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Workers win Toronto civic strike

After 39 days on the picket line the 24,000 members of CUPE locals 416 and 79 have achieved an important victory. This strike was the first major confrontation between workers trying to hold the line, and the bosses trying to make the public sector pay for their economic crisis. Management placed 118 pages of concessions on the table which, in the words of CUPE 416 President Mark Ferguson, were all beaten back. Over the focal issue of banking sick days the union gave some ground, but nowhere near the capitulation that corporate interests were pushing. The results of the strike have important repercussions for the fightback against capitalism's economic crisis.

CUPE's solidarity rally with Windsor's striking municipal workers

On 12th June, CUPE held a rally in Windsor to support striking municipal workers. The rally was supported by about 2,000 union and community members. Local 82 (outdoor workers) and local 543 (indoor workers) have been on strike to save their pensions and benefits from being eroded by proposed cuts by the municipality. These cuts to pensions and retirement benefits, targeted towards new hires, are the City of Windsor’s response to the growing economic crisis. The rationale for these cuts make little sense in this context because these savings would not come into full effect until 30 years from now.  The only thing that we can ask is, how long does the City of Windsor think this recession is going to last?

Toronto City Workers Strike: Workers Won’t Pay for the Bosses' Crisis

At the time of writing, 24,000 city of Toronto workers are on strike; almost 2000 city of Windsor workers have been on strike for 10 weeks, and many other groups of workers across Canada are in dispute or heading that way. There is a common thread running through all of these clashes – management is going on the offensive to slash wages and benefits using the economic crisis as an excuse. This slump was caused by the bosses, the bankers and the corporations. Workers are not responsible for this crisis. Fightback says, “Make the bosses pay!”

Auto-workers don’t want hand-outs, but justice and job security for all!

Over the past month, the labour movement in Ontario has been heating things up to protect workers’ severance packages, pensions, and jobs. The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) has been playing a leading role in organizing a variety of rallies and demonstrations. Here is a report of two rallies that Fightback has attended.

UPDATE: Unionist fired for fighting for safe working conditions

UPDATE: Workers' Compensation Board has ruled against EasyPark and a solidarity picket is being organized for Friday 8th May.

On 12 April, 2009 Jim Mullaly, a CUPE 1004 Health and Safety Rep and union activist, was fired from his job at EasyPark in Vancouver. EasyPark is a public-private partnership owned by the City of Vancouver and the Downtown Vancouver Association. Mr Mullaly recently led a safety campaign demanding proper ventilation and clean air in the underground parkade that he works in.

Workers Occupy Auto Parts Factory in Windsor

On Tuesday, March 17th, a group of 80 workers in the industrial town of Windsor, Ontario, occupied the Aradco auto parts plant. This occupation marks the re-awakening of the occupied factories movement in Canada and is an important turning point in the ongoing crisis of the North American auto industry.

Lessons of the York University Strike

The 85-day strike at York University contains many lessons for working class and university activists. The employer was forced to rely on the power of the State to defeat the workers. With the bosses and their government committed to making workers and youth pay for the capitalist crisis, we can expect many similar struggles to the one at York University. There would be no labour movement today if workers were not prepared to break unjust laws. With militant, democratic leadership we can beat back the capitalist offensive.

Vancouver Parkade Workers Win Fight Against Toxic Work Environment

After years of being forced to breathe in toxic fumes the workers at EasyPark are finally breathing a sigh of relief. Just this week it was announced that the city will be temporarily closing the parkade in order to do an investigation into the health effects. However this has come only after a very long and gruelling struggle for the employees to make their work environment tolerable. The following is an interview with Jim Mulally, a Fightback supporter and one of the leaders who led the fight for better working conditions.

VIDEO: Kathy Tomlinson reports: McDonald's exhaust making us sick, parkade workers say (Runs 3:07)

CBC picks up campaign initiated by Fightback supporters!

For years, parking attendants at EasyPark in Vancouver have been subjected to toxic fumes vented from the restaurants above the parking lot. These obnoxious fumes vent directly into the work area and are a serious health hazard to the workers. Fightback supporters at EasyPark, members of CUPE 1004, have initiated a campaign against unsafe working conditions at their workplace. The CBC has picked up this campaign through their "Go Public" investigative news section:

"McDonald's exhaust making us sick, underground parkade workers say"

Resist Back-to-Work Legislation at York University

Yesterday, Premiere Dalton McGuinty announced that he will be calling back the legislature in order to introduce legislation to force teaching assistants and contract faculty at York University, back-to-work. If CUPE 3903 is to effectively resist this legislation it must call upon all of its members and supporters throughout Canada to resist the legislation in the streets and not just in words.