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Drama sparks as labour leaders flank Ford
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November 5, 2021
 

Hey Shift Workers,

Ahead of June's provincial election, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the minimum wage would increase to $15 on January 1, 2022. Labour activists have called this a cynical move - Ford cancelled the planned increase to $15 three years ago - along with paid sick days and other worker protections when he repealed Bill 148: The Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act.

The Fight for $15 movement has since evolved into Justice for Workers and is now campaigning for a $20 minimum wage, 10 paid sick days, ending gig worker misclassification, and more. Ford certainly does not have his pulse on workers’ issues.

Which is why some workers were confused when Unifor President Jerry Dias and OPSEU President Warren ‘Smokey’ Thomas flanked Ford at his press conference. While Dias was critical of Ford, Thomas was friendlier: “For the first time in dealing with three governments, we actually have a government that actually is listening and doing some positive things.”

Robert Hiltz didn’t hold back scathing criticism in Passage: “What is wrong with these guys? People are dead, and they didn’t have to be.”

A $15 minimum wage both in Ontario - and federally - ultimately raises the floor for workers. As Justice for Workers organizer David Bush points out, the role of social movements is to exploit politicians’ selfish cynicism to extract wins for workers. Ford introduced this increase because it was popular with voters - thanks to years of boots-on-the ground organizing.

As we slowly ease out of the pandemic, all parties should know their positions on workers’ rights will make or break their jousts for power.


- Emily

 
 
 
 
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Top Headlines
 
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs crashes a CUPE press conference. Photo via CBC.
 





  • App companies are scrambling to fight a minimum wage ‘cap’ for couriers. But gig workers say they want full protection as government eyes reform.



 
New Organizing
 
Photo via Shannon McCutcheon on Pexels.
 

  • Sessions Cannabis in Hamilton has unionized with UFCW 1006A.


  • Thinking of organizing your workplace? Here's what you need to know!

 
Picket Shifts
 
University of Manitoba students support faculty on strike. Photo via Lindsay Lab.
 



  • Napanee shelter workers and Unifor members are on strike to address staffing levels and low wages.

  • 22,000 public sector CUPE New Brunswick workers are on strike for better wages.

  • Quebec Unifor members at industrial manufacturer Prelco strike after nearly 8 months at bargaining table, demanding wage increases.


  • Laval, Quebec transit drivers and CUPE members announce three strike days on November 3, 15, and 26.

  • BC IG Machines and Fibres Workers and IAM Local 692 members have been locked out since July 12, 2021.

  • BC hotel workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, have been locked out by Hilton Metrotown and Pacific Gateway hotel chains for over six months.


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

 
 
Before You Go...
 

 


 
Events
 
 

 
 
Shift Work Culture
 
 

Workers at Image Comics have unionized with the Communication Workers of America.

Canadian Labour International Film Festival virtual screenings run throughout November.

 
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