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Author Topic: more Alberta Advantage
B_Nichol
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Babbler # 8212

posted 21 July 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for B_Nichol   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It appears as though meat packers are now 'essential services' in Albania, er, Alberta.

"The UFCW was certified again last year, and received a 70-per-cent strike mandate in its efforts to reach a first contract with Lakeside, the major employer in town."

"About 2,000 workers were set to walk off the job at 5 a.m. Wednesday, and many workers showed up ready to walk the picket line, only to discover it had been cancelled."

"The UFCW has documents that show Human Resources Minister Mike Cardinal put the panel in place Monday, but didn't tell the union until Tuesday 12 hours before the picket line was to go up."

cbc story

Rick Bell


From: North-central-Southern Alberta | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 21 July 2005 01:07 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Telus workers in Alberta and BC are off the job. CBC story.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
slimpikins
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posted 04 August 2005 01:36 PM      Profile for slimpikins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know this isn't all that timely, but I just got back from Brooks and had a chance to log on. I was down there helping out with the 'strike that wasn't' and the aftermath that followed.

The workers are pissed, but importantly they are pissed at the government rather than the Union. Oberg will have a harder time than he usually does getting re-elected as a conservative in the Brooks-Strathmore riding as a result. Predict a strong showing by the NDP in the next provincial election, and amaze your friends at your political acumen.

The so called Dispute Inquiry Board is a little known clause in the Labour Relations Code that has only been used once before, 19 years ago, in Red Deer. In that case,it was used after a strike was called, and could therefore not be used to stop the strike from happening. In Brooks, it was used to further help Tyson Foods, the huge American packing plant, stick it to Canadians. First they screwed the ranchers, and now with the help of a drunken Ralph they are trying to stick it to the workers. The DIB has a maximum of 60 days to make a reccomendation (non binding, if you can believe it). If both parties accept, then the first contract is in the books. If either party rejects it, then the strike will commence on or around September 15. Coincidentaly, the middle of September marks the end of the busy season in the beef packing industry, making a strike that much less effective.

A couple of days after the goverment stepped in, Lakeside even had the gall to post a huge sign near the plant entrance that stated 'Thank You Government'. It was taken down later that same day after many workers complained to various levels of management and the mood in the plant turned even uglier than it was before. Complete arrogance on the part of a huge yankee corporation towards the workers who make it about 700,000 a day in profit.

For more information on this struggle for Canadian workers rights against both Tyson Foods (owner of Lakeside Packers) and the Alberta Government check out
web page This is the UFCW Local 401 website. There are links to other info, and pdf files of the Union newsletter that are very informative. For more info on Tyson and it's many corporate sins, check out web page


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
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posted 04 August 2005 02:17 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What would be the consequences for the workers if they just went on strike now, Dispute Inquiry Board be damned? Do they have any other recourse, like work-to-rule?
From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
slimpikins
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posted 04 August 2005 04:39 PM      Profile for slimpikins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Going on strike now would result in fines under the Labour Code of 1 Million a day to the Union (not that big when you consider picket pay costing around 3 million a week). The real downside would be fines to the workers of 1000 bucks a day, being terminated, as well as potential lawsuits against the Union and it's individual members for lost production.

Work to rule is met with termination, every time. The Labour Board is backlogged with Unfair complaints, so there is a huge delay in the system. The Labour Board in Alberta is openly pro employer as well.

You can help the workers at Lakeside by writing or emailing Tyson and Klein. Check out the Union website and terribletyson.com (links in my post above) for details. Mike Cardinal, the minister for labour, also screwed us on this one so send him a curt reminder as well, if you would be so kind.

Also remember that these workers are fighting for a first collective agreement, and they aren't asking for the moon. They want parity with Cargill Foods workers, Cargill being an almost identical plant in High River, AB, represented by UFCW Local 1118. They want safety issues addressed, the right to seek medical attention without being terminated, the right to go to the bathroom when they need to (currently some workers are wearing adult diapers on the production floor as they know that they will be forced to remain at work if they have to go to the bathroom), the right to miss work if they are sick (remember these people are processing your food), the right to object when asked to process tainted or unsanitary beef, and the like. Currently, many workers injured on the job are told that if they make a compensation claim as they are required to by law that they will be fired, and this is no idle threat.

Other highlights of the struggle include a recently 'demoted' member of management being convicted of assault on a Union organizer and being required by the court to make a donation to Leukemia research (UFCW Charity of Choice), management intimidation of known Union supporters, the formation of an anti Union group in the plant consisting of the above mentioned management member, 3 people who aspire to management status, as well as several of the supervisors wives who do not even work in the plant.

Before anyone asks if these things are even legal, the answer is most of them are not, but good luck getting the government of Alabama North to do anything about it. However, the workers are firmly behind the Union and it is amazing to see the solidarity. If Lakeside wasn't afraid of a strike, they never would have had the government step in and put a stop to it a mere 12 hours before the strike was to take effect.


From: Alberta | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged

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