Labour News Update: Feb. 6, 2017

Migrant worker victory at Floralia | Right-to-work | York food workers | 10-23% wage hike at U of W | Bell layoffs | EI MP report | No answers for Nexon deaths | CUPE 32 on strike in Cambridge | NSTU work-to-rule | Mill River Resort union busting | Phoenix fail: $1.7m in union dues | Manitoba Hydro job cuts

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Migrant farm workers achieve an important victory at Floralia
Daniel Tseghay
Jan. 31, 2017

On January 20th, migrant agricultural workers in the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) working at Floralia Plant Growers Ltd. in Abbotsford, BC achieved an important victory. The B.C. Labour Relations Board ruled that Floralia broke labour laws by impeding the ability of migrant workers who are known to be union supporters to return to the farm in 2016.

Why might an employer file a losing grievance?
Bob Barneston
Feb. 1, 2017

I was recently involved in a discipline arbitration on the union side. The grievance centeRred on the employer failing to provide particulars when disciplining a worker.

How to maintain unity and membership under Right to Work
Originally Published by Labour Notes
Leah Fried

Number one on the new administration’s anti-union to-do list is “right to work”—or as many prefer to call it, “no rights at work” or “right to work for less.” But whatever you call it, more of us will be faced with new laws that codify freeloading, making it optional to pay for union representation.

Aramark gets served: York food workers strike back
David Bush
Feb. 3, 2017

Incredibly loud and extremely joyous, that’s how over 200 food service workers at York University in Toronto kicked off their one-day strike. The Aramark workers, members of Unite Here Local 75, walked off the job yesterday for increased pay, improved benefits and respect at work.

phoenix-rallyIn other news:

U of W academic workers get 10 to 23% wage hike in 1st agreement
CBC News
Jan. 31, 2017

Tutors, teaching assistants and lab demonstrators are among the academic workers at the University of Winnipeg who will see a significant wage increase this year.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada announced Tuesday that after 18 months of negotiations, a first-ever collective agreement has been imposed by the Manitoba Labour Board.

Bell Media lays off employees amid restructuring, citing industry challenges
Calgary Herald
Jan. 31, 2017

Bell Media says it’s laying some people off as it restructures operations amid a challenging industry landscape.

Spokesman Scott Henderson said in an email Tuesday that the company is not disclosing the number of workers who will lose their jobs.

EI program needs to get back to putting people first, MPs report
Peter Zimonjic
CBC News
Feb. 1, 2017

The government agency that delivers the employment insurance program may have lost sight of the notion that it should put Canadian citizens at the centre of how it delivers services, according to a new report.

A year later, no answers after Nexen explosion that killed two workers
David Thurton
CBC News
Feb. 1, 2017

A year after an explosion at Nexen’s Long Lake facility in northern Alberta killed two men, their families say they haven’t received any clear answers from the company.

Talks break down, CUPE 32 on legal strike for a fair contract with City of Cambridge
CUPE Ontario
Feb. 2, 2017

The 185 members of Local 32 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 32) who provide roads maintenance, including snow removal, water and wastewater services, arena maintenance, cemetery services, parks and pools maintenance and mechanical services for the City of Cambridge commenced strike action this morning at 12:30 a.m. after negotiations with the city broke down.

NSTU modifies work-to-rule directives, parent group blasts government
Francis Campbell
Local Xpress
Feb. 2, 2017

As the Nova Scotia Teachers Union gets ready to vote Wednesday on a tentative deal with the government, new twists continue to unravel in the oft-times bitter dispute.

On Thursday morning, Premier Stephen McNeil and his Liberal government were characterized as schoolyard bullies at a Parents for Teachers news conference.

49 receive layoff notices at Mill River Resort, union says
Incoming owner says staff can re-apply if they’re interested in working for ‘private-sector wages’

Kerry Campbell
CBC News
Feb. 2, 2017

Forty-nine government staff members at Mill River Resort are being laid off as ownership of the property transfers from the P.E.I. government to the private sector, according to their union.

The P.E.I. division of the Union of Public Sector Employees said its members who work at the resort have received layoff notices.

With all eyes on Trump, Republicans are planning to break unions for good
Michael Paarlberg
The Guardian
Feb. 2, 2017

Alternative facts are nothing new; politicians have been making stuff up since they first crawled out of the primordial swamp. One of the most successful lies in modern US politics has been that of “right to work” laws, which break unions under the guise of protecting workers, one of which was introduced in Congress on Wednesday afternoon and will probably break unions in the country for good.

Union asks for emergency advance over $1.7M in missing union dues
Government collecting wrong union dues for 70 percent of PIPSC members, says union

Ashley Burke
CBC News
Feb. 3, 2017

A union representing the federal government’s professional employees is asking the Treasury Board for emergency money because the Phoenix pay system failed to properly transfer $1.7 million worth of union dues.

Manitoba Hydro cutting 900 jobs in ‘necessary first step’
Nick Martin
Winnipeg Free Press
Feb. 3, 2017

Manitoba Hydro is cutting 900 jobs — 15 per cent of its workforce — and there’s more to come.

The cuts will come from throughout the entire organization, including the elimination of three vice-president positions, and should save the utility $65 million a year.

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