A clear plea against privatization from the SAQ’s former CEO

At a time when the debate on the possible privatization of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) has once again resurfaced, CUPE has just circulated a previously unseen interview with Gaétan Frigon, the former CEO of the SAQ.

Aside from heading the SAQ from 1998 to 2002, Gaétan Frigon is one of very few Quebeckers who has worked in the marketing of alcoholic beverages in both the public and private sectors, which gives even further credence to his comments.

Bitcoin and blockchain: what’s all the fuss?

There’s been much hype about, and financial speculation in, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum and the blockchain technology that underlies them. Prominent futurist Don Tapscott says they represent “a profound technological shift that will transform the way the world does business—and everything else.” Legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett characterizes private cryptocurrencies as “rat poison squared.”

Inflation rising, wages lagging

Inflation is rising but wage increases are still lagging behind increases in the cost of living. Workers are in this position despite the unemployment rate being close to a record low, which should lead to higher wages.

Lower unemployment rates should push wages up, as employers compete to hire qualified workers, but that’s slow to happen this time. Canada’s unemployment rate recently declined to 5.8 per cent and is expected to average 5.8 per cent this year and next. Canada hasn’t had this low a jobless rate since 1974.

How to lead a workplace discussion on climate change

Do you want to foster a workplace discussion on climate change? Wondering how to start one? CUPE’s climate change action workshop is the perfect tool to get that conversation started. 

Learn about the science behind climate change and how unions can respond. This self-hosted workshop includes labour-focused information and interactive discussion tools on how climate change is affecting our planet, our communities and our economy.

Part-time and casual clerical staff at Toronto Western Hospital choose CUPE

Over 100 part-time and casual clerical staff at Toronto Western Hospital have chosen to improve their working conditions and increase their job security by joining the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Workers cited the need for a fair and equal staffing process, predictable and consistent scheduling, job security, and an end to working full-time hours on casual contracts that lack benefits and protection, as the primary motivations for unionizing.

SFU workers’ pension plan secured following years of effort

CUPE 3338 members who work at Simon Fraser University, and other members of the Employees’ Joint Pension Committee (EJPC), will vote on ratification of proposed amendments to their pension plan this fall. Both the Public Sector Employers’ Council (PSEC) and the Board of Governors have approved the changes and the three employee groups at SFU (APSA, CUPE 3338 and the Poly Party) must also approve them.

CRD workers unable to resolve contract negotiations through mediation

CUPE Local 1978 members who work for the Capital Regional District (CRD) are still without a new collective agreement after one day of unsuccessful mediation.

“Our next step is to negotiate essential service levels, a process that happens through the BC Labour Relations Board,” said CUPE 1978 President Rick Illi.

A strike or lockout cannot occur prior to essential service levels being negotiated and the CRD or the union filing 72-hour lockout or strike notice.

Further bargaining updates will be given as available.

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