BANISHED TO THE ‘BURBS’
Poster from Unite Here union campaign for hotel service workers
LIFE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO IS A LOT LIKE LIFE IN DOWNTON ABBEY. The people who service the needs of the those who live there are kept separate from those they work for.
In the TV show Downton Abbey a staircase separates the workers from the lords and ladies living in luxury upstairs; in downtown Toronto it’s the high cost of actually living downtown that does the same thing.
John Featherstone: not ready to go quietly
JOHN FEATHERSTONE HAD THE LAW ON HIS SIDE. He didn’t know that at first. But he knew he deserved better. And he knew he was going to fight for it.
John was 62 years old and suddenly out of work. Terminated after 38 years on the job. One of 74 workers cast aside without a second thought by CTS Corp. in Steetsville, Ontario on April 17, 2014.
He knew he deserved better. They all knew they deserved better. In the end they used the law to get them the respect they wanted and deserved.
AUDREY LOCKWOOD DOESN’T MINCE WORDS. “Women need to be saying ‘NO’ to just about any volunteer work in the office that does not lead to increased salaries and promotions, and the minute someone asks you to volunteer, hit back immediately with ‘It'll cost you—what pay raise will I get out of this?’”
MILLENNIALS NEED TO LISTEN TO COLIN KAEPERNICK. They need to “Dream Crazy.” If they don’t, little is likely to change for them.
Kaepernick is the spokesperson for a brand new Nike campaign that talks about dreams, goals, and striving to do more than you ever thought possible. As the narrator talks about the importance of embracing “crazy” dreams, we see footage and hear stories of incredible accomplishments.
ON THE LINE
Two of OPSEU Local 276 members on their picket line in Owen Sound
“CAN YOU JUST USE YOUR CAR TO HURT PEOPLE?” The answer “no” didn’t seem at all obvious to Tara Maszczakiewicz on August 23.
Tara was sent to hospital with a broken foot that day. She got it when a driver ran the legal picket line she was on outside the Family Health Organization in Owen Sound, Ontario. Over a dozen drivers have recklessly run the line with their vehicles since the strike started on May 22.
Team members of Decent Work and Health Network in Toronto
KATELYN HAGEL GOT FIRED FOR WANTING TO WORK. She couldn’t afford not to—even though she had ongoing health problems.
The dentist she worked for didn’t want her at work. She wanted Katelyn to take two weeks sick leave—without pay. Katelyn refused. She couldn’t afford it. She wanted to work every day she could until she would have to take time off following a scheduled surgery. Her refusal got her fired.
LET’S MAKE LABOUR DAY DIFFERENT THIS YEAR. Let’s make it a celebration rather than an obligation. More like Canada Day and New Year’s Eve than Remembrace Day. A day full of joy and hope: a day that celebrates who we are even more than what we have done.
We are the “happy warriors,” the ones who automatically believe the best about ourselves and our neighbours. We are the ones who bring casseroles to the folks down the block who got burned out; the ones who water the neighbours’ plants when they’re on vacation, the ones who write letters to the editor and sign endless petitions to make the world safer for humans and all living things.
And, we are the ones who join unions.
LIGHT 'EM UP
CHANGE A BRAKE LIGHT AND CHANGE THE WORLD. Probably not. But it was a great place to start for the New Orleans chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
DISHING IT OUT
CHARLEEN POKORNIK DOESN’T FEEL LIKE HER OWN BOSS. If she can prove it she’ll be a lot better off.
Charleen is a delivery driver for the Skip the Dishes online food delivery service franchise in Winnipeg. They call her an “independent contractor.” She says she’s not. She wants to go to court to prove it.
Charleen is seeking class-action certification for her lawsuit. She alleges the company misleads its workers by telling them they are private contractors. It’s a claim the company uses to deny its workers all that is due them under the law.
BAM! YOU’RE UNIONIZED!
Aaron Doncaster lead union drive at Calgary Hilton hotel
FIRING AARON DONCASTER WAS A BIG MISTAKE. The managers of the Hilton Garden Inn in Calgary thought it would bust a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) organizing drive. It lead to instant certification of the union instead.
Hilton management fired Aaron last September. They claimed his work schedule showed signs of tardiness. The Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) wasn’t buying it.