The next federal election is scheduled to be held on October 19, 2015. To act a reminder of this, we are calling on members to mark this day on the 19th of each month with actions in their workplaces and locals.
On March 19, PSAC members across the country, along with many of the National Joint Council unions, participated in actions and stood together for healthy workplaces. Together, members took a stand against a government and employer that has contributed to our toxic workplaces and, to make matters worse, has proposed a “go to work sick” plan.
- Lethbridge, AB – Agriculture Local 30048 stood together for healthy workplaces with members from PIPSC and CAPE by wearing red to work on March 19. PSAC members also attended a lunch hour rally outside Conservative MP Jim Hillyer’s office. In Suffield, UNDE Local 30910 stood together for a photo holding up bargaining posters.
- Calgary, AB – PSAC members rallied outside the Harry Hays building in Calgary over the lunch hour, with guest speakers Kevin King (UNE National Executive Vice-President), Gil McGowan (AFL President), and Bonnie Pratt (PIPSC Director, Prairie/NWT Region). Elsewhere in Calgary, UTE Local 30022 dressed in union colours and took a photo together to show their solidarity. Members from CIU Local 30036, as well as members working at the Agriculture Labs and the Calgary Airport, took photos together proudly holding up “Standing Together for Public Services / Standing Together for Fairness” signs.
- Edmonton, AB – Union members attended a rally in Edmonton, including members from PSAC, CAPE, PIPSC, IBEW, and USW. Speakers included Dave Burchell (UNE Regional Vice-President, AB/NWT/Nunavut) and Sharon Lonsinski (PIPSC Branch President, Edmonton). Rally goers marched around Canada Place holding bargaining signs and union flags. In Grand Prairie, members from CEIU Local 30853 decorated a bulletin board in the office with fortune cookies and 19th flyers.
- Regina, SK – Over one hundred union activists attended a lunch hour rally in Regina, many wearing surgical masks to represent the fight for sick leave. Speakers included Chad Kemery (Prairie Region Council Rep), Larry Hubich (SFL President), and Bonnie Manz (PIPSC).
- Saskatoon, SK – Members from many different unions came together for healthy workplaces at a rally in Saskatoon. Speakers included Nancy Johnson (Prairie Region Council Rep), Emmanuelle Tremblay (CAPE President), and Scott Bell (NDP Federal Candidate, Saskatoon-Grasswood). According to Tremblay, under this government, the role of the statisticians and economists CAPE represents has gone from analyzing data to make policy to now finding data to justify policy that has already been determined. The main take-away message from the rally was that we need to elect a new government that respects public services, collective agreements and democracy. Elsewhere in Saskatoon, members from Agriculture Local 40022 made signs supporting bargaining teams and proudly held them for photos.
- Prince Albert, SK – Members from UNE Local 40195 lined the street in front of their workplace with signs encouraging cars passing by to honk in support of union bargaining teams and public services. Inside, they distributed coffee and rice krispie squares to members with a poster that read “Just Like Rice Krispie Squares… Unions Will Stick Together!”
- Winnipeg, MB – Hundreds of union members attended a lunch hour rally in Winnipeg in front of Union Station on Main Street. PSAC National President Robyn Benson was in town for the rally and took the opportunity to sound off on this government and our fight for sick leave. Other speakers included Marianne Hladun (PSAC Prairies Regional Executive Vice-President), Kevin Rebeck (MFL President) and Brent Maine (PIPSC Branch President, Winnipeg). Members lined the sidewalk on Main Street and passing cars honked and waved in support.
- UTE Bargaining Actions – On March 18, UTE Locals across the country held actions and rallies to show support for their UTE bargaining team who will go to mediation on March 30. In Edmonton, UTE members wore red and stood together for a photo outside the workplace. In Regina, UTE members had “I Support My Bargaining Team” t-shirts made and took a group photo wearing them. In Winnipeg, the UTE Local held a rally outside the Tax Centre over the lunch hour where they distributed refreshments to members and waved “I Support My Bargaining Team” flags.
These types of actions and events will only continue to grow throughout the region and across the country as we head into the 2015 federal election. Download the poster below to put up on your union board and encourage members in your local to get involved.