Bustin’ scabs in Guelph

by Tiffany Balducci
Oshawa Public Library worker and president of CUPE Local 960

Who ya gonna call? Scab-busters!

Stopping the scabs. Photo from Twitter @tcfergus
Stopping the scabs. Photo from Twitter @tcfergus

That was just one of the many chants on Thursday’s picket line at Hematite Manufacturing with members of Workers United Canada Council Local 2508.

Over 60 workers from Workers United Local 2508 in Guelph, Ontario are currently on lockout after refusing employer concessions during the latest round of bargaining, including cuts to vacation time, break times, wages and benefits.

On September 14, the call went out to Guelph and District Labour Council asking for support in bolstering their lines as a van full of scabs crossed the picket line that day and more support was needed as the lockout continues.

At 6:00 AM September 15, the members of Workers United Local 2508 were joined by members from ETFO, OECTA, ATU, Unifor, Guelph and District Labour Council and CUPE, with a total of about 50 activists helping to hold the line.

With only one entrance, the chants of ‘Nobody in, nobody out!’ rang true.

By 6:30 AM, several trucks and cars had turned around and a van full of scab labour could not cross the line.

Stopping a scab van. Photo on Twitter @cupejfd
Stopping a scab van. Photo from Twitter @cupejfd

Social Media feeds and live videos from the activists and members kept those watching developments posted from afar and chants of solidarity filled the line.

By 9:00 AM, the white van full of scabs drove away, unable to cross the line. A small, but mighty network of activists answered the call of a sister union and made a huge difference in a very small turnaround of time.

Actions such as these speak volumes to employers – sending the message that they’re not just locking out 60 employees and bringing in scabs – they’re messing with all of labour. And we’ve got each other’s backs.

On Friday, Hematite Manufacturing issued a final offer that members were forced to vote on. They voted it down 42 to 18.

Pickets are setup in front of the company located at 659 Speedvale Ave. West in Guelph.

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9 thoughts on “Bustin’ scabs in Guelph

  1. Great! You just gave the company an injunction that will allow them to run the plant with scabs indefinitely. Nobody in nobody out is legally the stupidest move a union could do. Educate yourselves don’t just keep making the same stupid mistake that has helped companies beat unions for years….

    1. No I think if individual workers oppose injunctions as individuals citing their rights of freedom of expression are being violated the union may have a chance in court. Remember before you say it…an employer a business does not have rights uunder the law according to the supreme Court in rj Macdonald v Canada.

  2. Guelph & District Labour Council show us the essential role labour councils can play in rebuilding a strong movement. Solidarity in action. Amazing work comrades!

  3. I see my last comment didn’t make it through moderation. Being stubborn and stupid is no way to go through life….neither is gifting these companies injunctions through this very type of “nobody gets in or out” incident, allowing them now to get a court order banning such moves, and operating indefinitely with however many scabs they want for however long they want? Ever see two greyhound buses full of scabs cross a picket line twice a day because some idiots thought it was a good idea to block a small vehicle with management not letting them in and therefore giving them a court order than NOBODY can be delayed crossing the line?. I’m on your side. Rah rah let’s be stupid and give them an injunction is just pain dumb. You people know anything about strikes and what not to do if you want to screw the company?

    1. Has that happened in this case? Here is another recent example of blocking scabs working http://rankandfile.ca/2014/10/10/ngf-scabs-sent-packing-in-guelph/ …You should also check out http://rankandfile.ca/2015/07/08/what-are-we-going-to-do-about-scabbing/ … To allow fear of an injunction to solely dictate strategy and tactics is not helpful. Be wary of injunctions but also remember the labour movement was built off of preventing scabs from working, from strong picket lines etc.

      1. Hold them up for hours if need be, just never utter the words or insinuate nobody’s getting in or out. And vary the delay times greatly….ie every other day or every three days let them in unobstructed.

        1. I understand but at one time union leaders and workers were jailed and some shot by the RCMP the one who are suppose to protect and serve people not business. As I said in a previous post business has nights According to the supreme Court of Canada, but it’s ironic how business is treated better than royalty in the courts and in the parliament! Time for change time for people to fight back!

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