LABOUR COUNCIL DELEGATES MEETING
Thursday, May 5, 7:30 p.m. OFL Building-Auditorium, 15 Gervais Dr.
Thursday, May 5, 7:30 p.m. OFL Building-Auditorium, 15 Gervais Dr.
Labour Action Winter 2016
Unions in 100 countries across the globe observe April 28th as the Day of Mourning, remembering workers killed on the job and those who died as a result of workplace diseases. The Toronto & York Region Labour Council is pledging to fight with might for the living; workers who deserve safe workplaces, healthy lives free of occupational injuries and disease. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) records that one worker dies from a workplace injury or work related disease every 15 seconds worldwide. This also means that every 15 seconds a family somewhere in this world is losing a fair chance at a better life, income and health.
Every year thousands of Canadian workers are being exposed to asbestos in their workplace. Asbestos is Canada’s leading workplace killer, yet the government of Canada continues to allow the import and use of products and materials containing asbestos.
The Toronto & York Region Labour Council calls on the government of Canada to commit to a full ban on Asbestos. Canadian lives depend on healthy workplaces and strong policies that make this law. The human cost of workplace deaths and injuries are not limited to the direct workers exposed on job sites but undermine the quality of life for working families, as such Labour Council calls on the Ontario government to effectively update our Employment Standards Act and Ontario’s Labour Law incorporating the asks from www.makeitfair.ca and www.15andfairness.org.
145th ANNIVERSARY of TORONTO & YORK REGION LABOUR COUNCIL
One hundred and forty five years ago a small group of workmen came together to give life to an idea – the creation of a collective voice for working people in Toronto. On April 12th, 1871 the Toronto Trades and Labour Assembly was founded by representatives of the emerging economy – barrel-makers, shoemakers, printers, bakers, cigar-makers and metalworkers. They were soon joined by other occupations. It was a time of rising for workers across the world, from the nine-hour day movement to the Paris Commune.
Within a year the fledging labour movement in Toronto would be tested. Printers at the Globe newspaper went on strike and were jailed for criminal sedition. Ten thousand people took to the streets demanding the printers’ freedom and labour rights. The call for justice echoed throughout the country and the federal government passed the first Trade Union act...
Click to read a QUICK HISTORY of the LABOUR COUNCIL
ABORIGINAL & WORKERS OF COLOUR (AWOC)
CONFERENCE REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
On Saturday May 14th Labour Council will hold it's annual AWOC Conference at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel. Keynotes by
TERRY MELVIN - President of CBTU, Secretary-Treasurer of New York State AFL-CIO & CHIEF LESLEE WHITE-EYE - Chief of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation
The conference title is “Developing Leaders – for Today’s Issues and Tomorrow’s Struggles”. Registration is $60 (inc. lunch & parking). Click on image to download registration form & don't forget to select your workshops!
KEEP TORONTO HYDRO PUBLIC
More than sixty eager canvassers hit the streets in east Toronto last weekend to challenge the privatization of Hydro One. They went door-to-door to let people know that MPP Arthur Potts is supporting the sell-off, even though he never said a word about it during the election. Potts, former lobbyist for the anti-union Merit Contractors group, defeated the NDP’s Michael Prue in 2014. Change.org started an e-petition against privatizing Hydro One.
Read Labour Council's statement on Public Hydro
Add your name to the Change.Org petition, share on facebook & twitter too!
CALLING FOR MILLION CLIMATE JOBS - EarthDay is everyday till Climate Change is history
On Earth Day 2016 the Toronto and York Region Labour Council calls on governments and employers to take decisive action on Climate Change and create one million new jobs within the next decade. The Labour Council is calling on every political and corporate decision-maker to commit to policies and programs that will achieve the COP21 goals. Investment is needed in public transit and alternative energy sources. All new buildings should strive to be net zero carbon, and existing building stock retrofitted to achieve this aim. Retailers should insist that suppliers take responsibility for the life cycle of their products. Carbon pricing should apply to every product sold in Canada. Finally, a nation-wide network of Workplace Environmental Representatives should be established to support these efforts. Read the EarthDay press release.
The Labour Council came together on January 7, 2016 to vote in support of a powerful statement of vision and action, taking on Climate Change with an aim to push for an unprecedented investment in Green Jobs. What will it take to realise COP21 goals in greater Toronto, across Ontario and Canada? There are effective initiatives that could help meet the goal of reducing our carbon footprint as Canada’s largest urban centre. Read more Labour Council's statement here.
LABOUR START CONFERENCE – BILLETS NEEDED!
Labour Start GLOBAL SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE May 6th to 8th, 2016 at Ryerson University
Theme : Migration, Climate, Precarity – Connecting our Struggles & Strategies
Your chance to connect with Union activists from across the globe, hear amazing speakers and build global solidarity. Registration cost $50 (waived for unwaged).
BILLETS NEEDED – email email@example.com if you can help
WELCOME HOME - A UNION TOOLKIT TO HELP SYRIAN REFUGEES
To be a refugee is to flee conflict & not have a choice of your new home. It is to arrive with very little in possession but much in pain. The Canadian Labour Congress has a proven history of supporting refugees, helping local unions become Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders, advocating for the restoration of the Interim Federal Health Program and more. In Dec 2015, the CLC in partnership with Canadian Council for Refugees setup a special fund to support Syrian refugees. So far 137 communities across have volunteered to receive them and this toolkit will help you & your local join this growing family of advocates.
Download the TOOLKIT now!
Click on the image to download the guide
STRENGTHENING OUR UNIONS THROUGH EQUITY
In September 2014, Labour Council released its latest contribution to the equity work in our movement. Entitled “A Leader’s Guide to Strengthen Unions: Moving Beyond Diversity… Towards Inclusion and Equity” the document is designed to be a tool for activists and leaders who want to build more powerful unions in greater Toronto, and across Canada. It is written by Jojo Geronimo, veteran labour educator former Executive Director of the Labour Education Centre.
Nearly two decades ago, the Canadian labour movement took a hard look at the reality of racial discrimination in our workplaces, our society, and in our unions. It's time to take the next step in advancing equity in every union's work.
FIX LABOUR LAW AND EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS
It’s time to turn things around for Ontario workers. While we wage defensive battles in response to relentless attacks, we must devote far more resources to organizing and to raising the living standards of workers. The battle for legislated workers’ rights has been at the centre of our movement’s efforts throughout its history.
The Ontario government is holding a consultation to update labour law and employment standards, and we need to mobilize to ensure that real change is made that will improve conditions for workers in this province. Find out about the province wide campaign to Make It Fair! www.makeitfair.ca
To see what needs to change in the Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards click here. To learn more about the “$15+Fairness” campaign go to www.15andfairness.org.
To download Labour Council's submission to the Changing Workplace Review click here.
EMPOWERING WORKER NETWORKS
Labour Council is supporting the development of networks of union members in the following newcomer communities – Chinese, Filipino, Tamil, Somali, Bangladeshi and Ethiopian/Eritrean. If you are interested in getting involved you can sign up HERE or contact Minerva Hui at firstname.lastname@example.org 416 441-3663 x 225. These networks have already proven to strengthen labour’s civic engagement work and organizing outreach. For the Chinese Network flyer click here, for the Filipino flyer click here.