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Demonstration against Bombardier in Montreal: An interview with a worker

bomardier employees protestOn April 2 a spontaneous demonstration was held in Montreal with approximately 300 people in front of Bombardier's head offices denouncing the obscene salaries of their executives. La Riposte socialiste, the organization of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) in Quebec, participated in the demonstration and interviewed Michel Millette, a Bombardier worker and disappointed citizen who insisted that we make this clear!

Grassroots members revolt against ATU 113 Executive at Local meeting (eyewitness report)

bob kinnearOne thousand members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 gathered this past Sunday, March 19 for the first general membership meeting since the eruption of the disaffiliation crisis a month and a half ago. Having been consistently denied a voice in the matter up to this point by the union bureaucracy, the rank and file workers of Local 113 voiced their anger in droves, and in the process delivered an unequivocal message of no confidence in the elected leadership. This represents a fundamental transformation in the situation within the union, one which will most certainly have reverberating effects in the months and years to come.

ATU 113 Crisis: No to Trusteeship, No to Disaffiliation, For Workers' Democracy in the Union!

ATU 113 Members holding bannerOn February 3, 2017, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 was placed under trusteeship of its parent union, the ATU International. What this practically meant in the initial stage was that the entire 17-member elected executive board was dismissed and physically locked out of the union office, the monthly democratic membership meeting for February cancelled, and Manny Sforza, former Local 113 executive board member and current International Vice-President, appointed as temporary trustee to direct the affairs of the Local. The trusteeship was imposed swiftly in response to Local President Bob Kinnear's approach to the Canadian Labour Congress on February 1st, which was enacted with the intention of initiating a process of disaffiliation of the Local from the ATU. In the drama that has ensued both Kinnear and Sforza have claimed to be the defenders of workers' democracy in the union, when in reality both have been responsible for actions that are completely the opposite. From the standpoint of the rank and file, there has yet to be legitimate political case made for either trusteeship or disaffiliation, and as a result, this entire episode appears to be one of settling long-standing bureaucratic rivalries while workers are pushed to the sideline in the process.

Toronto Labour Day - Class Collaboration on Display

liberals at labour day 2016Union members at this year’s Toronto Labour Day Parade were greeted with an unfamiliar sight: for the first time in the parade’s history (according to former OFL President Sid Ryan) Liberal MPPs had been invited to participate in the Labour Day Parade. Kevin Flynn, Liberal MPP for Oakville and the Minister of Labour, marched at the front of the parade alongside the Toronto and York District Labour Council’s banner, beside the council’s President, John Cartwright, and the President of the Canadian Labour Congress, Hassan Yussuff. That the same Minister of Labour for the Wynne government who had stripped Ontario teachers represented by OSSTF of their right to collectively bargain and to strike is able to show his face at the Ontario labour movement’s largest event of the year is downright scandalous! Rhetoric of a “social justice Premier” aside, the Wynne government represents an implacably anti-worker and pro-austerity enemy to the labour movement of Ontario.

Solidarity Helps Library Workers Win Victory!

library strikeStriking Mississauga Library workers, represented by CUPE Local 1989, recently won an important victory in contract negotiations. Ratification occurred on July 26th, after almost three weeks on strike. During the strike, Socialist Fightback Students joined the picket line in a show of student-worker solidarity. In a time of few gains, this victory highlights the power of the working class and the need for collective solidarity.

Support Postal Workers – Fire the Management!

canadapoststrike2Fifty thousand postal workers could be out on picket lines in a matter of days, as Canada Post management is doing everything they can to provoke a showdown. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) offered to extend the July 2 deadline for a lockout by a period of two weeks, but were rejected out of hand by Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra. With that rejection, the tension on the shop floor is at its highest as workers brace themselves for either a strike or a lock out. Either way this could turn out to be a very sharp struggle.

City of Toronto Workers Sold Short: What are the Lessons?

Cupe Local 79 RallyLast month, more than 20,000 'inside' city workers of CUPE Local 79 were presented with a tentative agreement negotiated by their elected leadership that they were told was "the best we could get". This agreement, which included such concessions as wage increases below the rate of inflation and cuts to long-term disability pay, along with no notable improvements, was notable for the complete removal of historic anti-contracting out language originally won in 1999. This sell out is only the latest in a series of defeats for the labour movement over the past few years, highlighting the absence of leadership despite the willingness of the rank and file to fight to the end.

Bill C-377: Union-busting legislation the latest salvo in Harper's war against the working-class

bill377Recent anti-union legislation passed by the Harper government has added yet more fuel to the mass of combustible material that exists in Canadian society. Bill C-377 will force unions to publicize sensitive information about the state of their finances and thus will place them at a significant disadvantage in future struggles of workers with their bosses.