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CUPE urges opposition to reject Colombia deal

Paul Moist urged the opposition parties to reject the free trade agreement with Colombia that Stockwell Day introduced to Parliament on March 26.

I cannot understand why Prime Minister Harper is prepared to sign agreements with a country that sees trade unionists murdered at a rate more than the entire world experiences in total, or with a country where the drug trade, and the paramilitary forces have a grip on a $6 billion illegal business,” said Moist.

Jorge Enrique Robledo, a member of the National Senate in Colombia met with CUPE officials in Ottawa to ask for Canadians’ support in denouncing the bill.

CUPE 3372 is back to work

After 50 days on the picket line, the six cafeteria workers - members of CUPE 3372 - at Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre in Fredericton were back on the job March 26.

Both parties agreed to go to binding arbitration to settle this dispute”, explained David Perkins, CUPE Representative.

The strike began February 4.  Their contract expired December 31, 2007.

Annual luncheon keeps CUPE 1158 strong

In her nine years as president of CUPE 1158 in Edmonton, Linda Joyce has always believed that a local should have a strong sense of community.

So Joyce decided to host a get-to-know-you for her members.  “But, knowing me, I can’t do anything small – I ended up cooking a banquet!”

Seven years later, that “strawberry social” has become the annual CUPE 1158 multicultural luncheon, held each spring at Capital Care Norwood, the long-term care facility where Joyce works as a nursing attendant.

This luncheon is a time to celebrate diversity, and to work together toward having a society against discrimination,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

Review pans JobsNow

JobsNow, a public-private partnership set up to provide job support for welfare recipients, did not add value, was not cost effective, and in fact cost millions, according to an independent review released recently.

Some of the findings:

• The jobs JobsNow found were often part-time and low-waged.  Nearly 4 out of 10 participants (37%) said the selection of job leads was poor.
• JobsNow’s “results-based payment structure” may have put people in jobs to which they were ill-suited.
• For those who found employment, the majority said JobsNow did not help them keep their job.  Only 13% of all participants had found employment and remained in the program for the full 18 months.
• Only 15% of all participants surveyed found a job they attributed to the services they received through JobsNow.

CUPE denounces job cuts at CBC

CUPE denounced job cuts announced at CBC, placing the blame at Stephen Harper’s feet.

This is a purely ideological rather than a practical manoeuvre,” deplored Jacqueline Turgeon, president of CUPE 675, which represents Radio Canada office staff.  “It is hard not to make a connection between these job cuts and the oft-expressed desire of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government to slash culture, particularly French-language culture.”

Layoffs will begin over the summer and will continue until the end of September 2009.

CUPE Saskatchewan launches P3 ad campaign

CUPE Saskatchewan has launched an ad campaign to counter the government’s efforts to bring the decidedly un-trendy public private partnership to the province.

In January, the SaskParty government established a “P3 Secretariat” to explore P3 projects for schools, a university student residence, and a hanger facility for the air ambulance program and other projects.

CUPE says the Wall government must reconsider its support of P3s in light of the facts, not ideology.

Water justice movement stronger as forum ends

Trade unionists from around the world made their mark at the fifth World Water Forum, and are leaving Istanbul with stronger and broader connections to the global water justice movement.

CUPE 1978 member Kim Manton and CUPE General Vice-President Kevin Rebeck were among the 55-person Public Services International delegation attending the fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey this week.

CUPE worked closely with its Canadian allies, the Council of Canadians and the Polaris Institute, over the week at alternative sessions organized in protest of the official forum.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the World Water Forum and everything it represents is a cause of the world water crisis and not the solution,” says Maude Barlow, Council of Canadians chairperson.

:te/cope 491