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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.

GM Layoffs Reflect Decay of Capitalism

gm layoffsContinuing the general trend of the decline in Ontario’s manufacturing sector, General Motors recently announced that nearly 1,000 jobs will be cut in Oshawa in order to relocate Chevrolet Camaro production to Lansing, Michigan. This decision was concluded in 2012, a mere week after the implementation of anti-union “right to work” legislation in that state.

Toronto university strikes victorious; Austerity can be defeated!

CUPE3902 workers and students rally with picket signsAfter a month-long strike at the University of Toronto and York University, academic workers have returned to work. Workers at both universities were able to make important advances at the bargaining table as the strike pressed forward. The action taken by the 10,000 members of CUPE 3902 and 3903 has shaken university administrations and the Ontario Liberal government, while sending a strong message to the labour movement. That message is: austerity can be defeated through bold strike action and rank-and-file militancy.

CUPE 3903: Defend Tuition Indexation! Reject concessions! Keep the union united!

The bargaining team of CUPE 3903, the union representing striking education workers at York University, has reached a tentative agreement with the YorkU administration. Here, we re-publish a statement by the Socialist Fightback club at YorkU/Seneca, which has been actively mobilizing support for the strike.

Fightback supports campus workers in Toronto!

fightback cupe3902 supportAcademic workers at University of Toronto and York University have gone out on strike. In total, 10,000 workers are now on strike at the two largest universities in Canada. The university strike represents a significant challenge to the Ontario Liberal austerity program, and is the first organized move by workers against the cuts.

UofT teaching assistants reject deal and go on strike — View from the rank-and-file

As this article goes to print, teaching assistants at the University of Toronto have set up picket lines and gone on strike after rank-and-file members overwhelmingly voted to reject a tentative agreement between the union and UofT administration. Fightback's Robert Fajber, a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto and member of CUPE 3902, offers his view of the past few days, and what is needed for the TAs to win.

Sessional instructors and graduate students at U of T and YorkU vote to go on strike: Defeat the Zero Mandate! Defeat Wynne’s austerity plan!

Workers at the University of Toronto and York University have held strike votes and received a mandate to potentially take strike action. Both groups of workers are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), in locals 3902 and 3903 respectively. Together, the unions represent nearly 11,000 academic staff at the two universities. These workers provide approximately 50 per cent of the teaching workload, yet comprise around 8 per cent of the university budget. The overwork, underpayment, lack of security, and work hours all have a negative effect on the quality of education for students.


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