March 21, 2011 at 12:24 PM
On Saturday, April 2, 2011, the Canadian National Federation Of Labour and various US Labour Federations will be holding a "We Are One" cross-boarder rally at Peace Arch Park. This rally is in support of the Wisconsin workers and the US Labour movement.
CUPE National has requested the support of Local 873 members to both attend the rally and provide volunteer medical coverage for the event. (see below for volunteering details)
The “We Are One” rally is jointly-organized by the BC Federation of Labour and the Washington and Oregon arms of the AFL-CIO and its labour councils.
On April 2, all across Canada and the United States, workers and their unions will be out in force at similar demonstrations to protest the Republican-dominated state of Wisconsin’s destruction of fundamental workers’ rights and free collective bargaining through legislation passed on March 9.
The night passage of the Wisconsin legislation comes after several weeks of massive protests in the state capital of Madison as tens of thousands of people jammed the legislative buildings opposing the bill that Republican Governor Scott Walker claimed was essential to address the state’s financial troubles.
Wisconsin public sector workers are living their own super-sized version of the contract-shredding Bill 29 in 2002 and back-to-work Bill 37 in 2004, despite widespread opposition and condemnation to Walker’s draconian legislation from across America. BC Unions went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada to challenge Bill 29 and as a result, collective bargaining is now a right protected under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all unions and their members.
Now Wisconsin state workers are facing restrictions to their collective bargaining rights, and more:
- Negotiations no longer cover working conditions, health and safety including workers’ compensation, leave entitlements, seniority rules, equality provisions, grievance procedures, representation rights, or pensions and benefits.
- Wage increases are limited to the cost of living. Any salary increases above the cost-of-living will be put to a public referendum.
- Union members must vote annually to remain in their union.
- Unions must collect union dues directly from members. There is no longer a dues check-off process.
- Workers will pay more toward their pensions and health insurance. Medicaid benefits to all retirees may be cut.
- Key public utilities may be up for sale.
What: “We Are One” International Solidarity Rally
When: Saturday, April 2 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: At the Peace Arch, Peace Arch International Park, Canada/US border
CUPE 873 Members interested in providing volunteer medical coverage for this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org before March 27, 2011.
** Volunteers MUST have a valid Passport or Enhanced Drivers License (due to coverage of cross-border event) **