Workers Issues in Canada

Canada Post and Trudeau government conspire to break postal strike

By Keith Jones, 20 November 2018

While Canada Post mounts one provocation after another and the Liberals ready strikebreaking legislation, CUPW continues to straitjacket postal workers’ struggle.

Strike call in Dominican Republic over fuel price rise, crumbling infrastructure while nurses press demands

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 November 2018

Social organizations in the Dominican Republic have called for a 24-hour strike November 27 over issues including fuel price increases and the decrepit state of infrastructure.

As Canada Post steps up provocations, union silent on back-to-work law threat

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 17 November 2018

A government source told Canadian Press Friday evening that state intervention against postal workers could come as early as Sunday, adding, in a reference to Trudeau’s earlier threat, “‘all the options’ does include legislating.”

Canada Post union silent on Trudeau’s threat to outlaw strike

By Keith Jones, 14 November 2018

The CUPW’s silence must be taken as a warning that the union is preparing to bow before the government and torpedo the strike just as did it in 2011.

Quebec: Talks to resume in ABI lockout under threat of state-imposed concessions contract

By Laurent Lafrance, 13 November 2018

USW leaders have repeatedly proclaimed their readiness to make major concessions, and are now signaling they will collaborate with Alcoa in slashing jobs.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

13 November 2018

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Trudeau threatens to criminalize Canada Post strike

By Roger Jordan, 10 November 2018

The union leadership has done everything to limit postal workers’ job action, isolating it from the rest of the working class and allowing the government to go on the offensive.

Work stoppages by Argentine air cabin crew members lead to flight cancellations

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 November 2018

A surprise walkout by workers at three airlines on November 2 over downsizing led to number of flight cancellations at Jorge Newbery terminal outside of Buenos Aires.

Canada Post workers’ rotating strike briefly extended to Montreal

By our reporters, 2 November 2018

The union’s rotating strike strategy is designed to dissipate workers’ energy, curtail Canada Post’s profits as little as possible, and avoid confrontation with the trade union-supported Liberal government.

To cheers from big business

Ontario slashes minimum wage, guts labour standards

By Keith Jones, 31 October 2018

In an applause-punctuated address to the Ontario Economic Summit, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made clear his government is bracing for mass working class opposition.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Public workers protest in Venezuela; Canada Post workers continue rotating strikes

30 October 2018

Thousands of public sector workers rallied in Venezuela last week to protest falling living standards, while the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is continuing its strategy of impotent rotating one-day strikes in order to dissipate worker anger without seriously impacting mail delivery.

Canadian postal workers criticize ineffectual rotating walkouts

By our reporters, 26 October 2018

The CUPW leadership is holding workers on a tight leash, with the aim of preventing a clash with the big business Liberal government.

Canada: Postal union launches rotating walkout campaign

By Keith Jones, 23 October 2018

Due to privatization, speed-up, service cuts and the shift to parcel delivery, postal workers have experienced a huge erosion in their living standards and working conditions.

Mexican professors strike, Argentine teachers to hold one-day national strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 October 2018

Professors at the Autonomous University of Morelos State and Zacatecas are continuing strike action while teachers in Argentina will hold a one-day strike and mobilization October 24.

Quebec: Nine-month lockout continues, as talks at Alcoa’s ABI smelter collapse

By Laurent Lafrance, 20 October 2018

Confident that the Steelworkers union will continue to leave the ABI workers to fight alone, the aluminum bosses have repeatedly upped their concession demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 October 2018

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Unions to “work with” Quebec’s new right-wing populist government

By Laurent Lafrance, 15 October 2018

After decades of suppressing working class opposition to Liberal and PQ-led austerity governments, the unions are now offering their services to François Legault and his right-wing populist CAQ government.

Canada: The unions’ suppression of the 1995-97 anti-Harris movement: Political lessons for today

Part 4: The SEP, the unions and the pseudo-left

By Carl Bronski and Roger Jordan, 12 October 2018

To defeat the social counter-revolution spearheaded by Ford, workers need to build new organizations of struggle in political and organizational opposition to the pro-capitalist unions and NDP.

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE | PART FOUR

Canada: The unions’ suppression of the 1995-97 anti-Harris movement: Political lessons for today

Part 3: The 1997 Ontario teachers’ strike

By Carl Bronski and Roger Jordan, 10 October 2018

The unions scuttled the province-wide teachers’ strike not because of any lack of rank-and-file or public support, but because they feared that the teachers’ defiance would spark a wider working-class challenge to the Harris government.

