First Black women elected CUPW president; women's hockey players start union; and hospital workers protest cuts

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CUPW flag. Photo: Grant Neufeld/Flickr

First Black woman elected as CUPW president

Jan Simpson became the first Black woman to be president of a national union in Canada, when she was voted into office at the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) convention in Toronto in May. According to CUPW's press release, a record number of women were elected to the union's national executive board this year.

Women's hockey players start union

More than 200 of the world's top women hockey players have now formed a union, under the umbrella of the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association. The association, which represents players from Canada, the U.S. and Europe, was formed in the aftermath of the Canadian Women's Hockey League shutting down.

Whistleblower report reveals devastating impacts on Ontario's injured workers

A new report based on freedom of information requests digs into the Ontario compensation board's practice of "deeming" -- whereby injured workers' benefits are reduced based on the board's arbitrary determination that they choose not to be employed. The report shows that WSIB's own statistics reveal almost half of permanently injured workers end up unemployed without the benefits entitled to them.

Women's role in the Winnipeg General Strike

The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 is still Canada's largest strike. Thirty-thousand people participated in the action in May and June of 1919. In an interview on Rabble's Radio Labour podcast, Julie Guard, professor of history and labour studies at the University of Manitoba, talks about the role of women in initiating the strike.

Grand River Hospital workers protest against cuts to Ontario hospital

Workers at the Grand River Hospital in Kitchener protested against layoffs and cuts last Wednesday as the health-care sector suffers from the Ford government's failure to provide requisite funding. At least 40 nurses have lost their jobs at the hospital since February, while the hospital hasn't ruled out more layoffs.

Protesters call for better protections for night-shift convenience store workers

The BC Federation of Labour's Young Workers Committee organized an overnight protest in Vancouver to highlight safety concerns for overnight shift workers at convenience stores. Activists are demanding that the government restore Grant's Law, which placed certain safety obligations on employers. The law was repealed in 2012.

CLC committed to reproductive rights

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) released a statement affirming its commitment to protecting reproductive rights in the country in the midst of attacks on abortion rights south of the border. The CLC noted that Canadian unions have a long history of supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights.

STF to make bargaining talks public

The Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation is bucking convention and plans to reveal the details of bargaining talks as it negotiates a new contract. The union hopes that transparency will result in a better deal for its 13,500 members.

Zaid Noorsumar is rabble's labour beat reporter for 2019, and is a journalist who has previously contributed to CBC, The Canadian Press, the Toronto Star and To contact Zaid with story leads, email zaid[at]

Photo: Grant Neufeld/Flickr

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