Ontario Coalition for Social Justice news and events around the GTA

May 2, 2008

This is the time of year when we all have innumerable things to do and meetings to attend before summer time. The exciting thing about poverty reduction is that so many people and groups are organizing, expressing their concerns, and pushing governments to actually do something to reduce poverty:

1) OCSJ ASSEMBLY MAY 10

FROM POVERTY TO ECONOMIC SECURITY

A Forum to Reduce Poverty in Ontario

Saturday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

at USWA Hall, 25 Cecil St, Toronto

[south of College St., and 2 blocks west of subway stop at College &

University]

Agenda highlights (more info to follow):

• Shine a light on poverty in the province

• Recommend ways to reduce poverty and increase social justice

• Learn about the Provincial Government’s plans for poverty

reduction — with Cheri DiNovo, MPP (Parkdale-High Park) and we have also

invited the Cabinet Committee on Poverty Reduction to send a

representative.

• Mobilize for public input into the process

Open at no cost to all activists interested in social justice — labour,

student, aboriginal, women, ethno-racial, and other equity-seeking groups

2) ONTARIO GOVERNMENT & POVERTY REDUCTION

Deb Matthews, MPP (London North Centre), as Chair of Ontario’s Cabinet

Committee on Poverty Reduction, is clearly the committee’s public voice in

explaining its intentions about consulting people to develop

recommendations within this year to reduce poverty in the province. The

Minister spoke to very well attended meetings last week which were

organized by the 25 in 5 network and also by ISARC.

It was frustrating for community groups that the Cabinet Committee did not

take advantage of those highly publicized events to announce its

consultation schedule. However, we are assured that the schedule will be

announced soon.

3) LABOUR & COMMUNITY CONCERNS ABOUT POVERTY

**ABORIGINALS

One current dispute between aboriginals in Ontario and authorities in

Government concerns aboriginal land rights and their assumption that

consulting them is an elementary right before a mining company, for

example, uses lands that they claim belong to them.

In northwestern Ontario, the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inniuwig (KI) aboriginals,

and around Sharbot Lake west of Ottawa, the Ardoch Algonquin aboriginals,

are opposing the drilling for minerals on their lands. Yet despite their

peaceful claims, leaders of the bands in each region have been sentenced

to six months in jail because of their public claims. Apparently, both

the Premier and the Ontario Attorney General (AG) have offered the

aboriginal leaders money to fight these disputes legally, but Mr. McGuinty

and Mr. Bryant each claim that they cannot interfere with a court process,

and so cannot order the aboriginal leaders’ release.

**CANADIAN AUTO WORKERS

The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) are initiating campaign schools to focus

on retaining jobs as part of the union’s campaign to help its members, but

as part of its strong belief that jobs, especially good jobs that offer

benefits to workers too, is one of the best ways to eradicate poverty. As

well, the CAW is encouraging municipalities to adopt a policy to buy

Canadian products for all public purchases as a further means of

protecting jobs in the province.

A series of schools began this past weekend for workers in St.

Catharine’s, Niagara Falls, Welland, Thorold, and Pelham in the Niagara

region, and schools will also be held in Kitchener-Waterloo on May 3, in

Windsor on May 10, and in Oshawa on May 24.

**COLLEGE PART-TIME WORKERS

The organizing by OPSEU staff among 12,500 part-time workers at community

colleges to join the union has been recognized at last by John Milloy, MPP

(Kitchener Centre), Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges, &

Universities. The Minister said yesterday that the government plans to

introduce legislation this spring permitting the workers to gain

bargaining rights.

**COMMUNITY MOBILIZING

##The 25 in 5 forum on poverty reduction on April 14 attracted almost 500

activists who urged the Ontario Government to take serious action now on

reducing poverty. The network’s principles and actions are available at

Toronto’s social planning council website at

##The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC) attracted a

further 100 activists from faith communities to urge the Government to

accomplish the same goal.

