May Day Rally - May 1
Noon - Legislative Building
Then in the evening attend:
Thursday, May 1, 2008
7 pm - 11 pm
The Exchange (2431 8th Ave.), Regina
$7-12 (pay what you can)
All ages, free for kids under 12
"The Supreme Court’s judgment in Health Services signals a crucial change in the discourse of labour rights in Canada. In this case the Court rejects, in principle, its previous stance that the rights to organize and to engage in collective bargaining are not fundamental constitutional rights at all. The reasoning in Health Services stands on a recognition of labour history as establishing that labour rights are fundamental and predate the Charter; of labour rights as reflecting the Charter values of human dignity, equality, liberty, respect for the autonomy of the person and enhancement of democracry and of Canada’s commitments to collective bargaining rights in the international conventions as providing a floor of labour rights for interpretation of freedom of association, s.2 (d) of the Charter." (read more....)
"Why Bills 5 and 6 Matter
Many people misunderstand or are not aware of how Bills 5 and 6 will affect them. Frankly, some people don’t even care. But beware of apathy.
I have to admit, I have friends and family in the apathetic camp. I am not surrounded of “union” types, the “politically correct” crowd and the partisans typically supporting a wide range of causes. I am just like anyone else and even within my family there are people with different opinions in the vast political range.
So why should you care about Bills 5 and 6? Honestly, I can’t tell why you should care, but I will tell you why it matters to me:" (Read more....)
April 28th marks the International Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job.
In 2007, over 800 workers died from workplace injuries and diseases in Canada. Close to a million injuries, half of which are dehabilitating, occur annually.
37 Saskatchewan workers died from job related injuries or illness this past year.
“Last year, a worker died every two weeks in our province. Saskatchewan has the second worst injury rate in the country. We mourn today with all of the families devastated by these deaths and injuries. With heavy hearts, we recognize that so many deaths and injuries could have been prevented,” said SFL President Larry Hubich. (Read more....)
"A bitter harvest for B.C. berry pickers
In a lengthy and stinging ruling, judge details near-feudal conditions endured by immigrant workers harvesting produce
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
April 19, 2008 at 1:02 PM EDT
VANCOUVER — In a stinging 801-page ruling on an employment insurance scam, a federal Tax Court judge says widespread exploitation of Indo-Canadian berry pickers in fields outside Vancouver is reminiscent of scenes from John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
"When a 65-year-old grandmother leaves her village in India, travels nearly two days to Vancouver and is hired within a week by a labour contractor who transports her - at dawn and back at night - in a crowded van for up to eight hours a day so she can earn eight hours pay at minimum wage - or less if paid on piece rate - something is radically wrong with certain aspects of the federal family reunification program and also the berry and vegetable industry in British Columbia," Dwayne Rowe, a Tax Court of Canada judge, stated in a ruling issue this week." (Read more ....)
"...This documentary reveals Canada's darkest secret - the deliberate extermination of indigenous (Native American) peoples and the theft of their land under the guise of religion. This never before told history as seen through the eyes of this former minister (Kevin Annett) who blew the whistle on his own church, after he learned of thousands of murders in its Indian Residential Schools..."
"Legislation restores health care workers' collective bargaining rights
BC Liberals table bill to bring provincial laws into compliance with last June's Supreme Court of Canada ruling that struck down key provisions of Bill 29
April 14, 2008
More than six years after imposing a law that rewrote collective agreements, the BC Liberals have tabled a bill to implement last year’s historic Supreme Court of Canada ruling that struck down key provisions of Bill 29 – the Health and Social Services Delivery Improvement Act, as unconstitutional." (Read more....)
"Anti-Unionism: The Last Legal Hate.Hating unions, ... is not only acceptable in good company, it is encouraged..We live in a society where everyone from a single mother doing a tightrope act on the poverty line to Conrad Black say that they are part of the middle class. The single mother is just indulging in a little of the opiate of the masses she got hooked on in school. Conrad is selling crack. But the Big H when you need to feel better about yourself is still definitely Hate..Thankfully we have managed to get our ruling class to legislate, at least nominally, against the evils of racism, sexism, ageism, and discrimination because of disability or sexual orientation. These haven't disappeared, but like drunk driving, they are no longer anyone will admit to in polite company..However there is one hate that still dares speak it's name: class hate, and because we are a classless society, this is manifested as union hate. Hating unions, and by extension, hating union members is not only acceptable in good company, it is encouraged. Racist jokes are generally now met with stony silence or a polite rebuke. But bring up those unions and everybody has a story to tell." (Read more....) Adobe PDF Format.
2 Subsection 4(1) of The Trade Union Act is amended by adding "not more than" before "two vice-chairpersons".
Worker’s Deserve Public Consultations
The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) applauds the provincial government’s announcement that they will conduct ten public meetings across the province this spring to discuss an overhaul of Saskatchewan Crop Insurance.
