Labour News Update: Jan. 4, 2016

This week in labour news: OLG Lockout | Canadian Labour Movement in Review | Sudbury Jail Guards | Public Library Workers | Scumbag of the Year | Car Hits Community Mailboxes | MGEU Tentative Agreement | Manitoba recognizes PTSD as work-related condition | Best of R&F | Union drive at Western | Workers United Against Climate Change

OLG Lockout Is The Result Of A Decade Of Dysfunction
Larry Rousseau
Huffington Post
Jan. 3, 2016

OLG has locked workers out of four sites in the last four months of 2015 — in Brantford, Sudbury, Woodbine/Toronto (all since ended) and most recently Rideau-Carleton/Ottawa.n-CASINO-large570
It’s been several weeks now since management at the Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots (RCRS) locked out 124 of its workers after they rejected what any reasonable observer would conclude was a very lousy offer.
This has meant that every day since then, these workers have spent hours picketing various gates to the facility and explaining their situation to clients in the hope that some will turn away, as many in fact have.
There are two key issues in contention.

2015: The Canadian labour movement in review
Doug Nesbitt and David Bush
Jan. 1, 2016

2015 was a year of struggle and progress for the Canadian labour movement. The defeat of the Tories federally and in Alberta, and some notable legal victories were tempered by the three interrelated problems: sharp austerity policies applied at the provincial level, the continuing employers’ offensive on workers, and the shaky economy.

Jail guards in Sudbury poised to strike
Carol Mulligan
Sudbury Star
Jan 1, 2016

About 90 correctional, rehabilitation, and probation and parole officers at the Sudbury Jail could be on strike Jan. 10 if an agreement is not reached between their union and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services in the meantime.
Some members of Local 617 of the Ontario Public Services Employees Union were at work in their union office New Year’s Day, making signs and organizing should they take to picket lines next week. A picket trailer has already been set up behind the Elm Street institution.

Good jobs long overdue at public library, workers say
Growth in part-time work is jeopardizing quality of life for library workers — and quality of service for customers, staff say.
Sara Mojtehedzadeh
Toronto Star
Dec. 31, 2016

The writer and poet T.S. Eliot once called libraries the “best evidence that we may yet have hope for the future of man.” But judging by the concerns of Toronto workers staffing the world’s largest public library system, the future is looking pretty grim.
Jobs have been slashed by 17 per cent since 1998, according to the city’s library worker union, despite a 30 per cent increase in circulation. And while the number of public library managers on the Sunshine List has skyrocketed, around 50 per cent of non-management library jobs are part time — leaving many strapped with irregular hours and limited access to benefits and pensions.12465070_10101130143660745_176479473_o-300x199

Deepak Chopra, 2015’s Scumbag of the Year
Dec. 31, 2015

The votes are in and it is official, Deepak Chopra is the winner’s Scumbag of the Year award for 2015. Chopra, the president and CEO of Canada Post, trounced a strong field of contenders in our open voting. Each of his competitors would have been a worthy choice. But rarely has a candidate united so many people from across the country. Chopra has been working hard to win this award, he was nominated but lost last year.

Charlottetown residents get door-to-door delivery after car hits community mailbox
Canada Post hopes to have new unit installed in the next few days
CBC News
Dec. 30, 2015

Some residents of Charlottetown are getting door-to-door delivery after their two community mailboxes were plowed down by a car on Sunday.
The accident happened just before 2 p.m. on Ellis Road in the Sherwood neighbourhood.

Province and MGEU reach tentative agreement, details not released
Details to be made public once union members start voting in coming weeks
CBC News
Dec. 30

The province and the Manitoba Government Employees’ Union reached a tentative agreement, Premier Greg Selinger announced in a news release on Wednesday.
The release said the deal, if ratified, would “eliminate the need for an arbitration process,” which was scheduled for May.
“We want to ensure that these hard-working Manitobans are treated fairly and are glad that the collective bargaining process has led to a fair and affordable tentative agreement,” said Selinger.
The agreement still needs to be ratified by 14,000 union members who work for the civil service.

Manitoba legislation recognizes PTSD as work-related condition
CBC News
Dec. 30, 2015

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that will affect roughly one in ten Canadians at some point in their lives.
And society is increasingly attuned to the fact that certain professions – from soldiers to police and other first responders – are especially susceptible.
But there’s also growing understanding that other lines of work – even if they don’t feature such singular traumatic events as the ones we just heard – can also lead to PTSD.

The Best of in 2015
Dec. 30, 2015

2015 was a big year We posted 330 stories, videos, interviews, news updates and job posting this year. 145 of those were original stories, news reports or interviews. We had 68 different authors writing for us. We also added a new amazing editor to our team, Tara Ehrcke, while also having three writer/organizers, Shay Enxuga, Daniel Tseghay and Denise Leduc, working for us at various points throughout the year. Our readership has also continued to grow. Thanks to all those who have contributed, either though their money or their labour, to this year. Without our writers, donors, and readers we could not have achieved all that we did in 2015. To celebrate our achievements the editors have chosen their top three stories of the year.

Western University: Union drive headed to labour board
Spencer Van Dyk
If Press
Dec. 29, 2015

Western University and a public-¬sector union are headed to a labour hearing next month over whether post-doctoral fellows at the school will be allowed to join the union.
Without a union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) says, the researchers don’t have access to benefits, a grievance process and, in some cases, intellectual property ownership.

From Vancouver to Paris: Workers Uniting Against Climate Change
Daniel Tseghay
Dec. 29, 2016

There is a great deal to unpack since the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris ended on December 11th. One of the issues to resolve is the labour movement’s involvement in confronting climate change.

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