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  • Labour News Roundup - November 4 to November 18 | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    efforts to resist fracking on their lands They called for the governments to collaboratively develop with stakeholders a stable sustainable energy industry that protects the environment and communities rather than being guided by the short term profit interests of private energy companies Budget bill endangers health and safety of workers The National President of PSAC says Harper is rolling the dice with the health and safety of more than a million federal government employees Measures included in the new budget bill vastly undermine the system of accountability and enforcement that keeps public workplaces safe Robyn Benson argues They would eliminate workplace health and safety protections from potentially dangerous conditions including doing away with the right of pregnant women to refuse work that poses hazards to their health Ontario Ministry of Labour should enforce laws around unpaid internships A new campaign was launched to push the Ontario Ministry of Labour to proactively enforce a law on unpaid internships Tens of thousands of young workers in the province are being illegally misclassified as unpaid interns and denied wages The campaign seeks to change the current complaint based system as it fails to protect young workers from wage theft misclassification and abuse The campaign demands that the Ministry should develop an enforcement strategy educate young workers about their rights right and undertake a comprehensive review of the laws surrounding unpaid internships BC union defends AirCare program that curbs vehicle emissions The British Columbia General Employees Union is urging the BC government to reverse their decision to cut back AirCare an emissions testing program that identifies high emitting vehicles and forces owners to take actions to curb their vehicles emissions Currently about 10 12 percent of vehicles fail the emissions testing standards set out by the program The union has also called for the program to focus on heavy trucks many of which are high emitters of fossil fuels The program cuts will mean that 110 members of the BCGEU will lose their jobs and that light cars and trucks will no longer need to have their emissions tested City of Regina serves lockout notice to transit workers Just weeks before the Grey Cup the City of Regina has served a notice to say they intend to lock out transit workers just as the two sides are considering mediation to bargain a new contract Representatives from the Amalgamated Transit Union local 588 were surprised by the notice and said that it will make the atmosphere for bargaining tenser The union has been working to rule for a week slowing down some buses to pressure the city to bargain in good faith At issue for the city are the union s demands for changes to their benefits and wages Why unions are having difficulties organizing retail workers Labour law professor David Doorey explains that the ownership structures that exist among major retail and fast food companies pose major barriers to organizing workers Despite the will of workers to form a union his experience in efforts

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/article/2013/labour-news-roundup-november-4-november-18 (2015-04-05)
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  • Labour News Round-up, October 22 - November 3 | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    in line with its ethical purchasing policy and environmental aspirations Marc Lee argues in the Globe Mail that pension funds should be increasingly concerned with the connection between their investments in fossil fuels and a new push for a global carbon budget the upper limit on total greenhouse gas emissions needed to keep temperature increase below 2 degrees celsius going over which will cause extreme destabilization That carbon budget means that two thirds of Canada proven fossil fuel reserves should stay in the ground Because stock market value is predicated on fossil fuel companies extracting those reserves a major carbon bubble could burst in financial markets when the fossil fuels aren t extracted A group of 70 large investors representing 3 trillion in assets recently called on fossil fuel companies to assess their climate risk U S Steel ends an era in Hamilton After more than a century of operation U S Steel announced the closure of its steel plant in Hamilton Ontario Originally Stelco the factory has changed hands several times over the course of its operations U S Steel s management argued that the closure is necessary to boost the profitability of its Canadian operations and shutting down the plant in Hamilton will also mean that U S Steel can close its plant in Gary Indiana The steel made by workers there is mostly used in auto manufacturing Rolf Gerstenberger president of United Steelworkers Local 1005 argued that the decision to close the Hamilton plant makes no sense as Canada currently imports eight million tons of steel and their plant produced two million annually TTC union fears for worker safety President of the Amalgamated Transit International Union Local 113 Bob Kinnear said that cutbacks and other pressures coming from City Hall are making work less safe for Toronto Transit Commission workers Kinnear talked to CBC Radio about the TTC report on the death of Peter Pavlovski who worked for the TTC for more than 20 years but was killed by a train while inspecting the track The report recommends new safety measures that would include a system warning trains at all hours when a worker is on the track not just during the hours of operation of the subway system EllisDon promises to use mostly union workers Construction giant EllisDon is about to be freed from provincial legislation that currently requires the company to use unionized workers in Ontario The Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties are supporting the bill which reaches third reading on November 5 An agreement to use only unionized workers was first signed by EllisDon in 1958 The proposed legislation changes many of the labour agreements that date before 1980 and were codified in Ontario s Labour Relations Act EllisDon promises that even if the bill passes they will commit to ensuring that 90 per cent of their workers remain unionized Forget Duffy Harper s real war is with unions Tasha Kheiriddin This past weekend the federal Conservative party held its policy convention in Calgary

