Though I was born in Toronto, I have spent much of my life in the Maritimes and have retired to Prince Edward Island. Now when Canadians elsewhere think of Prince Edward Island, they most likely think of Anne of Green Gables, potatoes, or the meeting of the Fathers of Confederation. But behind those bucolic images resided working women and men. I have always been a union man and have worked with a variety of labour organizations from my IBEW local on Prince Edward Island to the Canadian Labour Congress.
330 transit workers returned to work on Monday, after a month-long lock out by their employer, the City of Saskatoon.
The City announced on Saturday that it would rescind its second lock out order after the City Council vetoed the order. The first lock out order was issued to the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615, deemed illegal by the Saskatchewan Labour Board on September 20th.
The lock out was issued after the union refused to make concessions on their pension plan that would have meant major reductions in benefits for future transit workers. Other unions have been forced to accept concessions by the City, but the Amalgamated Transit Union is one of the last holdouts against a two-tiered pension plan.
Union activists Bill Fletcher Jr. and Sam Ginden discuss the weakening of the workers movement and what needs to happen next in part two of this May 1 series.
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