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Manitoba mourns Shannon Scromeda

Delegates at CUPE Manitoba’s convention passed a resolution against domestic violence April 23rd, in memory of CUPE 500 activist Shannon Scromeda who was beaten to death by her partner April 19th.

Scromeda, 25, was a City of Winnipeg worker and Local 500 member.  She was an activist in the union and mother of a four year old son.

Delegates are meeting in Brandon this week at the 45th Annual CUPE Manitoba Convention.  They are addressing almost 50 resolutions dealing with a range of issues facing members in their workplaces and communities.

Drunk driver seriously injures CUPE 500 member

CUPE 500 member Michael Pacheco, 27, had been working for only two days when a drunk driver crushed his legs.

Pacheco was walking behind a city pickup truck when he was hit by a vehicle driven by a 51 year old woman.  She has been charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm.

CUPE joins ‘People’s Summit’ in New Orleans

CUPE participated in the New Orleans People’s Summit this week, which coincided with the latest Security and Prosperity Partnership leaders’ summit.

The summit includes groups based in New Orleans, other parts of the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Québec.

The expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement under the Security Prosperity and Partnership (SPP) agreement will increase free trade and militarization throughout the North American continent.

CUPE’s delegation to the New Orleans People’s Summit took part in workshops examining issues like privatization, immigration, and deregulation in the context of NAFTA and the SPP.

CUPE files complaint over TQS plans to eliminate news

CUPE Québec will file a complaint with Canada’s broadcast regulator over TV network TQS’s plans to eliminate its news programming.

The diversity of voices is being wiped out before our very eyes,” said Jean Chabot, the president of CUPE’s communications sector council in Québec.

Québec City will be particularly hard hit”, Chabot said.  “It will be increasingly difficult for people there to find out what’s going on in their city.  That’s worrying for quality of information and public debate in a democratic society”.

TQS’s broadcast license requires the network to provide 14.5 hours of local news in Montréal and 9.5 hours in Québec City.

“If TQS wants to change its license requirements, the time to do it is when their license is up for renewal in Fall 2009,” Chabot says.

The union also expects to fight over what TQS’s new owner, Remstar, owes its members at TQS.

CUPE Alberta cautiously optimistic about provincial budget

CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz congratulated the provincial government this week for finally getting rid of health care premiums.

CUPE has been calling for the elimination of these fees for years,” said Lanovaz.

Lanovaz also praised the decision to spend $22 billion on infrastructure but raised fears that the money would be spent on public-private partnerships.

P3s and pensions expert at May trustees meeting

The CUPE pension trustees meeting, in Ottawa, May 12 - 14, will feature noted P3 and pension expert, University du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) professor, Éric Pineault.  There’s still time to register.

Pineault will give the keynote presentation on problems associated with pension investments into public private partnerships.

Other meeting highlights:

• Murray Gold of the firm Koskie Minsky LLP will give the opening address on current and future challenges of pension plans.
• Diane Urquhart, an independent financial analyst and investor rights activist will give a presentation on transparency, responsibility, and governance of pension plans.

To register: http://cupe.ca/forms/trusteeconf.php

Journal workers mark ‘sad anniversary’ with rally

Former FTQ president Henri Massé fired up locked out Journal de Québec workers and their supporters in front of the newspaper’s offices this week, as the lockout passed the one year mark.

The first issue in this conflict is the employer,” Massé said.  “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a nasty, nasty employer.”

Journal de Québec union spokesperson Denis Bolduc reminded the crowd that his members were locked out of the biggest circulation daily in Québec, by a company making $25 million in profit.

Give your workplace an environmental audit

Get a sense of how green your workplace is by taking the CUPE Green Workplace Audit at http://cupe.ca/forms/ecoaudit.php

Answer ten questions that grade your workplace on ten different environmental items (for example, recycling, paper use, transportation).

Your score will be calculated and sent to CUPE National.  Prizes will be awarded for the greenest workplaces.

:te/cope 491