R&F Labour News Update – June 29 2015

Loblaw union sets strike deadline | Municipal inside workers negotiations in London breakdown | P.E.I. teachers walk away from bargaining table | Hay River to bring in replacement workers | Winnipeg transit workers vote to approve new contract | Town hall on privatizations in Newfoundland and Labrador | RCMP settles standoff at Emterra picket lines | Contract talks break off between Halifax Water and workers | Project manager found guilty in scaffolding collapse | IAM calls to reject Hudbay offer | Conservatives move to push anti-labour bill through Senate | Union says privatized snow removal costing Winnipeg too much

Loblaw union sets strike deadline
Dana Flavelle, Toronto Star
June 26 2015

The union representing workers at 61 Loblaw stores across Ontario, many in the Greater Toronto Area, has set Sunday, July 5, as the strike deadline to back their demands for a better contract.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 1000a set the deadline Friday, saying Loblaw Cos. Ltd. had rejected its bid to resume talks earlier in the day.

Loblaw Cos. said it was making contingency plans in the event of a strike.

CUPE Local 101 members on the picket line in front of London’s city hall

Talks between CUPE & the city stall, no new meetings planned
CTV London
June 27 2015

Talks between the city of London and its striking inside workers represented by CUPE 101 broke off Saturday with no agreement reached.

In media releases by CUPE and city spokesperson Rob Paynter, they confirmd talks broke off without a contract.

Both parties agree to remain in touch with the mediator and both sides will continue their self-imposed “media blackout”.

P.E.I. teachers walk away from contract negotiations
Teresa Wright, The Journal Pioneer
June 25 2015

The union that represents Prince Edward Island teachers has walked away from contract negotiations with the province, accusing government of engaging in bad faith bargaining.

The P.E.I. Teacher’s Federation issued a strongly worded news release announcing this development late Wednesday, saying government “does not seem to care” about the needs of students and teachers in the classroom.

“The government has engaged in bad faith bargaining and we have no choice but to walk away,” said PEITF President Gilles Arsenault. 

Hay River strike: Town plans to hire replacement workers
CBC News
June 26 2015

The Town of Hay River, N.W.T., says it will begin hiring replacement workers to do the jobs of its striking municipal workers.

The workers have been on strike since early February.

Mayor Andrew Cassidy says the contracts are for administrative jobs as well as operation and maintenance of the recreation centre.

Transit union votes in favour of new contract with city
Wayne Glowacki, Winnipeg Free Press
June 26 2015

Looks like second time is the charm for the city’s transit workers.

After a second round of negotiations, 60 per cent of the members of the amalgamated transit union voted in favour of their new contract with the city of Winnipeg; 1015 ballots were cast with 607 voting yes and 406 voting no.

Justin Brake, TheIndependent.ca
June 26 2015

The provincial government’s move to privatize public services is a dangerous course of action for Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans, a crowd of about 75 heard at a town hall in St. John’s Wednesday evening.

At the “People Before Profit” event, organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, members of a three-person panel outlined how the private sector, with profit as its bottom line, cannot adequately or consistently provide the same quality of services in the areas of education and healthcare.

RCMP Settles Standoff at Emterra Picket Lines
Jamie Shinkewski, Kamloops BC Now
June 26 2015

USW Local 419 workers from Emterra in Kamloops on strike for fair wages and a safe working environment. Photo credit: Barb Nederpel, @BNederpel
USW Local 419 workers from Emterra in Kamloops on strike for fair wages and a safe working environment. Photo credit: Barb Nederpel, @BNederpel

Tensions flared when an Emterra Environmental truck tried to cross the picket lines Friday morning.

It led to a standoff that lasted about three hours between striking workers and management, before the RCMP diffused the situation and allowed the truck through.

Emterra employees began the strike on Monday after the union was unable to reach a deal with the company.

Negotiations between Halifax Water and union break down
Global News
June 26 2015

HALIFAX -A lockout at the Halifax Regional Water Commission continues after the latest round of talks ended without agreement between the utility and the union for 300 employees.

Six days of negotiations broke off late Thursday night over changes to employee pensions.

Heather Corkum, president of the CUPE branch representing 105 inside workers affected by the labour dispute, says Halifax Water refused to cap pensionable earnings because of seven upper management members who make more than the cut-off amount.

Vadim Kazenelson found guilty in deadly Toronto scaffolding collapse
The Canadian Press
June 26 2015

A project manager who oversaw a construction crew involved in a fatal scaffolding collapse in 2009 was convicted Friday in the deaths of four workers under his charge.

An Ontario Superior Court judge found Vadim Kazenelson guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Kazenelson was aware that fall protections were not in place, but he nevertheless allowed his workers to board the swing stage, the judge said.

Flin Flon Reminder
June 26 2015

Striking IAM Local 1848 members have a choice Monday: continue to strike or accept an offer their bargaining team calls substandard.

On Thursday night, IAM and Hudbay came to terms on what the union called a strike settlement offer and the company called a tentative agreement.

While IAM members in Flin Flon and Snow Lake will vote on the offer on Monday, the IAM bargaining team is recommending they reject the deal and hold out for something more generous.

Conservatives move to push anti-labour bill through Senate
Peter O’Neil, Vancouver Sun
June 27 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, in what is likely its last legislative measure before the autumn election, used its Senate majority on Friday to force a vote early next week on a controversial bill bitterly opposed by Canada’s labour movement.

Bill C-377, an initiative by B.C. Tory MP Russ Hiebert, is now slated to be passed early next week as a result of Friday’s manoeuvring.

The legislation would require unions to publicly disclose details of all expenses over $5,000 and remuneration to anyone totalling over $100,000.

City getting snowed over by contractors on snow removal: union
Shane Gibson, Metro Winnipeg
June 24 2015

The union representing City of Winnipeg employees thinks city staff can do a better job of snow removal than the private contractors currently tasked with the job, and they say the move would save taxpayer’s money to boot.

Mike Davidson, president of CUPE 500, told councillors on the city’s Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works committee Tuesday the union has a report ready to submit to city officials that backs up the idea.

“Many times in the past CUPE Local 500 has worked with the city and provided the answers to core services to make sure that they’re cost effective and to make sure that the job is being done,” he said after the meeting, telling media the union is waiting until city staff complete a review on snow clearing operations before making their report public.

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