Victoria Labour Council – March 2016

16 March, 2016

Guest Speaker: Sergeant Dave Smith, labour liason for the RCMP.  He encouraged us to call him if there was a possibility of a lockout/strike/rally, etc.  “My job is to keep police away from labour issues.  They’re not trained in labour law.”  The VLC’s representative from the Canadian Labour Congress -Orion Irvine- has Sgt. Smith’s contact information.

For April 16th, the BC Federation of Labour’s Young Workers Committee is organizing a Grant’s Law Sit-in.  This will be at Mac’s Convenience Store, 1304 Douglas St., from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  “On March 8, 2005, 24-year old Grant DePatie was working alone as a gas station attendant and was killed due to a gas and dash incident.  This tragedy exposed that workers alone in their workplace were at a greater risk of violence.  Laws were put in place to better protect workers.  However in April 2012, facing lobbying pressure from companies like Mac’s Convenience Store, the BC Liberal government weakened the legislation and reversed worker protections.  Each year we return to Mac’s to fight to return these protections and to ensure that similar tragedies do not occur again.”

Executive Recommendation: “That the VLC write a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to support CUPW’s Delivering Community Power.”  M, S, C.
The idea behind Delivering Community Power is that Canada Post could do more with the infrastructure that it already has in place, such as charging stations at post offices.  A delegate from CUPW said Canada Post has “the largest retail network in the country and more outlets than Tim Horton’s.”
[cf. http://www.cupw.ca/en/%E2%80%9Cwhat-if-canada-post-goes-green%E2%80%9D-delivering-community-power-launches-bold-vision-our-post-office]

Report of CLC Representative: Winter School had a large turnout.
The CLC is doing more lobbying for their retirement security campaign.  It sounds as if the federal government will make some improvements.
The CLC has a campaign for “One Million Climate Jobs”.
The representative encouraged us to support Syrian refugees; options include donating to settlement funds and writing supportive letters to the editor.
The CLC will hold a conference in November for young workers and workers of colour.
There are more details and more topics on the CLC’s website: http://canadianlabour.ca/
[Judging by the handout, there will be a Young Workers’ Summit in Ottawa Oct. 23-25. cf. yws2016.ca]

Union Reports:

Saanich Teachers – the BCTF rejoined the Canadian Teacher’s Association.  It also made major changes to its pension plan.

CUPE 4163, UVic Education Workers – in a strike vote, 86.5% voted “yes”.  The employer has returned to the bargaining table.

CUPE 1978 – The CRD has made a small amount of progress on sewage treatment.  The Chair of the CRD will meet with CUPE on Thurs. Mar. 17th.
The CRD’s board meetings can be found on their website.  (Kim Manton added that they’re worth watching – “pop some popcorn”.)  https://www.crd.bc.ca/about/how-we-are-governed/watch-board-meetings-live

United Way Report: On April 1st, the United Way will announce which programs they’re starting to fund for the next “funding cycles”.
The Spirit Awards are starting with Spirit Fest, March 29th, 4:30-6, at the Delta.  RSVP so that they know how much food to purchase.
Manton listed several nominees for the Spirit Awards (employers and unions working in tandem), including us.  To sum up, a lot of unions and employers are doing great work.

Good and Welfare:  Participants from a recent Heels on the Ground event thanked the VLC for their sponsorship.  That assistance helped sponsor women who could not have attended otherwise.
The BC Fed’s Women’s Day event was “energized”.
April 28 is a day of mourning for workers who have been killed or injured on their jobsites.  There will be an event on the lawn of the Legislature at 11 a.m.; details forthcoming.
Saskatchewan’s premier Brad Wall plans to close half of the province’s government liquor stores, which provide substantial revenue to the province.

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