Tuesday, 21 November 2017

He stood up straighter. In a patronizing tone he told me, “I think I know the law. I just have to pay them double time for today…” On her Remembrance Day trip to the Annapolis Valley Judy Haiven explains the law to workers and bosses. Many employees are entitled to a day off with pay, but employers don’t know that, she finds.

It’s early days, but labour activists in Halifax want to establish a Workers Action Centre in Halifax. Such a centre could make a big difference for non-unionized workers in precarious jobs. There’s not a whole lot of money, and the centre will start small, relying on borrowed office space and volunteers. But a modest start may actually work to its advantage.

Overworked, not paid enough and working in unsafe conditions, food workers at Nova Scotia Community College campuses in Dartmouth and Halifax set their minds on joining a union. Earlier this month the 25 or so Chartwells workers voted on joining the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2. The vote hasn’t been counted yet, but workers and the union are confident they won. We talk with two workers and an SEIU organizer.

Dr. Fiona McQuarrie, author and Associate Professor in the School of Business at the University of the Fraser Valley, on the search by Amazon for a location for its second headquarters. Halifax was one of the cities formally expressing an interest, a bit of a long shot. Be careful, McQuarrie warns, “it’s particularly distressing that cities’ reaction to Amazon’s proposal is akin to contestants on The Dating Game begging “Pick me! Pick me!”, without knowing much about their potential partner,” she writes.

On October 1st Nova Scotia became the province with the lowest minimum wage in Canada. That milestone event caused Christine Saulnier of the Nova Scotia office of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives (CCPA) to pull out the calculator and draw some shocking conclusions. Read the Coles version here, or better yet, check out Christine’s entire article on the CCPA website.