ISARC will be consulting local faith groups with whom they work to

organize meetings where people will be able to discuss how faith groups

can contribute to urging government action. Its tour is to be planned for

London, Hamilton, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, and Thunder Bay.

Minister Deb Matthews spoke at each of these forums, and stayed long

enough at each one to hear from a number of diverse activists, including

persons living in poverty, persons receiving each of Ontario Works and

Ontario Disability Support Program income.

##The Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) has been consulting with a

number of communities about co-operative action on urging government

action and will continue to do so in a location to be announced for

talking with Canadian Association of Community Living on April 24, in

Cambridge on April 25, in Cornwall on April 28, and in Ottawa on May 7.

Details, times, and contact information for these meetings can be found at

a new website initiated by the SPNO called Poverty Watch Ontario and

**ENVIRONMENT & WATER

##The Ontario Ministry of the Environment has renewed a permit granting a

unit of Nestle Canada Inc the right to continue extracting up to 3,600,000

litres of groundwater each day near Guelph to then sell as spring water.

This decision raises so many issues, like the token fees paid by a

transnational corporation to profit from water which may be needed by the

increasing population in the Guelph region, that it defies rational

belief! Local concerns can be read at the website of Wellington Water

##A much more positive decision for the health of students and staff at

schools in the Waterloo Region was taken by the District School Board

which has banned the sale of plastic bottles of water in its schools as of

next year.

**IMMIGRANTS / REFUGEES

##There are increasing numbers of unions and community groups which are

expressing their criticisms of the federal government’s proposed

amendments to the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as

amounting to giving the Immigration Minister far too much power and

discretion about who and how many persons will be allowed to enter Canada.

The Canadian Arab Federation, the Chinese Canadian National Council, the

union UNITE HERE, and the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) are some

of the increasing numbers of critics.

One clear event that will attract many people is being organized by No One

Is Illegal for a rally on May 3, cited below in the events section.

##An excellent Federal Tax Court judgment was issued a few days ago in

B.C. whereby the judge criticized the widespread exploitation of migrant

agricultural workers as reminiscent of scenes from author John Steinbeck’s

The Grapes of Wrath. The determined work by the United Food & Commercial

Workers (UFCW) across the country, including in both Ontario and B.C., and

also the community activists from Justicia 4 Migrant Workers, will be able

to rely on this judgment for their advocacy for migrant workers from now

forwards.

4) POVERTY: FOCUS OF COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT

Parliament’s HUMA Committee (Human Resources and Social Development) has

begun its study on a poverty plan for Canada. The committee plans 3 or 4

meetings to discuss an overview of poverty in Canada; 2 to 4 meetings to

compare poverty in Canada with that in countries like the U.K. and

Ireland, from which Canada may learn ideas which could be used here; and 6

to 10 meetings to discuss how the federal government can contribute to a

poverty reduction strategy in Canada.

To ask to appear, or to learn about submitting a written brief, contact

HUMA Committee clerk Jacques Mazaide, Room 6-37, 131 Queen Street, House

of Commons, Ottawa, Ont K1A 0A6, Tel: (613) 996-1542, Fax: (613) 992-1962,

or E-mail: HUMA@parl.gc.ca

An active M.P. from Ontario on the committee is Tony Martin, M.P. (Sault

Ste. Marie) assisted by Rick Prashaw, Tony’s Legislative Assistant,

available at MartiTo0@parl.gc.ca Information about the hearings is

available on Tony’s website

5) FAIR VOTE IN ONTARIO

The numerous supporters of a fairer voting system for Ontario, and for

other provinces, as well as for the federal level of government, are

rejuvenating the campaign in Ontario to stimulate public awareness of the

need for changing or reforming the voting system. Activists in Fair Vote

Ontario are interested in discussing their concerns in meetings and events

and are planning now to organize a major public forum next autumn to

highlight what is needed to be done to achieve change.

