2009 Activist Awards Dinner

The St. Catharines & District Labour Council will be holding its 9th annual Health and Safety Activist Awards Dinner at 5:30 pm on Thursday, November 12, 2009. The event will take place at the CAW Local 199 Hall, 124 bunting Rd. in St. Catharines. The keynote speaker will be Professor Bryan Palmer who teaches Labour Studies at Trent University. The keynote speech will be followed by the presentation of an award for Health and Safety Activist of the Year and by the presentation of the Eric Blair Award for Social Justice Activist of the Year.
Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend and participate in the event. Anyone wishing to obtain more information about it are encouraged to contact St. Catharines & District Labour Council President Bruce Allen at (905) 934-6233.


Truth from the Streets of Rangoon

The next meeting of Amnesty International Group 112 Niagara Region takes place Monday, September 28 at 7:30 pm at the Church of the Transfiguration (corner of Glenridge and Glendale) in St. Catharines. This month’s meeting will feature the 2007 UK film Inside Burma’s Uprising: The truth from the streets of Rangoon by filmmaker Francis Smith.

Amnesty International Niagara Region meets on the fourth Monday of each month (except December, July and August) at 7:30 pm at the Church of the Transfiguration in St. Catharines. Each month’s meeting features a presentation or film on a specific human rights issue or region of concern. Meetings are open to anyone interested in human rights and social justice issues.

Hope to see you there. Remember family and friends are always welcome!


Labour Council Human Rights Committee Appeal

Amnesty International

Jailed Iranian trade unionist urgently needs your help Two years ago, when Mansour Ossanlu was at risk of losing his eyesight, your protests led to his transfer to hospital for the operation he needed. Now he needs your help again.I'm sorry to tell you that Ossanlu's health has deteriorated again. And once more he is being denied the specialist care that prison doctors say he urgently needs. The case judge says that he cannot be treated outside the prison.Send a message to the Iranian authorities to insist that they meet their humanitarian responsibilities to Ossanlu and to call for freedom for all jailed trade unionists.

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei - Leader of the Islamic Republic
The Office of the Supreme LeaderIslamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust StreetTehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - President of Iran
The PresidencyPalestine AvenueAzerbaijan IntersectionTehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr Rasoul Movahedian - Ambassador of Iran in the UK
Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PT

Dear Sir
We understand that the Coroner, or Medical Examiner attached to Raja’i Shahr Prison in Karaj has directed, both this year and last, that prison officials grant Mansour Ossanlu medical leave in order to receive appropriate treatment. We understand that prison officials, have disregarded this directive and denied him leave. We respectfully remind you that every prisoner has the right to adequate medical attention and that you are responsible for prisoners’ wellbeing.
We are very concerned that Ossanlu appears to be held solely on account of his peaceful trade union activities, in which case he should be released immediately and unconditionally. We remind you of the obligations of Iran under ICCPR Article 22 (1) and ILO conventions 87 and 98, which provide for the right to form and join trade unions.
As a priority, We urge the authorities to ensure that he is given immediate and regular access to his lawyers, and his family as well as adequate and appropriate medical care.
We also urge you to ensure that all jailed Iranian trade unionists, and those facing prosecution and imprisonment arising from legitimate trade union activities, are released, including Ossanlu’s colleague, Ebrahim Madadi, and teacher Farzad Kamangar.
Thank You


Labour Day Potluck

The St. Catharines & District Labour Council will be sponsoring a Labour Day Potluck at 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm. Ontario New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath and Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario President Sid Ryan will be taking part along with labour singer George Hewison and the Raging Grannies.
The event will be held at 36 Sunnylea Dr. in St. Catharines just off of Carlton St. between Grantham Ave. and Bunting Rd. For more information telephone (905) 934-6233 or email ballen@cogeco.ca


Clemency for Leonard Peltier

"When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat." --Nelson Mandela

Saturday, September 12, is Mr. Peltier's 65th birthday. Due to the political nature of the Peltier case, a high level of public awareness is critical if new legal efforts are to succeed. The best birthday gift you can give to Mr. Peltier is to educate your community about his case. See the suggestions at <http://www.FreePeltierNow.org/educate.htm>.

