Postal unions challenge home mail delivery decision

Description: The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is going to court to challenge Canada Post’s plans to phase out home mail delivery in urban centres.

Source: CBC

Date: 10/16/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-post-court-challenge-launched-to-save-home-mail-delivery-1.2800697

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What does the union want the courts to do?
  • What does the union intend to argue before the court?
  • What do you think of the union’s arguments?
  • Why does Canada Post say it is necessary to phase out home delivery?
  • What do you think about phasing out home mail delivery?

Tories seek debate limits as Bill C-377 returns to Senate

Description: Conservative senators are attempting to limit debate on private member’s bills as a controversial bill affecting unions goes back to the upper house.

Source: National Post

Date: 09/21/2014

Link: http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/21/tories-move-to-limit-debate-in-senate-as-controversial-union-bill-heads-back-to-upper-chamber/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What would Bill C-377 do?
  • Summarize the arguments in favour of Bill C-377.
  • Summarize the arguments against Bill C-377.
  • Do you think the bill is necessary?
  • What happened to the bill the first time it went before the Senate?

Unions and the changing economy

Description: For many Canadians, Labour Day may not have the same significance it once did.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 09/01/2014

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/evolving-work-force-presents-new-challenges-to-unions/article20290383/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What does the article describe as the aims of the labour movement in its early days?
  • What recent changes to the economy have proved challenging to unions?
  • How have unions responded?
  • Have you ever belonged to a union?
  • What are your feelings about unions? Are they necessary?

Tory leader backs away from ‘right-to-work’

Description: Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak is no longer calling for “right-to-work” laws.

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 02/21/2014

Link: http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/02/21/tim_hudak_renounces_antiunion_righttowork_plan.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is “right to work”?
  • Consult your text: what is the Rand Formula?
  • Do you think the Rand Formula is fair?
  • Why or why not?
  • Why do you think Hudak backed away from his “right to work” plans?

Considering the union wage premium

Description: Unionized Canadians make more than their non-union counterparts, but the concept of the union “wage premium” is a complex one.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 02/05/2014

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/it-still-pays-to-be-in-a-union-but-for-how-long/article16697608/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the union “wage premium”?
  • Why does the author say this premium “tends to be overestimated”?
  • What are some of the forces that threaten this premium?
  • Do you agree with the statement that “belonging to a union may seem like an antiquated notion to many in today’s work environment”?
  • Why or why not?

 

Unifor leader says it’s time to ‘stop playing defence’

Description: Jerry Dias, the new leader of Unifor, says it is time for unions to go on the offensive. He promises to spend 10 per cent of the newly merged union’s revenues on organizing and increasing membership.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 08/31/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/newly-elected-unifor-leader-says-he-is-taking-labour-movement-on-the-offensive/article14063604/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What did Dias say about young people and those who traditionally have not belonged to unions?
  • Do you agree that “young people today are crying for a union”?
  • Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Have you ever belonged to a union?
  • If so, describe briefly the pros and cons of the experience.

US fast-food workers strike for higher minimum wage

Description: Despite protests by fast-food workers around the U.S., Congress appears to have little interest in increasing the minimum wage.

Source: CNN

Date: 08/30/2013

Link: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/29/politics/minimum-wage-congress-obama/index.html?iref=allsearch

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Give a brief description of the reasons U.S. fast-food workers are walking off their jobs.
  • What is the minimum wage where you live?
  • Review the CNN story and the related links. What are the arguments for and against raising the minimum wage?
  • Which arguments do you find the most persuasive?
  • Have you worked in the fast-food industry? Do you think you were paid enough? Discuss.

Steelworkers, TWU to merge

Description: The United Steelworkers union, which represents 225,000 Canadian workers, and the Telecommunications Workers Union, which represents 13,000, have tentatively agreed to merge – the second large private-sector union merger of the year.

Source: CBC

Date: 08/30/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/08/30/steelworkers-telecommunications-union-merger.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:What sort of workers does the Steelworkers union represent?

  • What sort of workers does the Telecommunications Workers union represent?
  • What reasons do the unions give for wanting to merge?
  • What is the next step in this process?
  • Why do you think the TWU is supporting Canada’s Big Three telecommunications companies on the issue of Verizon’s possible entry into this country?

Unions good for local economies, CLC report argues

Description: A Canadian Labour Congress report says unionized workers earn an average of almost $5 an hour more than their non-union counterparts, pumping more than $78 million a week into local economies.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Date: 08/21/2013

Link: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Higher+union+wages+pump+extra+money+into+local+economy+labour+congress+says/8818168/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Follow the link to the CLC report. Is your community mentioned in it? If so, what does the report say about it?
  • What does Ian Lee, of the Sprott School of Business, say about this study?
  • What does George King say? (See the CBC story.)
  • What do you think of their arguments?
  • Beyond wages, what reasons can you think of for and against belonging to a union?

Unions merge in hopes of reversing decline

Description: With organized labour on the defensive across the country, the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada are merging to create a 300,000-member union called Unifor.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 08/08/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/unions-political-calculus-with-numbers-come-power/article13678660/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Who is the new head of Unifor?
  • What has happened to union membership in Canada in recent years?
  • What benefits do the CAW and CEP expect from this merger?
  • Can you think of any possible negative effects of this merger?
  • If you were a member of the CAW or CEP would you support the merger? Discuss.

 

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