Nova Scotia Students Seeking Federal Leadership on Education

Canadian Federation of Students

Students from Nova Scotia are in Ottawa this week meeting with Members of Parliament and Senators to call for a high-quality and accessible system of post-secondary education in Nova Scotia and across the country.

Students from CFS Nova Scotia protest the NDP government’s tuition increases in Winter 2011

“In Nova Scotia, we’ve seen our government make consecutive cuts to funding for higher education, which have been passed on to students and their families through increased tuition fee and student debt,” said Zac Quinlan, Executive Vice-President of the Mount Saint Vincent University Students’ Union. “We have come to Ottawa to call on our federal government to take meaningful steps to ensure students have access to affordable, high-quality post-secondary education.” Continue reading

CLC Welcomes Decision to Create New Union: Georgetti Says CEP, CAW Choosing Best Way Forward

Canadian Labour Congress

The President of the Canadian Labour Congress has welcomed a decision by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada to create a new union along with the Canadian Auto Workers.

CLC President Ken Georgetti addresses delegates to the B.C. Federation of Labour’s 50th Convention.

“The members and leaders of the CEP and CAW are choosing the best way forward for their unions,” Georgetti says.

Delegates to the annual CEP convention meeting in the City of Québec voted in favour of a proposal to create the new union. Delegates to a CAW convention had earlier voted unanimously in favour of the same proposal at their August 2012 convention in Toronto. Continue reading

Unionized Workers Earn $5.11 More per Hour Than Non-Union Workers

Hamilton Labour Council

The Canadian Labour Congress has released a study showing that on average unionized workers in Canada earn $5.11 an hour more than do non-union workers. “That extra money in the pockets of individual workers means the union advantage is worth a cumulative $793 million per week added to our economy,” says CLC president Ken Georgetti.

The study, called The Union Advantage in Canadian Communities, shows the benefits that workers with unions bring to Canada as a whole, as well as 29 selected communities across the country. “Unions make a positive difference in the incomes and the quality of life of their members,” Georgetti says, “but beyond that they support a healthy middle class in Canadian society.”

Continue reading

Chicago Teachers Educate a Nation

People’s World

It was nine days that shook Chicago – and the nation. Twenty-five thousand public school teachers, guidance counselors, speech-language pathologists, social workers, nurses and other professionals, members of Chicago Teachers Union Local 1, stood up and said with one voice, “Enough!”

Rahm fix mess520x300

Left with no other choice by an intransigent Board of Education and a politically ambitious mayor, teachers took to the picket line, declaring that the strike was for the kids, the profession and public education everywhere. This was a strike that changed the city.

This red sea would not be parted

For those nine days, the city went red, symbolizing solidarity with the union. Mass protests felt like festivals with clever, and often funny signs (Rahm likes Nickelback), musicians – teachers and high school marching bands -playing drums, brass and woodwinds through the streets of downtown Chicago, chants and singing, passionate speeches describing the corporate-created problems in detail – and offering realistic alternatives, generations marching together from kids in strollers to elders with canes or in wheelchairs, banners from other unions, community organizations, parent and student groups waving to show solidarity. This was a red sea would not be parted. Continue reading

Why Don’t the Greek Communists Just Link Forces With the Radical Left Coalition?

by Johan Boyden

The political assessment of the Communist Party of Greece (which we posted here) deserves some introduction for our readers in Canada. Afterall, as Greece heads towards Sunday elections, all eyes seem to suddenly be turned to the volatile situation in the Hellenic Republic.

UPDATE: View the election results in graphic form and read the assessment of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece.

Progressive-minded people in Canada are optimistic. After years of hard struggle with countless general strikes and mass rallies, maybe these elections will hand a victory to political parties that identify with the left? Maybe they will demonstrate a different direction from austerity and economic crisis to the world?

There is also a certain renewed anxiety in the voices of the ruling class.  “We cannot have a Greek election determining the future of the global economy. That’s not fair to anybody,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said recently. Today, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney referenced Greece and the European situation to warn of more mass unemployment and ‘recession’ over here. Continue reading

Quebec Movements Face Election Challenge

by Johan Boyden, Montreal

The community of Trois Pistoles along the northern banks of the St. Lawrence river is known for its picturesque beauty and historic links to Basque whalers, who travelled there hundreds of years ago from Spain. Now it has become a symbol of the pre‑election polarization and fear‑mongering going on in Québec.

A student protester in Quebec

An ecological festival in the town, put on by community activists including some who have been fighting high‑risk shale gas development in the region, wanted to invite student leaders to speak at their event.

A storm of controversy erupted. Mayor Jean‑Pierre Rioux met with organizers and threatened to withdraw all funding. “Around here, people think that [student leader] Gabriel Nadeau‑Dubois is […] like Maurice `Mom’ Boucher” one festival organizer said.

Mom Boucher is, of course, the convicted rapist, drug dealer and murderer who leads the Montreal Hells Angels. Continue reading

Syrian Journalists’ Union Calls for more Struggle in Defense of Free Speech

by M. Ismael

DAMASACUS, (SANA) – The Syrian Journalists’ Union stressed that the Syrian journalists are more determined than ever to continue conveying the truth of the situation in Syria.

In a statement on Wednesday on the occasion of the Syrian Journalists’ Day, the Union called for more struggle in defense of free speech.

”Syria is targeted by a conspiracy that aims at fragmenting the Arab nation so as to succumb to US-Israeli hegemony, aided by an Arab and foreign interference that employed domestic tools and mercenaries whose only project is killing and destruction.” Continue reading