This week in labour: Big strikes, long lock-outs, and more!

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

Photo: flickr/Milan Ilnykyi

This week in the labour movement, the struggle continues: 10,000 University workers walked picket lines in Toronto while locked out newspaper workers continue to face the cold in Halifax. Meanwhile, long labour disputes continue in B.C. continue and negotiations reach a standstill in Nunavut. But don't take my word for it: read on!

  • And don't forget about the trains! 126 workers at SRY rail have been locked out since January 5. The locked out CUPE 7000 workers formed a new picket line on Thursday outside Canadian Pacific’s rail yard in Port Coquitlam B.C. to protest scab labour being performed by CP Rail. Southern Rail managers have been running the trains, but CP Rail has been helping them with line switching inside SRY’s Trapp Yard in New Westminster.
  • Update Nova Scotia's Bill 1 saga: The four unions that represent health care workers in Nova Scotia have announced that they will be working with Government on a new option for representation of their members after a complicated mediation-arbitration process that left Nova Scotians with more questions than answers. All four unions have agreed on a media blackout that will be in effect immediately and until further notice.
  • In B.C., 105 striking ambulance attendants have put their job action on hold. Members of CUPE 873-03 have successfully applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for a mediator in stalled talks while trying to negotiate a first contract for workers at SN Transport. 
  • Preparing for a financial squeeze due to the drop in oil revenues, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice announced his government's plan to “streamline” the public sector labour negotiation process to make it “more fair to tax payers.” In response, a coalition of major public-sector unions are launching a province-wide campaign aimed at saving public services from deep cuts, and encouraging the provincial government to address its budget woes by fixing the province’s broken revenue system.


Ella Bedard is's labour intern and an associate editor at GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine. She has written about labour issues for and the Halifax Media Co-op and is the co-producer of the radio documentary The Amelie: Canadian Refugee Policy and the Story of the 1987 Boat People.


Further Reading

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.