Labour Movement

Solidarity with CUPE 2049 – locked out CAS workers

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. (more…)

By admin, ago
Hydro

Hydro One: Expanding the public sector to privatize it

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. (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
Austerity

Mass action can halt Hydro privatization!

The privatization of Hydro One has begun. In the first week of November, the first public offering of Hydro stocks resulted in the sale of about 10% of the public utility, generating great excitement on the TSX where the RBC Capital Markets and ScotiaBank led the pack in scooping up the largest parts of this and future offerings. The Hydro One firesale is an out and out gift to the banks and corporations, in exchange for some quick money to fund the government’s unfunded $30 billion infrastructure program – one of two key promises that won them the June 2014 Ontario election. The government says the main objective of the sale is funding for the infrastructure program. But only $4.6 billion will be realized by the sale – less than one-sixth of what’s needed – and at a huge cost to the public. Instead, this $30 billion could be generated by reversing an estimated $15 billion in corporate tax cuts and by increasing the corporate tax rate to 22% for an additional $10.5 billion annually. That would raise the funds for the infrastructure program, and maintain Hydro One as a public utility. It would also generate a much larger, and stable revenue stream for other public projects, like public hospitals, the long promised (but never delivered) needs-based funding formula for education, or a provincial system of affordable public childcare, urban and inter-urban public transit. (more…)

By admin, ago