Labour News Update: Aug. 31, 2015

Truck drivers rally | Community mailboxes deemed unsafe | The Pacific Coast Farm Worker Rebellion | Lessons of Crown strike | Bryce Casavant arbitration | School teacher tax credit | Harperman song | Pearson airport accident | Harper campaign promises | Jazz Aviation tentative deal | A message from a Postie | Bitter battle in OFL

‘It could have been any one of us:’ Tow truck drivers hold rally for injured colleague
Joanne Laucius
Ottawa Citizen
Aug. 29, 2015

About 60 Ottawa tow truck drivers and their rigs gathered in a Canadian Tire Centre parking lot Sunday, only a few feet away from where one of their number was critically injured this week.

A tow truck driver, whose name has not been released, was assisting police Wednesday at the scene of a two-vehicle collision on eastbound Highway 417 when he was struck by a third vehicle.

He sustained head, abdominal and hand injuries, and was rushed to hospital. His friends are protective of his privacy and will say only that his condition has improved.

Community mailboxes in Stratford deemed unsafe
Patrick Grapes
Stratford News
Aug. 28, 2015

Canada Post says a number of community mailboxes in Stratford are unsafe.  That’s why they’ve been wrapped in yellow caution tape.

Spokesperson Anick Losier says for the time being Canada Post has cordoned the boxes off and won’t be delivering mail to them.  Instead residents with an unsafe box will continue to get door-to-door delivery.

The issue appears to be the boxes that have been installed on raised, gravel platforms.

The Pacific Coast Farm-Worker Rebellion
From Baja California to Washington State, indigenous farm workers are standing up for their rights
David Bacon
The Nation
Aug. 28, 2015

A burned-out concrete blockhouse—the former police station—squats on one side of the only divided street in Vicente Guerrero, half a mile from Baja California’s transpeninsular highway. Just across the street lies the barrio of Nuevo (New) San Juan Copala, one of the first settlements of migrant farm workers here in the San Quintín Valley, named after their hometown in Oaxaca.

Lessons of the Crown strike
Carolyn Egan
Socialist.ca
Aug. 28, 2015crown_can_campaign

The Crown strike is over after 22 long months and the workers fought til the very last. Only two crossed the line out of 120 and the strikers understood that they were fighting not only for themselves but for every worker in this country.

The vote was close: 53 to 45. Crown, a vicious employer, had targeted 34 activists who they had refused to take back, and were demanding that all the scabs keep their jobs. Its intent was to break the union because the workers stood up and fought back.

Bryce Casavant removed from Conservation Officer Service – BCGEU pursuing arbitration to resolve unjust discipline issues
BCGEU
Aug. 28, 2015

The BCGEU and Bryce Casavant learned this week that he is being transferred out of the Conservation Officer Service. Casavant was originally suspended in July when he followed Conservation Officer Service procedures and policies and determined two bear cubs near Port Hardy should not be killed.

A tax credit for teachers in no solution
Ben Sichel
RankandFile.ca
Aug. 28, 2015

It was sad this week to see Justin Trudeau’s promise to give teachers a tax credit for purchasing their own classroom supplies. Not because it means teachers buying their own supplies is a new phenomenon, or has necessarily worsened. Teachers have always filled in gaps in K-12 education funding, sometimes to the tune of several hundred dollars a year, especially in the early years of their careers.

Public servant investigated over political ‘Harperman’ song
Kathryn May
Ottawa Citizen
Aug. 27, 2015

An Ottawa federal scientist is being investigated for breaching the public service’s ethics code for writing and performing a highly political protest song to get rid of the Harper government.harperman2

Tony Turner, a scientist in habitat planning at Environment Canada, was recently sent home on leave with pay while the government investigates the making of Harperman, a music video posted on YouTube in early June that has attracted about 48,000 hits.

Unions take Pearson airport to task over safety after recent accident
Low wages, long hours at airport major concerns for unions
Errol Nazarath
CBC News
Aug. 27, 2015

An accident at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport last week has several unions sounding the alarm over safety at the country’s busiest air hub.

On Aug. 20, at approximately 5:30 a.m. ET, a 20-year-old Swissport employee was driving to Terminal 1 when he got involved in an accident with a fuel truck during a 16-hour shift, Teamsters Local 419 vice-president Harjinder Badial told CBC News. He added the rain and the darkness may have contributed to the collision.

Stephen Harper announces same policy in same city, same factory as he did in 2011
Press Progress
Aug. 27, 2015

Groundhog Day has come a few months late this year!

Why’s that? Because today Conservative leader Stephen Harper announced the exact same policy at the exact same manufacturing plant in the exact same city with the exact same Paul Calandra as he did during the 2011 election!

Huh?

Back during the 2011 election, Harper announced that a newly elected Conservative government would bring in reforms to help immigrants get foreign credentials recognized quicker.

Jazz Aviation reaches tentative deal with flight attendants
Agreement follows 11-year contract deals with pilots, dispatchers
The Canadian Press
Labour-reporter.com
Aug. 27, 2015

HALIFAX (CP) — Jazz Aviation, which provides regional service for Air Canada, says it has reached a tentative agreement with its 820 flight attendants.

The subsidiary of Chorus Aviation says details won’t be provided until the new labour agreement is ratified by members of the Canadian Flight Attendant Union.

The new contract follows 11-year contract deals this year with 1,380 Jazz pilots and 62 dispatchers.

A message from a postie: Defend our public services, Stop Harper!
Toni MacAfee
RankandFile.ca
Aug. 27, 2015

I am a postal worker and proud of it! As postal workers, the dedication and commitment it takes to get on as a full-time employee is unappreciated and misunderstood. We don’t walk in one day, they say you are hired and you start working!

Bitter battle for OFL’s top job taking shape
Some labour leaders are behind a movement to oust Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan.
Richard J. Brennan
Toronto Star
Aug. 26, 2015

The president of Canada’s largest private sector union says it’s time for controversial Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan to go.

But Ryan insists he’s not going anywhere as he girds for the fight of his union career.

Unifor’s Jerry Dias told the Star that as much he respects the outspoken Ryan, he has to put the future of the labour movement in the province first.

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