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This week in labour: Conservative myth-busting and plenty of picket lines

Photo: OFL Communications

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There is a theme to this week's labour round-up -- or maybe there are two themes.

One has to do with the connected struggle between workers and students, and student-workers. From daycare to post-secondary, budgets are being squeezed, as are educators and students. A second, and related, theme is bad policy from public-sector spending to immigration to C-51.

Sorry, was is that too bleak? Happy weekend reading!

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The emotional breakdown of workers at Target Canada

Photo: flickr/ Mike Mozart
In the lastest installment of the Target diaries, this worker talks about the emotional stress of losing a job.

Related rabble.ca story:

The Target diaries: Emotional breakdown

Photo: flickr/Mike Mozart

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Canada is in the midst of 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.

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Love and friendship on the picket line: This week in labour news

Photo: OFL Communications

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From a win on the prairies to spring in the air on the picket lines of Ontario.

Some disputes seem to be winding down in the post-secondary sector but the struggle is far from over, as workers continue to protect their labour rights from sea to shining sea to shining sea.

 

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To whom it may concern: The University of Toronto strike in open letters

Photo: flickr/Milan Ilnyckyj

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With over 9,000 graduate students on strike at both the University of Toronto and York, we need a special kind of roundup. Given that both the employers and workers in these labour disputes are paid to reason, educate and argue, you can imagine that there has been a lot of discourse in and around this strike.

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Daycare workers take to the picket line in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia

Photo: flickr/Devon

With all the snow that has fallen in Nova Scotia, childcare workers, cooks, and cleaners picketting in Glace Bay snow have their work cut out for them.

The 15 daycare staff are members of Unifor Local 4600, which represents over 1,250 workers, including other childcare providers. They have been on strike since Tuesday. 

The last Town collective agreement expired in December 2013. After negotiations reached a standstill last summer, the town and the daycare workers went to conciliation last month but could not reach a deal. 

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Strike! University of Northern British Columbia faculty are on the picket line

Photo: UNBC Faculty Association

Negotiations have resumed today between the University of Northern British Columbia Faculty Association and the university's administration. However, classes remain cancelled at the school as faculty fight to achieve a first contract with the University.

"This is actually the first response we've had to our tabled proposal of February 26, so it's been a while coming," said UNBC's Faculty Association President Jacqueline Holler.

Just over 230 professors, full- and part-time instructors, senior lab instructors and academic librarian have been on strike at the Northern B.C. University in Prince George since March 5.

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Solidarity! Health-care unions find solution for Bill 1

Photo: flickr/Bob Harwig

The ongoing Bill 1 saga may end happily after all.

After a weeks-long media blackout, Nova Scotia's four health-care unions have emerged from negotiations with the Province to announce that each of the four unions -- NSGEU, NSNU, CUPE and Unifor -- will continue to represent their members, but bargain their agreements jointly using a council model.

"This has been a very challenging time for our health-care workers and for the labour movement as a whole," says President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour Rick Clarke in a press release.

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This week in Canadian labour: Sunshine, strikes and solidarity

Photo: Undergrads4Cupe

Daylight time is here for most of the country, the days are getting longer, and nothing says 'Friday' like a jolt of labour news to give a person a little pick-me-up.

Let's try to keep spirits high with this roundup, shall we?

This one's for the strikers and nearly strikers from coast to coast!

 

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Two of three bargaining units still on strike at York University

Flickr; Fight Back/La Riposte

Some students were asked to cross the picket line today as classes resumed in five departments on York campus.

The University's Deans and Provost met yesterday to determine which faculties, if any, would resume holding classes. They determined that five schools, including Engineering, Administration, Nursing, Human Resources and the School of Business would reopen despite the ongoing strike.

The decision was made on Tuesday, responding to the results of Monday's ratification vote in which two-thirds of striking York University workers voted to reject the administration's latest offer and remain on strike.

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