CUPE sues Sackville over water sell-off
CUPE will be in a New Brunswick court Sept. 17 to argue that Sackville town council’s decision to privatize its water treatment facility violates the province’s municipalities law.
The union will argue that council acted in secrecy, in bad faith and against the province’s municipalities act by “subdelegating” its responsibility to maintain the city’s water supply. Sackville council voted Feb. 12 to contract-out the operation of its water treatment plant, they claimed, to deal with water quality issues.
Six weeks later, council gave the contract to Veolia Water, a corporation that does $14.5 billion in business in 59 countries, mostly in privatized municipal water facilities.
CUPE’s court documents allege that the whirlwind decision to privatize the town’s water system was taken in secret and without public consultation.
Along with the decision to privatize its water treament, town council also raised its water rates - around 38 per cent from 2006.
CUPE member awarded LGBTT music prize
A CUPE member is a winner of an international prize for lesbian and gay music.
Michael Gfroerer, composer and pianist, won the International Lesbian and Gay Cultural Network’s Orfeo Musica Award for his work in creating music that focuses on lesbian, gay and trans identity and importance.
Gfroerer is a member of CUPE 2998, which represents community centre workers in Toronto.
Montebello provocateurs: Time for a public inquiry
CUPE has called for a public inquiry into an incident at recent protests in Montebello, QC, where provincial police officers were caught on video impersonating demonstrators.
While police officials admitted - after days of denials - their officers were disguised as protesters against Security and Prosperity Partnership meetings in the western Quebec resort town, they insist they weren’t trying to provoke violence.
A YouTube video tells a very different story. The clip shows the three men hurling obscenities at the riot police. One is brandishing a rock, another an empty beer bottle. One shoved CEP president David Coles.
Why is the SQ trying to cover up possibly criminal behaviour? What orders were these three agents following? Why were they trying to disrupt their own efforts to “keep the peace”?
New Brunswick highway worker killed
CUPE 1190 member Richard Gallant was killed near Moncton, NB this week when a tractor-trailer crashed through his crew’s work site. Three other workers were also injured, one seriously.
“We are offering our condolences to his family,” said CUPE 1190 President Andrew Hardy.
Hardy urged drivers to slow down when they see construction signs and to be aware of workers on the road, “especially at this time of the year when road construction is at its peak.”
Four scabs at Le Journal de Québec
Québec’s labour board has ruled that management at Le Journal de Québec has been using scabs during the lockout, which began April 22. The province’s labour code makes it illegal for management to hire scabs.
While the law is considered progressive among unions, in practice it is very hard for unions to prove that an employer is using scabs. But on August 23, the unions did it.
“It’s a big victory for us,” said Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for the CUPE locals locked out at the newspaper. “You might even say it’s a real coup.” Bolduc invited management to return to the negotiating table. “That’s the only place where we’ll be able to settle this conflict.”
Vancouver and CUPE trade offers
CUPE locals on strike against the City of Vancouver traded offers this week as the strike entered its sixth week.
CUPE 15 said it was open to more talks, whether face-to-face or with a mediator.
“CUPE has negotiated 12 contracts with civic employers throughout the Lower Mainland in recent weeks,” says CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro. “The City of Vancouver needs to sit down with its workers and hammer out a negotiated settlement.”
Harrow child care workers join CUPE
Child care workers in Harrow, near Windsor, ON voted to join CUPE, Aug 23. The 11 early childhood educators and child care workers at the Harrow Child Care Centre overwhelmingly voted to join CUPE in a labour board supervised vote.
“CUPE is committed to organize child care professionals, like our new members from Harrow child care centre,” said Laura Moore, CUPE national representative. “Our strength in numbers and experience in the child care sector will help elevate the quality of child care and improve working conditions for child care professionals.”
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