Quebec municipal workers hold one-day strike

Description: Municipal workers in Quebec walked off the job for one day to protest provincial government plans to restructure their pensions.

Source: CBC

Date: 11/26/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-municipal-workers-in-1-day-strike-to-protest-pension-reform-plan-1.2850168

Related links:

Questions for discussion

  • What is the Coalition syndicale pour la libre négociation?
  • What is Bill 3? How would it change Quebec public workers’ pensions?
  • Listen to the audio clip on the CBC site titled “are municipal workers ‘not in touch with reality.’ ” Why does the government think the workers are out of touch?
  • What is the union response?
  • What do you think? How important is public opinion in a dispute like this?

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?

Federal government knew TFW rules being broken, AFL says

Description: The Alberta Federation of Labour says documents show the federal government knew temporary foreign workers were being underpaid in 2013.

Source: CBC

Date: 08/15/2014

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/temporary-foreign-worker-program-misuse-sanctioned-by-harper-government-union-says-1.2737422

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: what is a labour federation?
  • Who does the AFL represent?
  • Summarize the AFL’s complaint.
  • What changes did the federal government make to the TFW program this year?
  • Do you agree with the AFL that the TFW program should be eliminated? Why or why not?

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

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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?

New foreign worker rules anger UFCW

Description: The general counsel for the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada union is calling changes to the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program a “smokescreen” and adds that one provision is “absolutely unconscionable.”

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 01/03/2014

Link: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/01/03/new_regulations_to_temporary_foreign_worker_program_called_a_smokescreen.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
  • What caused the federal government to review it?
  • What changes are particularly upsetting to the UFCW and other critics?
  • What is the government’s explanation for the changes?
  • What is your opinion of the changes?

Ontario Liberals, NDP attack ‘right-to-work’ promise

Description: Ontario Liberals and New Democrats are hitting back at a Conservative pledge to make the province a “right-to-work” jurisdiction.

Source: Canadian Labour Reporter

Date: 11/29/2013

Link: http://www.labour-reporter.com/articleview/19565-ontario-right-to-work-legislation-would-kill-jobs-lower-wages-liberals

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is “right-to-work”?
  • Do you believe the term is an accurate description of the concept? Why or why not?
  • What is the Rand formula?
  • Consult your textbook: what is the history of the Rand formula?
  • Do you think making Ontario an “right-to-work” province would be a good idea? Why or why not?

Supreme Court says union can tape on picket line

Description: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled an Alberta law that prohibits unions from videotaping people crossing a picket line violates free speech provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 11/15/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/supreme-court-gives-alberta-union-a-win-in-picket-line-privacy-case/article15456686/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why did the court strike down the part of the law that prohibited videotaping on the picket line?
  • What did the court say about the balance between free speech and privacy rights?
  • What did the court say about picketing?
  • Do you agree with this decision? Why or why not?
  • What other implications do you think this decision might have?

BC forest union leader dies

Description: Jack Munro, the legendary former IWA Canada official, has died at age 82.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

Date: 11/15/2013

Link: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/forest+labour+icon+Jack+Munro+dies/9171250/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why was Jack Munro a significant person in Canadian history?
  • What has happened to the power of unions since Munro’s day?
  • What are the reasons for this change?
  • What was the B.C. Solidarity movement?
  • Do you think a movement like that could happen today? Discuss.

 

Unions say federal budget threatens health and safety

Description: Provisions in the omnibus federal budget bill will “gut” health and safety protection for many workers, public sector unions and the Opposition claim.

Source: Postmedia News

Date: 10/25/2013

Link: http://o.canada.com/news/national/opposition-unions-say-watered-down-labour-code-will-endanger-canadian-workers/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the changes to health and safety provisions that the amendments would make.
  • Who would be affected?
  • What reasons does the government give for these changes?
  • What arguments do the unions and the Opposition make?
  • Which side do you think has the most persuasive arguments? Discuss.

 

Federal government seeks concessions from unions

Description: The federal government has promised in its throne speech to cut union jobs and roll back sick leave provisions.

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Date: 10/17/2013

Link: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Government+vows+broad+changes+public+service+throne+speech/9045182/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Briefly summarize the government’s plans for the public service.
  • What is the reaction of unions and the New Democratic Party Opposition?
  • Based on what you have read, do you think the government is right to seek these changes?
  • Why or why not?
  • Do you think that what some call “public-service bashing” would be politically popular? Discuss.

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