Trouble brewing at McGill University

McGill University, one of the top 25 universities in the world, stands high amongst prestigious Ivy League universities like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. It boasts of itself as the centre of excellence. However, McGill’s reputation is built on the hard work of its teachers and staff, some of the most poorly paid in Quebec. In 1993, the teaching assistants (TAs) at McGill formed a union to better their conditions, but for a significant period afterwards, no other unions were formed. The majority of McGill workers were left without protection. Things are changing, however, and McGill’s administration is now fighting several unionization drives in an attempt to continue exploiting its workforce.

Hotel workers across North America protest corporate attacks

In the days leading up to Labour Day, UNITE-HERE workers at Hyatt hotels across North America have organized one-day strikes to protest attacks that Hyatt has been carrying out against their workforce as of late. These attacks have included attempts to lock-in recession-related cutbacks in workers’ pay, even though company profits have been improving. Many of these protests have included non-unionized workers, an inter-union solidarity that is vital in creating a genuine working-class fightback against the bosses' austerity agenda.

Loblaw workers give massive strike mandate in fight against concessions

As this article is being written, Loblaw workers across Ontario have given the leadership of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union a 97% strike mandate, providing the leadership the option of calling a strike if they see this as necessary to move their negotiations with the company forward. This is an astounding figure. Negotiations between Loblaw Companies Ltd. and the UFCW began back in April, though Loblaw has been unwilling to give an inch on their concessionary demands since that time. The UFCW locals involved in these collective agreement negotiations represent approximately 30,000 workers, or a quarter of Loblaw employees across Canada.

Vancouver hotel workers rally against Hyatt Corporation

On Thursday, 22nd July, over 600 hotel workers and supporters demonstrated in front of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Vancouver, shutting down Burrard Street during rush hour. It was organized by UNITE HERE, the union that represents 1,600 workers at four major hotels in Vancouver that are currently in contract negotiations—the Westin Bayshore, Hyatt, Four Seasons, and the Renaissance. The demonstration was co-ordinated with protests in 15 other cities across North America, from Toronto to San Francisco, to fight back against the attacks on hotel workers from the billion-dollar Hyatt Corporation. In Pittsburgh, 16 hotel workers were arrested by police and given citations for obstructing traffic.

Montreal port lockout reveals strength of the working class

Shortly after 9:00pm on the night of 18th July, the Maritime Employer’s Association (MEA) released a short bulletin: as of the following morning, the longshoremen of CUPE Local 375 would be locked out of the port of Montreal, closing it indefinitely. This action followed over two years of negotiations with the union, during which the workers have been working without a contract. In the official press release, the MEA complained of union pressure tactics that “have begun to impede Port operations,” while warning the union to “look more realistically at the challenges ahead.”

Stop police brutality against workers and youth!

Although over a month has past since the G20 protests, Toronto Police Services continue to run roughshod over civil liberties and continue to clamp down on all forms of dissent in the city. This is an effort to destroy any dissent or opposition to the bosses' plans to make the workers pay for the current capitalist crisis. We republish a call-out by the Esplanade Community Group on fighting back against these acts of police violence; Fightback fully supports the statement and encourage all of our supporters to get involved in the campaign against police violence.  An injury to one is an injury to all!

Air Canada breaks promise to workers

Even as it enjoys a new wave of growth and prosperity, Canadian airline giant Air Canada has launched another in a series of attacks on its workers. Breaking a promise made earlier this year, the company announced that it will dramatically increase executive compensation, while simultaneously refusing to negotiate with pilots, flight attendants, and maintenance workers who have borne the brunt of Air Canada's supposed financial difficulties.

Civil Liberties Trashed at the G20: Join the Fight Back!

In order to protect the elite, the democratic rights of every Torontonian were violated. The G20 met to discuss how to make the vast majority pay for the financial crisis created by the banks and corporations. To perpetrate this theft of wealth from the poor to the rich, they spent $1.3-billion to hire armed goons—money that could be far better spent on social services. This is just the beginning of a systematic attack on the democratic rights to free assembly, free association, and free speech, aimed against working people trying to defend their standard of living.

Hamilton May Day shows fighting spirit of Ontario workers

In the past, May Day was largely ignored by the labour movement’s calendar in English-speaking Canada. However, this year was different, particularly in Hamilton, ON; United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1005 hosted a major May Day rally that attracted between 1,000-1,500 trade unionists from all across Ontario. The fact that the tradition of May Day has been resurrected for the Ontario labour movement is indicative of a growing militancy of the organized working-class in this part of Canada.

Sears Canada lock-out: Workers fight against union-busting

On 27th April, a group of young workers, members of the Toronto Young New Democrats and supporters of Fightback, traveled to the City of Vaughan, Ontario to visit a large warehouse and loading yard owned by retail giant Sears Canada Inc. The warehouse workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 9537, have been locked-out since 1st April.  The purpose of the lock-out is to break the union and to send a message to other organized warehouses that they are next.

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