Canada: Workers need a socialist program to fight the right-wing populist danger

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 9 October 2018

It is the official “left” has created the conditions for right-wing populist forces to come to power exploiting popular disaffection with the traditional big business parties.

Chilean teachers in two-day national strike; BC forestry workers set to walk out

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 October 2018

Tens of thousands of teachers struck across Chile on October 3 and 4 to press demands, including economic grievances, while 2,000 forestry workers in northern British Columbia in Canada are preparing to go on strike.

Canada: The unions’ suppression of the 1995–97 anti-Harris movement: Political lessons for today

Part 2: Unions work to diffuse swelling working-class opposition

By Carl Bronski and Roger Jordan, 8 October 2018

By organizing a series of regional “days of action” in smaller cities, the union bureaucracy sought to allow workers to let off steam, while pledging to uphold Harris’ “constitutional mandate” to govern.

Costa Rican public workers’ strike enters its fourth week

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 October 2018

The striking workers are resisting government austerity measures in the teeth of savage state repression.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Costa Rican workers and students protest fiscal “reforms;” Sun-Maid workers continue strike in California

18 September 2018

Costa Rican public sector workers, backed by students and others, protest anti-worker fiscal reforms last week; meanwhile 500 Sun-Maid workers are fighting management’s concession demands.

Canada’s trade unions deepen corporatist alliance with government during NAFTA talks

By Roger Jordan, 15 September 2018

While stoking reactionary Canadian nationalism and boasting of their role as official government advisers during the NAFTA talks, leading union bureaucrats are pulling out all the stops to prevent an eruption of class struggle.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Teachers in Argentina vote for limited strike actions

11 September 2018

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Alcoa workers in Canada and Australia confront the same employer offensive

By Laurent Lafrance, 6 September 2018

Alcoa has forced 1,500 workers at five facilities in Western Australia out on strike, even as it issues fresh threats against workers at its Bécancour, Quebec, aluminum smelter who have been locked out since January.

As lockout at Quebec smelter nears eighth month,

ABI management demands more concessions, job cuts

By Laurent Lafrance, 31 July 2018

The Steelworkers union is systematically isolating the ABI workers' struggle, even as the aluminum bosses escalate their concession demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 July 2018

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Ontario government passes draconian law to end five-month York University strike

By Jake Silver, 27 July 2018

The union, which in late June offered to voluntarily submit "major outstanding issues" to arbitration, immediately complied with the legislation.

1,700 Detroit janitors on poverty wages face a July 31 contract expiration

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 July 2018

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Confrontation between Lima police and striking Peruvian teachers

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 July 2018

At least 5,000 teachers from the metropolitan Lima area have had their salaries withheld because of strike activity and authorities have begun replacing striking teachers with scabs.

Quebec construction unions shut down week-long wildcat strike by crane operators

By Laurent Lafrance, 30 June 2018

The Quebec Liberal government intervened aggressively against the strike, threatening to prosecute strikers and demanding the unions suppress it.

Chilean copper miners to strike against layoffs; Crane workers strike in Quebec

Workers Struggles: The Americas

26 June 2018

Some 1,700 copper miners at the Chuquicamata mine complex in Chile have announced a strike against layoffs while 2,000 crane operators in Quebec walked off the job in a wildcat strike.

Ontario’s Ford-led government initiates class-war assault

By Roger Jordan, 23 June 2018

As a down payment on its plans to slash public services, Ontario’s incoming Conservative government has imposed a public sector hiring freeze.

Lockout at Quebec aluminum smelter enters sixth month

By Laurent Lafrance, 12 June 2018

The workers are determined to resist ABI’s concessions demands. But the Steelworkers union is adamantly opposed to making their struggle a rallying point for opposition to the big business assault on jobs, wages and working conditions.

Protests against layoffs across Argentina, Quebec daycare workers strike

Workers Struggles: the Americas

12 June 2018

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Windsor casino strike ends, teachers protest in Mexico City

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 June 2018

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Naomi Klein promotes pro-war, pro-austerity NDP as antidote to populist far-right

By Roger Jordan, 1 June 2018

Under conditions of a global resurgence of the class struggle, Klein has intervened in the Ontario election campaign to try to refurbish the NDP’s tattered “left” credentials and resuscitate illusions in the failed national-reformist perspective.

