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Flight attendants rally against cuts

Flight attendants and their allies staged rallies across Canada July 28 to protest Air Canada’s plans to eliminate 600 jobs and close bases in Halifax and Winnipeg.

On July 10, Air Canada management notified all flight attendants in the Halifax and Winnipeg bases that they would be laid off in November.

Since then the union has launched a campaign to fight the cuts and the closures.

The union won a victory July 25 when federal labour minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn rejected Air Canada’s request to skip the consultation process required under the Canada Labour Code when laying off more than 50 employees.
More than 3,200 people have e-mailed their MPs about the flight attendant layoffs.

Mexico City won’t fall for energy trap

Over 800,000 residents of Mexico City voted against legislation to privatize Mexico’s nationalized energy sector in a referendum this week.  85% of voters rejected opening the publicly-owned Petrolos Mexicanos (PEMEX) to foreign investment.

Despite President Felipe Calderon’s opposition to any sort of referendum, 5,600 voting booths were staffed by over 17,000 volunteers in a civil society consultation.

LaPointe seeks NDP nomination for Nelson-Creston

CUPE activist Bev LaPointe is seeking the provincial NDP nomination for Nelson-Creston.

LaPointe has been a municipal worker for nearly 30 years and has been general vice-president for CUPE BC since 2005.

LaPointe says it would be a privilege to follow in the footsteps of Corky Evans, the veteran MLA and former NDP cabinet minister who has announced that he will not be seeking re-election.

Candace Rennick to join long-term care stakeholder team

Long term care worker and CUPE Ontario vice-president Candace Rennick has been appointed to the stakeholder team that will implement a government-sponsored report on long-term care.

CUPE will be pleased to ensure that everyone at this table hears labour’s perspective on each and every recommendation in Ms. Sharkey’s report,” Rennick says.

Rennick will join a small team of other stakeholders from the long-term care sector, including home operators, experts and others, to guide the implementation of Sharkey’s recommendations.

Union leaders say free trade will hurt, not help Colombia

Free trade with Colombia will lead to worse human and labour rights abuses and further devastation of communities at risk, Canada’s public sector leaders said at a news conference in Bogota on July 24.

The heads of four Canadian public sector unions – including Paul Moist – toured Colombia earlier in July to examine the human rights and labour situation in Canada’s newest free trade “partner”.

“Colombia continues to be the most dangerous country on earth for trade unions and civil society activists,” the leaders’ statement read.  “Since the beginning of 2008, 32 trade unionists have been assassinated.  We have also observed that Colombia has no juridical framework that permits free collective bargaining.”

CUPE Ontario float part of Toronto’s Caribana parade

CUPE Ontario’s Racial Justice Committee will be jumping up at Toronto’s Caribana parade, August 2.
The float will have a tropical theme with sparkling palm and coconut trees, and brilliant pink, yellow and green decorations, organizers say.

The annual Caribbean culture festival brings more than 1 million people to Toronto every year.  The parade is Toronto’s biggest.

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