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Edmonton City Council goes public with its new arena

Edmonton City Council voted this week to build its Southwest Community Recreation centre publicly.

The council rejected a plan to build the centre as a P3 when the projected costs kept getting bigger while the centre itself kept getting smaller.

This is great news for our members and all Edmontonians,” said CUPE 30 President Dennis Mol.  “No-one benefits from a P3 except the big businesses involved”.

Journal de Québec lockout to turn one

April 22, 2008 marks the first anniversary of the day Quebecor/Sun Media locked-out its employees at the Journal de Québec.

On April 22, Québec unions will demonstrate in the province’s capital city and locked-out workers will call for a boycott of the Journal de Québec.

Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for the Journal de Québec workers is asking Québec City residents to encourage Quebecor to either come back to the bargaining table or agree to binding arbitration.

For more on the lockout, see www.cupe.ca/journaldequebec


Montréal ambulance dispatchers stage one day strike

Dozens of CUPE health care workers bolstered picket lines during CUPE 3642’s one day strike April 15.

The local’s 50 members, who field medical emergency calls and dispatch ambulances, are allowed to strike only one hour per day per person, under Québec’s essential services law.

The dispatchers are looking for wage parity with their colleagues at Montréal’s 911 service.

CUPE 3642’s contract expired in June 2003.

Poll says federal government is wrong on support to municipalities

A poll conducted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities this week says the federal government needs to change its tune on municipalities.

Instead of cutting the GST, the poll says most Canadians would prefer the money was directly invested in local infrastructure.

The poll’s findings bolster CUPE’s recommendations on the municipal fiscal imbalance.

CUPE economic research shows this created a funding shortfall as high as $7 billion in 2006 – about the same amount as is raised by one percentage point of GST.

BC and Alberta put TILMA bills before legislature

Both the BC and Alberta governments proposed legislation to implement the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement this week.

Alberta’s Bill 1 and BC’s Bill 32 implement the deal which the provinces’ two arch-conservative premiers championed with their counterparts, but found no takers.

Why?  Because, as BC’s Federation of Labour says, TILMA is a “dubious solution in search of a problem most never knew existed, probably because it didn’t”.

TILMA is not really about assisting business; it’s about hobbling elected officials”.

CUPE will continue to participate in and support efforts to prevent TILMA from being implemented.

Manitoba home care staff protest Extendicare

Support staff at two Manitoba personal care homes owned by Extendicare Inc. held information pickets this week to raise concern about short staffing.

Support staff at Tuxedo Villa and Oakview Place were handing out information about the problem management is creating by short staffing.

The members are concerned about the welfare of their residents – they want to see them get the best possible care, but they are just too rushed to meet all the residents’ needs,” CUPE National Representative Pam Beattie said.

The union and Extendicare have been in bargaining for a new collective agreement since last October.

Day of Mourning sees no improvement, 24 years later

More workers are being injured, made sick, and killed on the job than when CUPE started the National Day of Mourning for injured and killed workers 24 years ago.

Canada ranks fifth among 29 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries for worker fatalities.  Only Korea, Mexico, Portugal, and Turkey are worse.

Since 1984, there have been 19,805 recognized workplace fatalities in Canada.  We do not know how many people died because of workplace illnesses or accidents that compensation boards would not recognize.

Three CUPE members were killed on the job in 2007:

• Sister Donna Carbone, 52, from CUPE 2838, Edson, AB.
• Brother Doug Prysiazniuk, 36, from CUPE 500, Winnipeg, MB.
• Brother Richard “Butch” Gallant, 63, from CUPE 1190, Shediac, NB.

On April 28, please take part in your local’s activities to mark the day.  We must mourn the dead but we must also fight for the living.

BC government fixes anti-labour law to conform with Supreme Court ruling

The BC government introduced a bill this week that would bring its anti-labour legislation into line with a June 2007 Supreme Court ruling that it violated charter-protected rights to freedom of association.
Bill 29, introduced in 2002, removed language from collective agreements that prevented contracting out of health care services.

As a result, more than 9,000 BC health care workers lost their jobs.

CUPE to attend popular summit in New Orleans

CUPE leaders, including members of its energy sector, will be attending the Popular Summit in New Orleans next week.

The meeting, organized to coincide with the Security and Prosperity Partnership meeting of Mexican, Canadian and American government and business leaders, brings together hundreds of activist and civil society organizations to pose an alternative to corporate globalization.

For more information see: http://www.summitneworleans.org/

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