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Who's living the GoodLife? Organizing a fitness empire.

Photo: flickr/ jerryonlife

One in 34 Canadians hold a membership to a GoodLife Fitness centre. If you're one of those people, have you ever stopped to consider that your fitness instructor -- that formidable taskmaster who makes you do an inhumane number of push-ups -- is also a worker?

Neither did Workers United organizer Tanya Ferguson, until she was contacted by a group of Toronto fitness instructors looking to join a union.

Now a year into the campaign, Ferguson says that the GoodLife Fitness organizing drives are like nothing she has worked on before, and may offer an example of how unions can make headway into some unique sectors of the economy.

Good life does not extend to Goodlife Fitness employees

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This week in labour: The case of the missing jobs

Photo: wikimedia commons/"Bombardier YETI M Mayrhofen" by Thiemo Mättig

April's jobs numbers were released this week, showing unprecedented job losses in some areas. The numbers are so low that either our economy is tanking fast, or there were inaccuracies in survey. Either way, not a great sign… 

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NDP gets strong public services mandate from Albertan voters

Photo: flickr/ Don Voaklander

Apparently anger is better than fear, or at least that's what analysts are saying about the NDP victory in Alberta.

Rachel Notley's NDP broke the Conservative's 43-year reign in Alberta. Leading in the polls from the get-go, the NDP finished strong with a 53-seat majority.

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Conditions in Canadian-owned factories the worst in Honduras

Reyna Tejada with Mark Hancock (CUPE BC President) at the CUPE BC convention in

Conditions in Canadian-owned Gildan garment factories are among the worst in Honduras says Reyna Tejada, a former factory worker and representative from CODEMUH, a feminist labour organization. Tejada was in Vancouver to speak at the CUPE-BC convention, held April 29 to May 2.

Gildan factories produce t-shirts, fleeces and apparel for other companies to put their logos and graphics on. The company currently has contracts for brands such as New Balance and Secret.

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Canadian mining companies banned in three Salvadorian municipalities

On March 29, Nueva Trinidad became the third municipality in El Salvador to officially declare itself a "territory free of mining" through a historic community consultation.

Canadian mining companies have had a brutal presence in El Salvador. Communities in the departments of Chalatenango and Cabañas have organized to prevent the entry of mining corporations into the municipalities.

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This week in labour: We've got our work cut out for us

Photo: Canadian Labour Congress

All eyes have been on Alberta this week, where Rachel Notley's NDP are busy getting ready to show the rest of Canada what progress without austerity can look like.

While Notley's sweeping victory has many of us excited and full of hope, this week's labour roundup proves that we've still got our work cut out for us.

Sorry to be such a downer, but it's time to keep mobilizing.

Here we go!

 

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Privatizing Hydro One is going to hurt, say critics

Photo: flickr/ Markus Grossalber

The Ontario 2015 budget had more than a plan to put beer and wine in grocery stores. The Ontario Liberals are trying to sell off 60 per cent of the publicly owned electricity transmission and distribution company Hydro One.

Critics of the plan say that privatizing the massive network of transmission lines and stations means trouble for workers, the environment, and an already cash-starved province.  

Privatization could mean Big Energy agenda

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Islanders want change: P.E.I. election 'a huge protest vote'

Photo: flickr/Robert Linsdell

The P.E.I. election is "a huge protest vote" with the NDP and the Greens taking 22 per cent of the popular vote, notes Charlottetown-based social justice activist Marian White.

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Five reasons Alberta might actually form an NDP government

Photo: flickr/Dave Cournoyer

The polling data coming out of Alberta is almost too unexpected to believe: 308.com's latest composite figures pegged the NDP picking up 41.8 per cent of the popular vote, a full 15 per cent above the Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives.

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From Baltimore to Toronto: Police violence threatens Black lives

On May 2 in Toronto, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of Toronto Police Headquarters, chanting "Black lives matter" as part of the action From Toronto to Baltimore, Black Lives Matter to show solidarity with Baltimore, draw attention to the practice of carding and demand their narratives be respected.

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