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/article/2013/labour-news-round-october-22-november-3 (2015-04-05)
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  • Labour News Round-up, October 8 - October 21 | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    back and reducing services than improving them CUPW says Canadians should beware of the negative foreign impact of FIPA agreements Canada s drive to sign bilateral trade agreements or Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection FIPA agreements has had a negative impact abroad argues Unifor researcher and writer Yves Engler In the past year alone Canada has signed FIPAs which lets corporate profits trump governments attempts to create local jobs improve environmental regulations or raise royalty rates in Côte d Ivoire Tanzania Nigeria Benin Cameroon and Zambia where Canadian mining has boomed Companies have found especially valuable the right to sue a country when their projects are opposed In early October a Canadian company sued Costa Rica under a bilateral trade agreement for 1 billion dollars after the government rejected a controversial mine opposed by three quarters of the country Ontario pitches idea of provincial pension plan as national negotiations loom Ontario s government says it might offer mandatory public pension plan if federal and other provincial governments don t agree to enhancements when they meet in December More than 11 million Canadian workers don t have workplace pension plans The Canadian Labour Congress has been campaigning to double Canada Pension Plan CPP benefits pushing maximum payments to 24 000 per year and average payments to 12 600 per year The Ontario Liberal government says it would prefer the federal government agree to enhance the CPP but Harper has been obstructing the provisions of CPP legislation which state that amendment can be approved by two thirds of the provinces representing two thirds of the Canadian population A CIBC report warned that upon retirement people born in the 1980s could face a 30 per cent drop in their standard of living Contract talks with CN Rail stall as union cites rail safety concerns Debates over rail safety have stalled negotiations between the Canadian National Railway Company and workers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference The union representing 3 3000 workers argued that a strike may be called by Oct 28 The union argues that the concessions being proposed by management would make employees work longer hours with less rest time between trips Talks will resume Monday Oct 21 Homelessness funding falling as Government prepares new report Yearly federal funding for homelessness programming has fallen to 36 percent of its original value in 1999 With Canada s aging population homelessness amongst seniors is rising In Toronto it has doubled between 2006 and 2013 among those over 65 In the next six months the federal government is due to release a 100 million study on the effectiveness of providing supportive housing which combines subsidized housing with social work support Harper approach to economy is example of circuses not bread Harper s claims to be a sound economic manager don t stand up to the evidence argues Toronto Star columnist Thomas Walkom After briefly engaging in stimulus spending Harper has shifted back to austerity pulling money out of the economy It has also attacked

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/article/2013/labour-news-round-october-8-october-21 (2015-04-05)
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  • Labour News Round-up, September 24 - October 7 | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    diploma had an easier time finding work than young people with a university degree Federal inmates go on strike to protest pay cuts Federal inmates have gone on strike to protest a 30 per cent cut in their pay On average inmates make 3 per day Until the cuts the pay could reach as high as 6 90 per day The rates were established by a parliamentary committee in 1981 While prison costs have increased by 700 per cent workers have had their wages frozen for 32 years The move was announced by former MP Vic Toews as a cost saving measure to pay down the federal deficit This move will save just 4 million of a total prison s budget of 2 6 billion Howard Sapers correctional investigator of Canada and federal ombudsman for prisons criticized the cuts and argued that it both deincentivizes work as a means for rehabilitation for prisoners and will also make saving for their futures a virtual impossibility Military expert warns against weapons purchased from Lockheed Martin A military expert warned Canadians that US weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin s could take billions of public dollars for costly contracts while providing little benefit to Canadians or the economy Lockheed Martin is trying to secure new contracts from the Harper government especially for the F 35 stealth fighter and Canada s warship program The federal government is reviewing their commitments to purchase after a public outcry about the constantly ballooning costs of the program Director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy William Hartung said the company s main priority despite rhetoric about Canadian job creation is to keep the US Department of Defence happy Hartung suggests the government should focus instead on supporting disarmament efforts like the Arms Trade Treaty which has been signed by more than 100 countries but not Canada This is a failing industry The government would be well advised to aim at controlling the arms industry rather than investing in defence firms Hartung said CLC complaint against Labour Watch backed poll dismissed The CLC s complaint against a poll funded by Labour Watch and used to promote bill C 377 was dismissed by the organization that oversees polling standards even though they found the poll included potentially biased information The Nanos poll from 2011 suggested that an overwhelming percentage of Canadians supported the bill but was widely criticized for flawed methodology Respondents were primed with a lengthy and biased preamble before one of the questions and the poll withheld the results from another question that contradicted the conclusion that Canadians supported the bill The decision makes no reference to sections of the Association s Code of Conduct nor does it reflect in any meaningful way on Nanos questionable polling methodology one academic said UN climate report warns that carbon emissions will have grave financial consequences The United Nations major climate science report endorsed the idea of a carbon budget laying out the total amount of carbon

