Labour News Update: January 16, 2017

Doctors frustrated with workers’ comp board | Kentucky protests | Layoffs in dairy | Privatization in Sask | Solidarity in Gander | Fast food workers protest Trump appointment | Baloons fill Gatineau hospital | Doctors bill employers for sick notes | Gina Bahiwal deportation cancelled | NS Liberals have tunnel vision with teachers

Last week on

The Absestos Ban: Hidden in the dust, Scott Hertz
Basic income: Progressive dreams meet neo-liberal realities, John Clarke
Alberta workers under the NDP, part 2
Let’s make 2017 the year of $15 and Fairness, David Bush

120216studentrally2In other news:
Doctors frustrated workers’ compensation boards seem to ignore medical opinions, report says
Sara Mojtehedzadeh
Toronto Star
Jan. 9, 2017

They are the first port of call for workers hurt on the job. But when decisions are made about accident victims with complex injuries, a new study suggests doctors feel sidelined by workers’ compensation boards.

Protests Erupt in Kentucky After GOP Supermajority Passes Extreme Anti-Choice, Anti-Union Bills
Democracy Now
Jan. 9, 2017

In Kentucky, hundreds of demonstrators packed into the Capitol building Saturday to protest the state Legislature’s passage of a slew of controversial bills, including an anti-union “right-to-work” law and extreme anti-choice legislation that bans abortions after 20 weeks and requires a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion.

Hundreds of layoffs coming in Atlantic Canada dairy industry
Paul Palmeter
CBC News
Jan. 11, 2017

An industry reorganization among Canada’s largest dairy producers will see 346 people in Atlantic Canada laid off.

Agropur Dairy Cooperative and Saputo Inc., both based out of Quebec, will be laying off 128 full-time employees in the region and 218 part-time workers, beginning April 1.

Province looking to privatize cleaning services in government buildings:
SGEU criticizes move, saying it won’t fix economic woes

CBC News
Jan. 11, 2017

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU) is criticizing the Saskatchewan government after talks about privatizing the cleaning services across all government-owned buildings in the province on Wednesday.

According to a government spokesperson, the ministry of central services is in talks to evaluate whether or not it would be beneficial to hire private sector workers to provide cleaning services.

Labour unions rally in Gander to support locked out aerospace workers
Chris Ensing
CBC News
Jan. 12, 2017

Union leaders from across Newfoundland and Labrador gathered in Gander Thursday afternoon to rally behind locked out aerospace workers who spent the holiday season on the picket line.

D-J Composites locked out 33 employees on Dec. 9, after the union denied a contract offer from management.

Beer workers at Molson Coors in Toronto on strike after contract talks stall
City News
Jan. 12, 2017

Workers at Molson Coors in Toronto have walked off the job after a strike deadline came and went at noon ET on Thursday.

Some 320 employees of the brewery are on the picket line, comprising producers, brewers, packagers, maintenance and warehouse personnel at the Carlingview Drive facility.

Fast-food workers protest Trump’s labor secretary nominee
Lisa Baertlein and Sarah N. Lynch
Jan. 12, 2017

The union-backed “Fight for $15” movement protested at Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s restaurants on Thursday in a bid to stop the chains’ head, a vocal opponent of minimum wage increases and “overregulation,” from becoming U.S. labor secretary.

Union fills Gatineau Hospital Floor with 900 baloons for 900 grievances
Susana Mas
Ottawa Citizen
Jan. 13, 2017

One of Quebec’s largest unions inundated a floor at the Gatineau hospital earlier this week with 900 balloons representing 900 active grievances.

The move was intended to draw attention to the deteriorating state of labour relations between administrative and support staff in various hospitals and health institutions across the Outaouais region, a spokeswoman for the Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux Josée McMillan said.

Doctors admonish employers for sick notes, send $50 invoices
Letter from 4 Pemberton doctors says notes proving workers are sick, an ‘added burden’

Chad Pawson
CBC News
Jan. 13, 2017

The Pemberton Medical Clinic is circulating a strongly written letter admonishing employers who require sick notes from workers who are ill and is charging $50 for the notes through invoices sent directly to organizations.

Champion of migrant workers gets last-minute reprieve from deportation
Nicholas Keung
Toronto Star
Jan. 13, 2017

A migrant worker deemed a champion of labour rights was granted a last-minute reprieve Friday when border officials cancelled her imminent deportation.

Gina Bahiwal, 42, who was recruited to Canada in 2008 as a vegetable packer in Leamington, Ont., was to be removed to the Philippines on Sunday morning under a now rescinded rule introduced in 2011 that banned foreign workers from Canada for four years after they had worked here for four.

OPINION: Tunnel vision in teacher talks — Liberals bypass exit ramp to mediation
Shawn Hanifen
Local Xpress
Jan. 14, 2017

Labour Minister Kelly Regan should be held accountable for her refusal to take the teachers dispute to mediation, the next rational step in the bargaining process; she is, after all, entrusted with guiding labour negotiations in this province. Her lack of action has drawn out the conflict, resulted in this impasse as well as created a backlog of other civil-servant bargaining groups that could escalate into a general strike.

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