Labour News Update: Aug. 1, 2016

Nova Scotia fishermen win back right to operate as union | Six months on the Chronicle Herald picket line | Ontario spent $70 million on scrapped pension plan | TTC criticized in labour ruling over ‘abuse’ of workers on social media | Hundreds of employees come forward with new Phoenix pay problems | Ontario panel finds ‘serious problem’ with enforcement of labour standards | Retired Stelco employees demand the return of their health benefits | Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan sends jobs offshore | Workplace violations widespread in Ontario | Oilsands workers supporting renewable energy | Legal Aid lawyers push to unionize | Port of Churchill layoffs ‘came out of nowhere,’ says town’s mayor | Everyone in the Plant Was a Temp—Until They All Joined the Union

Last week on RankandFile.ca:

Postal workers confront Canada Post: The struggle continues in 2016
By Evert Hoogers, Donald Swartz, Rosemary Warskett
July 29, 2016
Originally published by The Bullet on July 26, 2016.

“A Labour of Liberation:” An interview with author Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay, Part 2
July 28, 2016

In solidarity with Colonialism No More: A place for labour in anti-colonial struggles
By Denise Leduc
July 27, 2016

BC Nurses’ Union employee lockout turns into strike
Daniel Tseghay
July 26

In other news:

Nova Scotia fishermen win back right to operate as union
Local 4 of Maritime Fishermen’s Union lost accreditation due to small membership numbersfishing-boats
By Susan Bradley
July 29, 2016
CBC News

A Nova Scotia fishermen’s local has won a court case to get back its union accreditation.

“It means we can get back to the business of representing our fishermen on fishermen issues instead of spending, as we did, almost two years battling to maintain our organization’s accreditation,” said Gordon Beaton, president of Local 4 of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union on Friday.

Six months on the Chronicle Herald picket line
July 29, 2016
Mary Ellen MacIntyre
J-Source

There is no music in snow-laden boots stomping on the tiled floors at picket headquarters.

Out on the line, winter is about nothing but staying warm. Long johns, scarves—mittens some hadn’t worn since grade school—and those wonderful packets of hand and foot warmers shoved into the cold spots.

Gumboots and plastic capes come out to fend off the pounding spring rains. Pickets come in, mopping brows, wiping glasses and laughing at the concept of rain bringing flowers.

But the flowers do finally come and eventually summer heat slows their steps.

Ontario spent $70 million on scrapped pension plan
Proposal died after other provinces agreed to boost CPP.
Rob Ferguson
July 28, 2016
Toronto Star

The six workers to benefit most from the scrapped Ontario Retirement Pension Plan are executives pocketing an average of $336,666 in severance for a few months’ work.

That’s part of the $70 million spent by Kathleen Wynne’s government to develop the ORPP, according to a 65-page Ministry of Finance report released Thursday while the premier is on holiday.

TTC criticized in labour ruling over ‘abuse’ of workers on social media
A provincial arbitrator ruled the TTC didn’t do enough to protect its employees from harassment on Twitter. 

Ben Spurr
July 28, 2016
Toronto Star

In a labour ruling believed to be the first of its kind in Ontario, a provincial arbitrator has censured the TTC for its behaviour on Twitter, determining that the transit agency didn’t do enough to protect its employees from harassment on social media.

The case centres on the commission’s @TTChelps Twitter profile, which the agency launched in 2012to field questions and complaints from the public. The union that represents TTC workers filed a grievance about the account in 2013.

Hundreds of employees come forward with new Phoenix pay problems
Treasury Board considering compensation for public servants who have incurred costs as a result of non-payment
John Paul Taske
July 28, 2016
CBC News

Senior bureaucrats revealed Thursday that hundreds more federal public servants have come forward to report they haven’t been paid at all — the latest in the Phoenix payroll system controversy.

An additional 589 employees say they’ve gone months without a single paycheque, and an additional 1,026 people, with problems relating to long-term leave, sick leave and maternity leave, are still awaiting payment, deputy minister for public services and procurement Marie Lemay told reporters.

Ontario panel finds ‘serious problem’ with enforcement of labour standards
Labour Minister Kevin Flynn said the ongoing review will help protect a growing number of vulnerable workers.
Keith Leslie
July 27, 2016
Toronto Star

An expert panel has found a “serious problem” with enforcement of employment standards across Ontario.

“We conclude there are too many people in too many workplaces who do not receive their basic rights,” said the special advisers appointed to do the first review of the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act since the 1990s.

Retired Stelco employees demand the return of their health benefits
July 27, 2016
CHCH

At 7:00am Wednesday morning, several angry and frustrated retired Stelco workers boarded a bus that took them to a Toronto courtroom, where they will demand to get their health benefits back. Coverage for prescription drugs and dental care was suspended back in October 2015 after US Steel Canada claimed they would go bankrupt if they did not get rid of those benefits.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan sends jobs offshore
July 27, 2016
OPSEU.org

Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has strongly condemned the decision of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) to move a large portion of its enterprise technology service (ETS) to a company in India next year. OTPP will eliminate 12 full-time management and 38 bargaining unit jobs.

Workplace violations widespread in Ontario, government report says
Study commissioned by the Ministry of Labour says poor enforcement leaving vulnerable workers exposed.

Sara Mojtehedzadeh
July 27
Toronto Star

Ontario faces “serious” and extensive problems enforcing basic employment rights, leaving thousands of vulnerable workers open to abuse, a government-commissioned study of workplace standards says.


Oilsands workers supporting renewable energy
Scott Neigh
July 27, 2016
Rabble.ca

On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, I speak with Adam Cormier and Lliam Hildebrand. They are co-founders of Iron and Earth, an organization of and for workers in the Alberta oilsands who are pushing for greater support for the development of renewable energy resources and for a sustainable energy future for Canada.


Legal Aid lawyers push to unionize
July 25, 2016
Law Timesport-of-churchill

More than three years into their fight to unionize, Legal Aid Ontario lawyers are stepping up the pressure on the provincial government.

A group of LAO lawyers rallied outside a Liberal Party of Ontario fundraiser that Premier Kathleen Wynne attended in downtown Toronto on July 13, along with representatives of labour groups.

Port of Churchill layoffs ‘came out of nowhere,’ says town’s mayor
‘It’s pretty heartbreaking,’ worker says after he and others received layoff notices
CBC News
Jul 25, 2016
The largest employer in Churchill, Man., has started handing pink slips to workers at the local port.

Mayor Mike Spence says about 50 employees at the Port of Churchill were handed layoff notices on Monday afternoon, and another 40 or 50 people expecting calls back are learning that there’s no work for them.

Everyone in the Plant Was a Temp—Until They All Joined the Union
Dan DiMaggioDetroit-Chassis-UAW
July 25, 2016
Labour Notes

At an auto parts plant in Avon, Ohio, all 60 workers were temps—until they threatened to strike.

The workers at Detroit Chassis, which opened last year, assemble axles for F-650 and F-750 trucks for Ford’s nearby Ohio Assembly Plant. They make $9.50 to $11.50 an hour, and till now they’ve been employed by the temp agency Callos.

Print Friendly

Add Comment