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Vancouver municipal strike begins

Members of CUPE 1004, City of Vancouver outside workers, walked off the job Friday at noon, while local 15 served their 72-hour strike notice. CUPE 389’s 200 outside workers in North Vancouver walked off the job Thursday evening. Both unions’ members have rejected the employer’s last offer in labour board-mandated votes.

In Vancouver, the employer wants to reduce sick pay and vacation and freeze wages for some of the lowest paid workers. In Delta, the employer is forcing the union into mediation. A common theme at other bargaining tables is rollback benefits, callout, sick leave and others.

Protest “security and prosperity” plan

The leaders of Canada, the US and Mexico will be in Montebello Quebec in August to talk about the “next generation” of free trade deals - the Security and Prosperity Partnership - with 30 of their closest corporate friends. Members of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), CEOs of the 30 largest corporations and leaders of key business organizations in the three countries, will be staying with the three leaders at the posh Chateau Montebello.

In contrast, unions, students, women’s and other organizations aren’t invited. In fact they can’t even get near the place. Instead, anti-globalization organizations have planned rallies in Ottawa and in other cities and towns on August 19 to protest this meeting to discuss an initiative that seems designed to secure Canadian and Mexican natural resources for American use.

For more information visit www.nowar-paix.ca.

Stockton California water stays public

Public water activists have won a definitive victory in the four-year fight to stop the privatization of Stockton, California’s water and sewer systems. On July 17, the City of Stockton voted to drop their appeal of a court ruling that had overturned the privatization of the city’s water operations. The ruling ordered the city to cancel its contract with OMI-Thames – one of the largest water multinationals – and return operations to municipal control.

Congratulations to the Concerned Citizens and their supporters. This is great news for water activists everywhere,” says CUPE national president Paul Moist. “It’s also a lesson in persistence. The coalition members kept fighting – even when it looked like they’d lost.”

Pacific Blue Cross workers serve 72-hour strike notice

CUPE 1816 served its 72-hour strike notice July 18 after the employer put 35 signed-off issues back on the table. CUPE 1816 president Beth Miller said “We’re eager to reach a fair settlement for our members, but we are not willing to walk away from collective agreement language that was negotiated in good faith but which the employer is suddenly wanting to withdraw.”

FastFacts in your inbox!

Did you know you can get FastFacts by e-mail? To sign up for this service, please send an e-mail to clandry@cupe.ca. Make sure to include your name, Local number, e-mail address and province.