Information about these concerns, and also how to join others in your

neighbourhood to learn about and to support change, is available at

6) EVENTS

May 3

The Toronto & York Region Labour Council and its Equity Committee

is hosting the sixth Workers of Colour and Aboriginal Workers’ conference.

It starts at 9:00 a.m., costs $40 including lunch, and takes place at the

OFL building, 15 Gervais Dr. For information, contact Ana Fonseca at

afonseca@labourcouncil.ca or at (416) 441-3663 x221.

May 3

No One Is Illegal is organizing a rally at 12:00 p.m. at Christie

Pits Park, across from the Christie subway stop in Toronto, to protest

unfair deportations of immigrants and refugees to Canada.

May 10 The OCSJ spring assembly and AGM will take place from 10:00 a.m.

till 4:00 p.m. in Toronto at the Steelworkers’ Hall at 25 Cecil St., near

the Queen’s Park subway stop. For information, contact John Argue at

info@ocsj.ca or (416) 441-3714.

May 10

The London and District Labour Council is hosting a joint activist

forum from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m., in the common room of the Tolpuddle

Housing Co-op at 380 Adelaide St. N. The forum title is “Turning

globalization around with grass-roots activists”, with a Latin American

focus because of concerns in London about what’s happening in Colombia, in

particular, and incidentally, the city’s increasing Spanish-speaking

population. Information about the forum is available from (519) 645-3108.

John Argue, Co-ordinator

Ontario Coalition for Social Justice

15 Gervais Dr., #305

Toronto, Ont., M3C 1Y8

(416) 441-3714

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Killings of trade unionists up by 25% / Canadian wood workers strike following deaths and injury on the job

September 22, 2007

Killings of trade unionists up by 25%

144 trade unionists were murdered for defending workers’ rights in 2006, while more than 800 suffered beatings or torture, according to the Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights Violations, published by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The report details nearly 5,000 arrests and more than 8,000 dismissals of workers due to their trade union activities. 484 new cases of trade unionists held in detention by governments are also documented in the report.

You can read the full report online, country by country, in English, Spanish, French and German, here.

This report is required reading for all trade unionists – please spread the word.

Canada: Wood workers strike following 65 deaths on the job

Striking forestry workers in British Columbia. Canadian wood workers in British Columbia, members of the United Steelworkers (USW) have been on strike since 21 July in a dispute centering on work hours, safety and contracting out.Over 65 forestry workers have been killed on the job since January 2005. Hundreds more have been seriously injured. The union and its global union federation (BWI) are asking for our help to put an end to these unnecessary and tragic deaths. Please take a minute to learn more and sign up to the online campaign.

USA: After 62 years, NFFC freezes out the union

Since 1945, workers at National Frozen Foods (NFFC) in Chehalis, Washington have been represented by the Teamsters union. But this summer the company terminated its contract with the Teamsters and illegally declared bargaining at an impasse. The union filed unfair labour practice charges against the company and together with its global union federation (ITF) is calling for an international online campaign of protest. This is not just a company which wants to get rid of its union — it is also accused of breaking child labour laws. To learn more and to send off a message, please go here.

Campaign updates: UK

UK: Workers in north London care homes, employed by Fremantle Trust, are on strike today. For the very latest news, visit their website.


Undercover cops tried to incite violence in Montebello: union leader

August 23, 2007

Organizers of the protests at the North American leaders’ summit in Montebello, Que., say they have video that shows police disguised as masked demonstrators tried to incite violence on Monday.

FULL STORY:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2007/08/22/ot-police-070822.html

Montebello march:

Protesting the SPP

http://www.cbc.ca/photogallery/canada/662/

MONTEBELLO’S MAYOR THANKS POLICE, PROTESTERS AFTER LEADERS SUMMIT

Montebello’s mayor praised both police and protesters after hundreds of officers and more than a thousand activists descended on the Quebec town for a summit by the three North American leaders without a single report of damage.

