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Ontario municipal strikes continue

Bargaining continued in Toronto as CUPE 416 and 79 members walked picket lines, and residents faced a month without garbage, city-run day care, pools, parks, or other services.

Toronto paramedics - most of whom are at work according to an essential services agreement - donned black t-shirts to support other members of the striking locals.  Management sent some home, while others worked their shifts as per usual.

Meanwhile, CUPE 82 and 543 in Windsor began month three on strike by allowing members to vote on Mayor Eddie Francis’ latest offer.  Local leadership were putting the offer to their members with a recommendation to reject the offer.

The outcome of the vote was not known at ‘press time’, but controversy over back-to-work protocol seemed to doom whatever chances it might have had.

Support for Lanark ACL workers

More than 100 CUPE members and others rallied July 14 to support 90 members of CUPE 1521-02, on strike since July 4 at Community Living Association Lanark.

National President Paul Moist brought solidarity and support from CUPE members across the country.

At issue in the strike is the employer’s refusal to let their staff join the Multi-Sector Pension Plan.  The union argues their proposal wouldn’t cost any more money and that staff at other ACLs in Ontario are already part of the plan.

BC health authorities announce cuts

Health Minister Kevin Falcon’s hard line on health care budgets will cost BC residents in quality of care, HEU said this week.

Falcon announced there would be no new money for health care this week, despite growing populations and increasing needs.

HEU’s assistant-secretary business manager Bonnie Pearson said the cuts would make it harder to get diagnostic and treatment services as well long-term care.

West Nipissing Town Council votes against privatized ambulance service

West Nipissing Town Council voted unanimously this week to keep their ambulance service public.

Handing ambulance service over to for-profit companies with no connection or loyalty to our community is the wrong way to go” said CUPE 1101 Vice President Denis Allard.

Now it’s up to the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (NDSSAB) to decide if it will listen to the community.

Colombian union keeps up the fight against privatization

Former public sector workers in Cali, Colombia are trying to eke out a living while waiting for justice in the courts and at the ILO.

The government liquidated the publicly-owned corporations that provided Cali’s basic municipal services March 26, 2009.

SINTRAEMSIRVA have been maintaining a camp outside company headquarters, suing the government over the mass firings, and working with other levels of government to create a viable, alternative public service company.

In late May, the union - with support from PSI - filed a complaint with the ILO over the liquidation of EMSIRVA and the illegal firings of the workers.

Paul Moist gives support to striking Inco workers

Paul Moist sent a letter to steelworkers on strike against Vale Inco in Sudbury, Ontario, encouraging them to stay strong.

The current recession must not become ground cover for employers to roll back the clock on long fought-for gains for workers,” Moist wrote.  “We are witnessing such attacks in the public sector and we pledge our full support for Inco workers.”

:te/cope 491