Saskatchewan Division Convention first stop on Journal de Québec workers’ national tour
Journal de Québec workers launched their cross-country solidarity tour to standing ovations and open chequebooks at the Saskatchewan Division Convention this week.
Locked-out office worker Marie-France Loubier and journalist Marc Fortier told delegates that CUPE has been a lifeline for the 252 members during their 11-month struggle, lending much-needed emotional, financial and organizational support.
Convention delegates pledged their solidarity and their cash to the locked-out and striking workers. CUPE National and CUPE Saskatchewan matched the pledges on the floor, raising a total of $30,000.
The tour also stopped at CUPE’s Alberta Division Convention in Calgary
More tour dates:
* April 3-5: Fredericton, New Brunswick
* April 6-9: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
* April 16-19: Vancouver, British Columbia
* April 24-26: Brandon, Manitoba
* May 5-7: St. John’s, Newfoundland
* May 8-9: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
* May 22-24: Niagara Falls, Ontario
* Last week of May: Toronto, Ontario
Paul Moist at Alberta Division convention
Paul Moist spoke to the CUPE Alberta Division Convention this week. Moist congratulated the division for its recent report on P3 schools.
Moist said of Alberta’s recent elections, “Along with the growing poverty in this region of our country, despite the blatant wealth, the provincial elections are indicators that the grass roots is hurting in Alberta. That is what low election turnouts tell us.”
Moist will remind CUPE delegates that their national union will work side-by-side with them to beat back the drums of privatization in all its forms - including P3s, service reductions, contracting out and legislative attempts to destroy public services.
CUPE Celebrates: 2007 year in review
Just in time for provincial division conventions, CUPE has released its 2007 year in review document, CUPE Celebrates.
The 24-page document chronicles a year in the life of Canada’s biggest union.
CUPE is running a quiz on its website to encourage CUPE members to read CUPE Celebrates. Complete the quiz and you can enter a weekly draw to win a free CUPE knapsack. Visit cupe.ca/quiz to enter.
Ontario home care providers set up phone hotline
Ontario home care staff have set up a telephone hotline for people to tell about their experiences with the province’s contract bidding system.
After halting home care competitive bidding for the second time in four years, the Ontario Liberal government is again considering its next steps without input or public consultation.
“That’s not right,” says CUPE member and home care worker Patricia Pitt-Anderson. “If the government doesn’t want to hear from regular people and home care workers what it’s like to receive care or provide care, we do.”
Since competition was introduced, the quality of care has suffered, working conditions have diminished, and costs have increased as for-profit providers have taken over home care province-wide.
If you have a story about competitive bidding in Ontario home care, call 1-888-599-0770.
Most long-term care workers face violence
York University researchers released a study this week that shows a staggering number of long-term care workers suffer violence on the job.
The study found that 43 percent of personal support workers endure physical violence at work on a daily basis, while another quarter face such violence every week. Most are women, and many are immigrants or from marginalized racial groups.
The study surveyed workers at 71 unionized long-term care facilities in Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia and compared results with similar studies in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
The physical violence experienced by care workers typically includes being slapped or hit with an object. It frequently involves being pinched, bitten, having one’s hair pulled, being poked or spit on. Having one’s wrists twisted is also common.
Researcher Pat Armstrong says most violent incidents go unreported.
“Workers are afraid to report violent incidents, fearing that they will be blamed,” she said.
CUPE Saskatchewan takes on anti-union laws
Tom Graham is quick to point out the new provincial government’s hypocrisy: “The SaskParty demanded public hearings in 2005 when the NDP government introduced changes to labour legislation,” said Graham.
Then-opposition leader Brad Wall said public hearings would make “eminent good sense”.
But now that he’s in government, Wall’s got no plans for public consultations on what Graham calls “extreme” legislation on essential services and the certification process.
The union has set up www.dontgiveuphope.ca to rally support against the laws.