Send cards and letters to:
Leonard Peltier #89637 -132 USP-Lewisburg U.S. Penitentiary PO Box 1000 Lewisburg, PA

"Never cease in the fight for peace, justice, and equality for all people. Be persistent in all that you do and don't allow anyone to sway you from your conscience." -- Leonard Peltier


Zellers Distribution Centre Strike Support Appeal

Over 300 CAW Local 1000 members have been out on strike at the Zellers Distribution Centre in Scarborough, Ontario since July 16. The employer (Hudson’s Bay Corporation – now owned by U.S.-based private equity firm NRDC Equity Partners) has walked away from the bargaining table and refuses to negotiate with our union.

What you can do!

Please take 2 minutes to participate in our online letter writing campaign! Support these workers by letting Zellers CEO & President Mark Foote know that these demands are simply unacceptable and that he should bring his team of negotiators back to the table with the mandate to reach a fair and equitable settlement.

Visit: http://petition.web.net/caw/node/8 to sign the petition. We need as many signatures as possible!!

Zellers is demanding massive contract rollbacks from these workers, that includes:

- An $8/hour pay cut for material handlers (approx $16,000 annually);
- Eliminate severance pay entitlements;
- Remove seniority provisions for new job postings;
- Establish a two-tier vacation system; and
- Increasing the use of temporary agency workers in the warehouse

Our members feel these demands are unreasonable and simply unacceptable. Retail workers, across the country, have suffered from major employer concessionary demands for years, which have impacted wage and benefit levels. CAW Local 1000 members are taking a principled stand against these concessions in support of all Canadian retail workers.

For more information on the campaign visit the CAW website at: www.caw.ca/en

In Solidarity,

Angelo DiCaro
CAW Communications Department
205 Placer Court
Toronto, Ontario
M2H 3H9
tf: 1.800.268.5763 xt 3754
o: 416.495.3754
c: 416.606.6311
CAW Website: www.caw.ca/en
CAW RSS news feed: http://www.caw.ca/en/currentNews.xml
Subscribe to CAW newsletters: http://www.caw.ca/en/newsletters.htm


Fort Erie Hospital Rally July15th

Our Town
Our Emergency Room
On Wednesday July 15th the
Niagara Health Services will be in town
WHERE: Douglas Memorial Hospital
WHEN: July 15th from 3:00 to 6:00 pm
WHY: Information Session for Sept. 27th
conversion of Emergency Room to an
Urgent Care Centre (U.C.C.)
If this conversion happens, consider the following:
• The street signs will come down and will no longer direct
people where to seek medical attention
• Ambulances as of Sept 27th will not be allowed at DMH for any
reason unless protocols are changed
• Extra ambulances taking citizens to out of town hospitals will
cost Taxpayers over $3 million per year!
Concerned residents of Fort Erie will be holding a
RALLY on July 15th at 2:30 pm at DMH
The purpose of this RALLY is to show support for KEEPing
OUR Emergency Room in OUR Hospital in OUR Town.
Say NO to: Say YES to:
Urgent Care Centre
Emergency Room


Pride Week Events

Monday is the start of the Pride events in Niagara. This message is to remind you that some of the events require RSVP's, such as the Snappy Sassy Supper Club at Keefer Mansion, the Bike Ride Wine Tour, and the Relay for Life. Please click here for more details or see the events listings on the OUTniagara web site.
The events are:
Flag Raising
Pride Dance
Snappy Sassy Supper Club
Pride Picnic
Symphony Fund Raiser
Out for Lunch
Bike Ride Wine Tour
Relay for Life
Drag Show
Dinner and a Movie
In Solidarity,
Tom Balint and Marion Mueller
CAW 199 LGBT Committee
905 687 0701