“It is important that farmers will have an opportunity to have input into the overhaul of this program which is of vital importance to them”, said SFL President Larry Hubich. “Crop Insurance is vital to farmers and they should be consulted”.
“It’s interesting to contrast this consultation process against the lack of meaningful public consultation when it comes to developing new labour laws (Bills 5 & 6) that are important to all Saskatchewan workers”, Hubich said.
Hubich stated “Labour has asked the Premier, the Labour Minister and other MLA’s to meet on Bills 5 and 6 and to participate in public debates on these issues. To date no elected government members have stepped forward. They are ignoring the workers of our province on these matters”.
“I once again call on the government to abandon Bills 5 & 6 and conduct public hearings or public debates so that we can discuss this legislation in an open, respectful and thoughtful manner. Legislation that affects citizens, whether labour laws or crop insurance, should have broad public consultation. We know that farmers deserve and appreciate being involved – workers deserve the same courtesy and respect”.
"REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has advised The Canadian Press he intends to sue the national news agency for defamation for a headline it ran on a story featuring controversial comments he made on a home-movie videotape made more than 16 years ago.
"The headline of the article is false and defamatory of Premier Wall and, given the breadth of its publication, is likely to result in significant damage to Premier Wall's reputation," says the letter from the premier's lawyers, dispatched Friday to The Canadian Press.
"In an open letter forwarded to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and the Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour, Rob Norris CALL/ACAMS spoke out against the summary replacement of the neutral hearing officers at the Labour Relations Board as an affront to the Board, the public and the stakeholders appearing before it."
From: Saskatoon Northwest [email@example.com]
Sent: Mon 24/03/2008 10:07 AM
Subject: Response from Serge LeClerc-Bill 5 & 6
The Sask Party Government, and myself, feel that Bills 5 & 6 are extremely important pieces of legislation intended for the well being for people of Saskatchewan, and as well speaks to the true fairness that should exist in a democratic country/province. These Bills are also essential for the growth and sustainability of the economy of this province for the financial benefit of all of our citizens - now and in the future.
One bill speaks to essential services legislation which every other province and jurisdiction in Canada has and all we are doing is proposing to implement the best practices that exist in the rest of Canada so that our citizens are protected and not used as pawns in a power struggle over wages: ie snow plow operators going on job action just before a snow storm. This essential services legislation is balanced and fair using as a guideline the best practices what the other provinces currently have in place for their citizens. We are the only province in Canada that does not have this legislation, and we are the only province that puts union/employee/company/crown corporation bargaining ahead of the required mandated safety of its citizens which should and must be utmost for government to insure.
The second bill speaks to the certification and decertification of unions by the employees who they impact. Again, this legislation exists in every other province and jurisdiction in Canada and we have proposed the best practices that currently exist in the rest of Canada. Simply put, it will require democracy to be implemented in the certification, or decertification, process of a union by requiring ballot instead of an open vote during which a person can be bullied, threatened, or intimidated - secret ballot is the mainstead and foundation of all democracies and Saskatchewan is the only province which currently allows open vote. The legislation will also require a 45% vote for certification, or decertification, rather than the current 20% which again only exists in Saskatchewan. Most jursidictions in Canada and the USA require 50% plus 1 and so again, we think that this change is very reasonable and protective of our citizens in the workplace. Further, the legislation requires the best practice which exists throughout the rest of Canada that 50% plus 1 of the total work force within a company which is dealing with the possible certification or decertification of a union must be present for the secret ballot vote.....again, proper protections for all workers in the workplace and true democracy.
Thank you for your interest in Bills 5 & 6 and I trust that my comments on them have put perspective on our belief of the importance of passing these pieces of legislation for the full benefit of all of the people of Saskatchewan and for our future generations.
Serge LeClerc, MLA
Legislative Secretary: Corrections
Constituency Assistant to
Serge LeClerc, MLA
"Golden, BC - On the first anniversary of the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) between BC and Alberta, a group of Golden residents traveled to the provincial border armed with a magnifying glass to challenge one of TILMA's core premises. Upon close examination of the border, they concluded that there are no significant trade barriers to justify an agreement that undermines local democracy." (Read more....)
"Canada blocks asbestos ban
UN Rotterdam treaty on toxic trade restrictions marred by Canada's stance on asbestos
Tuesday April 1st, 2008
Kathleen Ruff is founder of RightOnCanada.ca, a human rights website that supports citizen action. She was the former director of the B.C Human Rights Commission. Barry Castleman is an independent consultant in toxic substances control and author of several books, including most recently, Asbestos: Medical and Legal Aspects."