FULL STORY:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2007/08/22/montebello-after.html


Reminder: Union Education Meeting in Support of Six Nations, Hamilton Ontario, Saturday March 31st

March 30, 2007

This is a reminder about the event this coming weekend. Please register if you’re interested in coming. Please feel free to let others know about it.

UNION EDUCATIONAL MEETING IN SUPPORT OF SIX NATIONS

Information about registering is at the end of this post. If you are planning to come you need to register. Please bring snacks for the potluck lunch/snack break. Contact tom@tao.ca or call 416-526-4255 for more information.

>>DATE: 11:30AM – 5:00 PM Saturday, March 31st, 2007

>>LOCATION: Hamilton Horseshoe Club – 170 Brockley Dr

>>DIRECTIONS:http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=170+Brockley+Dr.,+Hamilton,+ON&ie=UTF8&z=13&ll=43.23895,-79.739799&spn=0.057526,0.215263&om=1

Community Friends for Peace and Understanding with Six Nations, a grass-roots coalition of community and labour activists is hosting this meeting in order to create a place for trade union activists in southern Ontario to come together to build union support for the Six Nations reclamation. From the beginning of the reclamation, the trade union movement has issued statements of support and made financial donations.

However, this support needs to be sustained as well as extended into the rank-and-file of the union movement, as we at the grassroots work consistently to build bridges between the common values and interests of the trade union movement and those of indigenous peoples.

Members from the following unions will be present at the workshop: CAW 707, CAW 555, CAW 88, CUPE 3903, CUPE 3906, CUPE 1281, CUPE 4400, CUPE 5167, USWA 1005, and USWA 1998.

11:30am SHARP Welcoming session:

– people from Six Nations welcome union activists to the event

– representative from Community Friends explains the purpose of the meeting

– go around and introductions of everyone present

12:00pm – 2:00pm “INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY AND HAUDENOSAUNEE RELATIONS WITH THE BRITISH CROWN AND THE CANADIAN STATE: THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE CONFLICT OVER THE ‘DOUGLAS CREEK ESTATES'”.

The purpose of this session is to provide people with the historical and political background to the struggle going on and to provide people with the tools to convince their fellow union members about the justness and righteousness of the Six Nations cause. Speakers include Hazel Hill from the reclamation site, Ruby Monture, and Rhonda Hill – mother of Six Nations political prisoner Christopher Hill. Other speakers TBA

2:00-2:30pm snack break

2:30pm – 5:30pm “WHY (AND HOW) SHOULD TRADE UNIONS SUPPORT INDIGENOUS RIGHTS? HOW DO WE ORGANIZE WITHIN UNIONS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF INDIGENOUS ISSUES AND MOBILIZE THE RANK-AND-FILE TO GET ACTIVE IN SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY?”

Some people argue that trade unions exist for the purpose of defending their membership from their bosses and should only be limited to working around workplace issues. Other people argue that “an injury to one is an injury to all” and that trade unions are powerful vehicles for social justice and solidarity on a wide range of issues not limited to the workplace. This panel discussion will address the question of how trade unions have related to indigenous struggles in the past, how they do so today, and why the union movement can be an important ally for indigenous peoples across the country. The second part of this session will focus on the nuts and bolts issues of how we can work within the union movement to build support for indigenous sovereignty in general and concrete support for Six Nations in particular and address the kinds of problems and challenges we might face in doing this work.Speakers: Lindsay Hinshelwood, CAW 707; Tom Keefer, CUPE 3903; Joanne Webb, CUPE National Aboriginal Council, and others TBA from the Trade Union Movement.
************************************************************************

REGISTRATION FORM: UNION EDUCATIONAL MEETING IN SUPPORT OF SIX NATIONS

>>Please email form to tom@tao.ca or call 416-526-4255 for more information.

