 job cuts to come by March 2016.  Lacroix further added that another 400 and possibly more jobs will be cut by 2020.

Employees of Chances officially off the job

Campbell River Mirror, October 22, 2014

Campbell River’s Chances Community Gaming Centre is open, but their employees aren’t in the building.

United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (USW 1-1937), who represent the employees, announced 72-hour strike notice two weeks ago, “to attempt to get the discussion (about their contract) moving,” according to Chris Marleau of the employees’ bargaining committee, but decided to give Playtime Gaming, who own and operate the facility, time to consider their position before implementing job action.

Fredericton, outside workers to resume talks Oct. 31, CUPE says

CBC News, October 23, 2014

The City of Fredericton is going back to the bargaining table after its snowplow operators and other outside workers voted in favour of a strike.

Talks are set to resume on Oct. 31, CUPE Local 508 president Kevin Smallwood told CBC News on Thursday afternoon.

Union proposes binding arbitration to end near two week long strike at WoodGreen Community Services

CNW, October 22, 2014

Last night, striking workers from WoodGreen Community Services, rejected WoodGreen’s final contract offer at a Ministry of Labour led ratification vote.union strikes back

Workers voted 74% in favour of continued strike action which began on October 9th. Wages, along with a percentage increase in lieu of benefits for part-time staff, remain key sticking points in negotiations.

“WoodGreen has grossly underestimated workers’ strength and we will continue to fight for a fair settlement,” saysAdrie Naylor, representative for Workers United, the union representing WoodGreen workers.

Minimum wage hike does not kill jobs: report

Toronto Star, October 20, 2014

Increasing the minimum wage does not result in higher rates of unemployment, according to a study released Tuesday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Instead, the report found, employment levels are largely driven by purchasing power in the economy.

The study was conducted by Jordan Brennan and Jim Stanford, economists for Unifor, the largest public sector union in Canada. It examines the relationship between increases in the minimum wage and employment across Canada between 1983 and 2012.

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