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/article/2013/labour-news-round-september-24-october-7 (2015-04-05)
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  • Recent Articles | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    will report to CALM s editor and assist in executing the vision of the CALM executive Four tips on using social media during bargaining and strikes This blog post is one of a series CALM is posting that shares best practice communications during bargaining and strikes Labour News Round up October in review 2014 Quebec student labour protest movement against austerity grows Don t want to get sued Here are 10 things all labour activists should know about defamation By David Climenhaga Labour News Roundup September 2014 Canadians increasingly holding progressive values and views Minimum wage jobs pay a penny more than they did in 1975 A minimum wage job pays roughly the same now as it did in 1975 according to a study by Statistics Canada Labour News Roundup Summer in Review BC Teachers strike continues through end of the school year Download our new guide on how to edit a newsletter CALM has just released a new and revised editor s guidebook for union communicators CALM 2014 Awards CALM 2014 Conference Schedule The CALM conference will take place in two buildings SSMU Building 3480 McTavish Street McGill Downtown Campus Labour News Round up April 7 April 21 Actions

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/articles?destination=articles%3Fpage%3D1 (2015-04-05)
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  • Labour News Round-up, Sept. 11 - Sept. 23 | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    be difficult as some government officials have already announced their intention to overhaul sick days and replace them with short term disability leaves and challenge mandatory dues collection With bargaining happening a year in advance of the next federal election some fear that bargaining will be influenced by the Tories electoral strategy Union representing Real Canadian Superstore employees in Alberta serves strike notice 8 500 Real Canadian Superstore workers from across Alberta have served notice for their intent to strike with a strike date set for October 6 According to the union UFCW Local 401 Loblaw s is proposing to cut wages by 30 40 Employees rejected this offer and are demanding that workers be given more opportunity to work more hours as the vast majority of workers work 20 hours a week or less Vale mine death plea disappoints union An Ontario court ruled that mining giant Vale must pay just over 1 million for the 2011 death of two workers in Sudbury The sum was the largest fine ever levied by the Occupational Health and Safety Act but Steelworkers Local 6500 representative Mike Bond said that the fine isn t high enough to act as a deterrent for Vale Over the last four month reporting period Vale s profits were 424 million Since the deaths Vale says that they have made 31 changes to improve safety Firefighters union says cost cutting putting safety at risk Firefighters in the City of Winnipeg have criticized cutbacks that have reduced the number of trucks and available firefighters to try and curb overtime costs Alex Forrest president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg argues that these cutbacks will place public safety at risk In a letter to Mayor Sam Katz and all city councilors Forrest said that the decision not only increases the potential to public danger but it is also a violation of the collective agreement One of the changes proposed is that fire trucks will not be dispatched until a fire is confirmed slowing response times Hospital Employees Union picket outside Royal Columbian Hospital On Sept 18 20 hospital cleaners and food workers in Burnaby BC staged an information picket outside the Royal Columbian Hospital The workers represented by the Hospital Employees Union are seeking a strike mandate after negotiations with Aramark and Compass group stalled on wages Workers argue that their wages are not enough to earn a living and many must consider taking on a second job Hospital service workers were privatized by the BC government 10 years ago Workers have been in bargaining with both companies for more than a year Action continues against Richtree s union busting After the Toronto Eaton Centre Richtree restaurant closed in January laid off workers were surprised to see it re open in September with 200 new workers The union that formerly represented them was no longer there and laid off workers were not rehired Unite HERE Local 75 filed a grievance against Richtree on the day of its reopening

