Apr 212017
 

The Communist Party of Canada-Ontario extends its full support to the members of Local 2073 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), who have been on strike since March 6 against the Canadian Hearing Society at 24 offices around the province. The 227 CUPE members work at the CHS as counsellors, literacy instructors, audiologists, speech language pathologists, interpreters/ interpreter trainers, clerical support, program coordinators, program assistants and information technology specialists. The strike has had a huge impact on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community due to the suspension of much-needed services.

The CUPE workers have been without a contract for 4 years. The strike action was taken after management demanded that the union give up its sick day provisions in their collective agreement. Management offered to buy back the sick days that workers had in their bank and negotiate a short-term disability program. The union stands firm on their demand for a fair and equitable sick plan and a fair wage increase; their work is very stressful and often leads to repetitive strain injuries. Continue reading »

Apr 212017
 

The Communist Party of Canada-Ontario extends its full support to the members of Local 2049 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), who have been locked out by Children’s Aid Society of the District of Nipissing and Parry Sound since last December.  Management chose not to present a contract offer different from the one that workers had rejected by a 96% margin in a supervised vote the week before, instead they locked the local out.

The CUPE workers, predominantly women, have been adamant that management is undermining the child protective services their members provide by cutting union jobs or ‘leaving them vacant’. Management is also trying to decimate the local’s sick leave provisions, even though they don’t replace workers who call in sick.

This lockout is a result of provincial cuts to social service agencies, and management’s unwillingness to respect the front-line workers who provide the much-needed services for these northern residents. Coincidentally, the CAS executive director appeared on the provincial Sunshine list – he made more than $150,000 last year. CUPE has demanded that the province disband the current board and take over the management of the CAS; to date the province has refused. Management is using scabs to provide some services – in some cases with staff that are unqualified. Continue reading »

Apr 112017
 

On April 11, the Communist Party of Canada-Ontario stands with union and community allies to recognize Equal Pay Day – the day to which women, on average, have to work to earn what a man did in 2016. In other words, a woman has to work 15 ½ months to earn what a man makes in 12 months. Women, on average, make 70 cents for every dollar made by a man. For Aboriginal, racialized, disabled, trans and lesbian women, the gap is even higher. A recent study on the Global Gender Gap by the World Economic Forum reached the damning conclusion that at the current rate, it will take 170 years for women to reach equality.

Women who are in unions are less likely to be caught in the wage gap.  As women are also more likely to join a union, the labour movement should focus on organizing women-dominant workplaces. Currently CUPE local 2073 is on strike against the Canadian Hearing Society and CUPE Local 2049 are locked out by the Children’s Aid Society of Nipissing and Parry Sound.  Women at majority women workplaces lead both these job actions. The use of scabs in these strikes and chronic underfunding of provincial social services stand in the way of these union members winning their fight to close the gender pay gap. Continue reading »

Mar 162017
 

By Dave McKee, CPC (Ontario) leader

Great Lakes Power Transmission in Sault St. Marie, Orillia Power Distributing Corporation, Peterborough Distribution Inc., Wellington North Power in Mount Forest, Haldimand County Utilities, Guelph Hydro, Toronto Hydro. Over the past three years Hydro One, Ontario’s largest publicly owned electricity transmission and distribution utility, has moved to purchase a wide swath of local utilities, most of them publicly owned.

On the surface, it sounds okay – Hydro One’s public argument has been that the mergers make the public electricity system more efficient and effective, yielding lower costs and greater reliability. Public-to-public takeovers are a win-win deal for everyone, right?

Not so fast. Continue reading »