Strike! October 2005
The latest issue of Strike! (Ontario edition) is now out. Strike! is distributed in Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Guelph, Belleville, Sudbury, Peterbourgh, and other parts of Ontario.
Strike! October 2005
anarchist news and commentary
Vol.1, Issue #4 (Ontario Edition)
Download and distribute! www.nefac.net/files/october.pdf
Grocery Store Workers Lock Out
TORONTO - 90 unionized employees represented by Local 175 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have been locked out since August 25th. This IGA at Runnymede and Dundas St. West has been a staple in the neighbourhood for the past three decades. The store has now been closed for over a month with only security guards remaining on duty stationed at the front doors, making it very difficult for many seniors in the area to get their groceries.
“They’re trying to take everything away from us. . . things we’ve negotiated for over the years,” says Negotiating Committee member Sandra MacEachern.
The scrooge-like employer wants to reduce pensions, eliminate paid sick days, cut the daily rest period to one half-hour unpaid break, reduce vacation time and weaken union seniority. The company is also demanding that workers now pay half the cost of their uniforms – and is refusing to grant even minimal wage increases.
“The employer wants to gut the collective agreement,” says union representative Linval Dixon. “And that’s clearly unacceptable to these men and women who work hard to support themselves and their families. They’re prepared to fight for a good contract, and the Union will support them for as long as it takes.” Workers at a number of other Sobeys-owned stores in the GTA have been forced out to the picket line before achieving fair contracts.
McMaster- Union Busting University
by Wesley Morgan
HAMILTON - Casual custodians at McMaster University hit the picket lines Thursday, September 29th, fighting for a first contract and their jobs. Earlier this year, the administration attempted to force through major concessions in bargaining with the SEIU local representing full-time custodial staff, resulting in an overwhelming strike vote. The university administration backed off of concessions in bargaining with the full-time workers; but when the part-time custodial staff organized with SEIU, the administration attempted to break the back of this new local, representing the most marginalized group of workers on campus. Just before the certification vote, the administration fired the entire group, who then voted unanimously to unionize with SEIU. While it has since officially reinstated these workers, the university has contracted out their jobs, refusing to schedule the majority of these workers, who have not been paid in months.
3 Cheers for the Engineers
Hydro One had many concessionary demands, but most important was their insistence on a discriminatory, separate and inferior wage - benefit programme for all new hires. It would have left an entire generation, for their full working lives, earning 20% less in wages and 50% less in benefit and pensions. This proposal was designed to save money by literally taking it away from all new employees without regard for their qualifications, experience or their performance on the job. The fact that the new generation of engineers is more and more multicultural and includes more women also seemed irrelevant to Hydro One.
Hydro One made three strategic errors. They forgot they were a publicly owned company subject to political control. They counted on workers endorsing a discriminatory proposal because it would not affect their own paycheques and they believed the Society of Energy Professionals/IFPTE was outside the mainstream of the labour movement and could therefore be easily isolated and beaten. They were wrong on all three counts.
Here is an excerpt from a poem by a member of the Society of Engineers who just won their 105-day ‘solidarity’ strike against Hydro One...
Cast off that white collar, we’re no longer chained.
Chained to our desks we haven’t complained.
Worked through our breaks to make the deadline,
the thanks that we got was a trip to the line.
Backed into a corner we had no choice,
The only way out was to fight with our voice.
We stuck to the high road, we would not succumb,
to the gutter tactics of those management scum.
We didn’t back down and we didn’t cave in.
Through the waves of emotion the verdict came in.
Fought for the future, fought for what’s right.
Victory is ours lets dance through the night.
Mike DuBroy Sept. 14,2005
Pickets Get the Goods: Amato's Pizza Cuts a Cheque
Amato owners felt the pressure of pickets (including a spirited one on Labour Day co-organized by Punching Out), phone calls that jammed the delivery line, and letters demanding that they pay up. Finally they agreed to pay Michelle’s owed back wages with certified cheques. September saw one, yet still one to go. Failure to pay the second cheque will be met by a lively picket.
But what about other Amato workers?
Employers can break the law without consequence because labour laws are not enforced. The Workers Action Centre is going after bosses like Amato! They're also pressing the Ministry of Labour to enforce basic employment standards and penalize bad bosses.
For more info: contact Mary at 416-531-2411 ext. 246 or [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Strike! anarchist news and commentary
a publication of: Punching Out, an autonomous member collective of NEFAC: Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists an organization of revolutionaries comingfrom different movements of resistance who identify with the communist tradition within anarchism. The federation's activities are organized around theoretical development, anarchist propaganda, and intervention in the struggle of our class, be it autonomously or by direct involvement in social movements.
Help distribute and write for Strike!
Strike! is distributed in Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Guelph, Belleville, Sudbury, Peterbourgh, and other parts of Ontario.
We want to expand where the newsletter is distributed, as well as gain anarchist writers from across of Ontario to write on local, provincial, and national issues.
If you're interested in helping distribute Strike! please contact us.
We try to focus our coverage on Labour, Community, and anti-border struggles from an anarchist-communist perspective. We print both hard news reports as well as opinion pieces.
For length we're looking for articles of roughly 250 words or less.
Please contact us in advance if you're interested in writing an article as space in the newsletter is limited.
We are also seeking artists who would be able to draw topical editorial cartoons for publication.
Unfortunately, we are not in a position to be able to pay our contributors.
For distribution, we produce and upload Strike! as a 4-page pdf file which can be downloaded, printed out, and photocopied for distribution. Due to our limited time and funds this is the best method to help distribute Strike!
That said, we are willing to ship small quantities of the newsletter to people to distribute - just send us your mailing address and we'll send off a small bundle for you.
Any donations to help cover the cost of postage and printing would be appreciated but not required.
We seek to have Strike! widely distributed in working class neighborhoods, as well as on picket lines, at demonstrations, and among labor, community, and other activists. We want Strike! to have as broad of an appeal and distribution as possible.
Please contact us if you are interested,
Punching Out (Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists, Toronto)
P.O. Box 79538
1995 Weston Rd