Monday, 9 December 2019

Chief Andrea Paul of Pictou Landing First Nation posted a response to the Unifor proposal on her Facebook page. “Today, they are caught in a battle that THEY had years and years to resolve. They had many years of opportunity to do better. They chose not to. Even with the Boat Harbour ACT they still believed they were above that and didn’t begin consultation with the Band until 2017 after we requested it.”

“The fact is this is not about risk, it is about ideology. The credit union has chosen to jump on the dump-DB-pension-plan bandwagon. The action by the employer completely fails to recognize the years and years that employees either took concessions or accepted less in order to maintain a decent pension plan and each time they showed their ability to work with the employer.”

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.

This article by historian Lachlan MacKinnon was originally published on September 18, 2014 on the excellent ActiveHistory.ca site. We re-publish this now three-year old article because the gap between mill workers and Pictou County environmentalists the author identifies if anything has widened in the last three years. “Environmentalists must confront the fact that structural power is also wielded against other marginalized groups, such as industrial workers facing the threat of deindustrialization. In this recognition, we can hope to transcend narrow categories such as worker and environmentalist and achieve a broader-based support for systemic change.”

Seven unions will file to be added to the partial review of Bill 148 by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal initiated by the Nova Scotia government. This was the announcement at this morning’s joint news conference, that also served to push back on the government’s narrative on the legislation.