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Teaching assistants with CUPE 3906 strike at McMaster University

On 2nd November 2009, 2,700 teaching assistants unionized in CUPE 3906 at McMaster University in Hamilton went out on strike. Although this strike didn't end successfully for workers, combined with recent attacks on university workers and students elsewhere in Ontario, this strike demonstrated the need for solidarity and united action in fighting for better working conditions and better conditions for all students.

Support striking HandyDart workers in Vancouver

HandyDart workers in Greater Vancouver, unionized under ATU 1724, are now on strike. The private company in charge of operating HandyDart services is looking to eliminate the pension plan, slash benefits, and cut shifts in half, amongst other concessions they are looking to extract from workers. This is a big shift for HandyDart workers who have never struck in their 30-year history. At the heart of the dispute is a collision of interests as HandyDart service shifts from a user managed, non-profit service to a profit-making enterprise.

Fightback opposes removal of democracy in CUPE 3903

On October 27th, 2009 CUPE local 3903 (teaching assistants and sessional lecturers at York University) was put under administration by CUPE National. Administration means that the executive and members of local 3903 lose the ability to make their own decisions and the ability to determine their own fate.  Fightback opposes this dictatorial measure and welcomes the attempt by CUPE 3903 members to take back their union.

Sudbury Steelworkers and the 2009 Labour Dispute

Sudbury, Ontario: Home of the Big Nickel, education capital of the north, mining town, working class town. Sudbury has different associations for different people. This past year, however, Sudbury is becoming more widely known because of labour unrest. On 19th September 2008 a fire completely devastated Sudbury's Steelworker hall, burning it to the ground. Looking back now, this event was a foreshadowing of a fiery year ahead for the residents of Greater Sudbury.

Report from Unite-Here rally in Vancouver: Justice for Coast Hotel workers!

Vancouver Fightback supporters attended a rally in support of the workers of the Coast Plaza Hotel, a hotel in Vancouver's West End that is closing. The owners are building a new hotel nearby, the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. In a blatant attempt to break the Hotel's union, the owners are refusing to transfer any of the 150 workers who stand to lose their jobs when the Plaza Hotel closes. Many of the workers, who are organized with Unite Here, have been working for Coast for decades and have been making a living wage.

Looking Back at the Summer of the Strike

The weather wasn't the only thing that was hot this summer. A series of confrontations between workers and the bosses this summer showed that despite the fact that many workers are fearing for their jobs and their livelihoods, they would not idly sit back while the bosses, the banks, and the government attempted to attack workers' living standards. On this Labour Day, we can look back at how workers are capable of fighting back, and winning, during this economic crisis.

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.