Austerity

Fair contract and stop privatization – Solidarity with CUPE 2073

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. (more…)

By admin, ago
Anti-racism

Close the gender gap! Full equality for all!

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. (more…)

By admin, ago
Anti-poverty

Ontario: Basic Income or Basement Income?

As in other parts of Canada, the working class in Ontario is experiencing a deep wage and employment crisis, which threatens the living standards of millions of people in the province. But it also sees the ruling class filling its bank accounts. The provincial government’s Universal Basic Income plan – dressed up as a progressive social reform – is actually a vehicle to legislatively entrench this situation. For the past two decades, the official poverty rate in Ontario has remained in the 10-13% range. This means that, at a minimum, over 1 million people live below the poverty line each year in the province. Furthermore, welfare rates continue to drop further beneath the poverty line. Currently, this “poverty gap” for 160,000 single adults on social assistance is 60% – they receive only $8500 per year, $12,300 below the poverty line in Ontario. Tens of thousands cannot afford to properly feed themselves or retain their housing, leading to more hunger and homelessness. The Ontario Association of Food Banks reported that 360,000 people used a food bank each day in 2015, with a 35% increase in the number of seniors and a total of 10,000 more food bank visits over the previous year. Conditions in northern and rural areas are worse, as people are spread over large areas, many in isolated communities. (more…)

By admin, ago
Austerity

Solidarity with locked out workers at Rideau-Carleton Raceway Slots

The Communist Party of Canada-Ontario extends its full support to the members of Local 71201 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, who have been locked out by the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation (OLG) at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway Slots (RCRS) in Ottawa. OLG locked out its 124 union workers on December 14, 2015 after the union rejected the corporation’s demands for a 2-year wage freeze – extending a previous 7-year wage freeze – and language requiring the members' pension plan be stricken from any future collective agreement. Even though OLG claimed it was bound by the Liberal government's "net zero increase" for public sector workers, it gave its management employees a 2% increase. On April 14, 2016 the workers overwhelmingly rejected OLG’s latest offer of a five-year deal with a wage freeze for three of those years. OLG falsely claims their offer provides a 20% wage increase over 5 years. In reality, the offer adds up to only 6.75% over 5 years. The locked out workers have not received a wage increase since 2009, during which time the local cost of living has risen by over 10%, leaving them with significant real wage losses. (more…)

By admin, ago