Tag Archives: postal workers

News: Air Canada Strike Blocked, CUPW Takes Government to Court, Hate Speech, and George W. Bush War Crimes

  • Air Canada flight attendants have been blocked from striking Thursday as they must stay on the job throughout the labour dispute until the Canadian Industrial Relations Board comes to a decision about the effect a strike would have on the health and safety of the public.
  • CUPW, the union representing postal workers, has mounted a legal battle against the government, arguing that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was violated by the back-to-work legislation that ended their strike this past summer.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada is hearing a case set to debate the right to free speech vs. the ban on hate speech. The case regards the distribution of homophobic flyers in Saskatchewan a decade ago.
  • Amnesty International is calling on Canada to arrest George W. Bush when he visits B.C. next week and say that both Canadian and International law requires it.

Postal Union Taking Battle to Court

CUPW is going to fight the legislation the federal government passed forcing postal workers back to work in court.

Gerry Deveau, national director for the Ontario region of the CUPW, says Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains the right to belong to a union and Canada’s labour code protects the right to collective bargaining.

It’s on those grounds, the union wants to file a legal challenge, he said.

The court case will target one of the main sticking points over the bill — the wage settlements.

The government legislated a wage increase of 1.57 per cent, which is lower than the 1.9 per cent that Canada Post had put on the table earlier this month in negotiations with its workers.

“We want to challenge the government legislating us back to work at less than what the corporation offered at a time when the cost of living is far greater than what the government has imposed upon us,” Deveau said.

Thanks for the heads up Jim…

Yesterday, Jim Flaherty let arts organizations know that they should be counting on any federal support.

“One thing I’d say, and maybe it’s different than it used to be, is we actually don’t believe in festivals and cultural institutions assuming that year after year after year they’ll receive government funding,” Flaherty said.

That’s right – according to the Conservatives, arts (and I’d like to also add women’s) organizations don’t deserve sustainable funding to keep them afloat and operating on a long term basis. Instead, short term, non-guaranteed grants that require the work of  the lengthy application process and need to be requested again and again are a good use of these organizations efforts.  Flaherty’s comment might as well have stopped at: “One thing I’d say, and maybe it’s different than it used to be, is we actually don’t believe in festivals and cultural institutions.”

Corporations on the other hand should continue to expect tax cuts and legislation in their favour (for example, the back-to-work legislation directed at Canada Post workers that included set pay increases, among other things, that are less than inflation; in other words, legislated pay cuts).

News: IMF chooses first female leader, a better economy (actually), and Nunavat women’s shelter

The International Monetary Fund has picked French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as their new leader following Dominic Strauss-Kahn’s resignation (who recently sexually assaulted a hotel housekeeper). Lagarde will be the first woman to head the organization but while that sounds like a positive move on the surface the choice isn’t necessarily a good thing. The selection is expected to provoke protests from developing countries as the position has always been filled by a European, maintaining global financial power dynamics.

Duncan Cameron reclaims using the concern for the economy excuse from the Conservatives, arguing that their version of ‘promoting the economy’ is illogical, and calling out the Conservatives real agenda which is to privatize our public sector. Great read, definitely check it out.

In the real world, the economy is about people working together to meet each other’s needs. The people who do the work are the economic creators, not the corporations who cheat workers by paying them considerably less than their work is worth to the company. Profits come out of unpaid labour, and are increased by unpaid taxes; and, they certainly do not equate to economic well-being for people.

The parliamentary debate instigated by the New Democratic opposition leads naturally to a wider debate. Whose economy is it? What is the economy for? How do we improve economic well-being? This is the debate the Conservatives want to avoid. Unthinking acceptance of conventional wisdom serves the Harper government. Challenging Harper’s people on the economy is a good way to spend the four years until the next election.

In Nunavat, high rates of violent crime and a lack of resources has put substantial strain on Baffin Island’s only women’s shelter.