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Parliament goes blue for public water

Prominent local and national activists gathered on Parliament Hill this week to toast public water and light up the Peace Tower in blue.  The event was the start of a week of World Water Day events across the country.

The event, organized by CUPE, the Council of Canadians, and the Polaris Institute, kicked off a week of local, provincial, national, and international action to keep water and wastewater services public, promote water as a human right, and cap municipal bottled water use.

Grand Forks library workers return to work

CUPE 2254 members returned to work this week. The five Grand Forks library workers were locked out January 20, but their employer agreed to end the lockout and resume work under the terms of the current contract.

Mediated negotiations for a new contract continue under a media blackout.

Moist wraps up tour of Newfoundland Labrador

Paul Moist wrapped up a three-day visit to health care workers in the Central Health Region in Newfoundland and Labrador with a press conference and coffee break at the Grand Falls Windsor Hospital.

Members in locals 641- Twillingate, 1568 - Baie Verte, and 990 - Grand Falls-Windsor are campaigning to win a representation vote that will take place in the next two weeks. 

CUPE activists here on the Rock are going above and beyond to win this one.  My sincere thanks goes to each and every one of them,” he said.

Alberta paramedics unions to be merged

Alberta’s provincial government has rejected CUPE’s appeal to give paramedics their own bargaining unit.

The Conservatives told health care workers they can no longer belong to the union of their choice,” said CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz.

Alberta labour minister Hector Goudreau announced the details of health care bargaining unit restructuring this week.

The 1,200 CUPE paramedics and 1,600 health care workers belonging to CUPE and CEP will be merged into existing bargaining units if the decision stands.

Paul Moist sends condolences over fatal helicopter crash

Paul Moist wrote a letter of condolence to Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union President Dave Cole after a helicopter crash claimed the lives of 17 oil rig workers off the coast of Newfoundland last week.

I have been at two CUPE gatherings in two separate provinces in recent days where members paused to remember these workers; I offer this message of solidarity in what I know is a difficult period for your union,” the letter read.

BC’s Liberals privatize TILMA enforcement

BC’s plans to have a private company manage the implementation of the Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) have crossed the line, Barry O’Neill says.

CUPE BC’s president said it was the government’s job to enforce its laws and to do otherwise would be an abdication of its responsibilities.

Private companies are not neutral parties when it comes to regulating private companies.  That is why we elect governments”.

Oscar winning animator Co Hoedman backs the NFB

CUPE released a short video of Oscar winning animator Co Hoedman speaking on behalf of the cash-strapped National Film Board this week.

The video is the last in a series of testimonials from famous filmmakers about the NFB, which has been facing a financial crisis for the last 15 years.

Hoedman says the NFB is a place where “it comes from the filmmaker himself, herself, to express freely what they think.” 

Since it was founded in 1939, the NFB has produced more than 13,000 titles, won more than 5,000 awards, garnered more than 90 Genies, received over 70 Oscar nominations, and landed 12 Oscars.

Water forum opens with brutal repression

The fifth World Water Forum opened with brutality and repression this week, as Turkish police clamped down on a demonstration outside the event.

Members of CUPE’s delegation joined public sector workers, water activists, and Turkish allies to protest the corporate agenda of the World Water Forum.

The police arrested 17 activists.  According to Turkish law, they can be held for up to 48 hours without charge.

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