Jun 112017
 

WHEREAS the shop steward of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 217, a key union activist, was laid off by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) on Valentine’s Day, 2017; and

WHEREAS the shop steward’s job was maintaining publicly accessible maps and data, which is key information for tracking protected wetlands at Thundering Waters Forest, the site of Paradise, a $1 billion private development project which includes luxury housing at a time when Niagara and Ontario have a housing crisis; and

WHEREAS large public protests as well information pickets by OPSEU Local 217 have taken place over problems with the NPCA’s governance; and Continue reading »

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 »

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 »