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/article/2013/labour-news-round-sept-11-sept-23 (2015-04-05)
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  • From Demonized to Organized: Building the New Union Movement | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    benefits and less pay For non unionized workers many see the stability offered by a union and choose to resent that stability rather than fight for a union of their own In both cases the image of the union is perverted or damaged If Canadians are going to mount a campaign to restore our public services and defend our democracy the labour movement is our best hope My goal is to cut through right wing rhetoric and explain the roles that unions play and should play in Canadian society to combat the cynicism that is bred when workers of all types are divided I hope to provide arguments for activists within the movements working to help ensure that unions can once again be a powerful balance to our corporate controlled governments This book is an attempt to explain unionization to my generation to my friends who distrust civil society organizations as much as they distrust government to my unemployed friends who are living from contract to contract and who would kill for a stable unionized job for the workers who have never had the benefit of being represented when facing injustice at work for the workers who would rather not think of what would happen if they were injured on the job It s a reminder to unionized folks that many of the truths that they take for granted are not obvious to others and that the labour movement must change how it reaches out to its members its communities and to non unionized workers if it hopes to grow It s a call to action for activists to share their stories debunk much of the right wing anti union rhetoric that exists re engage in their communities and build a movement that can defeat neoliberal policies and their political proponents Despite disengagement from electoral politics many young Canadians are refusing to check out entirely In the aftermath of the most recent global financial crisis young Canadians have demonstrated that they aren t an apathetic lot Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 occupations were established in every major Canadian city In one case students at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario turned their occupation into an indoor space for students to gather talk about politics or just do homework which lasted until April 2012 long after most Occupy encampments had dissolved At the same time Québec students went on long standing and impressive student strikes to defend post secondary education from price increases During the so called Maple Spring hundreds of thousands of people went to the streets jurists stood up to oppose oppressive laws and tactics were borrowed from Latin America that brought families out into the streets banging pots and pans with students to demand that tuition fees not be increased At the end of 2012 Idle No More was sparked in communities across Canada and many people both younger and older found their voice and united against Canadian colonial policies environmental deregulation and the radical

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/article/2013/demonized-organized-building-new-union-movement (2015-04-05)
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  • Labour News Round-up, August 26 - September 9 | Canadian Association of Labour Media
    to Our Times magazine while subsidizing corporate media The Department of Canadian heritage cut funding to independent labour magazine Our Times by 65 per cent claiming the magazine failed to meet eligible circulation requirements though it offered no details Heritage Canada subsidizes Canadian print media through grants from the Canadian Periodical fund to help small circulation publications overcome market disadvantages After receiving 29 790 in 2007 Our Times had its funding eliminated altogether in 2008 then partially restored in subsequent grant periods to 10 505 last year They turned us down though we met all criteria said Our Times business manager Liz Ukrainetz We ve been told it was not in the best interest of Canadians The fund gave Sun Media more than 800 000 over the same period for a chain of its company weeklies Teachers union opposes Quebec s headwear witch hunt The Fédération autonome de l enseignement a Québec teachers federation representing public school teachers in Montreal said that they will not support the Parti Québécois attempt to stop its members from wearing religious symbols in their classrooms The union s president said that they would defend their members right to work including going to court if necessary The position taken by the union is anticipated the Parti Québécois values charter which will seek to ban many religious symbols within the public sector including symbols worn by workers Québec s largest public sector union has said they will wait until the charter is released before commenting but has supported a ban on religious head wear for public sector workers in the past How Conservative Is Your Union The Tyee released a survey for union members to find out just how conservative their union is The survey tries to address the fact that as the health of the labour movement has declined so too has the engagement of its members Patrick Parkes argues that unionized workers have to find ways to engage with their unions that respects the other demands that workers have on their time Union members can answer a list of 15 questions and find a score for their own workplace He argues that there is hope for even the most conservative union and urges workers to build progressive organizing spaces Arguments against unions are ideological not empirical Toronto Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn argued that the Progressive Conservative party s plans to weaken organized labour in Ontario are simply part of Tim Hudak s de unionize to re industrialize campaign He predicted that this campaign would feature prominently at the upcoming party convention in September The PC policy paper Flexible Labour Markets argues that to build a new Ontario economy unions must be stripped of their rights But these attacks are not rooted in evidence that shows that lower unionization rates will improve the economy When right wing research undertaken by the Fraser Institute is examined he argued it becomes clear that the PC attack against unions is purely ideological Scaffold tragedy Appeal court nearly

    Original URL path: http://calm.ca/article/2013/labour-news-round-august-26-september-9 (2015-04-05)
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