Teamsters scuttle Canadian Pacific Rail strike, laud Trudeau

By Keith Jones, 31 May 2018

The Teamsters have provided no details of the proposed four-year agreement, let alone given the striking train drivers and conductors the opportunity to study and vote on it prior to forcing them back to work.

Three thousand Canadian railway workers strike against long hours and speed-up

By Roger Jordan, 30 May 2018

The strike pits the CP Rail workers not just against a ruthless corporate giant, but also against Canada’s big business Liberal government, which stands poised to criminalize the strike.

Canadian Pacific Railway workers set to strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

29 May 2018

Some 3,000 rail workers across Canada are set to strike Tuesday evening after rejecting management’s last offer, which failed to meet worker demands for improvements in working conditions and other issues.

Windsor casino workers continue strike following contract rejection

By Shannon Jones, 25 May 2018

Casino workers courageously defied the Unifor union, which has isolated the seven-week walkout and tried to starve the 2,300 workers into submission.

Windsor casino workers reject contract, Mexico City professors strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

22 May 2018

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Colombian teachers hold nationwide two-day strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

15 May 2018

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Quebec’s “Nurses on the Move” Facebook page bans WSWS reporters for criticizing unions

By Louis Girard, 12 May 2018

“Nurses on the Move” banned the WSWS reporters because it feared their exposure of the unions’ role in suppressing opposition to austerity would win wide support.

Open letter to the moderators of the Facebook page “Nurses on the Move”

By Louis Girard, 12 May 2018

Ontario Liberals attempt to legislate end to York University strike

By Roger Jordan, 9 May 2018

The Liberals’ anti-strike bill underscores that in their fight against poverty wages and precarious employment, York contract faculty and graduate assistants face a political struggle.

Three-day strike by Mexican teachers in Chiapas and Oaxaca

Workers Struggles: The Americas

8 May 2018

The action included mass protest marches and the occupation of government buildings to press educators demands including the rollback of pro business education reforms and the re-opening of negotiations.

Unifor shuts down strike by Lear auto parts workers in Ajax, Ontario using threat of plant closure

By Carl Bronski, 5 May 2018

The rejection of the original sellout that Unifor attempted to foist on Lear Ajax workers is a reflection of a growing movement of auto workers.

Mexican teachers denounce union sellout, refuse to end strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

1 May 2018

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Unifor isolates workers as Windsor casino strike enters fourth week

By Shannon Jones, 30 April 2018

Workers voted down a sellout contract recommended by Unifor, in a rebellion against poverty wages and onerous working conditions.

Ontario Liberals give boost to Unifor union raiding strategy

By Carl Bronski, 28 April 2018

The new Labour Relations Board regulation is yet another illustration of the intimate ties between the big business Liberals and the country’s largest industrial union.

Mexican teachers strike, Georgia school bus drivers fired for protesting poverty pay

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 April 2018

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Canadian Pacific Railway workers vote to strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

17 April 2018

More than 3,000 conductors and engineers employed by Canadian Pacific Railway across the country could be on strike as early as April 21 if negotiations do not produce a deal.

Windsor, Ontario casino workers strike after voting down sellout deal

By Carl Bronski, 7 April 2018

The one-sided rejection of yet another contract recommended by Unifor is further indication of the growing rebellion by workers against the official trade unions.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

4 April 2018

The treatment of temporary workers is a major outstanding issue in a walkout by 1,300 Labrador City ironworkers against the Iron Ore Company of Canada.

York University conspires with Ontario government to break contract-faculty and assistants’ strike

By Roger Jordan, 30 March 2018

Although the Liberals are manifestly preparing to illegalize the strike, CUPE is doing nothing to mobilize the working class in support of the 3,000 striking contract-faculty and graduate assistants.

Quebec nurses rebel against forced overtime, budget cuts

By Louis Girard, 29 March 2018

Nurses and other health care workers have taken action to protest against draconian working conditions and a drastic decline in patient care due to years of austerity.

Ontario Liberal government preparing intervention to end York University strike

By Roger Jordan, 24 March 2018

The big business Liberal government, which has enjoyed the unions’ steadfast support since coming to power 15 years ago, has repeatedly outlawed education strikes.

Quebec: Aluminum giants demand steeper concessions from locked-out ABI workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 22 March 2018

Even as ABI amplifies its concession demands, the steelworkers union has agreed to reopen the contract at a second Quebec smelter owned by Rio Tinto-Alcan.

