Labour News Update: February 27, 2017

Fix Hydro | ATU Local 113 Crisis | Bob White | Fired SFU food workers | Jamieson workers hit picket line | Teachers’ strike windfall | American jobs | 10,000s strong Immigrant workers’ strike | York U discrimination accusation | Janitors’ landmark first contract | Phoenix pay problems | CETA costs workers $2,460 | AB farmworker insurance report | NS imposes contract on teachers


Time to Fix Hydro ‘Mistake’ by Paul Kahnert, Feb. 24, 2017
Bob’s Back: ATU Local 113 crisis continues by David Bush, Feb. 23, 2017
Remembering Bob White by Herman Rosenfeld, Feb. 22, 2017
Fired SFU food service workers fight for their jobs by Daniel Tseghay, Feb. 21, 2017

636225973088959172-MJS-march-2-hoffman.jpg-MARCHAIn other news:

Jamieson workers reject tentative deal, hit the picket line
CTV Windsor
Feb. 26, 2017

Members of Unifor Local 195 voted on Sunday to reject the tentative agreement with Jamieson Labs.

The vote was 57 per cent against the offer, which means 240 workers are now on strike.

OPINION: Blowing teacher-strike windfall on extras another example of misplaced Liberal priorities
Jennifer Kanaski
Feb. 25, 2017

Extracurricular activities are also not the first things you fix if your house is falling down. … By funnelling the money saved by the one-day teacher walkout toward student grants meant to fund school trips, new team uniforms and other extracurricular-related activities, Stephen McNeil and Karen Casey have proved, once again, that they talk a big game, but lack the follow-through. They have indeed not been listening to teachers.

The jobs Americans do
New York Times Magazine
Feb. 23, 2017

Forget the images of men in hard hats standing before factory gates, of men with coal-blackened faces, of men perched high above New York City on steel beams. The emerging face of the American working class is a Hispanic woman who has never set foot on a factory floor. That’s not the kind of work much of the working class does anymore. Instead of making things, they are more often paid to serve people: to care for someone else’s children or someone else’s parents; to clean another family’s home.

Tens of Thousands Strike on Day without Immigrants
Don DiMaggio and Sonia Singh
Labour Notes
Feb. 23, 2017

Arkansas poultry workers, Brooklyn warehouse workers and house cleaners, Twin Cities roofers, and thousands of students in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Charlotte, North Carolina. They were all among the tens of thousands who stayed home from work or school across the country during Thursday, February 16’s “Day without Immigrants.”

The action, largely spread over social media and informal networks in working-class immigrant communities, was a response to President Donald Trump’s promise to dramatically expand immigration enforcement and the wave of raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement the prior week.

Workers strike against poverty wages at York University: Management accused of targeting people of colour with discrimination on the job
Feb. 22, 2017

Some of these workers, whom I spoke with on the day of the strike vote in December, have been at York for more than 20 years. One of the workers passed me a little booklet containing the current collective agreement between the union and employer Aramark, a corporate giant whose contract with York — mirroring many others it holds with universities across North America — provide it a monopoly over campus food services. Flipping to the back I saw a pay scale that starts around minimum wage and goes up by what looks like pennies. Inching up from $12 by increments of 10 cents, it tops out well below a living wage for Toronto.

Organizing drive pays off for big-box janitors with landmark first contract
Union Advocate
Feb. 22, 2017

What’s the value of a union contract? For nearly 500 retail janitors in the Twin Cities, who made history last year by forming the industry’s first metro-wide union, it’s a cool $4.5 million in wage increases and paid time off over the course of their new, three-year contract.

Local 26 of the Service Employees International Union, which represented the janitors who clean big-box stores like Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and others in negotiations with cleaning subcontractors, announced the landmark agreement in a press release today, calling it a “path forward for working families” to combat rising income inequality.

50,000 public servant tax slips reissued so far due to Phoenix pay problems: Federal government asks workers to wait until Feb. 28 to print out tax slips
CBC News
Feb. 21, 2017

Officials with the department overseeing the Phoenix payroll system say about 50,000 tax slips have had to be reissued so far, and more than 2,000 public servants have called the pay centre with tax-related questions.

CETA To Cost Average Working Canadian $2,460 In Lost Income: Report
Daniel Tencer
Huffington Post Canada
Feb. 21, 2017

As Canada and the European Union reach the home stretch to an historic free trade deal, a new research report says the agreement was made on the basis of flawed, unrealistically optimistic economic models.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), negotiated by the previous Conservative government and now championed by the Liberal government, will reduce employment throughout the trade area, depressing wages in Canada and Europe, the report warns.

Report shows previous Alberta government knew farm worker insurance needed
Calgary Herald
Feb. 21, 2017

CALGARY – A report commissioned by the previous Progressive Conservative government shows it was aware that Alberta farm workers needed workplace insurance protection.

The Sigma Risk Management report, obtained by the Alberta Federation of Labour, was presented to the Tories in February 2015, three months before they were swept from power by the NDP.

Controversial bill to impose contract on teachers passed into law: Bill 75 has passed its third and final reading in the Nova Scotia legislature
Michael Gorman
CBC News
Feb. 21, 2017

Bill 75, a controversial piece of legislation to impose a contract on Nova Scotia’s 9,300 public school teachers, has been passed into law.

It passed its third and final reading in the Nova Scotia legislature Tuesday afternoon after a marathon session that resumed at 12:01 a.m., after stretching around the clock for most of last week. The vote followed party lines, with all Liberal MLAs voting in favour and all opposition MLAs voting against.

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