Labour News Update: November 14, 2016

Labor leaders deserve some blame for Trump victory | Tolko mill sold | Rally to protest stewards’ firing | Kellie Leitch hold $500 per plate fundraiser against ‘elites’ | Card check certification out in Manitoba | Obama administration gives up on TPP | CLC hoping to ban asbestos | 60 days in jail for Halifax contractor over workplace fatality | Ontario newlywed couple work four jobs between them, still can’t cover hydro bill | UMSU adopts new motion supporting faculty | Court ruling forces hiring of hundreds of teachers, cost up to $300M annually | Controversial Quebec welfare bill passes into law | Ship’s crew stranded in Port Hawkesbury owed wages, want to go home | Ottawa offers to renegotiate NAFTA in effort to warm ties with Trump

Labor Leaders Deserve Their Share of the Blame for Donald Trump’s Victory
Micha Uetricht, In These Times
November 10, 2016

Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States. I feel a wild urge to scrub my hands with steel wool and bleach after typing those words—my fingers feel filthy.

If we want to avoid a similar nightmare in the future, we have to parse this election’s lessons and figure out who is to blame—not for cheap point-scoring, but to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again. That means we have to talk about how American union leaders helped hand this race to Trump.

Tolko mill officially sold to Canadian Kraft Paper Industries
CBC News
November 10, 2016

The Tolko paper mill in The Pas, Man. has officially been sold to Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited.

On Thursday the Manitoba government said the sale was completed after being in the works for several weeks.

The purchaser is affiliated with the turn-around company American Industrial Acquisition Corporation.

Union supporters rally at social services agency to protest stewards’ firings
Elizabeth Payne, Ottawa Citizen
November 10, 2016

Dozens of hospital employees from across Eastern Ontario rallied in front of an Ottawa social service agency Thursday, which the Canadian Union of Public Employees says has fired several union activists.

Montfort Renaissance, a ByWard Market-based social service agency that offers mental health and addiction services as well as housing to vulnerable people, fired three union stewards, said Laurin Levesque, president of CUPE 4251, which represents workers there. The union has filed a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Kellie Leitch is rallying against ‘elites’ while holding a $500-a-person fundraiser organized by lawyers15027436_1354713954573179_6427267547580734792_n
Jason Fekete, Ottawa Citizen
November 11, 2016

SASKATOON – Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch, who has railed against rivals as out-of-touch “elites,” is holding a $500-a-person fundraiser in downtown Toronto Monday organized by high-profile Bay Street lawyers.

The event with some of Toronto’s corporate movers and shakers comes days after she sent an email that congratulated Donald Trump on his U.S. election victory, praised his anti-establishment message and declared “the elites are out of touch.”

Secret-ballot union votes finalized as legislative session ends
CBC News
November 10, 2016

A bill mandating a secret ballot vote every time workers try to organize a union passed at the legislature Thursday as the session wrapped up.

“Bill 7, The Labour Relations Amendment Act, is a significant legislative attack on the right of Manitobans to join a union,” Kelly Moist, president of CUPE Manitoba, said in a release.

The amendments change how unions form, now requiring a secret ballot vote every time workers try to organize. It replaces the long-standing card check system that allows potential unions to skip the vote and form automatically if 65 per cent of workers sign union cards.

Obama Administration Gives Up on Pacific Trade Deal
William Mauldin, Wall Street Journal
November 11, 2016

A sweeping Pacific trade pact meant to bind the U.S.and Asia effectively died Friday, as Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress told the White House they won’t advance it in the election’s aftermath, and Obama administration officials acknowledged it has no way forward now.

The failure to pass the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership—by far the biggest trade agreement in more than a decade—is a bitter defeat for President Barack Obama, whose belated but fervent support for freer trade divided his party and complicated the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Canada’s largest labour organization holds campaign hoping to ban asbestos
CTV Atlantic
November 10, 2016

The Canadian Labour Congress is out to ban asbestos, saying the flaky mineral is the leading cause of workplace related death in the country, and something needs to be done before more workers are affected.