>>NAME:

>>

>>UNION:

>>

>>PHONE #:

>>

>>E-MAIL:

>>

>>ADDRESS:


Toronto: May Day, Immigrant Justice, Support Chris Hill 6 Nations

March 20, 2007

1. No One is Illegal, Toronto: MAY DAY

2. Reflections on Immigrant Justice

3. Support Chris Hill: Six Nations indigenous prisoner

No One Is Illegal – Toronto, the Citizenship Studies Media Lab @ York and CUPE 3903 invite you to…

Status for All!: Reflections on Immigrant Justice Movements in Canada and the US

Thursday, March 29th

1-3pm

305 York Lanes

York University

with:

Davina Bhandar, Professor of Canadian Studies, Trent University

Monami Maulik, Desis Rising Up and Moving, New York City

Farrah Miranda, No One Is Illegal – Toronto

In preparation for large-scale May Day demonstrations for immigrant rights across Canada and the US, immigrant rights scholars and activists will come together to reflect on the demand for status. Within the context of nationalism and racism, how does the demand for status radicalize our communities? What is the impact of the racial organization of Canada on the question of status rights? What are the connections and alliances we need to make with other social justice movements? How are immigrant and refugee rights groups in Canada and the US mobilizing for change and how can we continue to build these movements?

Join us for a panel discussion on the central issues facing non-status immigrants in Canada and the US and the social justice movements that are mobilizing for change.

This event is part of a series leading to the May 5th “Status for All! Stop the Deportations” demonstration called by No One Is Illegal – Toronto.

For more information, contact Jean McDonald at jean@riseup.net

No One Is Illegal – Toronto: http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell campaign: www.dadttoronto.org

Citizenship Studies Media Lab: http://csml.calumet.yorku.ca/

CUPE 3903: http://www.cupe3903.tao.ca/


Desis Rising Up and Moving: www.drumnation.org


MAY DAY OF ACTION
Saturday, May 5
11am
Bloor and Christie (Christie Pitts Park)
**************************************************************************
No One Is Illegal-Toronto calls on all allies and supporters to endorse and help organise towards the next May Day of Action for Status for All on Saturday, May 5th.

Last May, millions of immigrants and allies across North America took to the streets to demand justice for immigrants and refugees and status for all. In Toronto, workers, students, trade unionists, activists and members of faith communities among others participated in a series of strong and vibrant immigrant rights demonstrations
including the May 27th National Day of Action for Status for All.

With the emergence of the new Conservative immigration ministry, we saw escalated attacks against immigrant communities: an increased number of detentions and deportations, arrests of students in schools, and new US-style enforcement tactics, including random identification-checks in malls, at subway stations, and on the streets.

We organised and fought these attacks. We organised in our work places, community centres, apartment buildings, schools and unions to show the Immigration Ministry that we would not accept these attacks. Together we were able to stop the random identification checks in a community viciously targeted by immigration officials, force immigration enforcement out of schools, slow down the deportation machinery of Immigration Canada, and win greater access to essential services for people without status such as school, health and police services amongst many others.

But the fight is not over. Everyday over 500,000 undocumented people across Canada, and over 80,000 in Toronto alone, live in daily fear of detention and deportation. They are our co-workers, fellow students, political activists, family, friends and community members. Working in the backs of hotels and restaurants, as domestic and agricultural workers, as taxi drivers and construction workers, and in other jobs no one else wants to do, undocumented and immigrant communities experience racial profiling, exploitative working conditions, and lack of access to essential services.

On May 5th we will come together to show our strength and continue to echo our demands. We will demand an end to detentions and deportations. We will demand access without fear to essential services. We will demand a full and inclusive regularization program.

We will demand justice, dignity and respect! Join us.

WAYS TO SUPPORT:

1)Endorse the May Day of Action by sending a short statement of support to nooneisillegal@riseup.net

2)Financial and in-kind
(photocopying, translation) donations.

