Labour News Update: November 6 2017

Government consultation hears women in workplace under-report harassment for fear of retaliation | Phoenix continues to falter | Nova Scotia Teachers Union files Charter challenge against Bill 75 | Supervisor jailed, company fined, in death of Edmonton worker | WestJet Encore pilots unionize and flight attendants could be next | How Striking Ontario College Instructors Could Set a Precedent In Canada | New Census Data Shows Canadians Get Paid A Lot Less Based On the Colour of Their Skin | Pay-before-pump bill introduced by Alberta government | Cab company, drivers’ union calls Sask.’s move to welcome Uber ‘unfair’ | Sexual harassment at dump improperly dealt with, Labour Relations Board finds | Bill C-58 keeps public in the dark about privatization | Ontario plan to cut red tape could create new risks, critics say

Government consultation hears women in workplace under-report harassment for fear of retaliation
Katie Simpson, CBC News
November 2 2017

Through a number of public consultations, the federal government has heard evidence suggesting the fear of retaliation is keeping some Canadians from reporting sexual harassment in the workplace.

And when those incidents are reported, the workers said that often, the situations were “not dealt with effectively.”

Phoenix continues to falter
Ryan Tumilty, Metro
November 1 2017

The Phoenix pay system moved in the wrong direction yet again in the latest update, released Wednesday.

The system now has 265,000 cases outstanding above and beyond a normal workload, up from 257,000 last month and well above the government’s target of zero.

The number of cases being dealt with inside service times fell from 62 per cent to 60 per cent.

Nova Scotia Teachers Union files Charter challenge against Bill 75
Alexander Quon and Marieke Walsh, Global News
November 2 2017nstu-building-tight-of-boxed-letters

The Nova Scotia’s Teachers Union (NSTU) has filed a Charter challenge with the province’s supreme court, asserting that Bill 75, which legislates contracts of 9,300 public school teachers, is unconstitutional.

Global News learned of the case after obtaining documents that were filed with Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court on October 31.

Supervisor jailed, company fined, in death of Edmonton worker
Lydia Neufeld, CBC News
November 1 2017

A job site supervisor has been sentenced to four months in jail, and his employer fined almost half a million dollars, after a labourer was killed in Edmonton in a trench collapse in 2015.

While reading the sentencing of Sukhwinder Nagra in court on Wednesday, Judge Michelle Doyle said she found Nagra’s culpability in the death of Fred Tomyn “extremely high.”

WestJet Encore pilots unionize and flight attendants could be next
Kyle Bakx, CBC News
November 1 2017

Despite all of its efforts, WestJet is losing the battle to deter its employees from forming unions.

Pilots flying for WestJet Encore announced Wednesday they have the numbers to unionize, which follows certification of pilots flying for the Calgary-based company’s flagship carrier.

How Striking Ontario College Instructors Could Set a Precedent In Canada
Drew Brown, Vice Canada
October 26 2017

We’ve got some big Canadian labour news, folks, but it’s a little bit sweet and sour. The sweet is that college faculty in Ontario are currently leading the charge in Canada to secure a less precarious workplace for sessional instructors. The sour is that it means they’re out on the picket line at the height of the fall semester, and they look likely to be there for some time.

More than 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians walked off the job last Monday, and are well into their second week on strike. While the strike is localized to public colleges in Ontario, the issues behind the job action are pressures that have been building within the academy for years.

New Census Data Shows Canadians Get Paid A Lot Less Based On the Colour of Their Skin
Press Progress
October 26 2017

New data from Statistics Canada provides new evidence racial discrimination is having a big impact on how much Canadians get paid.

The newly released information on income and “visible minorities,” defined by Statistics Canada as racialized people who are neither Indidgenous nor white, was collected by the federal agency during the 2016 Canadian census.

Pay-before-pump bill introduced by Alberta government
Lydia Neufeld, CBC News
October 30 2017

The NDP government kicked off the new fall session of the Alberta legislature by introducing a bill that would require drivers to pay for their gas before filling up.

Bill 19, An Act to Protect Gas and Convenience Store Workers, was introduced on Monday by Labour Minister Christina Gray. If passed, the new measures would go into effect June 1, 2018.

“Standing behind a till or pumping gas should be safe work,” said Gray.

Cab company, drivers’ union calls Sask.’s move to welcome Uber ‘unfair’
Stephanie Taylor, CBC News
October 27 2017

This week’s throne speech included plans to introduce legislation that will welcome ride-hailing companies like Uber to Saskatchewan with an “affordable insurance” option.

Glen Sali, a 17-year manager of Capital Cabs, located in Regina, believes that’s not fair.

He explained that his drivers must pay more than $5,000 a year to insure their cabs.

Sexual harassment at dump improperly dealt with, Labour Relations Board finds
Heather Polischuk, Regina Leader-Post
October 30 2017

In its recent decision into sexual harassment complaints at Regina’s city-run landfill, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board had some harsh words for the union involved and the city.

“To say that CUPE Local 21 failed to support the Applicants at a time when they were extremely vulnerable is an understatement,” reads the decision penned by SLRB vice-chairperson Graeme Mitchell.

Bill C-58 keeps public in the dark about privatization
CUPE
October 30 2017

Key details about privatization projects will remain secret under the Liberal government’s proposed Access to Information changes.

CUPE researcher Robert Ramsay presented our union’s concerns to the House of Commons committee studying Bill C-58. Bill C-58 is legislation amending the existing Access to Information Act.

CUPE and other critics are warning that instead of broadening access, Bill C-58 creates new barriers for people who want to access information about the federal government and its departments and operations.

Ontario plan to cut red tape could create new risks, critics say
Ainslie Cruickshank, The Toronto Star
October 30 2017

Sixteen environmental and labour organizations, including several based in Toronto, raised “profound concerns” that forthcoming provincial legislation aiming to reduce red tape could have unforeseen consequences for human and environmental health in Ontario.

“Although there’s some nice rhetoric in the preamble, in the substance of the bill it seems to be privileging economy over the environment,” said Keith Brooks, the programs director of the Toronto-based organization Environmental Defence.

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