R&F Labour News Update – June 22 2015

Bill C-377 | London municipal strike | Halifax Water workers | Westjet union drive | Ontario report cards | Newfoundland paramedics | Burnaby firefighters | Canada Post union busting | Saskatchewan long-term care | New Brunswick education cuts | Ontario’s low-wage explosion | Ottawa janitors | Cape Breton education cuts | Uber must die | Hamilton anti-scab picket

Halifax Water workers lawn signs available 24/7 at Upper Water St., Halifax; next to NSSC Waterfront, Dartmouth. Latest news on the lockout
Halifax Water workers lawn signs available 24/7 at Upper Water St., Halifax; next to NSSC Waterfront, Dartmouth. Latest news on the lockout from Robert Devet.

City of London hires scabs during CUPE 101 municipal workers strike
CTV London
June 19 2015

It has been revealed that the City of London has hired scabs to provide IT services and building inspections while 750 inside municipal workers are on strike against the City’s demand for concessions.

EDUCATION

No report cards is not the problem in Ontario’s schools
Tara Ehrcke, Rankandfile.ca
June 19 2015

Education workers protest job cuts at Cape Breton-Victoria school board
Andrew Rankin, Chronicle-Herald
June 15 2015

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Justin Trudeau says he wants #RealChange. That’s why he voted for Harper’s Bill C-51.

New Brunswick education system is “close to imploding” because of cuts, layoffs
CBC News
June 15 2015

Senators trying to run out the clock on Bill C-377
Bill Curry, Globe and Mail
June 18 2015

A group of senators are trying to run out the clock on the Tory anti-union Bill C-377, hoping to prevent it from becoming law before the sun sets on the 41st Parliament. Bill C-377 was previously blocked by the Senate in 2013 when several Conservatives sided with the opposition to amend the bill, but the House of Commons sent it back to the Senate in its original state.

Westjet pilots’ union grounded for now; flight attendants still organizing
Tracy Johnson, CBC News
June 19 2015

Anti-scab picket line called by Hamilton Steelworkers: June 26, 5am-9am at MANA gates, 855 Industrial Dr.
Anti-scab picket line called by Hamilton Steelworkers: June 26, 5am-9am at MANA gates, 855 Industrial Dr.

Westjet pilots and flight attendants were in a race against the implementation of Bill C-525 which strips federally-regulated workers from unionizing through 50%+1 card check and replaces it with a two-stage card check and then voting process which is notorious for favouring the anti-union efforts of employers.

Canada Post changes contractors to break temp workers union
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
June 18 2015

In a clear case of union-busting, temp workers employed by Canada Post were abruptly fired as Canada Post switched subcontractors without notifying the union. The workers were the first temps to be organized by CUPW and achieved their first contract in October 2014.

Burnaby “dragging its heels” in bargaining with firefighters
Canadian Labour Reporter
June 17 2015

Firefighters in Burnaby, BC have been without a contract since Jan. 1, 2012. The City of Burnaby has decided to buck an informal wage pattern bargaining and is instead seeking concessions. The Union, IAFF Local 323 says Burnaby is now draggings its heels in negotiations.

Uber must die
David Bush, Rankandfile.ca
June 16 2015

It is hard to imagine an industry that is more exploitative and more disempowering for workers than the taxicab industry. But somehow Uber and the advocates of the sharing economy have found a way to lower the bar. If Uber is intent on ignoring workers’ rights and undermining basic regulations and ruining workers’ lives, then Uber must die.

HEALTHCARE

Rural paramedics march on St. John’s to protest poor working conditions, low pay
CBC News
June 15 2015

Saskatchewan long-term care is understaffed; patients at risk
CBC News
June 16 2015

North Bay Regional Health Centre in deficit after job, bed cuts
Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles, North Bay Nugget
June 11 2015

Ontario’s “eye-popping” shift to low-wage work
Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Toronto Star
June 15 2015

A new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives shows the share of Ontario workers labouring for the minimum wage is now five times higher than in 1997. It rose from less than 3 per cent of all employees to about 12 per cent in 2014. Almost a third of all employees in the province are now making within $4 of the minimum wage, compared with less than 20 per cent of the workforce in 1997. And while more than half of all minimum-wage workers are still young people, most of those making less than $15 an hour are 25 or older.

Justice for Janitors $15/hour campaign launched in Ottawa
Ella Bedard, Rabble.ca
June 19 2015

Initiated by SEIU Local 2, in collaboration with ACORN Canada, the campaign will draw attention to the struggle and mistreatment of both unionized and non-unionized janitors and cleaning staff. Approximately 3,000 people are employed as janitors, maintenance workers, and cleaners in Ottawa, the majority of them are women and recent immigrants. While most of these workers clean federal government buildings they are employed indirectly through private companies who bid for government cleaning contracts.

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