R&F Labour News Update, May 4 2015

Unions turn against Trudeau Liberals | May Day in Quebec | Hydro One shares for workers | Union drive at Trump Hotel | Southern Railway workers sign new deal | Moncton health workers resist privatization | B.C. Teachers Federation going to Supreme Court | GM Oshawa workers worried | IAM strike at Hudbay | Ontario teachers roundup

Unions turn against Trudeau Liberals
Canadian Press
May 2, 2015

Two more union leaders are accusing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau of hypocrisy on labour rights.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias and CLC president Hassan Yussuff have joined the chorus of union leaders who are furious that Liberals have criticized New Democrats for providing parliamentary office space to their staffers’ union local.

May Day 2015: Quebec unions upping the ante against austerity mtl
David Gray-Donald, rabble.ca
May 1, 2015

Many unions large and small in Quebec are encouraging members to mobilize on May Day, Friday May 1, as part of the province-wide opposition to austerity.

Traditionally, May Day is celebrated by many on the left in Canada, with Quebec putting on some of the largest showings. In recent years, hundreds have been detained and ticketed by police during anti-capitalist May Day protests in Montreal.

This year’s action by unions is a departure from the tradition of Quebec’s large unions, for most of the last ten years, celebrating May Day on the weekend closest to May 1 with non-confrontational events like barbeques, and not associating with more radical groups.

Ontario to give power workers shares in privatized Hydro One
Adrian Morrow, Globe and Mail
May 1, 2015

Ontario’s Liberal government is trying to buy labour peace before the controversial privatization of Hydro One with generous contract settlements offering power workers stock in the company, a raise and a cash payment.

Tentative deals with Ontario Power Generation and Hydro One employees, both represented by the Power Workers’ Union, would give employees a 3-per-cent-wage increase over three years, plus payments equal to 3 per cent of their annual salaries.

Inside a union drive at The Trump Hotel
Francine Kopun, Toronto Star
May 1, 2015

A lot goes on behind the closed doors of any big city hotel room and on a Tuesday evening in April, at One King West, a union drive is underway.

Trump Hotel housekeepers, 25 of them, most of them women from the Philippines, perch on the king-size bed, the carpeted floor, the few chairs in the room, the windowsill, to learn how to become a union in five days.

Locked out CUPE employees sign agreement after 114 Days
Anita Sthankiya, Kelowna Now
May 1, 2015

It has taken 114 days to reach an agreement, but the Southern Railway and CUPE 7000 employees have finally reached an agreement.

The 126 employees of the Southern Railway have reached a tentative agreement with the U.S.-owned company, ending a lockout that began on January 5th. Details of the agreement have not been released as members still need to hold a ratification vote on Monday, May 4th.

Health workers protest privatization
CBC News
May 1, 2015

More than 200 unionized hospital workers demonstrated in Moncton Friday over the provincial government’s plans to privatize the management of non-medical services.

Health Minister Victor Boudreau announced the move last week, saying it could save millions of dollars, but may mean job losses.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation to appeal court Decision at Supreme Court
Andrea Woo and Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail
April 30, 2015

B.C. teachers who have spent more than a decade trying to regain control of classroom conditions have been dealt a significant blow by Appeal Court judges who have ruled that the government acted lawfully when it stripped them of certain bargaining rights.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation said it will seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, further delaying an end to a dispute that has hung over classrooms for as long as some students have been in school.

GM Oshawa workers worry more layoffs may lead to plant closure
Sophia Harris, CBC News
May 2, 2015

“Where’d all that work go?” asks longtime General Motors worker Frank Giarrizzo after getting confirmation about the latest layoffs to hit the Oshawa auto plant.

In 1987, shortly after Giarrizzo joined GM, the plant employed about 15,000 workers. Following numerous rounds of layoffs, just 3,600 remain today. And the cuts continue; GM will axe another 1,000 jobs by November.

IAM launches Strike at Hudbay
Flin Flon Reminder
May 2, 2015

IAM Local 1848 members launched the first Flin Flon-Snow Lake mine strike in more than four decades Saturday, with picketers demanding a better offer from Hudbay and the company vowing to continue operations.

Dozens of picketers, including IAM members and their spouses, children and grandchildren, formed a picket line near the Hudbay main gate and other locations in Flin Flon and Snow Lake.



Ontario Teachers Roundup

Sudbury teachers to hold rally Monday

‘No-board’ report sets stage for May 10 elementary teachers’ strike

Peel secondary school teachers could strike Monday
City News
May 3, 2015

Public high school teachers in Peel region could be joining their counterparts in Durham and Sudbury on the picket line Monday morning if a collective agreement isn’t reached with their board this weekend.

Representatives from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) say their goal remains to negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement with the Peel District School Board, but their members are becoming increasingly frustrated.

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