Thursday, 31 July 2008

Working Families Struggling in U.S. - Unions Make a BIG Difference


"BILL MOYERS JOURNAL analyzes the growing inequality gap on the ground in Los Angeles where recently union workers marched to bring attention to how they are getting squeezed out of the shrinking middle class."

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

SFL Files Charter Challenge of Bills 5 and 6


The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour issued the following news release today:

SFL Files Charter Challenge of Bills 5 and 6
for immediate release July 29th, 2008

Today the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) filed a Statement of Claim with the Court of Queen’s Bench, launching a constitutional challenge of Bills 5 and 6.

The Bills were passed in the spring session of the legislature amid protest from workers and their unions across the province. Union leaders argued that Bills 5 and 6 violate workers’ rights to free collective bargaining and to organize new unions.

The SFL has campaigned against Bills 5 and 6 to demonstrate to the government the damaging effects of its labour legislative agenda. Under the legal arm of the campaign, the SFL will now argue in court that the Bills violate workers’ freedoms under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The unions will similarly argue that the Bills violate international laws that protect workers’ rights.

“Bills 5 and 6 reverse a sixty-five year history in our province of recognizing and expanding workers’ right to organize in order to secure safe working conditions and decent wages and benefits. The government cannot justify this rolling back of workers’ rights,” said SFL President Larry Hubich.

“In a world where corporate profits soar and income gaps and wage inequality are widening at an alarming rate, workers need now more than ever the ability to collectively bargain and to join unions. The labour movement is clear: we have no choice but to stand up for workers and to defend their right to free collective bargaining,” added Hubich.

The unions are asking the court to strike down Bills 5 and 6.

As of July 29th, eighteen unions have added their names as co-plaintiffs.

The SFL represents nearly 95,000 unionized workers from 37 affiliated unions in Saskatchewan.

Download the News Release in PDF format here.

Download the Statement of Claim in PDF format here.

What are they trying to hide?

Joe Kuchta over at the "Owls and Roosters Blog" has recently posted an interesting entry entitled: Sask. Party gov’t denies access to records for Ministers Norris & Gantefoer and DMs Young & Matthies; Stewart & Botting meet with contributors. The entry raises some very intriguing questions such as - Why is the government refusing to release the Minister of Labour's calendar and the calendar of his Deputy Minister, under an Access to Information request?

Could it be because doing so would reveal/confirm that the Minister and his officials have been consulting extensively with business representatives, anti-union bosses, employer associations, union busters, and corporate lawyers while avoiding and outright refusing to meet with workers and their democratic organizations?

You tell me.

And while you're over at the "Owls and Roosters Blog" take some time to read the posting entitled: The ties that bind: Saskatchewan Party & Conservative Party of Canada; MLAs and MPs swap donations. More interesting revelations!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Premiers sold out to corporate pressure at Council of the Federation meeting, says Council of Canadians

The Council of Canadians has issued a news release citing the recently announced proposed amendments to the Agreement of Internal Trade (AIT) as a massive sell-out of democracy and complete capitulation by Canadian Provincial Premiers to their corporate masters.

Last week, Federation of Labour Presidents from across Canada met in Quebec City and issued a news release denouncing the actions of Canadian Premiers for similar reasons.

Other groups and organizations have raised concerns about the anti-democratic and secretive behaviour of the Canadian Premiers, see:

Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Canadian Union of Public Employees
The Progressive Economics Forum

Friday, 18 July 2008

Viterra to Hubich: Get our logo off your blog - OR ELSE!!!

On Saturday, July 12, 2008 I posted an entry on my blog entitled: Union Busting - Viterra Style. The blog entry displayed a graphic which included the Viterra Logo followed by the words: "= Union Busters". As you will see the offending graphic has been removed from the blog entry and replaced.

On Friday, July 18, 2008 my office received a letter from Viterra's Corporate Counsel advising me to remove the logo from my blog, or else. A screen shot of the letter is posted immediately below.
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You can view a PDF scan of the full letter from Viterra's Corporate Counsel by clicking here.

*UPDATE* A friend of mine just sent me an e-mail and suggested Googling for images using the word "Viterra" just to see if any other web-sites have displayed the Viterra Logo. So I did. I wonder how many of these have received threatening letters from the company's lawyer.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

What To Do (If your unionized employees realize your offer sucks and they go on strike)

Here's a great "How To" pamphlet put out by the GSU to assist managers confronted by challenging collective bargaining.
Click the graphic to download the pamphlet.