Labour News Update: March 28 2016

Budget 2016 analysis | PEI blood services strike | Covered Bridge strike | Fight for $15 | EI extensions exclude many | Ottawa construction worker killed | Sault Ste Marie abandons municipal daycare | Black Lives Matter – Toronto | Vice Media unionization | Labor for Bernie | Air Canada & Bombardier | Teaching Supplies Tax Credit | Uber union in Seattle?

Seven-month PEI blood service workers strike affecting Nova Scotia, New Brunswick12651093_1162248140486429_1414101667601521480_n
Krystalle Ramlakhan, CBC News
March 24 2016

The unions representing Canadian Blood Services workers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia say employees in those provinces are working harder to make up for the lack of donations from P.E.I. Eleven part-time Canadian Blood Services workers on P.E.I. went on strike in September, which means there haven’t been any blood clinics in the province since then. The Island workers are on strike because they want a guaranteed minimum number of hours in order to keep their benefits.

Christy’s Crumbs: Fighting for $15 in BC
Daniel Tseghay,
March 23 2016

There are 110,452 people making the minimum wage in BC, with nearly all of them unrepresented by a union. It means that for many of them with dependents they are below the poverty line even if they work full-time. And it looks like no end is in sight under the BC Liberal plan since, even with the inflation adjustment at an estimated 2%, the minimum wage in BC won’t reach $15 until 2034.

Sault Ste Marie council votes to abolish municipal daycare
Sault Online
March 25 2016

Sault Ste. Marie City councillors have dealt a devastating blow to the families of some 100 children who attend city-operated child care centres, as council voted 9 to 4 last night to get out of the day care business by the end of 2017. The move ends a 40-year tradition of municipal child care in the city. The decision also affects dozens of registered early childhood educators (RECEs) and educational assistants who are employed by the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

Budget 2016

Teaching supplies tax credit doesn’t solve “chronic underfunding” of education
Zi-Ann Lum, Huffington Post
March 23 2016

In Budget 2016, the federal Liberals decided not to close tax loopholes on CEO stock options costing $750 million in tax revenues. Closing the loophole was an election promise.

From Edmonton to Estevan, anger in regions ignored by EI benefit extensions
Bill Mah, Edmonton Journal
March 24 2016

Liberals claim they’ve stopped proposal to contract out 1700 government IT jobs
Alison Crawford and Peter Zimonjic, CBC News
March 24 2016

Liberals to allow Air Canada “labour flexibility” in maintenance of Bombardier CSeries jets
Kristine Owram, National Post
March 24 2016

Growing the middle class…or adapting the elite consensus?
Michal Rozworski, Political Eh-conomy
March 23 2016

Federal budget analyses from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
March 23 2016

New Brunswick on the front line

Resolve of Covered Bridge strikers remains strong after 3 nearly months
Asaf Rashid, New Brunswick Media Co-op
March 24 2016

Liberals push ahead with Department of Transportation privatizations10155883_1156259421085301_8529086666256382596_n
Jacques Poitras, CBC News
March 22 2016

New Brunswick launches Fight for $15 campaign
Tracy Glynn, New Brunswick Media Co-op
March 24 2016

CUPE Ontario joins Black Lives Matter protest in Toronto
CUPE Ontario
March 24 2016

The demonstration supports the ongoing Black Lives Matter Toronto tent city protest against anti-Black racism and police violence. “We support Black Lives Matter because this is about us – our members, our families, and our communities. Black CUPE members face anti-Black racism every day. But this is also about solidarity against oppression,” said Hahn. “We are proud to stand with Aboriginal groups, the student movement, and other allies in the fight against anti-Black racism.”

Health and Safety

Employer was warned of falling ice weeks before worker killed at Ottawa work site
Chloé Fedio and Judy Trinh, CBC News
March 24 2016

Worker killed at Harmac pulp mill near Nanaimo
Matthew Black, CBC News
March 25 2016

Guelph welding company and supervisor fined $130,000 for worker’s death
CTV Kitchener
March 21 2016

Vice Media unionization goes global

Happy Easter, from!
Happy Easter, from!

Errol Salamon,
March 22 2016

Earlier this month, Vice UK workers announced that they’re campaigning to unionize with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). In August 2015, Vice US editorial employees in the digital verticals voted to become members of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). In December 2015, Vice Canada workers revealed that they’re attempting to organize with the Canadian Media Guild (CMG).

Rail workers: Deadly tired…but still working
Georgetta Gregory, NTSB Safety Compass
March 21 2016

The rail business is an industry full of tired, stressed workers. It is an epidemic. I know this first-hand because, before coming to the NTSB several years ago, I spent more than 30 years working in the freight railroad industry. While freight railroad managers and crews count on reliable schedules to make their shipments and make their customers happy, there is no routine schedule for the hundreds of thousands of crewmembers employed in this business. As a result, many railroad workers are literally walking and working in their sleep.

United States

Uber drivers can now unionize in Seattle
Chris Brown and Chris Corday, CBC News
March 23 2016
Labor for Bernie activists take “political revolution” into their unions
Rand Wilson and Dan DiMaggio, Labor Notes
March 17 2016

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