This week in labour: May Day madness

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Photo: Flickr/Robert Cudmore

I don't want to chide you for reading rabble.ca but this is International Workers Day, so you should really be in the streets, doing some rabble rousing there. Oh wait, you're on your phone reading? Well, keep on marching, then!

Since the 1880s May 1 has been a day to celebrate the rites of spring and the spirit of revolution. So read about what the labour movement has been up to this week and then go take part in the revolution, please.

 

  • On Monday, workers gathered across the country to commemorate thousands of workers who have died or been injured while on the job. If most recent statistics are any indication, at least two workers will have died on the job today. With better health and safety policies and stronger enforcements, these deaths could be prevented. 
  • Relatedly, the Ontario Federation of Labour wants to know why Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is covering up 1,150 workplace deaths, reported since 2009.  
  • At their convention this week, the Public Service Alliance of Canada passed an emergency motion to release 5 million dollars from the union's contingency fund to defeat the Harper conservatives in the upcoming federal election.
  • On Thursday the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that Bill 22 did not violate teachers' constitutional rights. Introduced in 2012, the legislation temporarily limited teacher bargaining rights on class size and composition. 
  • Good news from Labrador: Happy Valley Goose Bay municipal workers, who were locked out by their employer during the dead of winter, have managed to protect their pension plan!
  • And yet again, the zombie anti-union Bill C-377 has risen from the dead. Senate committee met in April to discuss Bill. Justin Trudeau now says that he will work to fight the Bill.
  • Nova Scotia has erupted in protest against Bill 100, which would ban strikes and collective agreement at universities for a 12 to 18 month period. The Bill, introduced amidst other austerity measures, has been called ham-fisted and unconstitutional.
  • Confirming what union members have long argued, Ontario's auditor general released a study this week stating that privatization of road maintenance services has made the province's roads less safe
  • All female professors at McMaster University in Hamilton will receive a pay raise, after a university-led study revealed a significant gender wage gap amongst the university's faculty.
  • Today marks the beginning of Asian Heritage Month. It's time to acknowledge the history of excluion that asian workers have long faced in this country, and also the major contributions that they have made – from the last spike to the first

 

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.

Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.