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Manitoba PCs attempt to make amends with workers
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October 1, 2021
 

Hey Shift Workers,

After years of attacking workers' rights, the Manitoba PCs are now on an apology tour to rehabilitate their image following last month's resignation of the wildly unpopular Premier Brian Pallister. Interim Premier Kelvin Goertzen repealed five unpopular bills, including one which have lengthened strikes, and PC leadership candidate Heather Stefanson signed a Manitoba Nurses Union pledge to address the health care staffing crisis.

Manitoba unions also fought the PC's attempts to mandate public sector wage freezes through legislation and intimidation. Many unions instead attained wage increases, while others may be entitled to retroactive payments.

While it's great to see an anti-worker government on defense - the fight is far from over.

As we face collapsing health care systems in Alberta, Saskatchewan and across the Canada, it is important to reflect on what workers can achieve through collective action.

- Emily

 
 
 
 
Spotlight
 
 
In the 1940s, Canadian workers were essential to the nation’s war effort, but the government and employers used the war to justify a clampdown on labour rights. PressProgress staff writer Mitchell Thompson writes a historical piece for Jacobin, reflecting on how workers fought back to enshrine labour rights for all workers.
 
 
Top Headlines
 
Thousands of Winnipeggers march down Portage Avenue to mark the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Photo via Lenard Monkman.
 
  • The Canadian Labour Congress called for Justin Trudeau to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and created a list of educational resources for workers to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.






  • SEIU initiative Working Ontario Women launches Uninvited, an online news program helmed by journalist Karman Wong which will highlight public affairs issues relevant to working women.

  • Minimum wages increase by nickels and dimes across Canada today: Manitoba rises $11.90 to 11.95; Ontario rises $14.25 to 14.35; Newfoundland and Labrador rises $12.50 to $12.75; and Saskatchewan rises $11.45 to $11.81.

  • Members of Vancouver and Toronto IATSE locals created a spreadsheet of obituaries to highlight the short life expectancy of those working long hours with little rest in the film industry. IATSE Canada workers express solidarity with American co-workers seeking better working conditions ahead of U.S strike vote October 1.


  • Canadian Media Guild and the Canadian Press reach last minute deal to avoid a strike.

 
New Organizing
 
Illustration by Titmouse Animation workers who unionized with IATSE in 2020.
 

  • 200 workers at B.C animation studio Titmouse ratified their first collective agreement, one year after unionization with IATSE's Animation Guild, Local 938.



  • Over 200 flight attendants at Swoop, WestJet's low-cost carrier, ratified their first collective agreement after unionizing with CUPE 4070 last year.

 
Picket Shifts
 
BC Rio Tinto aluminum smelt workers were on strike for two months this summer. Photo via CFKTV.
 




  • BC hotel workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, remain locked out of Pacific Gateway and Hilton Metrotown hotel chains, fighting for extended recall rights.


  • BC construction workers with IBEW 213 have been on strike for two years fighting union-buster Ledcor.

 
 
Before You Go...
 
Law of Work: A Timeline by David J. Doorey. Click here for full image.
 



  • Why is rent so high? Passage has launched an email course exploring Canada's housing crisis.

 
Events
 
 
  • October 8, 2021: Registration deadline for the CUPE National Convention, which will now be held online, November 22 - 26.

 
 
Shift Work Culture
 
Cadence Weapon. Photo via eOne.
 

Toronto-based artist Cadence Weapon won the 2021 Polaris Prize for his album Parallel World this week. Cadence Weapon recently penned an essay about his exploitative 360 record deal where he “basically didn’t make a dime” and was forced to work multiple jobs despite booking large tours and festivals. He hopes his "cautionary tale" will help other young artists avoid the same treatment.

 
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