3)Organise a contingent from your organization or community to come out on May 5th.

4)Organise a No One Is Illegal workshop/presentation at your school, union, agency, community centre or workplace.

FOR MORE INFO:
Email nooneisillegal@riseup.net, or check out
http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org


Support Chris Hill: Six Nations indigenous prisoner
Stop the Criminalization of Indigenous Resistance to Colonial Land Theft! Free Chris Hill!
On January 3rd, Six Nations Police, in accordance with the demands of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), arrested and imprisoned Chris Hill, a 20 year old young Mohawk man of the Wolf Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, for allegedly “assaulting a police officer with a weapon” on April 20th, 2006 – the very day that the OPP and the RCMP invaded Douglas Creek Estates and violently attempted to evict the people of Six Nations from their land. That day, the OPP used tazer darts and batons on unarmed people, including women and youth, and arrested 16 people on a day that brought nation-wide attention to the struggle of Six Nations for land rights and autonomy.

Since the Haudonausaunee of Six Nations reclaimed Douglas Creek Estates, some 30 indigenous people have been charged by the settler-colony of Canada in relation to the Reclamation. Chris Hill is one of the latest to be charged. Interestingly, the warrant for his arrest in relation to April 20th was issued 6 months later in October of 2006. Since January 3rd, he has been sitting in Barton Street Jail in Hamilton, Ontario where he is locked up for 18 hours a day.

Chris Hill was denied bail on the basis of his record of “failure to omply” when he was a young offender. Chris Hill was denied access to legal aid on the basis of him not having a permanent address. His mother, Rhonda Martin, is a mother on assistance who just underwent surgery, and now faces lawyers’ fees in the thousands in order to be able to free her son.

Chris Hill sits behind bars for having defended his land. The
proceedings at the Cayuga courthouse have proven to be extremely lengthy, as nearly all court appearances have resulted in remand after remand.

Chris Hill needs moral, political and financial support and solidarity. Please send reading material and write letters of support to Chris Hill for him to receive while he awaits a trial date. Furthermore, please contribute to Chris Hill’s legal defense fund. Please continue to demand the end of the criminalization of the Six Nations Land Reclamation.


Address your letters of support to Chris Hill to:

Chris Hill
Wentworth Detention Center.
165 Barton Street East
Hamilton, Ontario

To contribute to the legal defense fund of Six Nations:
Send checks marked “legal defense” to:

Janie Jameson
RR1
Ohsweken, Ontario
N0A 1MO

Alternatively, to support Chris Hill directly, send checks, marked “legal
defense” to

Rhonda Martin
P.O. box 383
Ohsweken, Ontario
N0A 1MO

May the stars carry your sadness away,
may the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
may hope forever wipe away your tears,
And above all may silence make you strong.

Chief Dan George

The Mississauga Coalition for Peace and Justice
Website:
www.mcpj.org

Open “The Windows of Dissent, in which activists take down the first fences on the streets and in their minds”
-Naomi Klein, GTA Activist


Union Education Meeting in Support of Six Nations, Hamilton Ontario, Saturday March 31st

March 18, 2007

UNION EDUCATIONAL MEETING IN SUPPORT OF SIX NATIONS

(Please contact tom@tao.ca or call 416-526-4255 or visit

www.honorsixnations.com for more information. Please be in touch with us to register if you’re planning to come to the event.)

DATE: 11:30AM – 5:00 PM Saturday, March 31st, 2007

LOCATION: Hamilton Horseshoe Club – 170 Brockley Dr

DIRECTIONS:http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=170+Brockley+Dr.,+Hamilton,+ON&ie=UTF8&z=13&ll=43.23895,-79.739799&spn=0.057526,0.215263&om=1

Community Friends for Peace and Understanding with Six Nations, a grass-roots coalition of community and labour activists is hosting this meeting in order to create a place for trade union activists in southern Ontario to come together to build union support for the Six Nations reclamation. From the beginning of the reclamation, the trade union movement has issued statements of support and made financial donations.

