Tentative agreement at Carleton
Negotiators for CUPE 2424 and Carleton University reached a tentative agreement September 18, ending a strike which began September 5.
“We would also like to thank students and the university community for their support during our labour conflict,” said CUPE National Representative Susan Arab.
Vancouver strike cantastoria
Strikes can be full of drama, so a group of striking Vancouver civic workers decided they might as well put music to it too.
CUPE 391 and 15 members, with the help of a local theatre director, produced a mobile musical – called a cantastoria – and performed it at picket lines and public spaces across the city.
In a cantastoria (from the Italian word for “sung story” or “singing history”) actors sing or tell a story while showing a series of images and symbols.
The CUPE Cantastoria told of workers who build and make strong communities and security for everyone. But then the Big Foot steps over the workers and tries to crush them.
The performers remind everyone not to let the Big Foot crush them and take away everything they have built. The cry at the end, with arms raised, is to “support civic workers now”.
CUPE sets the record straight on media diversity
CUPE Quebec voiced its concerns over media diversity to Canada’s broadcast regulators this week.
Jacques Chabot, President of CUPE Québec’s communications sector council, told CRTC hearings into media diversity called convergence a direct attack on democracy.
Holding up nearly identical front pages of the Journal de Montréal and the Journal de Québec, Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for striking Journal de Québec workers said there’s a real price to pay for convergence.
Said Chabot: “In an era of convergence and concentration, the number of broadcasting platforms is increasing, but information is becoming more standardized. We used to have 10 platforms that broadcast 10 messages. Now we’re moving toward 100 platforms to broadcast five messages.”
The CRTC should take the initiative to defend true diversity, Chabot said. CUPE recommended:
· Increase the number of local production hours for positions in mixed media groups.
· License holders should have to maintain separate structures for news gathering, management and presentation.
· A procedure to govern license applications so media mergers can be assessed in terms of the public interest and diversity of voices.
Paul Moist denounces government that forces National Association of Women and the Law to close
The National Association of Women and the Law closed its doors this week because Stephen Harper’s government cut its funding.
NAWL is just one of the groups that lost its funding after Harper’s minority Tory government changed the mandate of Status of Women Canada –to remove references to “equality”.
“We condemn the decision of Prime Minister Harper and oppose his government’s decision to weaken the mandate of Status of Women. We lend our voice to the millions of women in Canada who continue to oppose violence in the workplace and at home, who struggle for respect and equality in their everyday lives and who refuse to be silenced,” Moist said.
In addition to withdrawing funding from many regional women’s organizations, the Harper government’s cuts have also affected the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) and the Canadian Child Care Advocacy Association (CCAAC).
CUPE members to attend PSI world congress
A group of CUPE members will attend the 100th anniversary world congress of Public Services International in Vienna, Austria, September 24-28, 2007.
They will be among the more than 1,000 delegates who will discuss how strong public services can meet the big challenges now facing the world.
CUPE is affiliated to the PSI, which represents more than 20 million public sector workers in 154 countries.
For more, go to http://www.psi100.org/ and watch for reports from your delegation in Vienna.
Appeal for Hurricane Felix relief
CoDevelopment Canada, a sub-local of CUPE 1004, is calling on CUPE members, the labour movement and other allies from international solidarity circles to help ease the suffering of Nicaraguan residents hit hard by Hurricane Felix.
In the first week of September Hurricane Felix slammed Central America, with northern Nicaragua hit particularly hard by its force. The devastating winds have left many of the country’s most vulnerable indigenous populations without homes and possessions, and the communities of the Miskito Cays have been completely destroyed.
To donate, visit http://www.codev.org/.
CUPE Ontario election bus can’t plough
Organizers banned CUPE Ontario’s election campaign bus from a ploughing match parade in Crosby, Ontario.
The bus, which depicts Liberal leader and premier Dalton McGuinty and Conservative leader John Tory as two sides of the same coin, had been allowed into the parade along with campaign buses from all three parties.
But just before the parade got under way, the CUPE bus’s driver, Tony Christiano, was told that the bus was being barred because of complaints that its message was “too political”.
“Obviously, our message about how the Liberals and Tories have failed the people of Ontario is hitting a nerve,” said CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Fred Hahn.
Despite being rebuffed at the plowing match parade, CUPE Ontario’s bus will continue to take its message across the province.
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