R & F Labour News Update – November 9, 2015

Quebec public service sector unions reject offer, promise more strikes | Telus to cut 1,500 jobs | Fight for paid sick days in Ontario | Nipissing faculty union strike | Migrant rights in BC | Privatization of healthcare in Saskatchewan | Maple Leaf bargaining in Manitoba | Remembering the 1945 Ford Windsor strike  | Replace Canada Post’s management | Brampton truckers targeted for unionizing | Alberta’s Grande Cache Coal mine to close, 220 workers to be fired|

quebecstrikeTelus to cut 1,500 positions to lower expenses as it raises shareholder payments
The Province, November 5, 2015

Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle says a plan to reduce its workforce by 1,500 positions is essential for the telecom company if it plans to continue growing its business.

Northwest Alberta’s Grande Cache Coal closing underground mine, laying off 220 workers
Edmonton Journal, November 3, 2015

Blaming the collapsed global market for steelmaking coal, Grande Cache Coal is temporarily suspending its underground mining operation, throwing 220 employees out of work by Dec. 24.

“It’s one of these very difficult times for the management and for the people and for the Town of Grande Cache,” Max Wang, president and chief executive of Grande Cache Coal, said Tuesday.

Lack of paid sick days in Ontario a public health risk, doctors say
Toronto Star, November 3, 2015

There are at least 145 countries around the world and 23 jurisdictions in North America that give workers paid sick days. But the fact Ontario is not among them is posing a serious public health risk, according to a new petition signed by more than 700 medical professionals.

The petition presented at Queen’s Park on Thursday said the government urgently needs to reform its outdated employment legislation to include the right to paid sick leave and to scrap provisions requiring workers to bring in sick notes.

The struggle to enforce migrant worker rights in B.C.: An interview with HEU lawyer, Kaity Cooper
RankandFile.ca, November 6, 2015

On October 8th and 9th, Simon Fraser University hosted a conference on Temporary Migrant Workers entitled “Labour Rights and Organizing Strategies”. RankandFile spoke with one of the presenters, Kaity Cooper, about the legal challenges facing migrant workers and some potential legal reforms. Cooper is a lawyer with the Hospital Employees’ Union and has extensive experience represented migrant workers before the Workers’ Compensation Board and Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, Employment Standards Branch, Human Rights Tribunal and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. As part of the conference, Cooper presented a paper with co-author Jodie Gauthier entitled “Bringing up B.C.: The negative impacts of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program on vulnerable workers and proposals for regional action.” The paper’s overview of migrant worker experiences and details on the complaint-driven process, the lack of protections, and the facilitation of employer intimidation provided a springboard for this discussion with RankandFile.

Brampton truckers say they were targeted for unionizing
Toronto Star, November 6, 2015

When a group of a hundred-plus disgruntled truckers gathered at a Brampton Sikh temple to talk about their workplace concerns this September, their list of demands was simple: job security, safety and respect.

But when that evolved into exercising their constitutional right to unionize, it swiftly descended into an ugly workplace battle, according to a new complaint made to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

Grocery store secrets: Best-before dates tampered with, workers claim
CBC, November 6, 2015

Supermarket workers are speaking out to CBC’s Marketplace about how stores tamper with best-before dates and how it can make food unsafe.

For five years, Mohammad Saffari has worked as a bakery clerk at a Loblaws store in Montreal. He says he was told to change best-before dates on fresh or frozen bakery items such as cheesecakes, muffins and pastries that were weeks or months past the best-before date.

Replace Canada Post management
London Free Press, November 6, 2015

No one voted for the corporate managers at Canada Post. CEO Deepak Chopra makes more than our prime minister, and his 22 vice-presidents take home fat bonuses for cutting services and jobs. But their austerity agenda is a hangover from the Stephen Harper years that Canadians decisively rejected a few weeks ago. Why do they think they can still call the shots without listening to Canadians?

These Canada Post execs are the same ones who have consistently over-predicted postal losses in recent years, forecasting deficits when in fact our Crown corporation makes a consistent profit.

Public sector unions reject government’s new contract offer
Montreal Gazette, November 6, 2015

Public sector unions categorically rejected Friday the government’s new contract offer to start increasing salaries sooner, review pay scales and gradually push the retirement age to 62.

Fédération des travailleurs du Québec (FTQ) president Daniel Boyer called the offer “very unsatisfactory” before promising more strike action next week.

The government’s latest offer comes after a wave of rotating strikes, which saw teachers, nurses and civil servants walk off the job last week, and loud protests Friday morning in Montreal.

This Day in History: Nov. 7, 1945
Windsor Star, November 7, 2015

Hundreds of cars clog Riverside Drive East near Ford of Canada’s main Windsor plant at the height of the 100-day United Auto Workers strike.

The blockade ends in December with a settlement which later inspires the Rand Formula — a landmark arbitration decision which did not compel Ford workers to join their union, but made compulsory a checkoff for union dues.

Maple Leaf Bargaining Update #7
UFCW, November 5, 2015

Check out the Vimeo update here.

Nipissing faculty union responds to president over wages
CBC, November 5, 2015

Faculty at Nipissing University continue to strike and one of the main issues is how much faculty are paid. The president says because the school is smaller, faculty should be paid less, but the union doesn’t agree.

Canada needs a Postal Service for the 21st Century
Friends of Public Services, November, 2015

Now that we have temporary relief from cuts, let us imagine a 21st century postal service. Canada Post can and should expand services to improve the quality of life and help us connect to each other in new ways.

The privatization agenda keeps saying that Canada Post needs to be cut down even further. But we don’t think so. Here are six ways that Canada Post can expand and improve services and create new revenue streams.

Bill to partially privatize MRIs in Saskatchewan passed by government
Leader Post, November 4, 2015

A bill allowing people to pay for an MRI in Saskatchewan was passed by the government on Wednesday.

The new legislation had been named by the Saskatchewan Party government as a priority. It was pushed through the house this session with a goal of having it proclaimed in February, before voters head to the polls in April.

Public Services and Privatization
CCPA (Saskatchewan), 2015

Check out the CCPA (SK) Office website for a collection of reports that outline the privatization agenda in Saskatchewan.

Missouri football players say they’re on strike until school president is removed
Washington Post, November 7, 2015

Some members of the Missouri football team announced on Saturday that they will go on strike until the school’s president steps down or is forced to leave.

The boycott is part of a student movement against the school administration’s response to a series of alleged racist incidents around campus. A graduate student, Jonathan L. Butler, began a hunger strike in protest of Wolfe on Nov. 2.

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