GM and Unifor collude to cut labour costs in Canada

By Carl Bronski, 22 March 2018

The moves to cut labour costs through outsourcing and early retirements at GM’s Ontario engine plant further expose the reactionary nature of the 2016 “framework agreements” rammed through by Unifor.

Unifor shuts down ZF-TRW auto parts strike in Windsor, Canada

By Carl Bronski, 12 March 2018

The brief walkout halted production Saturday at the giant Fiat Chrysler Canada Windsor Assembly Plant, but the union pushed through the same wage terms already rejected by a 62 percent margin.

“The issues we are facing are not just related to university teachers, but affect the entire working class”

An interview with a striking York University contract faculty member

By our reporter, 8 March 2018

Around 3,000 contract faculty and support staff are on their fourth day of strike action at Toronto’s York University over poverty wages and job security.

Canada: 3,000 contract teachers and graduate assistants strike York University

By Roger Jordan, 7 March 2018

CUPE is doing all it can to ensure the strike remains isolated and does not become the starting point for a broader mobilization.

Unifor scuttles Windsor auto parts strikes

By Carl Bronski, 6 March 2018

Union officials called off two strikes at critical parts supplier plants before the walkouts could have any impact on production at the giant Fiat Chrysler Windsor Assembly Plant.

420,000 Argentine teachers vote for limited strikes over wages and other demands

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 March 2018

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Canadian auto parts workers strike in Windsor

By Carl Bronski, 5 March 2018

In previous strikes by parts workers, the Unifor union has intervened to engineer a return to work before production at major auto assembly plants was disrupted.

Nova Scotia Teachers Union abandons strike mandate, capitulates to Liberal attack on education

By Roger Jordan, 3 March 2018

In exchange for the NSTU’s suppression of teacher opposition to its right-wing education “reform,” Nova Scotia’s Liberal government has agreed to changes that will bolster the union apparatus.

British Columbia NDP retreats on election promises in first budget

By Janet Browning and Roger Jordan, 27 February 2018

“This could have just as easily been a budget under the previous government,” observed Business in Vancouver .

National strike in Argentina

Workers Struggles: The Americas

27 February 2018

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Canadian auto parts workers set to strike Windsor plants

By Carl Bronski, 26 February 2018

That a top Unifor official should begin negotiations with a public statement decrying worker wage demands as “unrealistic” should come as no surprise to auto workers.

Nova Scotia teachers vote massively in favour of “illegal” strike

By Roger Jordan, 23 February 2018

The province's Liberal government is seeking to ram through changes to the education system that will enhance its managerial power over teachers and facilitate further spending cuts.

Carillion Canada bankruptcy threatens 6,000 jobs

By Janet Browning and Roger Jordan, 17 February 2018

Carillion was one of the main beneficiaries of hundreds of P3 contracts implemented by all three major parties across Canada, including the trade union-backed NDP.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

13 February 2018

Union cancels walkout by St. Paul, Minnesota teachersThe United States

Quebec: Steelworkers union maneuvering to impose concessions on locked-out aluminum workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 10 February 2018

The USW has touted phony claims of support for the workers from various capitalist politicians, most notably Martine Ouellet, a former Parti Québécois cabinet minister.

British Columbia Safeway workers locked out

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 February 2018

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Unifor disaffiliates from Canadian Labour Congress in spat over “raiding”

By Carl Bronski, 1 February 2018

None of the rival rightwing factions involved in the current inter-union squabble over union dues represents the interests of the working class.

Halifax shipyard workers stage wildcat walkout

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 January 2018

Hundreds of Halifax shipbuilding workers walked off the job January 25 to protest irregularities in their paychecks, defying union officials who insisted they stay on the job during ongoing contract negotiations.

Lockout of Quebec aluminium workers at ABI plant enters third week

By Laurent Lafrance, 26 January 2018

The attack on pensions is part of a worldwide corporate assault on the social rights won by generations of workers.

Ontario unions hold bogus “day of action” over wage clawbacks at Tim Hortons

By Roger Jordan, 25 January 2018

The unions are working to exploit the anger over Tim Hortons’ clawbacks to boost their campaign to re-elect Ontario’s big business, pro-austerity Liberal government.

After Ontario minimum wage hike

Canadian businesses claw back wages from low-paid workers

By Carl Bronski, 17 January 2018

While there is widespread anger in the working class at the outrageous actions of big business, it finds no political expression in the bogus protests launched by the trade unions.

