Rankandfile.ca Labour News Update: November 10, 2014

Unpaid work | PIPSC convention | Canadian Hockey League | Ontario colleges | Campbellton, NB lockout | BC public sector bargaining | Saskatchewan privatization | Temporary Foreign Workers Program | Federal sick leave | Marikana massacre | San Francisco minimum wage

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Check out the Graphic History Collective’s newest publication: “The Days of Action: The Character of Class Struggle in 1990s Ontario

Encouraging youth to engage in unpaid work is a recipe for exploitation
Jerry Dias, HuffingtonPost.ca
November 6, 2014

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has the ability to significantly change the bleak outlook facing young workers. Yet in essence, he encouraged unemployed youth to resign themselves to a grim reality, and simply find themselves something else to do. Working for free may not be ideal, he suggested, but it’s better than nothing. Asked to clarify his comments before a House of Commons committee the next day, Poloz stuck to his guns.

Union of federal scientists, professional to campaign against Harper
Global News
November 7, 2014

The union representing scientists and other professionals in the federal public service is abandoning its tradition of neutrality in elections to actively campaign against Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) says delegates have agreed that the union should energetically expose the damage they believe the Harper government has done to federal public services.

Canadian Hockey League and players face off over workers’ rights
Ryan Lum, Rankandfile.ca
November 5, 2014

In late October, it was announced that a class action lawsuit has been launched by current and former Canadian Hockey League (CHL) players, alleging that the league owes them over $180 million in compensation for failing to pay the minimum wage. CHL players, the suit alleges, make between $35-$120/week, incommensurable with the five to nine hours they put into practicing, training, traveling and playing every day. At that rate of compensation, players are making $1/hour or less.

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On November 4, Campbellton, New Brunswick locked out its municipal workers, members of CUPE Local 76.

Hundreds of Seneca College faculty to lose job security
Ella Bedard, Rabble.ca
November 7, 2014

As the college proceeds with cuts, hundreds of “partial load” unionized jobs will be replaced with non-unionized part-time positions. Part-time faculty do not have office hours, are not paid for student contact time, and often work two or three jobs to make ends meet. Many faculty have reported to the union that they have already been put on notice. The administration has told them that they will not be hired to teach for the January term unless they come back as non-union part-time faculty at a lower pay rate and without benefits.

The “forgotten struggle” and the race for the BCFED
Wael Afifi, Rankandfile.ca
November 7, 2014

While there might be other reasons to explain why British Columbia’s public sector bargaining structure has become the “forgotten struggle”, one can only hope that the debates at the Convention will tackle such an important issue. A debate involving a revival of the “forgotten struggle” will not only energize an uninspiring race but will also assist in building an engaged, more militant, labour movement.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program sanctions Alberta lodging company
Susana Mas, CBC
November 6, 2014

The federal government has barred a lodging company in Alberta’s oilsands from using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program for two years after an investigation found the employer provided “false” or “misleading” information in support of its applications for foreign workers. The owners of Noralta Lodge Ltd. in Nisku, Alta., have been publicly “blacklisted” after the government revoked 19 applications for temporary foreign workers, CBC News has learned.

Sobeys wins Privatization Scam of the Year award
NUPGE
October 30, 2014

Sobeys, owned by Canada’s 20th-richest family, and the Saskatchewan government were awarded the Scammie for the sleaziest Privatization Scam of the Year. In 2013, the Saskatchewan government handed half of the private liquor store franchises in the province to Sobeys. Scammie voters wanted to ensure one of the richest family businesses in the country and the provincial government were recognized for its role in privatizing liquor sales and removing massive amounts of revenue from the public budget. Revenue that would pay for important public services from one end of the province to the other.

PSAC members are organizing against the attack on sick leave
PSAC
November 7, 2014

A round up of actions by Public Service Alliance of Canada members who took to the streets to protest proposed government changes to their sick leave and cuts to public services.

Inquiry paints damning portrait of Marikana massacre of miners
Greg Nicholson, The Guardian
November 6, 2014

On November 5, the Marikana Commission of Inquiry heard the first day of closing arguments. It marks a moment for the legal teams to examine the events leading to 16 August 2012, where 34 miners were killed and 78 injured during a strike by platinum mine workers. The day was dominated by the evidence leaders, who dismantled the South African police’s case and reminded everyone that it was people, not faceless caricatures who died.

San Francisco voters approve $15 minimum wage
Joshua Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner
November 5, 2014

The more than 100,000 of San Francisco’s lowest paid workers are in store for a pay raise after voters supported raising the minimum wage Tuesday to $15 by 2018. Under Proposition J, the minimum wage increases on May 1, 2015, to $12.25 per hour, and rises gradually each year until it hits $15 on July 1, 2018. Subsequently the wage would be increased according to the consumer price index.

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