R&F.ca Weekly Update

R&F.ca Weekly Update r1 ... The class struggle history of Winnipeg's streetcars | Ford's WSIB: Premium cuts for employers, austerity for injured workers | Unions in court: Charles Smith on fighting in the courts and building power in the streets | Poverty wages are okay if you're an Alberta public-sector worker s16
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THE CLASS STRUGGLE HISTORY OF WINNIPEG'S STREETCARS

By Scott Price

In the autumn of 1956, Winnipeg’s electric streetcars were discontinued in favour of diesel busses. Usually seen as just a relic of a by-gone era, Winnipeg’s streetcars illuminate a lost history of class struggle and the importance of transportation to our cities.

Like any city, public transit in Winnipeg continues to be a major recurring issue. While advocating for better public transit, many lament the destruction of Winnipeg’s streetcars and point to old pictures showing Winnipeg as a “multi-modal city”, meaning it had multiple forms of good transportation. While this may be somewhat true, the lament comes with a heavy dose romanticism and myth-making celebration. Read more!


FORD'S WSIB: PREMIUM CUTS FOR EMPLOYERS, AUSTERITY FOR INJURED WORKERS

By Willy Noiles

The recently announced cut in WSIB employer premium rates by almost 30 percent is a good indication that in the eyes of the Doug Ford government injured workers aren’t part of “the people” they claim to govern for.

In what was Labour Minister Laurie Scott’s first major announcement since being appointed to the portfolio in June, she stated that the WSIB’s unfunded liability (UFL) had been eliminated 10 years ahead of the legislated schedule, but that now was a good time to reduce employer premiums. Read more!


UNIONS IN COURT: CHARLES SMITH ON FIGHTING IN THE COURTS AND BUILDING POWER IN THE STREETS

On the episode of Rank & File Radio - Prairies Edition, Charles Smith, Professor at the University of Saskatchewan and co-author of Unions in Court: Organized Labour and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Charles provides some historical context for the labour movement’s relationship with the legal system and the struggle in building on these legal battles while also building up rank and file power. Read more!


POVERTY WAGES OKAY IF YOU'RE AN ALBERTA PUBLIC-SECTOR WORKER

By Bob Barnetson

On September 28, support staff in Living Waters Catholic School District went on strike. Living Waters and AUPE have been negotiating for two-and-half years and the key sticking points appears to be a wage increase (to cover the cost of living) and having defined hours of work.

Living Waters operates schools in Whitecourt, Slave Lake and Edson. Support staff include educational and financial assistants, library clerks, maintenance staff, secretaries, typists and custodians. They are the people who allow the school system to operate. Read more!

Check out the new Rank & File Radio - Prairies Edition here and follow them on Twitter here! @rankandfilca Facebook r53 | r54






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