New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs announced on February 16, the suspension of a series of anti-social measures due to be implemented March 11. The most brutal and life-threatening measure was the permanent overnight closures of the emergency departments of six community hospitals, in Caraquet, Grand Falls, Perth-Andover, Sackville, Sainte-Anne-de-Kent, and Sussex. Workers’ Forum reports that the ruling elites in New Brunswick are using the COVID-19 pandemic to escalate their attacks on the working class and public health. Continue reading
Category Archives: Working Class
Nova Scotia: Situation underscores the necessity for the leadership and voice of the working people at all times
Without mobilizing and unleashing the initiative and power of the working class, the fight against the pandemic is seriously undermined and weakened | K.C. ADAMS
The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) is the largest union in the province of Nova Scotia, representing the individual and collective interests of over 30,000 public and private sector employees. NSGEU members work in the civil service, centres of education, universities, hospitals, liquor stores, correctional facilities, municipalities, and other organizations across the province. Continue reading
Workers nationwide organize to uphold the rights of all | Workers’ Forum editorial, March 18, 2020
Workers’ Forum salutes all of Canada’s working people whose contribution makes life possible, especially under the conditions of all out mobilization to contain the coronavirus COVID-19. The immediate aim is to flatten the curve so that lives are saved and the health care system is not overwhelmed. Continue reading
Postal workers on the front lines serving Canadians: Canada Post must ensure its workers are protected
Postal workers’ needs to perform their work in a safe manner have been systematically ignored. Postal workers’ concerns are not only for their own safety but for that of the public as well | LOUIS LANG
As the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak requires large portions of the population to self-quarantine, the service provided by postal workers is more important than ever to keep lines of communication open at a time on-line shopping becomes a main means households are using to provision themselves. Enabling postal workers to carry out their tasks means that workers in sortation plants, retail offices and letter carrier and rural and suburban mail carrier depots must be provided with equipment and working conditions they require to ensure their safety on a daily basis. Continue reading
Workers speak about their concerns | PIERRE CHENIER*
The $82 billion aid package for Canadians announced by the Trudeau government on March 18, to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, includes $27 billion for direct supports to Canadians. Some of the measures concern Employment Insurance (EI) and it is already clear that they are inadequate. Continue reading
In the pre-dawn hours, shortly before 5:00 am (PST) on Thursday, February 6, 13 RCMP units descended on the 39km Trading/Supply Post on Wet’suwet’en territory, breaking down a defence wall constructed by the land defenders and arresting everyone who was in the camp, except for media who were detained and taken out of the area in police vehicles. There were reports of guns being drawn and communications were lost with that checkpoint after RCMP reportedly smashed the window of the radio vehicle. The RCMP have now made a total of six arrests today on Gidimt’en territories. A police exclusion zone has been implemented and Indigenous people are being forcefully removed from their territories by the colonial state.
A statement issued by the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs Wednesday morning, February 5, noting that the enforcement of the Coastal Gaslink injunction zone was imminent, says:
“We are peaceful people and we have every right to protect the land that defines and sustains us. We continue to honour our ancient laws, shaped over millennia to ensure a sustainable relationship with the land; while BC and Canada fail to honour their recent commitments to reconciliation and to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
“The world is watching RCMP and CGL’s militarized invasion of our territories. Massih (thank you) to all our allies who continue to use your voices and actions to stand with us. We are protecting our right to exist as Indigenous people, while protecting the land and water for everyone’s future generations.”,
The massive resistance being waged by the Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders and Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike across Canada and internationally in defence of a just cause deserves everyone’s active support and participation.
Due to the disinformation and hysteria on “rule of law” and “shortages” by the Canadian government and the mass media to attack their cause, we are posting a special edition for the information of our readers, composed of nine articles published by TML Weekly on February 15, 2020 that looks beyond the headlines. Plus an extensive photo review of solidarity actions across the country and internationally, including the United States, England and New Zealand.
Since then over 8,000 people demonstrated in Toronto on February17, an action was held at the Rainbow Bridge/U.S. border in Niagara Falls, and a call has been issued for international solidarity actions to demand that the RCMP and Coastal Gaslink get out of Wet’suwet’en unceded territory. Events are planned for Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Australia and the United States. See here or here for updated information on events. #Wetsuweten and #WetsuwetenStong,
Over 3,000 Canadian National Railway workers on Strike
At 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on November 19, about 3,200 Canadian National Railway conductors, trainpersons and yard workers went on strike, mainly over issues of workers’ health and safety, which are also issues of public health and safety. The workers are members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).
In a press release dated November 16, the TCRC explained:), which served the legally required 72-hour strike notice during the evening of November 15. The TCRC reports that it was unable to reach a deal with CN, as the company remains unwilling to address the workers’ concerns.
The labour contract of these workers expired on July 23. The monopoly media are reporting that talks are ongoing with CN at this time.
In a press release dated November 16, the TCRC explained:
“CN currently requires TCRC members to operate trains alone from outside of the locomotive, hanging on to moving trains with one hand while operating a remotely controlled locomotive with the other. Railroaders are expected to do this in rain and in freezing temperatures, sometimes for distances of up to about 17 miles.
“The union’s demands to cease these dangerous practices have fallen on deaf ears and the company has refused to come to a satisfactory agreement at the negotiations table to adjust their operating practices in the interest of safety.
“The company also wants to make it more difficult to take time off and make employees work longer hours, in an attempt to get more work done with fewer people and to reduce staffing levels.
“‘Fatigue has been recognized by the Transportation Safety Board as a major safety problem in this industry. Too many railroaders are operating trains when they should be resting,’ explained the president of the TCRC, Lyndon Isaak. ‘For the safety of all Canadians, we cannot allow CN to make it even harder for our members to get the rest they need.’
“Moreover, CN is demanding that the union accept a lifetime cap on prescription drug coverage which would be tantamount to denying workers — and their families — proper treatment for some forms of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.
“Wages are not a major sticking point in these negotiations.”
These are long-standing concerns of the rail workers, for which they have been presenting demands that remain unaddressed by the rail monopolies and the federal government.
Already, the monopoly media are playing their dirty role of paving the way for the Trudeau government to pass back-to-work legislation so that the just struggle of the workers is criminalized and the burning issues they are raising are once again swept under the rug, while workers and the public are placed at great risk. Just 12 hours after the CN workers went on strike, the Kenney government in Alberta called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately recall Parliament and enact back-to-work legislation (Parliament is not scheduled to convene until December 5). In calling for the criminalization of the striking workers and the important issues they are raising, the Kenney government shamefully invoked the failure to build pipelines, saying this puts extra pressure on CN to transport oil by rail, and also claimed to be defending farmers, saying they need to transport their crops and are already facing problems with bad weather and the trade dispute with China.
This must not be permitted to happen. All workers and the public at large must express their support for the just demand of the CN workers for a negotiated contract that addresses their concerns and demands.