CUPE in court for casual workers’ rights
CUPE representatives went before a New Brunswick court this week to overturn a law which prevents casual workers from joining a union.
New Brunswick labour law does not consider people hired for less than six months to be “employees”. This prevents them from joining unions and receiving other employee benefits.
Employers exploit this law blatantly, hiring workers for just short of six months, laying them off for two weeks, then re-hiring them.
But the Supreme Court decision on BC’s Bill 29, which makes joining a union a Charter-protected right may change all that.
“This decision is very significant for this case. We have been arguing all along that, under the Charter of Rights, casual workers have the right to belong to a union,” CUPE National President Paul Moist said. “The judge will now hear arguments on how it applies to casuals in New Brunswick.”
Vancouver strikers make lemonade
There’s that saying, “when life (or your employer) gives you lemons…”
Always trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation, CUPE 15 and CUPE 391 members set up a lemonade stand yesterday to inform the public about what they refer to as “lemons” they’ve been handed by the city.
The strikers handed out more than glasses of lemonade yesterday along with information sheets and engaging conversation.
Nova Scotia strike ban law dies
Nova Scotia Premier Rodney McDonald’s plans to take away the right to strike from some 32,000 health care workers in Nova Scotia appears doomed.
This week, Liberal Leader Stephen MacNeil said his party won’t support a ban on health care strikes.
CUPE had joined in a coalition of seven health care unions to fight the planned legislation.
CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh was thrilled. “We are very pleased that the Liberals have seen through this clearly political move by the MacDonald government. They know as well as we do, that such a ban would make health shortages worse in our province, not better.”
CUPE Ontario riding its own election bus
CUPE Ontario representatives are touring the province with their own bus, during the election.
The bus, which features giant caricatures of Dalton McGuinty and John Tory on its sides, will appear across the province.
“The people of Ontario deserve better government,” said Candace Rennick, a Vice-President of CUPE Ontario. “The McGuinty Liberals have yet to reverse many of the Tory policies that have devastated this province.”
Carleton Board of Governors tries to dump student rep over strike
CUPE 2424’s strike against Carleton University entered its second week this week. Meanwhile the university’s board of governors moved to expel its student representative for supporting the union.
The board demanded that undergraduate student representative Shelley Melanson resign over her criticism of the university’s labour relations.
Melanson, who is also president of the Carleton University Students Association, spoke on behalf of her association in support of the union.
CUPE 2424 represents 700 professional, office, technical and support staff at Carleton University. The strike began September 5.
Appeal court backs locked-out Journal workers
CUPE members locked out at Le Journal de Québec can keep publishing their newspaper, MediaMatinQuebec, after the Québec appeal court ruled in their favour this week.
Quebecor had applied for an injunction to prevent the paper from publishing, arguing, in part, that the employees still had an obligation to remain loyal to their employer and not ply their trade elsewhere.
Workers at Le Journal de Québec have been locked out since April 22.
Provinces must create literacy, essential skills programs
CUPE is calling on the provinces to use available federal transfer money to create literacy and essential skills programs that meet the needs of Canadian workers.
“Nine million working-age Canadians don’t have the literacy skills they need. That’s why we need a federal-provincial process that prioritizes developing good literacy training programs,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.
“September 8 is International Literacy Day and Canada could and should be a world leader on literacy,” emphasized Moist.
Strike starts, ends at Hearst Power
A strike by three CUPE members at Hearst Power Distribution Company Ltd. in Hearst Ontario started and ended this week.
“We are happy we were able to reach an agreement that is mutually satisfactory,” said Denis Régimbald, CUPE national representative. Workers will now return to work.
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