Premiers fail to break ground
The premiers’ meeting in Moncton this week did not break ground on climate change, energy or aboriginal poverty, but it signaled an ongoing lack of leadership on all three as well as on inter-provincial trade.
There was no agreement on climate change because Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach rejects the ‘cap and trade’ proposals. The premiers did not agree on internal trade. British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell aggressively promoted TILMA while others supported the existing agreement.
The premiers also heard from hundreds of citizens who protested outside the Council of the Federation meeting. They were telling the premiers and Harper that making deals in secret like the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement does not make for good politics or good business.
“The eastern premiers need to reassess their support for Atlantica, a secret deal similar to TILMA,” Moist said.
Vancouver stalls talks, ignores other settlements
Six days of closed-door bargaining did little to end the strike in Vancouver, according to the three municipal locals still off the job. CUPE 15, CUPE 391 and CUPE 1004 lifted the media blackout late last week after getting nowhere with Vancouver managers.
“Last time we met with this employer they spent 2 hours and 22 minutes out of two days actually meeting with us. The rest of the time, they caucused amongst themselves,” said Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 president. “This time, it’s worse. Out of a possible six days, we spent 4 hours and 13 minutes with the employer.”
MédiaMatinQuébec makes its internet debut
People looking for real local information in Québec City and who want to support workers on strike against Quebecor’s Le Journal de Québec can visit MédiaMatinQuébec. Visitors can read all the news, view photos and ads as well as download a PDF of the strikers’ newspaper.
The 280 CUPE members at Le Journal de Québec have been off the job since April 22 after Quebecor forced some employees on strike and locked out the rest.
www.mediamatinquebec.com (french only)
Stephen: where are we on medicare?
Stephen Harper says doctors taking public and private money is a conflict of interest. Now that the CMA has come out in favour of it, wouldn’t it be good to hear from him again?
On July 30, 2007, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released a statement calling on governments to expand private insurance and private clinics and to allow doctors to charge the public system and top-up with private-paying clients.
The CMA wants:
* doctors to be allowed to work in both the public system and the private system;
* public funding routed to for-profit providers; and,
* private insurance for medically necessary services.
CUPE National President Paul Moist urges CUPE members to write to Stephen Harper and get him to side with Canadians and against the CMA’s proposals to enrich doctors at the expense of patients and the health care system.
Labour Day: Can’t wait for child care!
CUPE’s national child care working group is encouraging locals to make child care a visible issue this Labour Day in parades, on floats, at picnics and other events.
* Organize a group of people to wear extra-large t-shirts stuffed with a beach ball or pillow, with slogans about the need for child care on their bellies. Real pregnant women are of course welcome, as are men and children!
* Visit www.cupe.ca for slogan stickers and artwork to make into t-shirt transfers.
* Order stickers with a child care message to wear and distribute; delivery can’t be guaranteed after Aug. 20 in time for Labour Day, so order early.
* Take pictures of your activities, so they can be posted on the CUPE national web site.
To order stickers, and for more information, visit: www.cupe.ca/childcare/Labour_Day_actions_C
Toronto contracts in former city’s garbage
Residents in Toronto’s former City of York had their garbage collected by CUPE members again this week. Toronto council voted recently to contract in several garbage collection services to both save money and make it easier to meet the city’s waste reduction goals.
The city expects using city workers to collect garbage in the former city’s 40,000 homes will save some $4 million a year. Apart from the savings, CUPE 416 president Brian Cochrane says the decision will make it easier for the city to meet its waste diversion targets.
“We’ve always said that for the city to meet its targets for recycling and waste diversion it needed to have more control over the waste stream - from curb to landfill,” Cochrane said. “Now we’re almost there.”
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