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Fighting the attack on university labour: CUPE 3902 and the struggle for education workers' rights

Public education has not been immune to the cuts and austerity measures recently doled out by the likes of the Dalton McGuinty Liberal government or Rob Ford-led municipal government in Toronto. The bosses in the education sector have readily adopted this culture and developed their own hostility towards any kind of labour action on the campuses. The recent labour battle with CUPE 3902 at the University of Toronto are a clear reflection of these attacks.

Letters of solidarity with the Quebec student movement

qc student protest populaireWe are re-publishing two letters of solidarity with the Quebec student movement, and we encourage our readers and supporters to distribute them to their own unions, locals, student groups, workplaces, etc.  Fightback fully agrees that we need to spread the example from Quebec to the rest of Canada, as well as standing in solidarity with Quebec students in their struggle against the Jean Charest government.

Toronto library workers reach settlement after strike

Ending an 11-day strike, Toronto public library employees returned to work on Friday, March 30 after members of CUPE Local 4948 voted to accept a new contract. Workers had walked off the job after contract negotiations with the Library Board broke down. City representatives desired greater “flexibility” in denying job security to permanent library employees, by making it easier to lay off workers in the event of outsourcing or technological changes. By going on strike, Toronto library workers illustrated that the only way to fight austerity is by challenging the bosses and their government lackeys head-on.

Conservative government once again sides with Air Canada management with back-to-work legislation

For the fourth time in less than a year, the Conservative government used back-to-work legislation to take away the right to strike by Canadian workers.  The Tories prohibited  8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers, and ground crew (represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers — IAMAW), as well as 3,000 pilots at Air Canada, from striking — a clear violation of the constitutional right of workers to exercise their power of collective bargaining. The struggle at Air Canada is more than just about wages — it is about workers’ very right to organize and to strike.  These are fundamental democratic rights that are at stake, and this affects all workers, not just those at Air Canada.

Wildcat strikers score victory over Air Canada

A series of concessions by labour leaders across the country has put a dampener on the mood of the labour movement recently.  Workers have been told that all they can hope for are reduced benefits, less job security, and they should be thankful to even have a job.  However, a wildcat strike by hundreds of Air Canada workers across the country have shown that in spite of a timid leadership, workers are prepared to mount a massive fight against the bosses’ austerity agenda and flex their collective muscle.  More importantly, this show of strength can actually work and result in victory for workers.

Urgent solidarity appeal with El Salvador comrades

appeal elsalvador freddyTwo leading comrades of the International Marxist Tendency in El Salvador have suffered a serious accident. On Friday March 2, Fredy and Ely were travelling home on a bus which was stopped by a criminal gang. The gang doused the bus with gasoline and set it on fire. The driver attempted to escape by driving away. Fredy and Ely jumped off the moving bus as there had been a previous incident in which a number of people died when a bus was set on fire by a criminal gang.

Don't exclude the Iranian community from the anti-war movement

iran revolution fistFightback is republishing this letter, written by Iranian-Canadian activists, who are demanding that they not be excluded from the anti-war movement, and that support for Iranian revolutionaries not be silenced.  This letter was addressed to leaders of various Canadian anti-war organizations in the aftermath of an anti-war protest in Toronto on Sunday, 4th March.  A Persian translation follows the English letter.

Break the lockouts! Solidarity action can beat bosses' offensive

At Rio Tinto Alcan in Saguenay and at Caterpillar’s Electro-Motive Diesel plant in London, workers have been locked-out facing obscene concessions. Approximately 30,000 City of Toronto workers are facing a lockout in early February. This is just the start of a cross-Canada bosses’ offensive against workers in 2012. This is no longer the normal back-and-forward of union negotiations — it is the beginning of naked class war by management against labour. This offensive can be defeated, but only with concerted solidarity action by every sector of the working class.

Rio Tinto Alcan lockout is another blow to workers in Quebec

The past year has been particularly difficult for thousands of workers across Quebec and the rest of Canada.  Workers have had to deal with back-to-work legislation, the closing down of various factories, and defeats at the negotiating table. On New Year’s Eve, Rio Tinto Alcan managers met to discuss the rejection of the proposed collective agreement of the three union units at the plant in Alma, Quebec.  Overnight, the bosses sent security guards into the factory to remove the workers there — a lockout was declared.  The plant employs close to 800 workers and is one of the largest aluminum producers in North America.

465 CAW members locked-out at London Caterpillar plant as bosses demand 50% wage cut

465 members of the Canadian Auto Workers are currently locked-out at Caterpillar's Electro-Motive Diesel Plant in London.  Shamefully, the company is demanding a 50% pay cut from its employees.  This lockout cannot be seen in isolation; it is part of a broad assault by the ruling class, who are attacking workers and pushing down wages around the world.  This struggle could be precedent-setting and have wide implications for workers across Canada.  The entire labour movement must respond.