Labour Fightback

UNIFOR worker speaks out on struggle with GM

GM PlantEarly in May, Unifor and General Motors announced a deal that would only save 300 of the 2,600 jobs at the closing GM Oshawa plant. Fightback Oshawa sat down with GM worker Cory Weir to discuss the announcement and the lessons of the struggle in Oshawa. A new global slump is on the horizon, and Canada is in a particularly vulnerable place. There is a real possibility of a wave of factory closures in Canada’s manufacturing sector. Workers have to learn the lessons of GM and not allow a bureaucratic leadership to divert the fight to save jobs. It is necessary to occupy the factory and spread the movement to related plants.

Strikes rock Ontario construction trades: No concessions!

Ontario construction workers on scaffoldingTwo construction sectors in Ontario have seen their first strikes in 30 years as workers hit the picket lines to fight employer demands for concessions, chief among them increased working hours. On May 6, approximately 5,000 sheet metal workers went on strike after the breakdown of talks between the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers’ and Roofers’ Conference, which represents the workers, and the Ontario Sheet Metal Contractors Association, which represents the bosses. Picket lines were quickly established in communities including Toronto, Ottawa, London, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Thunder Bay, Niagara, Kingston, and Sarnia.

Heated debates on defying “back-to-work” legislation at 2019 Ontario CUPE Convention

CUPE workers with bannerBetween May 29 and June 1, the Ontario locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) held their 2019 convention. This gathering occurred under the shadow of the Doug Ford provincial government that is attacking the rights of public sector workers and the working class generally. The key issue for the 1000 delegates was how to fight “back-to-work” legislation and attacks on the right to strike. The question of defiance polarized the proceedings.

Victory to the Foodora union drive!

Foodora workers expressing solidarityHitting the streets on May Day, a group of Foodora couriers launched a union drive with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). Under the banner of “Justice for Foodora Couriers,” their main demands are fair compensation for dangerous work, the ability to recover when sick or injured, and a respectful workplace free from harassment and intimidation. CUPW has organized a series of actions to support the couriers (who call themselves “foodsters”), including a march on May 15 that saw about 1,000 CUPW members, a contingent from Labour Fightback, and other supporters join the foodsters in solidarity.

CUPW needs a pro-defiance leadership

postal workers strikeThis week, delegates arrive for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers’ 2019 convention in Toronto. Postal workers will be deciding the direction of the union after yet again being legislated back to work. Sadly, a huge opportunity to defy this legislation was missed in 2018. The union needs to elect a leadership that is vocally critical of the lack of defiance last year, and is committed to defy in the future.

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