Air Canada discussions to go to arbitration
Air Canada flight attendants and management were unable to reach agreement last week on how to handle the company’s proposed lay offs and base closures.
The union and the company met from August 11 to 14 in Calgary, but were unable to find a common ground on which to proceed.
The objective was to develop an adjustment program to eliminate the necessity for the termination of employment; or to minimize the impact of the terminations on the flight attendants.
The process now goes to the Minister of Labour for arbitration to help the parties involved develop an adjustment program and to resolve any matters in dispute.
“We expect that the arbitration will proceed in early September and we should get a decision by mid September,” said Lesley Swann, president of the CUPE Air Canada Component.
Air Canada has agreed, subject to the arbitrator making his decision, that it will not implement its proposed cuts and closures before all the elements of the adjustment program are in place.
Canadian Medical Association ignores evidence in privatization push
Newly-elected CMA president Dr. Robert Ouellet made it clear the privatization torch will pass seamlessly from outgoing president Brian Day.
He told the media it was “time Canada accepted [the] reality” of private, for-profit delivery of health care.
Canadian Doctors for Medicare founding chair Dr. Danielle Martin says the formula will mean “lower quality, reduced accessibility, reduced efficiency, and higher costs; particularly where it is linked to increase private for profit delivery.”
Martin and other doctors went public before the CMA meeting, criticizing the organization’s prescription for privatization.
With a federal election looming, and the ongoing absenteeism of the Conservative (and previous Liberal) government when it comes to enforcing the Canada Health Act, CUPE will continue to mobilize members and work with its coalition partners to stop the spread of health care privatization.
Labour victory against Wal-Mart
Nine Wal-Mart employees went to work in Gatineau this week with something that not one of its 1.3 million North American counterparts has: a collective agreement.
It took three years, and a ruling by an arbitrator, but now the workers at the Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express Centre - represented by UFCW’s Local 486 - will see increased wages, salary for statutory holidays worked, and more generous vacations.
“My hat is off to these employees, and the organizers involved,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist. “This small step represents a giant leap forward against this corporation’s anti-labour practices. CUPE applauds the Quebec Labour Relations Board for their decision on this matter.”
Fund project to broadcast social forum in Guatemala
A CUPE Global Justice Fund project will broadcast the Americas Social Forum (FSAG), a major event during the World Social Forum in Guatemala on October 7-12, 2008.
Radio Libertad, now in its second year of CUPE funding, is part of a group of organizations setting up an independent media space at the FSAG.
The space will guarantee radio and video coverage both through broadcasting and streaming on the internet, as well as publishing a daily bulletin and posting to various web sites.
April Wine draws 6,000-7,000 at Rock for Public Services in Ajax
Between 6,000 and 7,000 people came out in Ajax to hear rock band April Wine at a free concert August 21 presented by CUPE.
Called ‘Rock for Public Services,’ the event was one of a series of rock concerts that CUPE Ontario has planned in cities across the province to celebrate and bring home the importance of public services.