CLC Statement on Injured Workers Day

Injured Workers Day is an important day that
commemorates the events of June 1st, 1983, when
thousands of injured workers came to Queen’s Park
in Toronto to speak against the government’s proposal
to eliminate the permanent disability pension. The
government listened and set aside the proposal.
The number of compensable injuries in Canada,
nearly one million Canadians per year from coast
to coast to coast, makes Canadians sadly aware of
the pain and suffering workers endure as a result
of workplace injuries. Unfortunately, far too many
workers are not receiving the care and services that
workers’ compensation was designed to provide.
There are discrepancies among the provinces and
territories. Worse yet, Workers’ Compensation Boards
are continuously bowing to corporate pressure to
make changes that are not benefi cial to workers.
However, the challenges faced by injured workers
are becoming more numerous. The current economic
crisis, for many injured workers, has created yet
another hardship on top of the daily battles they have
been waging to survive. Injured workers are facing
the disrespectful argument that they should have less
than full justice because there is an economic crisis.
Workers and injured workers did not bring about the
economic crisis. Workers’ compensation was created
to be a system of justice in good and bad economic
times. Employers are protected from lawsuits in good
economic times and bad. Injured workers must be
protected from poverty at all times as well.
The Canadian Labour Congress is calling for changes
and supporting efforts to have workers’ compensation
improved across Canada. The CLC and many of our
affi liates and labour councils have been working with
the Canadian Injured Workers Alliance (CIWA) for a
number of years to raise awareness of the problems
and serious diffi culties thousands of injured workers
face on a daily basis.
Workers do not go to work to be disabled
or killed on the job.
Today, in honour of the Injured Workers’ Day, and
every day on behalf of injured workers across the
country, the Canadian Labour Congress calls on
all provinces and territories to work with injured
workers, labour and employers to improve their
workers’ compensation systems.
Governments must ensure that changes to workers’
compensation include the following elements:
• Dignity, respect and justice must be the foundation for a
renewed workers’ compensation system;
• Every province and territory must ensure their workers’
compensation act complies with its stated purposes, to
truly assist and compensate all workers injured, made
sick and disabled at work;
• Each province and territory must have an act that has a
clear focus to assist workers with a permanent disability;
• Injured workers deserve a pension for life if workplace
injuries result in a disability for life;
• Injured workers deserve a full cost of living protection;
• Injured workers need real jobs and job security or full
The CLC is calling on our affi liates, federations of
labour and labour councils to work hand in hand
with injured workers’ groups across Canada on June
1st and throughout the year to pressure governments
in Canada to change workers’ compensation where it
has been clearly demonstrated that injured workers
and their families are not being treated with the
dignity and respect they are entitled.
There a number of steps which can and should be
• Invite the local injured workers’ group to join your local
labour council;
• On a yearly basis, develop an action plan on activities you
will undertake together with the local injured workers’
• Invite activists with the injured workers’ group to
participate in union training sessions and union days of
• Provide a space where injured workers can meet one
another, even if just over a cup of coffee;
• Provide support and services to your local injured
workers’ group, even something as simple as photocopy
• Encourage your WCB and health and safety activists to
join the injured workers’ group to help with mentoring
and strengthening community solidarity.
The road to justice for injured workers still stretches
far ahead, but working together, we can demand a
better workers’ compensation system, one that puts
the needs of injured workers fi rst and treats them
with the dignity, respect and justice that everyone of
us deserve.
Workers’ Compensation
Needs to Work for Workers


3 Cemetaries, No Hospital

Save Public Medicare! Information
"3 Cemetaries, No Hospital" sign unveiled in presentation to Mayor:
Fort Erie Continues to fight-back to save local hospital

The Niagara Health System and the provincial government are trying to close the Douglas Memorial Hospital in Fort Erie. But the Town continues to fight-back to save their local hospital that was built originally in 1931 to provide local access to health care services.

In a presentation today to the mayor, the Yellow Shirt Gang - a group of concerned citizens - unveiled a highway banner that indicates the citizens outrage that their community could lose a vital health care service. (see photo below)

The town has vehemently opposed all moves made by the Niagara Health System and the provincial government to close their hospital. When operating rooms were closed and equipment removed recently, a protest resulted in three arrests by police hired privately by the Niagara Health System. Among those arrested was one of the Town of Fort Erie's highly-respected doctors.

Mayor Douglas Martin has been a vocal opponent since inception of a controversial "Hospital Improvement Plan" that will see hospital closures in the lakeside towns of Port Colborne and Fort Erie, " Nothing will be acceptable unless we retain all current services and the equipment stolen from our hospital is returned," said a very supportive Mayor.

