Canada Post spent $21 million to fight equity; federal government cuts incentives for workers handling Phoenix issue; and 3,000 B.C. workers go on strike

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Canada Post delivery truck. Photo: Open Grid Scheduler/Flickr

Canada Post spent $21 million to fight pay equity

The Toronto Star reports that Canada Post spent $21 million in legal fees as it resisted attempts to institute pay equity. The company released figures from 1989 to 2013, as the matter went all the way to the Supreme Court. However, Canada Post said it didn't have records going back to 1983 when the complaint was initially filed by the workers.

No more incentives for workers dealing with Phoenix payment fiasco 

The federal government has not renewed an incentive package for workers who have been addressing the Phoenix payment fiasco. The package for compensation advisors had been instituted in August 2017 and expired last month as they worked towards reducing a massive backlog in payments to federal employees.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada criticized the government for letting the agreement lapse, warning that the move will once again increase the backlog.

Over 400,000 jobs created in the last 12 months

The new labour force survey reveals that Canada lost 2,200 jobs last month. However, 421,000 have been added to the economy in the past year. Average wages for permanent employees also rose by 3.6 per cent relative to last June.

Although the unemployment rate rose by 0.1 per cent to 5.5 per cent, the survey attributed that to more people seeking work.

About 3,000 forestry workers go on strike in British Columbia

Workers voted nearly unanimously in favour of a strike as negotiations failed between United Steelworkers and Western Forest Products Inc. The union says that the employer is asking for "massive concessions," according to the CBC.

Ontario union raises issue of unregistered electrical workers after workplace death

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) -- Construction Council of Ontario attributes a recent death of an electrical worker in downtown Toronto to companies saving costs by not registering workers, according to a Global News report.

Construction workers talk health and safety in Newfoundland

Nearly 4,000 construction workers participated in Construction Safety Stand-Down, organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association. 

Two workers have died in the industry in the past 18 months in addition to 300 injuries, according to the CBC.

Read more: Workplace deaths in Canada vastly greater than recorded by official stats

Mexican "temporary" farm worker dies in Ontario town

An agricultural worker died in Leamington, Ont., although the employer says his death wasn't work-related. The man was in his 20s and considered a "temporary" worker despite working for over two years.

82 per cent of BC Ferries workers have been abused by passengers

The majority of BC Ferries workers face abuse on the job from passengers including physical threats and harassment, according to their union. The BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union (BCFMWU) has launched a public campaign and is calling on the employer to institute a zero tolerance policy.

Hundreds protest legislative assault on public sector workers in Alberta

Hundreds of people turned up to protest outside a Calgary hospital on Wednesday, in response to Bill 9. The proposed legislation will delay wage negotiations and arbitration for 180,000 public sector workers including teachers and nurses.

CLC disciplines union for raiding CUPE

The Canadian Labour Congress has found a union guilty of raiding as it attempted to recruit CUPE members in New Brunswick.

The Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers faces sanctions from CLC for its quest to sign up licensed practical nurses who are currently represented by CUPE.

Zaid Noorsumar is rabble's labour beat reporter for 2019, and is a journalist who has previously contributed to CBC, The Canadian Press, the Toronto Star and Rankandfile.ca. To contact Zaid with story leads, email zaid[at]rabble.ca.

Photo: Open Grid Scheduler/Flickr

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