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.
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.
THE BAD NEWS IS MACHINES WILL SOON TAKE MORE THAN HALF OUR JOBS. The good news is there will be more than enough new work to keep us all employed. That’s how the World Economic Forum (WEF) sees our future.
It’s all part of what WEF officials call the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Their recent “Future of Jobs 2018” study sets out what they think the size and shape of that revolution will be like.
ALL FOR ONE
YOU CAN SEE HER CRYING ON THE VIDEO. She is clearly overwhelmed by the situation. Hundreds of strangers have come to stand shoulder to shoulder with her on the picket line in front of the D-J Composites plant in Gander, Newfoundland.
She says: “It’s just so good to see all these people coming together for us. It’s very, very touching.”
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.
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?’”
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.