R&F.ca Weekly Update

R&F.ca Weekly Update r1 ... Buckle up: GM declares war on Oshawa | The Co-op Strike: Big solidarity in little Martensville | Victory at OMERS | Maple Leaf Foods closing three plants, 1500 jobs lost s16
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By Gerard Di Trolio, David Bush, and Doug Nesbitt

The announcement on Sunday night that GM will close their Oshawa plant at the end of 2019 is devastating news for the thousands of autoworkers and their families in Oshawa. Site of the 1937 strike against against GM that marked the first big breakthrough of industrial unionism in Canada, the attack on Oshawa’s autoworkers is a shot across the bow of the entire labour movement.

The 2,500 GM Oshawa jobs that could be lost were supposed to be protected. In the 2016 round of bargaining, Unifor’s leadership pushed two-tier pensions, while leaving the long grown-in on the wage grid in a bid to secure the investments to keep jobs in Oshawa. Read more!


By Emily Leedham

The Co-op is the only grocery store in Martensville, Saskatchewan, population 10,000, and its workers have been on strike for almost a month. The Martensville Co-op workers are in the same UFCW Local 1400 bargaining unit as the Co-ops in Saskatoon, where hundreds of workers are also on strike fighting a two-tiered wage system that would see new hires earn less. Instead of crossing the picket line, strikers say many Martensville Co-op members are driving 20 minutes into Saskatoon for groceries. Read more!


By Hassena Manek

On November 15, representatives from employers and unions with members in the OMERS pension plan came together to vote on changes proposed in June. The result was 50% plus one in favour of the changes, a thin majority that fell short of the two-third majority required to make changes to the OMERS pension plan.

“I think that this sends a strong message OMERS and the employers that we work together,” says 4th Vice President of CUPE Ontario and Chair of the Pensions Committee Tiffany Balducci of the grassroots mobilizing and campaigning ahead of the vote. Read more!


By Daniel Tseghay

On Monday, November 26, Maple Leaf Foods announced it would be closing three poultry facilities in Ontario employing hundreds of members of both United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 and Local 1006A.

By 2021, the St. Marys plant, employing 485 Local 175 members will close. And by 2022, the Brampton plant, with its 324 Local 175 members, will shut down alongside the Toronto plant which employs 680 Local 1006A members. Read more!

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