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Workers United Fall 2014 Newsletter
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Upcoming Events


1. 2014 Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF)



Workers United is a proud sponsor of the 2014 CLIFF Festival. The Toronto festival will be taking place on November 15th & 16th at the Carlton Cinema. Admission is FREE! Visit labourfilms.ca for full program details!

2. Migrant Workers Speaking Tour



The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) is organizing a speaking tour taking place in several cities in Southern Ontario. Come and learn from migrant workers about their fight for fair working conditions in Ontario and how you can be involved. For full speaking tour details, please visit migrantworkersalliance.org!

3. Injured Workers Demonstration



The 23rd Annual Injured Workers demonstration will be taking place on December 8th at 11AM in front of the Ontario Ministry of Labour office (400 University Ave in Toronto). Join in their fight to stop government attacks on the WSIB system and help protect injured workers' right to compensation!

2014 Workers United Scholarship Award Winners!

 
Congratulations to Lyndsey Tiffin & Ashley Attard, the recipients of the 2014 Workers United Canada Council Scholarship Fund Award! We wish them all the best with their post-secondary studies!

Labour News: Victory on Bill-18!


The recent passage of Bill-18 in the Ontario Legislature will see greater protections for low-wage and temp agency workers in the Province. Some of the key provisions of the Bill include: indexation of the minimum wage to inflation; banning of recruitment fees for all migrant workers; making client companies and temp agencies jointly and severally responsible for unpaid wages, overtime, public holiday pay, and workplace injuries. For more information visit: workersactioncentre.org

FALL 2014 NEWSLETTER

November 12, 2014

In this issue you will find:

  1. Strike Action: WoodGreen Community Services & NGF Canada
  2. International Solidarity: Fair Wages for Cambodian Garment Workers! $177 Now!
  3. Labour Day Parade 2014
  4. Workers United Scholarship Award Winners
  5. Workers United at the Peoples Social Forum
  6. Upcoming Events
  7. Labour News: Victory on Bill-18!

Strike Action


WoodGreen Community Services

On October 8th, 2014, over 500 workers from WoodGreen Community Services (members of Local 154), one of Toronto's largest social services agencies, voted to take strike action after contract negotiations between the union and employer failed. At the centre of the bargaining dispute was a cost of living wage increase for staff and access to benefits for part-time workers.

Workers rallied against the significant and growing wage discrepancies between workers and WoodGreen management. In 2013, eight members of WoodGreen's executive management staff were on the Ontario sunshine list, making well over $100,000 in salaries and benefits. Meanwhile, some of the lowest paid staff, such as Personal Support Workers, were struggling to get by.

The strike last nearly two weeks, when management and union agreed to resume bargaining with the assistance of a mediator. On October 27th, workers vote 81% in favour of a new contract which will see a 4.5% wage increase for workers over the next three years, along with a reduction hours for PSWs before they become eligible for benefits.

See some of our media coverage here:


NOW Magazine

WoodGreen Community Services workers walk off the job [Toronto Star]

Ratification at WoodGreen: Another victory for Workers United [Rabble.ca]

From the sexist bargaining table to the picket lines [Rank and File]


NGF Canada Plant

On September 30th, members of Local 2641 from the NGF Canada Plant in Guelph, went on strike after rejecting a number of concessions proposed by the employer.

Among some of the critical issues workers pushed back against included: employee pension plan reform; reduction in vacation time for new hires; changing criteria for overtime hours, and pressuring workers to sign onto a five-year agreement. Workers were on strike for nearly two weeks and successfully blocked attempts made by the employer to bring in scab labour to the plant. The strike ended when the employer returned to the table, dropping several contentious contract items, which members voted to ratify.


See some of our media coverage here:

NGF Scabs Sent Packing in Guelph [RankandFile.ca]

Striking NGF workers fear two-tier hires [Guelph Mercury]

Victory for Workers United local 2641 in Guelph [Rabble.ca]
Workers United would like to give a big welcome to our newest members from Eurest Services in Winnipeg, Manitoba!

Labour Day Parade 2014


Nearly 100 Workers United members and their families marched in this year's Labour Day parade! Members were joined by other trade unions and labour groups from across the City and Province in a march through downtown, ending with an afternoon at the CNE!

International Solidarity: Fair Wages for Cambodian Garment Workers! $177 NOW!

 
On September 17th, Workers United staff and members in Toronto and Winnipeg, joined other cities across North America and around the world in organizing demonstrations to show solidarity with Cambodian garment workers fighting for an increase to their minimum wage to $177USD a month. 

In Cambodia, the women and men who sew clothes for The Gap, H&M, and other major brands struggle to make ends meet. The legal minimum wage for garment workers is a miserable $100 per month. Thousands of workers have fainted at their sewing machines due to malnutrition, overwork, heat, poor ventilation, and fumes from chemicals used in the manufacturing process.

Due to international pressure, several corporate retailers agreed to raise wages for workers. See article from the Guardian newspaper here.

Workers United at the 2014 Peoples Social Forum


On August 21st to the 24th, thousands of community members, activists, union members, community organizers, and advocates, from across the country met in Ottawa for the first ever Canadian Peoples Social Forum. Among the participants were our very own Workers United members Cheryl Bambury, Michelle Palmer and Inderdeep Sidhu.

Demonstrations and talks were held, along with hundreds of workshops on a number of critical social justice issues including: Indigenous sovereignty, labour rights, climate change, economic inequality, and migration.
Copyright © 2014 Workers United Canada Council, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Workers United Canada Council
317 Adelaide St W, Suite 1005
Toronto, ON M5V 1P9
Canada

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