STEPHEN McNEIL HAS GOT IT IN FOR UNIONS. The evidence is as clear as the three court challenges his government faces over recent changes made to labour laws in Nova Scotia.
But the McNeil government is hardly alone. Disrespect for labour rights protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms continues to be as common in Canada as snow in February. This unfortunate reality is clearly set out in the latest edition of Backgrounder: Summary of current Charter challenges and their impact on union security in Canada.
Roger Fowler writes poems to remember and honour his many friends and former GE workers who have died of cancer.
THE BOSS LIED TO THEM FOR YEARS AND THEY KNEW IT. They knew their work was making them sick. They knew a study by the boss that said it wasn’t was bogus. Now the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) says the workers were right all along.
UNIONS MAKE DEMOCRACY WORK BETTER. They don't just leave government up to the politicians. They believe the best way to keep our democracy strong is to get us all to use it and use it and use it. That is the best way we have to make democracy live up to its promise of government of, for and by the people.
Chris Long joins teammate Malcom Jenkins in NFL players protest against racial inequality and police brutality in the USA
THEY ALL WANNA BE IN ON IT. All the players associations in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB—they have all teamed up with the World Players Association in support of the Universal Declaration of Player Rights
The declaration was unveiled December 14 2017 at a gathering of 40 players’ unions reps hosted by the NFL Players association.
MOST OF OUR UNIVERSITY TEACHERS ARE GETTING SCREWED. They have few benefits, and no pension plan for retirement. They are paid by the course, with no guarantee that they will have their contracts renewed next term. They live like this for years, even decades.
WORKED TO DEATH
Olivier Bruneau was crushed and killed on the job in Ottawa in 2016
WHO’S FAULT IS IT THAT JESUS SANCHEZ IS DEAD? Nobody asked that question in 1996. Now Oliver Bruneau is dead too.
There should have been an inquest 20-some years ago when Jesus Sanchez fell 13 metres to his death on the job. Ontario law makes it mandatory. But there was no inquest. Nobody can say why.
LIANE TESSIER HAS A BURNING DESIRE TO SEE JUSTICE DONE. It brought her victory in her battle against systemic sexual discrimination and workplace harassment in the Halifax fire department. But none of if came easy.
Halifax Fire Chief Ken Stuebing delivered a formal apology to Liane on behalf of the Halifax fire service and the the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission at a public news conference on Decemember 18.
Topic: Unions Matter
They fight for fairness for all
LIFE GETS BETTER FOR EVERYONE wherever and whenever unions are strong. Studies prove it.
Studies prove when unions win higher pay the wages of all workers rise—even for those not in unions.
Studies also prove overall life gets better because of union activity. The more unions there are in a country the more government does to protect human and civil rights and the more it uses taxes to provide social benefits to everyone—regardless of income level.
Unions successfully fought to expand the Canada Pension Plan in 2016, and as a result all workers will see their CPP benefits increase in the future.
It was the strength of unions that gave us all Medicare, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and safer workplaces. Today unions in Canada are fighting for universal Pharmacare for all Canadians.
Union membership reflects how much Canadians value fairness: the more we value fairness the more unions thrive; the more unions thrive the closer we come to fairness for all.
Topic: Feed Your Head
Sobeys uses language to downplay blow to 800 fired workers
GETTING FIRED IS BAD ENOUGH. Calling it a “layoff,” when we all know the jobs are never coming back, is twisting the knife and then spinning it as a good thing, is twisting it again.
But Sobeys Inc. twisted away when it fired 800 more workers in November—a key part of their “corporate turnaround strategy” called Project Sunrise with a final goal of firing 1200 workers in all.
The broad public acceptance of the duplicity, doublespeak language, and hypocritical hand-wringing over it all is common to such corporate actions. It’s all part of our “you can’t say shit, even when you’ve got a mouth full” relationship demanded by our corporate overseers. Something that usually slides by unnoticed. But not this time.
This time Mary Campbell noticed. She edits the Cape Breton Spectator, a great online newspaper on the people’s side in Sydney, NS.
Here’s what she wrote about it all on November 24 in her column “Fast & Curious: Short takes on random things.”
First, Sobeys is firing 800 office workers. (Why do some news outlets persist in calling these things “layoffs?” Do they really believe these are temporary measures?) This will affect its corporate offices in Stellarton, among others.
It’s part of something called — I kid you not — “Project Sunrise,” which Sobeys Inc launched in May 2017 and which is intended to “deliver $500 million in annualized savings by 2020.”
The press release announcing the project contained this incredible quote from Sobeys President and CEO Michael Medline:
"We have an aggressive goal to transform our organization, better serve our customers, empower our employees and assuredly move from defense to offense in the market. To do this we need to unleash the talents and scale we already have at our disposal. The future Sobeys will operate with a simpler, leaner structure, more efficient core processes and tools and will better leverage its $24 billion national scale. This will free us up to be extremely nimble, thrill our customers and grow market share. Results of this transformation will take time, but we are committed to seeing them through given the compelling prize."