However, this support needs to be sustained as well as extended into the rank-and-file of the union movement, as we at the grassroots work consistently to build bridges between the common values and interests of the trade union movement and those of indigenous peoples.

Members from the following unions will be present at the workshop: CAW

707, CAW 555, CAW 88, CUPE 3903, CUPE 3906, CUPE 4400, CUPE 5167, USWA

1005, and USWA 1998.

11:30am SHARP Welcoming session:

– people from Six Nations welcome union activists to the event

– representative from Community Friends explains the purpose of the meeting

– go around and introductions of everyone present

12:00pm – 2:00pm “INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY AND HAUDENOSAUNEE RELATIONS WITH THE BRITISH CROWN AND THE CANADIAN STATE: THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE CONFLICT OVER THE ‘DOUGLAS CREEK ESTATES’”.

The purpose of this session is to provide people with the historical and political background to the struggle going on and to provide people with the tools to convince their fellow union members about the justness and righteousness of the Six Nations cause. Speakers include Hazel Hill from the reclamation site, Ruby Monture, and Rhonda Hill – mother of Six Nations political prisoner Christopher Hill. Other speakers TBA

2:00-2:30pm snack break

2:30pm – 5:30pm “WHY (AND HOW) SHOULD TRADE UNIONS SUPPORT INDIGENOUS RIGHTS?

HOW DO WE ORGANIZE WITHIN UNIONS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF INDIGENOUS ISSUES AND MOBILIZE THE RANK-AND-FILE TO GET ACTIVE IN SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY?”

Some people argue that trade unions exist for the purpose of defending their membership from their bosses and should only be limited to working around workplace issues. Other people argue that “an injury to one is an injury to all” and that trade unions are powerful vehicles for social justice and solidarity on a wide range of issues not limited to the workplace. This panel discussion will address the question of how trade unions have related to indigenous struggles in the past, how they do so today, and why the union movement can be an important ally for indigenous peoples across the country. The second part of this session will focus on the nuts and bolts issues of how we can work within the union movement to build support for indigenous sovereignty in general and concrete support for Six Nations in particular and address the kinds of problems and challenges we might face in doing this work.

Speakers: Lindsay Hinshelwood, CAW 707; Tom Keefer, CUPE 3903; Joanne Webb, CUPE National Aboriginal Council, and others TBA from the Trade Union Movement.


Anti-Scab Legislation Needs Our Help!

March 6, 2007


On March 21 our Members of Parliament are scheduled to vote on changes to the Canada Labour Code that, if adopted, would put an end to the use of scabs during labour disputes in the federal sector. Working people must ensure that this happens.

 

Recently, the leader of the Liberal party Stéphane Dion announced that he will not support an end to scab labour – even though the majority of his Liberal colleagues supported the first and second readings of the legislation in Parliament. This means that we must work harder than ever to convince our MPs that the use of scabs is behaviour that Canadian workers cannot accept.

 

When Bill C-257 comes to a vote, we want our MPs to vote ‘yes!’ You can tell Stéphane Dion and your own MP to do this, right now, by clicking here:

www.caw.ca/takeactionnow/index.asp?ID=38

The research is clear: when scabs are used during strikes and lockouts, labour disputes last longer and often get nastier. Bargaining is stalled, communities are divided, and tempers flare. Work days are lost, and everyone suffers.

For workers, watching someone steal your job creates anger, bitterness, and resentment that damages morale and productivity for years to come.

Over the next two weeks, contact your Member of Parliament. Call him or her on the phone. Send a message through the web address below. MPs will be in their home riding offices over the next two weeks – visit them personally. Tell them you and your family want anti-scab legislation in place. Tell your MP to vote ‘yes’ and pass Bill C-257.

http://www.caw.ca/takeactionnow/index.asp?ID=38