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Just weeks ago, workers at the Ingersoll CAMI plant saw production of the GMC Terrain move to Mexico, resulting in some 600 layoffs of good unionized jobs.
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The way to get better deals is to stand together across borderlines and to refuse to be played off against one another.
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Racism has been used for centuries to divide and conquer working people. Today, "systemic racism" is an institutionalized feature of society, throwing up barriers to racialized workers and families in every community. All of our institutions and cultural norms are touched by its impact.
The Canadian Press
We know that healthy labour relations directly contribute to economic growth. Independent institutions like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have concluded that lower rates of unionization result in stagnating incomes, particularly in the middle class, leading to direct impacts on the growth of our economy and on inequality.
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Nova Scotia took a big step toward reclaiming their province. The much-preferred option would have been to see the government of Stephen McNeil defeated or reduced to a minority, but cutting his Liberal Party to a razor-thin, one-seat majority will force it to listen more closely to the needs and wants of the people.
Labour laws across this country have not kept up with the times. Written when most jobs were full time, and people could stay in one job to build a career and a life for their families, today's laws cannot adequately address the needs of workers in increasingly precarious temporary work and contract positions.
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In British Columbia, where the race for the May 9 provincial election is heating up, the NDP has called for a $15 minimum wage in the province by 2021. This is a good move, and one that progressive people across Canada should get behind.
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Across Canada, we search far too often for answers to explain why and how our loved ones die on the job - whether the sudden loss of an industrial accident, or the slow death from chemicals or other toxins in the workplace. In 2015, the most recent year for which numbers available, 852 workers died at work.
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The federal government has set an important precedent by applying the GST and HST to ridesharing services. It has said that such companies are not above the law. Innovation and new ways of doing things are welcome, but breaking the law is not.
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The new federal budget is high on symbolism, and low on details and money. All that said, it is all too easy to criticize a budget. An important thing worth noting is the general direction the 2017 budget shows. The government is headed in the right direction, it just might take longer to get there.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
The Senate will soon consider a government bill (C-4) that seeks to restore balance between federally regulated employers and unions. It repeals two acts (formerly bills C-377 and C-525) introduced by two Conservative MPs who received support in their crusade from organizations that were clearly against unions.
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In Canada many are forced to turn to payday lenders that charge exorbitant fees, and the major banks themselves gouge us every day, forcing us to pay some of the highest fees in the world. It's up to us to insist that we want a public postal bank to be part of the way forward.
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The past year has been very eventful for Canada and the world -- in some very good ways, and, unfortunately, in some very bad ones. I do think the next year can provide an opportunity to support more women and marginalized people to be involved in politics and run for office, but this will require our collective actions to create spaces and opportunities.
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Activists take pride in the fact that their movements are inclusive, but it appears that unless women and girls with disabilities and deaf women and girls make our way to the table then, over and over again, our needs are forgotten. There are but a handful of women with disabilities and Deaf women in Canada who are fortunate enough to be at those tables, and I am one of them.
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During the last federal election, the Liberals promised more free votes in the House so MPs could more effectively represent their constituents. The TPP is an issue that demands our representation. It will affect every Canadian, but will have specific and diverse impacts on different parts of the country.
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I applaud their efforts for taking action to stand up for the principle of fairness. They believe in trade, knowing that the factories in Wallonia once sent products across Europe and around the world, but they don't believe in handing over all their rights to corporations just to get it.
Rebecca Cook / Reuters
The TPP is all but dead. And following the stunning October 14 vote in Belgium, it seems CETA may very well be on its deathbed. This is a huge blow against the big business agenda of the Justin Trudeau Liberals. Sadly, Canadian unions and the New Democratic Party can take little credit for it.
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The stability of the auto industry in Canada became much more secure this week with Unifor's new collective agreement with Fiat-Chrysler. The job we set for ourselves last summer to establish a strong footprint for the entire auto industry in this country for the next generation, is not done yet. We still have a deal to negotiate with Ford.
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It is all too easy to talk about principles when you don't have to look into the eyes of a young person and explain why your ideals are more important than their access to a good job and a pension plan on which they can begin to build a life for their families.
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I can tell you I have weighed the decision to focus the 2016 negotiations on General Motors (GM) very carefully, and only after a great deal of input from the excellent negotiators and bargaining committees that we have working with us on behalf of Unifor members employed at Fiat Chrysler, Ford and GM in Canada.
Canada Post could have locked out its workers at 12:01 a.m. ET Monday.
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Canadians have a constitutional right to join a union. There is no legal (and I would argue moral) ambiguity about the place of unions in Canada. Conservative governments who can't rewrite the constitution to take that right away will use underhanded tactics to rob Canadians of their rights at work.
Unions such as Unifor and our members saw right away that the bill would result in unnecessary labour conflict across the economy as it gutted free and fair collective bargaining, put a downward pressure on the wages of all New Brunswickers and would make it very difficult to achieve negotiated contracts.
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Just the other day I climbed into Uber dressed in my military uniform. The driver asks for my advice: he recently became a Canadian citizen and wants to serve in our Canadian Armed Forces. I am hard-pressed to think of a time I felt as proud to be a Canadian.
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Gendered pay inequality is more than just an injustice. It negatively impacts the health and welfare of Canadian families. It undermines the potential for growth and competitiveness in Ontario's economy by withholding financial resources from the very people who manage their household finances.
At their finest labour unions are class conscious organizations that check the corporate elite's influence over public policy. But, even the best Canadian unions have largely failed to provide an alternative vision to the existing system and challenge the power of big business over important areas of our lives.
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Revelations that Liberals repaid an ineligible campaign donation add twist to question period.
As corporate globalization undermines the standard of living of working families, workers will re-discover the value of grassroots organizing and collective representation. In the process, a whole new generation of diverse, talented leaders will come to the fore.
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Martin Coiteux doesn't give the impression he's very interested in negotiating with workers in the public sector. Despite the fact that the Common Front has significantly lowered its demand on pay it seems clear to me that the chair of the Conseil du trésor had already written his speech before he even met with the Common Front.
As the public watches "entitled" physicians struggle under the barrage of Liberal hostility, they miss the very real danger of a government stuffing an already glutted health care system with more administration. As David Gatzer pointed out, this is "a system designed for political popularity, not smart policy."
Parents have a right to know what's really at stake, the issues that could cause a further decline in the teaching profession's reputation and resources as political leaders attempt to pay off their debts through cuts to education. These negotiations are about the fact that teachers matter, and the way they're treated matters too.
How far has Canada's economic star fallen? Only recently Prime Minister Stephen Harper boasted that Canada's economy was "the envy of the entire world." That claim was always overstated. Now it is downright ludicrous. We must look to government for a more effective response to the recession. Unfortunately, however, that looks like another policy dead-end. Because so far the response of federal Conservatives has been as ineffectual as it is predictable: deny, point fingers, and spread fear.