With the worldwide emergence of H1N1 influenza and the World Health Organization’s declaration of a flu pandemic on June 11, 2009, there is great concern regarding the issue of infection control. Yet, much of what we see and hear is narrowly focused on the ability of hand-washing to prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus that threatens the lives of young and old alike. It is a familiar story that was also trotted out when other infectious diseases such as MRSA, C. difficile, and Norwalk virus emerged.
In the spring of 2008, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, opened contract talks early to negotiate a concessionary contract in order to give the Detroit Three auto makers (Chrysler, Ford and General Motors) a cost savings advantage they claimed they needed as the economy slid downwards, and also to avoid reopening the contract before its September 2011 expiry date.
The political story in the capital is that the Bloc and the NDP will sustain the Harper government, at least for several weeks. The commentators have not been kind and have characterized the NDP particularly as weak and vacillating, nothing short of turncoats on their record of 79 votes against the Conservatives.
What is the significance of the way not only Keynes but even Marx has been brought back into fashion amidst the global economic crisis? This is a question well worth pondering on the day that is officially designated to celebrate the class that Marx saw as carrying the promise -- and the responsibility -- of creating a better world.
Related rabble.ca story:
Labour Day is here. A last opportunity to enjoy a little bit of the summer with our friends, family and loved ones. But for the labour movement, it’s a time to do more than reflect -- Labour Day is a time to think about moving ahead, and where we need to go as a social movement.
We learned this year during strikes in Windsor and Toronto that the easiest way for business and government to avoid responsibility for the mistakes they have made for decades is to deflect blame and accuse unionized workers of being out of touch with new realities. It conveniently ignores the reality they created, while helping to perpetuate their hold on power, as if they hadn’t created the conditions which led to our current economic crisis.
As chief negotiator for the CAW in the recent round of talks with Air Canada, I have seen first-hand the shortcomings of privatizing and deregulating key sectors of our economy.
After months of bargaining, all five Air Canada unions have now agreed to cost-neutral collective agreements for a period of 21 months. We've joined the retirees in agreeing to allow Air Canada a funding moratorium on past contributions to the pension plan for the same period. This is a funding risk that will be borne by the employees and retirees in order to help Air Canada through bad times.
Air Canada is once again teetering on the brink of bankruptcy protection (CCAA), after just emerging from CCAA six years ago.
Unions are typically responsible for collective bargaining but what if a workplace has yet to be unionized? Workers still can effectively negotiate with employers as long as they maintain solidarity throughout. An employer can't risk all of her/his employees walking out at once or refusing certain tasks. Because of this workers can band together and make specific demands to improve the workplace. This guide will cover:
What collective bargaining is
How to decide demands
Marching on the boss