First issue of the Ottawa CUPE Council Newsletter is out!
July 4, 2017
We know that many locals in Ottawa, and across the province and country, are facing attacks on our public services, jobs and working conditions. Strikes and lockouts are occurring, CUPE members are resisting major concessions and, in some cases, employer attempts to gut their collective agreements. Our capacity to support each other and build real solidarity begins with being informed about the struggles we are facing in our workplaces and our sectors, allowing us to identify issues of shared concern and opportunities for collective action.
We are happy to launch our first issue for Newsletter Summer 2017! Download and share widely in your Locals. If you have updates you would like to have included in our next issue, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May Day Solidarity with CUPE 2073 on strike
April 27, 2017
The workers of CUPE local 2073 at the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) have now been on strike for nearly 2 months.
Meanwhile, the Ontario Liberal government has so far failed to intervene, despite the fact that it provides more than $20 million in annual funding for CHS.
Join CHS workers and community allies to demand that the provincial government tell CHS management to negotiate a fair contract.
WHAT: Workers’ rights rally in solidarity with CUPE 2073
WHEN: 12 pm – 1 pm, May Day (May 1, 2017)
WHERE: MPP Yasir Naqvi’s office, 109 Catherine St, Ottawa (between O’Connor and Metcalfe)
ORGANIZED BY: Ottawa CUPE District Council, Fight for $15 & Fairness Ottawa, and Solidarity Ottawa.
RSVP and share on Facebook.
CHS workers provide critically important services to the Deaf, Deafened, Oral Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community. They have been without a contract for 4 years, have had no wage increases and are being threatened with the contracting out of their sick leave benefits. This, despite the CHS CEO getting a 75% pay increase over the last two years. The struggle of CUPE 2073 for a fair contract is part of the fight against deepening inequality and the erosion of public services and workers’ rights. This rally is part of a growing wave of solidarity with CUPE 2073.
May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, is a time to commemorate fights for workers’ rights, to amplify the struggles of workers across the world who have fought and continue to fight for fairer wages, better working conditions, and equal economic opportunities.
Solidarity Lunch with CUPE 2073 on strike!
March 20, 2017
Hosted by Ottawa CUPE District Council
Workers at the Canadian Hearing Society have been on strike across Ontario since March 6th. These workers provide vital services to the Deaf, Deafened, Orally Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Ninety per cent of the strikers are women, and 40% of the membership come from the deaf and hard of hearing community themselves. They have been without a contract for 4 years and are facing cuts to their sick leave and continued wage freezes.
Our solidarity is crucial to show the workers – and CHS management – that the strikers have broad support in the labour community. Let’s help striking 2073 members win a fair deal!
Join us for an Ottawa-wide CUPE show of lunch-hour solidarity:
When: Thursday March 23rd, noon-1pm
Where: The Canadian Hearing Society, 2197 Riverside Drive
CUPE District Council will be providing food for the strikers. Contact us if you are able to attend and bring members out: email@example.com.
Remembering Mat Nelson
January 18, 2017
On January 17, 2017, Mat Nelson – Ottawa-area labour activist and former President of the Ottawa CUPE District Council – passed on, surrounded by his family and friends. Mat was a dedicated activist who believed that social change takes place when people are engaged and that is exactly what he did and how we all knew him. He was compassionate, brilliant, and funny.
Mat was a member of CUPE 4600 at Carleton University where he was finishing his PhD. He served on the Local’s Executive for many years, including as President for several of those years. He also served as a member of the bargaining team. Mat was a delegate to the Ottawa and District Labour Council and served as President of the Ottawa CUPE District Council from 2013 to 2016.
Our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and comrades. You will be missed dear Comrade!
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson should not be welcome at Labour Day
Published on Rankandfile.ca on September 3, 2016
Over the past several years myself and other activists in Ottawa felt very uncomfortable with Mayor Jim Watson participating in the Ottawa Labour Day. Mayor Watson is not a friend of workers, the labour movement or our community allies.
