Report slams IMF for suppressing collective bargaining rights globally

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been a key driver behind the breakdown of workers’ collective bargaining power worldwide since 2008, says a report from the International Trade Union Confederation released o Wednesday.

The report looks at the state collective bargaining rights and other labour issues in Australia, New Zealand, the U.S. and European countries. It chides the IMF bank for encouraging countries to slash labour costs by “replacing multi-employer collective bargaining systems at industry or national level with enterprise level bargaining or the elimination of collective bargaining altogether.”

They’re shooting guest workers in Greece

The global abuse of migrant workers was highlighted once more this week in Greece, where about 30 migrant farm workers, mostly from Bangadesi, were shot by a supervisor on the strawberry farm where they work. The workers had reportedly confronted the owner over 6 months worth of unpaid wages.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is busily deporting undocumented foreign worker by the thousands. The government passed a law aimed at getting 10 percent of job filled by locals earlier this year, and over the past few months has kicked over 200,000 migrant workers out of the country.

Porter Airlines sues striking workers’ union over Twitter comments

Porter Airlines has launched a $4-million libel lawsuit against the Canadian Office and Professional Employees’ union over comments it made on Twitter about safety standards at the ground operations of Billy Bishop Airport in downtown Toronto.

The union represents 22 airplane re-fuelers who have been on strike since early January.

Quebec and Norwegian workers unite to challenge union busting by Couche-Tard 

Couche-Tard, Canada’s largest convenience store operator, regularly engages in union-busting practices (including the Walmart-style strategy of closing profitable stores where unions do manage to take a foothold) say unions in Quebec and Norway.

The company operates several chains internationally, including Couche-Tard in Quebec, Mac’s in the rest of Canada, Circle K in the U.S. and overseas, and Statoil in northern Europe.

Quebec’s Confederation of National Trade Unions and the Norwegian union of commercial and office employees met in Oslo this week and vowed to unite their efforts to challenge the company’s tactics to suppress worker organization.

National Auto Radiator lockout ends; CAW to take Narmco to court over withheld retiree health benefit payments

National Auto Radiator ended its one-week lockout of workers at its Windsor plant on Tuesday after agreeing with their union, Canadian Auto Workers, to a 30 day cooling-off period with no threat of strike or lockout.

The lockout started April 11 following breakdown of negotiations on a contract for the soon-to-be closed plant’s remaining workers.

CAW says that Narmco, the parent company of National Auto Radiator, halted payments of health and drug benefits to about 200 retired workers during the lockout, leaving the union scrambling to take on the payments itself. It plans to take Narmco to court to recover those costs.

Teachers and staff in Ontario high schools vote to accept altered contract terms

Ontario’s public high school teachers and support staff have voted to approve a deal reached between their union and the provincial government to alter contract terms imposed on them through legislation in January. 

Though Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has said the altered contracts won’t cost the government any more money than the ones imposed in January, opposition Conservative MPs continue to speculate that the changes will add tens of millions in costs. They’ve accused Wynne of bowing to “labour terrorism.”

Talks for a similar deal between the government and the union representing elementary school employees are ongoing.

Other headlines of note

Saskatchewan prepares to gut labour laws with Bill 85

Company’s crab dumped by fishermen during protest

Fatal heart attack linked to Kits coast guard closure by union [CBC] 2013-04-12

‘There will be war’ over pension changes, retirees warn

$5m in damages awarded due to ‘cruel and malicious’ treatment from insurers

Labour, First Nations join forces at conference opposing oil sands expansion

Another Senator Lambasts Tories’ Wasteful, Partisan Attacks on Unions

Former Human Rights Tribunal boss Shirish Chotalia ‘harassed, abused’ staff: Report

International unions call on FIFA to rerun the vote for the Qatar 2022 World Cup

Domestic Workers Sow a New Global Movement

Rowdy Keystone pipeline hearing pits workers vs greens 

Union Sugar Workers End Heroic Stand

The Excel Spreadsheet Error That Justified Global Austerity

Lori Theresa Waller

Lori Theresa Waller

Lori Theresa Waller is rabble’s new labour beat reporter, a co-op position supported by the Canadian Auto Workers union. As a freelance writer, Lori has written about environmental and social justice...