Friday, July 22, 2011

Moms' Hero

A Toronto couple just won a precedent setting court case that will help thousands of new moms. I'm proud to say the new dad is a CMG member. SR thought it was grossly unfair a woman on maternity leave who became ill (his wife was diagnosed & treated for breast cancer), couldn't get extra paid time off for illness; that others NOT on mat leave could get. First he got mad, then they went to court. Now any other new mom who gets sick, may benefit! (as long as its not appealed)! SR says it bothered him to think that a single mom who gets ill, would be out the $6,000 she could have got from EI, on top of coping with sickness and a new baby. From his note to me; "one of the reasons I became involved in the union.. unions are one of the few organizations that can support such actions that lead to greater equality and justice". Congrats and thank you SR, your lovely wife N, and baby Aris.

All For One

..and one for all. The upside of the flagrant union bashing going on in the US (and the less obvious bashing going on here); is it is bringing unions together. We realize we have to work together to support gains like decent pension plans and fair working conditions or we all suffer. In the US non-unionized workers and small businesses are also coming out to oppose crushing cuts to social programs and services. If unions can't help improve general living conditions for everyone, who can? United we have a voice.

Hot Topics

The weather isn't the only thing sizzling. A burning topic for unionistas is two-tiered systems; when a company offers a less attractive benefit to new hires, keeping a more beneficial package for existing staff. It works for companies, a way to save money and to encourage infighting. But new hires see it as an unfair betrayal, that they don't get the same deal as everyone else. This strategy is popping up at negotiating tables everywhere. Before you support it remember what the new hires get today, becomes the standard for everyone tomorrow!

(PIx: your team of delegates to CWA convention)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Everyone's A Winner

Better pay, regular hours, respect; things we all want, and things unions fight for. But many people don't know the time, effort and money unions big and small put into improving living conditions for NON-UNION members. Things like boosting minimum wage, increasing Canada pension, better treatment for immigrant labourers and people who suffer with mental health issues, anti-racism programs, and so much more that you rarely hear about. it was inspiring to hear and see all the volunteers at the Canadian Labour Congress in Vancouver (2,600 people);sharing their goals and describing how they have improved their neighborhoods and communities, (not just their union).

Make It Great

Getting the community on board is a great way to make friends, connections, and build solid support. That's the focus of a novel approach our progressive colleagues are taking in Kingston,Ontario. Martin O'Hanlon, of CWA-SCA Canada represents staff at The Kingston Whig -Standard, which is suffering the same ills as many newspapers with declining staff and disappearing local news coverage.

Instead of picketing to improve the papers fortunes, boost staff and improve working conditions he's spearheaded a community drive where readers can share their hopes for the Whig's improvement. Its a great city, it deserves a great paper with lots of LOCAL news.

Good luck Martin (and Kingston!)