Aluminum giants lock out one thousand ABI workers in Quebec

By Laurent Lafrance, 13 January 2018

A joint venture of Alcoa and Rio Tinto Alcan, ABI has locked out 1,030 workers at its Bécancour smelter after they massively rejected the company’s final offer.

Canada: Ontario Liberals impose two-tier employment on autoworkers

By Carl Bronski, 10 January 2018

The unions’ hypocritical hand-wringing over the anti-worker legislation cannot disguise the fact that Unifor helped elect successive Liberal governments in Ontario.

Canada: Former CUPE chief steward caught in cash-for-jobs scandal

By Carl Bronski, 29 December 2017

The case is yet another example of the pro-corporate union bureaucracy’s descent into corruption and outright gangsterism.

Investigation reveals employer impunity in Canadian workplace deaths

By Lee Parsons, 15 December 2017

The conditions documented by the CBC are the result of decades of cost-cutting and deregulation.

Workers Struggles: the Americas

Halifax Shipyard workers vote 99 percent in favor of strike

5 December 2017

The union accuses management of seeking to impose a long list of concessions, including the decimation of safety rules.

Ontario Liberals to outlaw college teachers’ strike

By Dylan Lubao, 18 November 2017

The trade union-backed Liberals of Premier Kathleen Wynne have introduced strikebreaking legislation to end a five-week-long strike by 12,000 community college faculty.

Teamsters Canada sells out Swissport ground crew strike at Toronto’s Pearson Airport

By Dylan Lubao, 13 November 2017

After 11 weeks of union-imposed isolation, 700 Swissport workers reluctantly ratified a sell-out contract.

Ontario colleges issue ultimatum to striking faculty

By Dylan Lubao, 11 November 2017

Making use of Ontario’s reactionary labour laws, college administrators are forcing 12,000 striking faculty to vote on a “final offer” that addresses none of the workers’ demands.

“We have to know that we’re fighting the same fight”

Striking Ontario college faculty speak out

By our reporters, 9 November 2017

Now in its fourth week, the strike by 12,000 Ontario community college faculty is a struggle against precarious work contracts and for greater academic freedom.

Education is a social right!

Students must come to the defense of Ontario’s striking college teachers!

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Canada), 7 November 2017

The struggle must be broadened, mobilizing students as well as teachers and other workers across Canada in a political struggle to defend public education and win decent-paying, secure jobs for all.

Lessons of the CAMI autoworkers’ strike in Canada

By Carl Bronski, 28 October 2017

The strike did not fail to achieve its goals due to a lack of readiness among GM workers to fight, but because it was sabotaged by Unifor with its pro-corporate and nationalist agenda.

An educational Walmart

Ontario-wide community college teachers on strike

By Carl Bronski, 18 October 2017

12,000 teachers and librarians have walked out against precarious job security and the undermining of academic freedom.

Unifor imposes new round of concessions

CAMI strike in Canada ends

“We struck for a month and got nothing”

By Carl Bronski and Jerry White, 17 October 2017

Lacking any confidence that Unifor would oppose GM’s job threats, workers reluctantly accepted another concessionary contract.

12,000 professors and instructors strike Ontario colleges

Workers Struggles: The Americas

17 October 2017

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No to Unifor-GM blackmail!

Before any ratification vote, CAMI workers must see the full contract and have time to study it

Statement of the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 October 2017

CAMI workers have not stood out on the picket lines for a month to accept yet another concessionary contract from an auto giant that made $11 billion in profits last year.

Build rank-and-file committees! Unite Canadian, US and Mexican workers against job cuts!

GM threatens CAMI plant, demands Unifor end month-long strike

By Carl Bronski and Jerry White, 13 October 2017

Workers must break through the conspiracy of silence enforced by union and management and demand all details of the Unifor-GM secret negotiations.

Canadian Fiat Chrysler worker: “Stay strong, workers, and demand answers to your questions”

Talks resume in CAMI strike as Unifor continues to isolate embattled workers

By Shannon Jones, 12 October 2017

Canadian autoworkers expressed their solidarity with the striking CAMI workers and denounced last week’s physical assault on a WSWS reporter by a Unifor operative.

Canadian autoworkers warn CAMI strikers on role of Unifor, condemn attack on WSWS

By Shannon Jones, 10 October 2017

Ford and GM workers in Canada expressed their support for striking CAMI workers and denounced the treacherous role of Unifor.