This week in labour: Big strikes, long lock-outs, and more!

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Photo: flickr/Milan Ilnykyi

This week in the labour movement, the struggle continues: 10,000 University workers walked picket lines in Toronto while locked out newspaper workers continue to face the cold in Halifax. Meanwhile, long labour disputes continue in B.C. continue and negotiations reach a standstill in Nunavut. But don't take my word for it: read on!

  • And don't forget about the trains! 126 workers at SRY rail have been locked out since January 5. The locked out CUPE 7000 workers formed a new picket line on Thursday outside Canadian Pacific’s rail yard in Port Coquitlam B.C. to protest scab labour being performed by CP Rail. Southern Rail managers have been running the trains, but CP Rail has been helping them with line switching inside SRY’s Trapp Yard in New Westminster.
  • Update Nova Scotia's Bill 1 saga: The four unions that represent health care workers in Nova Scotia have announced that they will be working with Government on a new option for representation of their members after a complicated mediation-arbitration process that left Nova Scotians with more questions than answers. All four unions have agreed on a media blackout that will be in effect immediately and until further notice.
  • In B.C., 105 striking ambulance attendants have put their job action on hold. Members of CUPE 873-03 have successfully applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for a mediator in stalled talks while trying to negotiate a first contract for workers at SN Transport. 
  • Preparing for a financial squeeze due to the drop in oil revenues, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice announced his government's plan to “streamline” the public sector labour negotiation process to make it “more fair to tax payers.” In response, a coalition of major public-sector unions are launching a province-wide campaign aimed at saving public services from deep cuts, and encouraging the provincial government to address its budget woes by fixing the province’s broken revenue system.

 

Ella Bedard is rabble.ca's labour intern and an associate editor at GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine. She has written about labour issues for Dominion.ca and the Halifax Media Co-op and is the co-producer of the radio documentary The Amelie: Canadian Refugee Policy and the Story of the 1987 Boat People.

 

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