The NS NDP is right, it’s time to change the Labour Standards Code so that everybody gets at least six paid sick days per year. And yes, let’s get rid of doctors sick notes, a senseless practice that Doctors Nova Scotia as well would like to see the end of, writes Danny Cavanagh, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour.
Caseworkers at the Community Justice Society are heading into week 4 of their strike demanding that wage fairness be respected. The five employees, members of CUPE 4764, have asked us to put out a call for financial support.
We talk with Jackie Swaine of the SEIU and Danny Cavanagh, president of the NSFL, who together are calling for legislation with teeth to protect workers against wage theft and contract flipping.
In an uplifting display of solidarity some 50 people, trade union activists, members of the faith community, and others, gathered in front of Founders Square in downtown Halifax at noon today to offer support to the seven Black cleaners who were recently unjustly fired, as if their lives don’t count.
Rightly or wrongly, the NSTU blinked. But they were on their own, and that’s not how solidarity is supposed to work.
The split between Unifor and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) raises questions about Unifor representation at the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and the five local Labour Councils in the province. There are many reasons given for this split, and accusations of union raiding and catering to American-based unions are freely exchanged between the two sides. The focus of this story however is the confusion, turmoil and sometimes even anger that the breakup has caused within the Nova Scotia labour movement. And there’s lots of that.
Danny Cavanagh, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, looks ahead at some of the challenges in 2018, from improving workers’ safety to the Fight for 15 and meeting the challenges of the anti-union provincial Liberals. “We encourage you think critically about things and not be so fast to buy into the same old sound bites that we hear over and over. Things have not gotten better for workers in the same way they have for the corporate elite in our country. Having workers who toil to earn those profits get a little bigger share of the wealth isn’t a lot to ask,” he writes.
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.
Danny Cavanagh on the health care deal struck between Nova Scotia and the feds.
How come real gains are made in the Fight for 15 elsewhere in Canada, but not in Nova Scotia? Does it have to be that way, and are there lessons to be learned both from earlier false starts here and successes elsewhere in Canada?