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CUPE to push labour agenda for next federal budget

CUPE’s national leadership approved a labour agenda for the next federal budget at its December meeting.

The budget - promised for January 27 in return for its survival - will make or break the Harper government.  The Conservatives will need the support of one of the opposition parties to get the budget approved.

In case Stephen Harper realizes that another ‘do-nothing’ plan for the economy will win him a one way ticket to political obscurity, unions in this country have some proposals for steering the economy through this recession,” said Paul Moist.

CUPE supports Canada Post strikers

CUPE’s National Executive Board joined UPCE members on strike against Canada Post at a rally in front of Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier December 17, to present a $10,000 donation.

The rally coincided with Canada Post President Moya Green giving a speech inside the hotel.

How on earth can Canada Post say it cares about the health of its employees when it wants to take away their sick leave from them?” Paul Moist asked the crowd.

Abitibi Bowater:  Kudos to Danny Williams

Paul Moist has written to Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams to congratulate him for revoking Abitibi Bowater’s water and forestry rights after the multinational announced it was closing its Grand Falls-Windsor mill.

Williams argued the move - which will cost the jobs of 750 workers - violated the agreement signed between Abitibi Bowater’s predecessor company and the province.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians expect them to honour their historic commitments to their province.  If they cannot do that, then they have no right to assets that rightfully belong to the people of the province, Moist wrote.

CUPE transit workers and City of Ottawa settle

CUPE 5500 reached a tentative agreement with the City of Ottawa this week.

The local’s 140 members, who work for OC Transpo as route supervisors, garage supervisors, and special constables will vote on the offer December 22.

OCHU warns McGuinty against hospital ‘funding freeze’

Michael Hurley says the Ontario government must do better than its promised 2.1% increase to hospital funding and should not consider a funding freeze.

The president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions said that even with the McGuinty Liberals’ promise of a 2.1% funding increase, hospitals would still deprive patients of 4,000 staff and would cost 1,000 people their jobs.

If funding is frozen, there would be 5,000 layoffs.

Labour rules Quebecor used scabs in Journal de Québec strike

Quebecor has been found guilty of using at least a dozen scabs during its dispute with CUPE at the Journal de Québec.

The ruling clarifies the definition of ‘establishment’ beyond just brick and mortar, arguing that the fact that the scabs weren’t working in the Journal building wasn’t relevant for determining whether or not they were strikebreaking.

York TAs and students occupy university president’s office

More than 120 CUPE 3903 members and student supporters occupied the hallway outside the office of York University President Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri December 15.

The protesters are asking that Dr. Shoukri join them in order to answer a list of 12 questions.  They are also calling on Shoukri to sign a written commitment to hold a public forum in the first week of January.

CUPE 3903’s 3400 contract faculty, teaching assistants and research assistants have been on strike since November 6.

Red Deer Museum employees join CUPE

The nine curators and visitor information staff at the Red Deer Museum have voted to join CUPE

CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz said the group was motivated to join the union to protect their working conditions and benefits, particularly after the museum attempted to change pension plans.

Campaign to Turn on the Tap and Ditch the Bottle

CUPE is part of a broad-based coalition of organizations in Nova Scotia pushing municipalities and school boards to stop selling bottled water and use tap water instead.

The ‘Campaign to Turn on the Tap and Ditch the Bottle’ launched this week.

The group will be making presentations to municipalities in Nova Scotia and hopes to have some of them come on board by March 22, World Water Day.

The coalition is made up of the following organizations:  Ecology Action Centre, CUPE Nova Scotia, The  Council of Canadians, KAIROS Halifax, Polaris Institute, Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Environmental Network, and Oxfam Canada: Maritimes.

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