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Brazil: In defense of democratic and trade union freedoms and workers' rights

Florianopolis Struggle 2 Esquerda MarxistaThe Union of Municipal Workers of Florianópolis (Sintrasem) is under attack by the city and the judiciary. The workers' strike against a package which involves the withdrawal of acquired rights, and wage and pension cuts approved by Mayor Gean Loureiro (PMDB), was declared illegal by the Regional Labor Court which ruled an end to the strike, a daily fine of R$15,000.00 [US$5000] and, scandalously, decided that the proceedings would be secret! As if it were a criminal case against a criminal gang!

Toronto Labour Day - Class Collaboration on Display

liberals at labour day 2016Union members at this year’s Toronto Labour Day Parade were greeted with an unfamiliar sight: for the first time in the parade’s history (according to former OFL President Sid Ryan) Liberal MPPs had been invited to participate in the Labour Day Parade. Kevin Flynn, Liberal MPP for Oakville and the Minister of Labour, marched at the front of the parade alongside the Toronto and York District Labour Council’s banner, beside the council’s President, John Cartwright, and the President of the Canadian Labour Congress, Hassan Yussuff. That the same Minister of Labour for the Wynne government who had stripped Ontario teachers represented by OSSTF of their right to collectively bargain and to strike is able to show his face at the Ontario labour movement’s largest event of the year is downright scandalous! Rhetoric of a “social justice Premier” aside, the Wynne government represents an implacably anti-worker and pro-austerity enemy to the labour movement of Ontario.

Fightback Interviews Canadian Union of Postal Workers President Mike Palecek

mike palecek portraitFollowing the dispute at Canada Post, Fightback sat down with CUPW President Mike Palecek to get his perspective on the outcome of negotiations. This struggle pitted the Harper-era management, which was hell-bent on extracting concessions, against a new union executive that had a mandate to resist concessions and achieve pay equity for female-dominated rural mail carriers.

Solidarity Helps Library Workers Win Victory!

library strikeStriking Mississauga Library workers, represented by CUPE Local 1989, recently won an important victory in contract negotiations. Ratification occurred on July 26th, after almost three weeks on strike. During the strike, Socialist Fightback Students joined the picket line in a show of student-worker solidarity. In a time of few gains, this victory highlights the power of the working class and the need for collective solidarity.

Support Postal Workers – Fire the Management!

canadapoststrike2Fifty thousand postal workers could be out on picket lines in a matter of days, as Canada Post management is doing everything they can to provoke a showdown. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) offered to extend the July 2 deadline for a lockout by a period of two weeks, but were rejected out of hand by Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra. With that rejection, the tension on the shop floor is at its highest as workers brace themselves for either a strike or a lock out. Either way this could turn out to be a very sharp struggle.

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.