Retired shipbuilder Donnie Taylor worked in asbestos for 32 years, and says he had no idea he was exposed to it at the time. On Thursday, Taylor shared his story at a press conference in Halifax, supporting the CLC’s campaign to have asbestos banned nation-wide.

Contractor gets 60 days in jail on charges from Halifax workplace fatality
Steve Bruce, Local Xpress
November 11, 2016

A Halifax-area contractor has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for two Occupational Health and Safety Act offences arising from the 2013 death of his foreman at a job site.

David Busk Sr. of Whites Lake pleaded guilty in September to charges of failing to ensure workers were using fall-arrest equipment when working at a height of three metres or more and failing to ensure the health and safety of persons at a workplace.

Ontario newlywed couple work four jobs between them, but still can’t make enough to pay their hydro bill
Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer
November 10, 2016

SARNIA — Newlyweds Shaun and Maygin Evans work four jobs between them, but still can’t stay on top of their hydro bill.

The Sarnia couple took in a roommate this year to share in their living costs, and they also bundle up in blankets to delay turning on their baseboard electrical heaters until the temperature hits zero for several straight days.

Shaun’s seven-year-old daughter, Ava, goes without school pizza days and dance classes to help make ends meet.

UMSU adopts new motion supporting faculty
Levi Garber, The Manitoban
November 11, 2016

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) affirmed support for striking U of M faculty’s educational and workplace demands at its regular meeting Thursday.

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) has been on strike since Nov. 1, cancelling hundreds of classes and leaving the fall term in limbo. Negotiations between the university and UMFA have been ongoing since May.

Court ruling forces hiring of hundreds of teachers, cost up to $300M annually
Lindsay Kines and Jeff Bell, Times-Colonist
November 10, 2016

B.C. teachers celebrated at the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday following a landmark decision that restores class-size and composition provisions stripped from their contracts 14 years ago.

In a quick ruling, the high court found 7-2 in favour of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and against the provincial government.

The decision reinstates contract provisions that set limits on the total number of students in a classroom, capped the number with special needs and required a certain ratio of counsellors, librarians and other specialist teachers.

Controversial Quebec welfare bill passes into law
Benjamin Shingler, CBC News
November 10, 2016

A controversial Quebec bill aimed at encouraging people on social assistance to enlist in programs to find a job or get more training has passed into law.

The new rules, introduced by the Couillard government, first-time welfare recipients deemed capable of working but who refuse to enlist in government-run programs to help them find a job or get more training.

If recipients don’t comply, they could see their monthly cheque slashed from $623 down to $399.

Ship’s crew stranded in Port Hawkesbury owed wages, want to go home
Robert Devet, The Nova Scotia Advocate
November 10, 2016

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – A ship with a crew of five is stuck in Port Hawkesbury while an inspector for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is trying to resolve issues around unpaid wages, bad working conditions and ship safety.

The sailors, three Peruvians, one from Honduras and one from the Dominican Republic, arrived here to take the Canadian-flagged ship The Dutch Runner to a Dominican shipyard to be refitted.

“This vessel is not in good condition,” says Karl Risser, the ITF inspector for Atlantic Canada and Unifor member. “The men are living on a vessel that isn’t properly powered, they’re using small space heaters for their rooms, and winter is coming very fast.”

Ottawa offers to renegotiate NAFTA in effort to warm ties with Trump
Robert Fife, The Globe and Mail
November 9, 2016

The federal government has offered to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement, a gesture of goodwill to Donald Trump as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to work “very closely” with the incoming president to foster greater continental prosperity.

Mr. Trump campaigned on upgrading the 1994 trade pact during the election and vowed to tear up the agreement if the U.S. isn’t able to get a better deal from Canada and Mexico.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Add Comment