R&F Labour News Update – May 25 2015

Halifax Water strike | Winnipeg transit | Ontario teachers | London municipal strike | Toyota union drive | Canada Post | Federal bargaining sick leave | Hydro One privatization | Crown strike | US Steel secret deal | Bill C-377

Friday April 17, 2015
Don’t miss Paul Kahnert’s article: “Selling Hydro One: Gutting oversight to line the pockets of corporations

Halifax Water workers locked out
Shay Enxuga, Rankandfile.ca
May 20 2015

After 14 months, bargaining broke down between Halifax Water and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Locals 1431 and 227, representing office and technical workers and outside workers respectively. Under the current proposal put forward by Halifax Water, workers could lose up to 30 percent of their pension plan. According to Dave Dort, President of Local 227, the employer, “came to the table with a mandate of slashing our pension plan.”

Winnipeg Transit agreement struck; voluntary overtime ban lifted
CBC News
May 23 2015

“The overtime ban has been lifted,” said John Callahan, president of Winnipeg Transit’s union, which represents around 1,100 bus drivers and 250 maintenance workers. “I can tell you that it’s a deal that we will be recommending to our members. We are looking forward to getting back and to the job at hand.”

Premier Wynne prepared to legislate teachers back-to-work
Allison Jones, CP24
May 22 2015

The Liberal government is waiting on a ruling from the Ontario Labour Relations Board on the legality of the strikes, and is also awaiting advice from the Education Relations Commission on whether the students’ school years are in jeopardy. Once those rulings and recommendations are in, the government would act, said Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Canada Post

One man’s sit-in to save door-to-door mail
Evan Johnston, Rankandfile.ca
May 22 2015

Canada Post admits finances have nothing to do with door-to-door cuts
Tom Parry, CBC News
May 21 2015

Canada Post refuses to disclose info about delivery complaints
Vanessa Lu, Toronto Star
May 19 2015

Union effort at Toyota Canada revives after Corolla line moved to Mexico
Neal E. Boudette, Automotive News
May 23 2015

An April announcement that Toyota will move production of the Corolla from its 27-year-old plant here to a new factory to be built in Mexico ignited fears of job cuts among Toyota workers. And now the Unifor campaign is springing back to life. “This news with the Corolla has really served to ramp up things again,” said Lee Sperduti, a team leader in the final assembly area of the Cambridge plant who is working to build support for Unifor. “Here they are, sending the bread and butter to Mexico. It was an eye-opener.”

Harper government rejected alternative short-term disability plan
Kathryn May, Ottawa Citizen
May 21 2015

One of the 18 federal unions has been proposing for years a new short-term disability plan to replace sick leave, but Treasury Board negotiators have repeatedly rejected the scheme out of hand. Treasury Board President Tony Clement says unions are being “obstructionist” and stonewalling” while one union president says “Nothing can be further from the truth. We had a proposal that wasn’t even given a second look and it was patterned after a plan in the private sector, which is what Clement argues he wants.”

London Ontario inside municipal workers to strike May 25
CTV London
May 23 2015

Over 750 city of London inside workers will be on strike starting Monday morning. “Once again, this employer has shown that they have no intention to bargain, but to push our members on the picket line,” said Shelley Navarroli, president of CUPE Local 101. “The city’s host of concession demands include gutting the collective agreement’s language on hours of work, job evaluation, promotions, and cutting retiree benefits among others.”

Researchers slam tactics of anti-union group behind Bill C-377
Peter O’Neil, Vancouver Sun
May 24 2015

The researchers note that LabourWatch was described by Tory MP Russ Hiebert in media interviews as “non-partisan,” yet one of its key members, the non-union construction association Merit Canada, actively lobbied Conservative politicians to support the bill, according to the lobbyist registry. And LabourWatch’s president John Mortimer sent an email to a Conservative minister when C-377 was passed in the House of Commons in 2012 saying it was an “important day for the conservative movement.”

Crown workers, on strike for 21 months, still hope for a fair deal
Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star
May 18 2015

“Let’s not bullshit each other. We’re not in a strong position. If we can get back inside, to fight for the future, we will do that. But we’ve got to get back inside the building. We deserve that. We made a lot of money for this company. They’re financing this strike by the profitability we made for those bastards. And what do we get? Twenty months on the picket line.”

Secret U.S. Steel deal with Ottawa to stay sealed
Jeff Green, CBC News
May 20 2015

The deal between the Canadian government and U.S. Steel that allowed the steelmaker to renege on its obligation to make steel in Canada — at plants in Hamilton and Nanticoke in Ontario — will remain a secret. An Ontario Superior Court judge ruled that while it is reasonable that the deal be open, for fairness in the bankruptcy protection process, he dismissed an unsealing motion, saying he didn’t have the authority to make that happen. Gary Howe, president of Hamilton Local 1005 of the United Steelworkers Union called the decision “a disappointment, but not surprising.”

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