Labour News Update Jan.18 2016

Boycott Scab Chips | Chronicle-Herald labour dispute | Canada Post superboxes fail again | Liberals rubber stamp TPP | US Steel fight in Hamilton | Deadly oil patch explosion | New Brunswick austerity budget | Rideau-Carleton OLG lockout | Fredericton bus drivers

wz25rBoycott Scab Chips
Gerard Di Trolio,
January 12, 2016

Right now, scabs are the secret ingredient in Covered Bridge Potato Chips made near Hartland, New Brunswick. After members of UFCW 1288P began their strike for a first contract on January 5, Covered Bridge turned to scab labour. The owner, Ryan Albright has refused to bargain in good faith and wants to break the union.

Halifax Chronicle-Herald newsroom votes to strike
Rachel Ward, CBC News
January 16 2016

The Halifax Typographical Union, which represents 61 newsroom employees at the Chronicle Herald, now can walk off the job as of 12:01 a.m. Jan. 23. Union members met Saturday afternoon in the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union offices for the vote. The union announced on Twitter 98.3 per cent voted for “strike action if necessary to secure a fair contract.

Time for Canada’s Labour Movement to Think and Act Globally
Gerard Di Trolio,
January 15, 2016

South Korea has seen the the largest crackdown on labour and civil rights since the end of the military dictatorship in the late 1980s. Protests led by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) against reforms that would weaken labour protections were repressed by police. But South Korea’s democratic system and civil liberties were touted as a reason why Canada should sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with them. The Canada-Korea FTA entered into force at the beginning of last year. That FTA was opposed by unions in Canada like Unifor, who fear it will decimate Canada’s auto industry.

Worker killed in explosion at Nexen oil facility near Fort McMurray
CBC News
January 15 2016

One person is dead and another is in critical condition after an explosion Friday afternoon at Alberta’s Nexen Long Lake facility. The person in critical condition was flown by air ambulance to the University of Alberta’s burn centre. The Nexen facility is approximately 75 kilometres south of Fort McMurray, outside the hamlet of Anzac.

Unions protest New Brunswick’s austerity budget
Asaf Rashid, New Brunswick Media Co-op
January 14 2016

Patrick Colford, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, doubts the integrity of the public consultations over a budget that will see cuts and privatization. “We have these public consultations so to speak, two to three weeks before the budget comes down. It’s a dog and pony show. The last public consultation is a little over a week before the budget. We’re convinced it’s already set in stone,” says Colford.

US Steel plans to sell former Stelco plants again
Steve Arnold, Hamilton Spectator
January 13 2016

A second effort to sell the former Stelco plants in Hamilton and Nanticoke will go ahead. The controversial plan by U.S. Steel Canada was opposed by the province, workers and retirees and the American parent company now working to cut the Canadian arm loose. But it was given court approval Tuesday after lawyers spent five hours huddled in closed door meetings trying to overcome the objections.

8 things to know about the Rideau-Carleton OLG lockout
Public Service Alliance of Canada
January 2016

On December 16, management at the Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots (RCRS) locked out 124 of its workers after their bargaining team refused to accept a new contract that would freeze wages for two years and remove existing pension language from the current collective agreement. The RCRS is operated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), which is wholly owned by the Government of Ontario. Here are 8 things to know about the lockout.

Renegotiation of TransPacific Partnership not possible says Liberal government
Ross Marowits, Globe and Mail
January 14 2016

A renegotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is not possible even though serious concerns may be raised during public consultations, Canada’s trade minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday. The treaty negotiated by the Harper government during the election campaign is very complicated, involving 12 countries along the Pacific Rim that make up 40 per cent of the global economy. All countries have two years to ratify it, but the treaty comes into force if the United States, Japan and four other countries give their approval.

There’s another big problem with Canada Post’s new mailboxes
Michael Hiscock, The Loop
January 14 2016

Canadians across the country are taking to social media to report that their community mailboxes have been frozen shut. Yes, you read that correctly–frozen shut. In Canada. The land of subzero temperatures and notoriously-brutal winters. Clearly, someone really dropped the ball here.

Fredericton bus drivers in legal strike position after talks fail
CBC News
January 12 2016

The main factor in the contract dispute revolves around wages. The bus drivers make $22 an hour, which is $2.44 an hour less than their peers in Moncton and $4 an hour less than Saint John drivers. The Fredericton drivers want to move toward wage parity with the Moncton drivers.

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