Labour News Update August 14 2017

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions show solidarity with striking baggage handlers at Pearson Airport | Foreign Farmworkers in Canada Fear Deportation if They Complain | Unifor occupation of Milton plant comes to end after cease and desist order issued | Cape Breton union leader Carmie Erickson was ‘at her best fighting for people’ | Toppled shelves trap, injure 4 workers at northeast Edmonton building supply company | No job is worth your life, says young drummer who lost arm in workplace accident | Striking airport union says temporary building unsafe | Vale looking at layoffs in Sudbury | Workers at River Rock Casino vote to strike | Union members a little concerned after transit deal | Elizabeth Fry says yes to OPSEU – and to a better workplace | Is your pension safe? It may depend on what happens to your company | CUPE uses court ruling to push feds to tighten airline passenger safety rules | Striking B.C. Coca Cola workers reach tentative agreement | CUPE questions P3 model for new schools | Chronicle Herald deal reached thanks to province, union says | Sask. Party government cites conflict in denying SFL president spot on labour relations board

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Korean Confederation of Trade Unions show solidarity with striking baggage handlers at Pearson Airport, members of Teamsters Local 419

Foreign Farmworkers in Canada Fear Deportation if They Complain
Dan Levin, The New York Times
August 13 2017

SUMMERLAND, British Columbia — Desperate to provide for his family, Hilario Mendoza leapt at the chance to leave Mexico to pick cherries on a farm in British Columbia.

But bad weather left him so idle that he often worked just three hours a day — far less than the 40 hours a week he said he had been promised under Canada’s program for temporary farmworkers. While he waited to go to the fields, he found himself crammed with 34 other laborers into a small house where rain leaked onto their beds.

Months of complaints went nowhere — and then he was abruptly sent back to Mexico.

Unifor occupation of Milton plant comes to end after cease and desist order issued
Muriel Draaisma, CBC News
August 12 2017

Halton Regional Police say an occupation by Unifor members of the Northstar Aerospace plant in Milton has ended peacefully.

Staff Sgt. Richard Dodds, of the Halton Regional Police’s Halton Hills and Milton division, said Saturday that members of Unifor have left the building without incident. No one was arrested.

“My understanding is that they cleared out peacefully,” Dodds said. “Our officers were on the scene.”

Cape Breton union leader Carmie Erickson was ‘at her best fighting for people’
Andrew Rankin, Local Xpress
August 9 2017

From her hospital bed, Carmie Erickson made countless phone calls until she was sure the union rally would go ahead, and that it would be done right.

Once again, the Cape Breton District Labour Council president came through for the two Sydney-based Chronicle Herald reporters, and by extension the Halifax Typographical Union they belonged to, that had been enduring a seemingly endless 17-month-long strike.

The George Street barbecue did go ahead in early July. She saw to it that a crew of local union people showed up for the cause, and the labour council’s vice-president arrived in her absence. Erickson even orchestrated the barbecue’s arrival.

Toppled shelves trap, injure 4 workers at northeast Edmonton building supply company
CBC News
August 12 2017

Four workers escaped with minor injuries Saturday morning after shelving units stacked with lumber fell and trapped them inside a northeast Edmonton building supply company.

Considering the amount of lumber that fell on the workers, police say the outcome could have been worse.

No job is worth your life, says young drummer who lost arm in workplace accident
CBC News
August 12 2017

Within minutes of having his right arm torn off at the elbow, Jack Thomas was already imagining his life as a one-armed drummer.

“I started thinking about songs and air-drummed right there while I was lying on the ground,” Thomas told Gloria Mackarenko, guest host of CBC’s On the Coast.

Thomas lost his arm two years ago when his sleeve was caught in a conveyor belt at a recycling plant where he had a summer sorting job. He was 17 at the time.

Striking airport union says temporary building unsafe
Cameron MacLean, CBC News
August 12 2017

The union representing striking airport workers says a temporary structure near the runway that was damaged in a storm last summer poses a risk to passenger safety.

A storm on July 20, 2016 ripped pieces of fabric off the tent-like building used as a screening facility for vehicles moving into the restricted area.

The storm blew pieces of fabric onto the runway, said Marianne Hladun, regional executive vice-president for the Prairies with the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Vale looking at layoffs in Sudbury
The Sudbury Star
August 12 2017

Vale Ltd. employees in Sudbury are bracing for possible layoffs after viewing a company video in recent days they say warned that the Brazil-based mining giant could soon be making cuts.

“It seemed like a threat,” said one source, who requested anonymity. “It’s coming right from Brazil.”

