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Public ownership of oil refineries will see Alberta through low oil prices, says AFL President Gil McGowan

Photo: Flickr/Kris Krug

Low oil and gas prices may be benefitting consumers in the short-term, but small victories at the pump come with some grave long-term effects for Canada's economy.

With oil prices 40 per cent lower than they were last year, the Conference Board of Canada predicts that national economic growth will be just 1.9 per cent in 2015, down from 2.4 per cent in 2014.

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VIDEO: Members of CUPE 3903 vote to reject York University offer

CUPE 3903, representing teaching assistants, contract faculty, and research assistants at York, has been negotiating new contracts for its three units, all of whom have been without a contract since August 2014.

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This week's labour news: Labour hits the books

Photo: CUPE

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It's freezing cold in most of Canada right now, and the temperature at a few Canadian universities has been chilly too as negotiations continue.

It's not just universities where labour is in action but this week's labour round up will start in the post-secondary environment. Here's the labour news:

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Nova Scotia Bill 1: The saga continues

photo: flickr/oncall team

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The drama continues in Nova Scotia this week, after the provincial Liberals announced plans to create new legislation that would reassign health-care workers to unions not necessarily of their choosing.

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Unifor reaches late-night deal with CN

Photo: flickr/Swoofty

Unifor and CN rail reached a deal, avoiding a lock-out of 4,800 workers at midnight last night. The next step is ratification, and over the next three weeks, 4,800 Unifor members will vote on whether or not to ratify a new collective agreement with Canadian National (CN) Railway.

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Target diaries: Bowling for motivation and endurance

Photo: flickr/Mike Mozart

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Canada is facing the biggest private-sector closure in recent history, and 17,600 Target workers will soon be out of a job. An employee of Target Canada is documenting the last days of work at the store during its liquidation.

One of the cashiers leans on a shopping cart with her eyes downcast and swollen. I approach her softly. My young colleague looks up at me and grimaces. I put my hand on her shoulder and whisper, "I know how you feel."

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This week in labour news: From railroads to universities, labour is in motion

Photo:flickr/Sharon Drummond

 

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Here you have it, folks, it's that time again.

The news summary you've all been waiting for. It's…this week in Canadian labour!

 

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How to drink beer and support striking workers too

Photo: United Steelworkers

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For social justice-minded people, it can be hard to navigate the ethical landmines in todays consumer markets. Should you buy local or organic? Fair trade, union made or sustainably packaged? Ideally, you want all those qualities rolled into every product, but it's not always that simple.

So let's start where it matters most: Beer.

Here we go, with three easy steps.

1. Buy bottles, not cans

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The Target diaries: The official 'End of Life' letter

Photo: Flickr/Mike Mozart

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Canada is facing the biggest private-sector closure in recent history, and 17,600 Target workers will soon be out of a job. An employee of Target Canada is documenting the last days of work at the store during its liquidation.

I quickened my casual stride to stand beside my work colleague and friend. One of her hands clung to her husband's and the other rubbed gently on their young son's tiny fingers. I could sense that she had something to tell me. 

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| February 17, 2015
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