Labour News Update, December 7 2015

769310Alberta’s Bill 6 | Nova Scotia teachers | NSGEU vote | North Bay healthcare rally | Nanaimo golf club lockout | Ontario healthcare crisis | Fight for $15 | Justice for Janitors | BC port truckers | OFL convention | Discrimination against disabilities on the job | Regina’s Co-op Refinery | BC public sector wage bump

Bill 6: Health and safety rights for Alberta’s farm workers

At last there’s justice in Alberta’s farm fields
Gil McGowan, Innisfail Province
November 24 2015

Alberta needs Bill 6, although Bill 6 needs fixes
David Climenhaga,
November 30 2015

Bill 6: political critique from the ridiculous right
Bob Barnetson, Labour & Employment in Alberta
December 1 2015

Nova Scotia teachers reject contract offer
CBC News
December 1 2015

Nova Scotia teachers have rejected a contract offer that their union recommended accepting from the province. The turnout for the vote was high with 94 per cent of the members casting their ballots, 61 per cent of whom voted against the contract offer. “They are frustrated with their working conditions and they would like to see those addressed in a contract,” said Shelley Morse, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union.

Nova Scotia government backpeddles on NSGEU ultimatum
Michael Gorman, Chronicle-Herald
December 3 2015

The Nova Scotia government tried to threaten NSGEU into voting for a tentative agreement by December 3 after Nova Scotia’s teachers rejected a similar offer from the government. The government then backpeddled as NSGEU allowed the ultimatum deadline to expire. NSGEU has now postponed the vote until the new year.


Trudeau comes under fire for his personal publicly-funded childcare plan.
Trudeau comes under fire for his personal publicly-funded childcare plan.

VIDEO: Safety at Regina’s Co-op Refinery
Dr. Sean Tucker, University of Regina
December 5 2015

Dr. Sean Tucker delivered a lecture at the University of Regina on the Co-Op Refinery Complex’s (CRC) health and safety record. In the last decade, two workers have died and dozens more have been injured as a result of unsafe working conditions at the CRC. Is this just a reality of dangerous work, or a symptom of negligence and a poor occupational health and safety regime in the province? Sean tackles these questions by providing a thorough examination of the Complex’s history and the outcomes of a recent investigation.

Ontario healthcare crisis

Hundreds rally against North Bay hospital cuts, jobs losses
Chris Dawson
Bay Today, November 30 2015

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton closing mental health ward with deep cuts
Adam Carter
CBC News, December 4 2015

Ontario’s long-term care system in crisis, says frontline workers
Amanda Pfeffer
CBC News, December 6 2015

Ottawa hospital’s cleaning staff cuts putting patients at risk
Elizabeth Payne
Ottawa Citizen, December 4 2015

Fight for $15 and Fairness

New Brunswick Common Front launches $15/h campaign
Tracy Glynn, New Brunswick Media Co-op
December 1 2015

Campaign to raise minimum wage kicks off in Cape Breton
David Jala, Cape Breton Post
December 1 2015

Web of subcontracting robs low-wage Bay Street cleaners
Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Toronto Star
December 1 2015

Ontario finally bans bosses from skimming tips
Ashley Csandy, Ottawa Citizen
November 29 2015

‘Economic dividend’ symptomatic of state of public sector labour movement in BC
Tara Ehrcke,
December 1 2015

With only a little bit of fanfare, the BC government announced last week that most of BC’s public sector workers would be receiving a surprise .45% pay increase next year under the “economic dividend” clause negotiated into most contracts. Sadly, most unions accepted this clause because they saw no other way of getting wage increases, or even of maintaining wages versus inflation. But capitulating to the BC Liberals is no answer.

Half of Canadians accept job disability discrimination
Jane Taber, Globe & Mail
December 3 2015

Half of Canadians believe it’s understandable if an employer thinks it’s too risky to hire someone with a physical disability, according to a new survey. At the same time, 90 per cent of Canadians say that accessibility for people with physical disabilities is a human right and not a privilege. The survey reveals some ignorance on disability and accessibility issues, including that Canadians vastly underestimate the number of disabled people in the population although more than half say they know disabled people, or see a person with a physical disability every day in their workplace or socially.

BC port truckers picketing companies holding out against new contract
CBC News
November 30 2015

Truck drivers who remain without a collective agreement picketed Monday morning in Delta and Richmond hoping to put pressure on two companies — Harbour Link and Port Transport —  who have yet to settle a long-running labour dispute. Deals were reached with six other container trucking companies on Sunday, meaning close to 75 per cent of all Unifor truckers have now ratified a labour agreement which will run through July 2019.

Ontario Federation of Labour convention: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Chris Grawey, CUPE 4207 and VP Niagara Regional Labour Council
December 3 2015

The convention was an eye-opening experience that revealed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the labour movement and the OFL. On one hand, there were opportunities to collaborate with young workers, experienced trade unionists, and activists from numerous organizations and movements. However, the Convention also exposed the undemocratic and bureaucratic tendencies within the labour movement and the OFL that must be actively challenged.

Nanaimo MLA supports locked out golf club workers
Hilary Eastmure, MyCoastNow
November 30 2015

Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog says the seven month lockout at the Nanaimo Golf Club isn’t getting the attention it deserves. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to support the workers, who have been walking the picket line since mid-April. One week into the campaign, donors have helped raise more than $3,700 towards the $10,000 goal. Krog made a $100 donation on behalf of his constituents and says he fully supports the workers.

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