Another source, also a Vale employee, told The Star he had also seen a company video in recent days that warned of possible reductions. He said he came away with the impression there would be “significant” job losses.

Workers at River Rock Casino vote to strike
Bethany Lindsay, CBC News
August 11 2017

The fun could soon be on hold at B.C.’s largest casino after workers there voted in favour of strike action this week.

At the centre of the dispute at Richmond’s River Rock Casino is pay and fair scheduling, according to Paul Finch, secretary-treasurer of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, which represents the workers.

“Some of these workers make minimum wage, some of them haven’t seen a raise in over eight years, and in some cases the wage increases they have seen have only come up with increases in minimum wage,” Finch said.

Union members a little concerned after transit deal
Gillian Slade, Medicine Hat News
August 11 2017

The city says it hopes to minimize job losses for transit workers after revealing a new public transit system to be introduced on Sept. 5.

How many employees will be affected by the changes has not yet been revealed.

“We are working with all employees to minimize any job loss and will be working in accordance with the CUPE collective bargaining agreement,” said Karen Charlton, commissioner of public services. “We are hopeful and anticipate there will be opportunity for continued employment within the city organization for all staff affected by the changes.”

Elizabeth Fry says yes to OPSEU – and to a better workplace
OPSEU
August 9 2017

Barrie – All employees with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County are now members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). They voted 93 per cent in favour of unionizing at a vote held on August 2.

Based out of the employer’s offices in Barrie, these workers provide services throughout Simcoe to women who have been in contact with the justice system. Notably, they support women at Joyce Kope House, a 27-bed safe residence and halfway house for individuals under parole supervision. It provides women with an opportunity to live and work in the community.

Is your pension safe? It may depend on what happens to your company
Sophia Harris, CBC News
August 11 2017

You diligently make contributions to your company pension plan with the assumption you’ll get what you’re entitled to when you part with your employer.

But that may not always be the case — depending on what type of plan you have and what happens to your company.

Currently, workers at both Sears Canada and Northstar Aerospace in Milton, Ont., are facing deep concerns about their pension prospects because of the problems plaguing their employers.

CUPE uses court ruling to push feds to tighten airline passenger safety rules
The Canadian Press
August 10 2017

A national union representing thousands of flight attendants is using a recent court ruling to push the federal government to tighten airline passenger safety rules.

A Federal Court of Appeal judge ruled last week that Transport Canada couldn’t have reasonably concluded that passenger or crew safety wasn’t compromised when it allowed Sunwing Airlines to increase the ratio of passengers to flight attendants on its aircraft.

The agency’s 2013 decision to allow one attendant for every 50 passengers instead of 40 came despite the airline failing three evacuation tests under the new system.

Striking B.C. Coca Cola workers reach tentative agreement
Ben Dooley, Global News
August 10 2017

Local workers employed by Coca Cola could be heading back to work soon.

About 370 members of Teamsters local 213 who work in plants in Richmond, Coquitlam, Chilliwack, and the Sunshine Coast walked off the job back on July 24.

Their collective agreement expired on April 3.

CUPE questions P3 model for new schools
Westman Journal
August 10 2017

New schools proposed for construction by the province of Manitoba under a new Public Private Partnership (P3) model that has been used elsewhere in Canada.

In May, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced that a 69,684-square-foot, 450-student, Kindergarten to Grade 8 school for the southeast area of the city is part of a more than $100 million project that will see schools also constructed in central, northwest and southwest Winnipeg.

The schools – two Kindergarten to Grade 8, one Grades 9 through 12, and one Kindergarten to Grade 5 – will also include a child-care centre with 20 infant spaces and 54 preschool spaces.

Chronicle Herald deal reached thanks to province, union says
CBC News
August 10 2017

The deal between the Halifax Chronicle Herald’s owner and its striking workers that was voted on Thursday was reached thanks to the intervention of the provincial government, says the head of the newspaper’s parent union.

“That was completely responsible for the deal,” said Martin O’Hanlon, president of the Communications Workers of America Canada.

“We had been … calling for this for many months. And I think this has now proven the importance of that legislation.”

Sask. Party government cites conflict in denying SFL president spot on labour relations board
D.C. Fraser, Regina Leader-Post
August 8 2017

The Saskatchewan Party government is refusing to allow the president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) a seat on the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (SLRB).

Larry Hubich was nominated to sit on the board by the Saskatchewan Building Trades Council, the organization that recommends members to the board along with the SFL.

The SLRB is an independent tribunal responsible for making rulings on disputes related to labour legislation in the province.

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