While I am not certain if Mayor Watson ever received an official invitation from the Ottawa and District Labour Council to participate, it makes no sense for him to be welcomed at our labour day celebrations as some sort of working class hero. He has a clear track record that is anti-labour.
Here are the 10 reasons why the labour movement should not welcome Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson should the Ottawa Labour Day Parade this year:
1. When PSAC members at the Salvation Army Booth Street Centre shelter struck in 2012 for decent wages comparable to other shelters, Mayor Watson did not support them. The Salvation Army cenrticipate, it makes no funding from the City of Ottawa when they callously forced their unionized workers onto winter picket-lines to fight against poverty wages as low as $11.31 per hour. The Mayor offered no support to these workers whatsoever when he was in a strong position to do so.
2. When the highly profitable crown corporation OLG locked out the PSAC members at the Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots last December, some 125 workers were forced onto picket-lines for nearly six months. OncSalvation Army centre rewho does not hesitate to get involved in decision-making about casino and gaming operations in Ottawa, provided no support or assistance to the locked-out workers.
3. Maupport to these workers hostile toward the mostly racialized, Ottawa Airport Taxi drivers and their union (UNIFOR 1688) during the months-long lockout that began in August of 2015. He refused to take any responsibility despite the fact that the city regulates the taxi industry and has actually appointed a representative to the board of the Ottawa Airport Authority. The Airport Authority also obtained outrageous injunctions against the locked out drivers, with the apparent support of Mayor Watson.
4. Mayor Watson has allowed the predatory corporation Uber into our city at a time when other city mayors have taken a much more even-handed approach and supported their unionized taxi drivers.
5. Mayor Watson supports Public Private Partnership (P3) development projects that involve more privatization and private control of public assets, infrastructure, and services. This is clear from his position on several major infrastructure projects in our city such as the light rail project and the proposed Ottawa Public Watson has allowed the 0D
6. Mayor Watson has aligned himself closely with corporate real estate developers, including voting to oppose a motion to eliminate corporate donations to municipal election campaigns. His cozy relationship with developers is especially clear in his active support for the so-called “Zibi” condo mega-project proposal, which is slated to be built on sacred territory of the Algonquin nation in the face of overwhelming opposition from 9 of the 10 federally-recognized Algonquin chiefs. A growing number of trade unions, including the OCDC and ODLC, have expressed support for these chiefs’ demand.
7. After expressing some initial concerns about the Canada Post plan to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery, the mayor refused to endorse a motionpport for the so-called l supporting postal services, as hundreds of other municipalities passed. As a result of the mayor’s lack of leadership on this issue, the City of Ottawa was one of the only major cities in the country not to have taken this basic step in support of postal services and the 8,000-12,000 postal service jobs that this proposal was threatening.
8. The mayor has either been actively pursuing a job cutting agenda at City Hall (as in the case of OC Transpo jobs) or has repport for the so-called e of local job losses, as in the recent case of CUPE members providing dispatch and other taxi services at Coventry Connections. Their jobs were cut and outsourced to the Philippines – with no reaction at all from Mayor Watson.
9. Mayor Watson has been silent on Kathleen Wynne’s privatization of Hydro One. Unlike other Ontario cities, under Watson’s leadership, Ottawa City Council never took a position opposed to this privatization, which is the largest in tmained silent in the facstory and will lead to more privatization and sharp increases in hydro rates.
10. Last but not least, Mayor Watson has engaged in a despicable campaign to intimidate, belittle and silence community activists calling for justice in the recent death of Abdirahman Abdi, a Somali Muslim man with mental health issues, at the hands of two police officers. Watson went so far as to block black community activists from his social media account rather than support a community that has lost trust in our police force.
Mayor Watson supports an austerity agenda, which translates into social spending cuts, job cuts, privatization of public services and further marginalization of racialized communities. His rbelittle and silence comas his policies are resulting in more gentrification, real estate boom for developers, bankers and the wealthy.
For these reasons Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson should not be made to feel welcome at this year’s labour day events in Ottawa or at any other labour movement events in the future.