"At some point reason must prevail and the McGuinty government must listen to the politicians, physicians, health care workers and citizens who know they are right and the NHS is so very wrong. NO means NO," said the Yellow Shirt Gang.
Edited version of a posting from Sue Salzer and the citizen's fight-back group in Fort Erie
OntarioHealthCoalition mailing list


June 1st Injured Workers Day Events in Ontario

Some June 1st activities in Ontario

St. Catharines

Injured Workers Day Rally
4:30 pm - June 1, 2009

Demand Justice for Ontario's Injured Workers

Rally outside the WSIB, 301
St. Paul St., St. Catharines

Sponsored by the Ontario Network of Injured
Workers Groups and the St. Catharines &
District Labour Council Tel. (905) 934-6233\

Thunder Bay

Injured Workers� Day
Rally and Bar B Q Picnic
Monday, June 1st

From 11 AM to 2 PM
Formal proceeding 11:30 � 1 PM
At the Lakehead Labour Centre
929 Fort William Road

Special Guest Speaker � Hassan Yussuff
Sec/Treasurer � Canadian Labour Congress



Ontario legislature
Queen�s Park
11 AM

26th anniversary rally

Media conference at 9:30 PM

Vigil � over night - Monday night at Queen�s Park


June 1st Rally and BBQ� 4 PM
At CAW Local 195 on Central Avenue across from Central Stamping!


(to be confirmed)

June 1 Action Alert

Injured Workers' Day Rally. Injured workers and their supporters will rally June 1 at 4:30 pm outside the WSIB offices in St. Catharines at 301 St. Paul St. The purpose of the rally is to demand justice for Ontario's injured workers. The rally is one of a series of events to be held on June 1 which is Injured Workers Day. The action is sponsored by the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups and co-sponsored by the St. Catharines & District Labour Council. For further information contact Bruce Allen at (905) 934-6233 or ballen@cogeco.ca.

Town Hall Meeting on Employment Insurance

For Immediate Release:
Town Hall Meeting on the Crisis in Employment Insurance
The St. Catharines & District Labour Council and the Canadian Labour Congress are sponsoring a Town Hall Meeting on the Crisis in Employment Insurance this Wednesady, May 27, 2009 at 7:00 pm in Hall “C” at the CAW Local 199 Hall, 124 Bunting Rd. in St. Catharines. Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) President Ken Georgetti and CAW National Represetative Laurel Ritchie will be two of the panelists featured at the event. The event is one of a series of events the CLC is sponsoring across the country in response to the economic crisis and the impact it is having on working people.
Members of the media are cordially invited to fully participate in this important event. The guest speakers will be available to be interviewed prior to and following the Town Hall meeting. Persons wishing to learn more about this event and related matters are invited to contact St. Catharines & District Labour Council President Bruce Allen at tel. (905) 934-6233 (home) or tel. (905) 682-2611. Canadian Labour Congress Reprsentative Eddie St. Marie is also available to provide information. Tel. (416) 904-9374.


2009 Day of Mourning Media Release

National Day of Mourning Events in Niagara

The St. Catharines and District Labour Council will sponsor three memorial ceremonies in Niagara On The Lake and St. Catharines to mark the April 28 National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed and Injured on the Job. One will be held at the Day of Mourning monument next to the Centennial Arena in Niagara On The Lake at 9:30 am and another will be held at the worker’s monument next to the Homer Bridge11:00 am in the morning on Tuesday April 28, 2009. The main ceremony will be held in St. Catharines at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 and take place at the Day of Mourning monument in Merrit Park next to the Burgoyne Bridge. The keynote speakers at the main ceremony will be Al Bieksa of the Ontario Federation of Labour and Dan Crow of CUPE Ontario. The main ceremony will also feature local labour leaders and politicians.
These ceremonies serve to focus public attention on the shocking extent of workplace fatalities and injuries in this country. They also express our renewed commitment to fight to prevent workplace deaths and injuries and achieve safe workplaces.
Members of the media are cordially invited to attend the April 28th Day of Mourning events. Persons wishing to obtain further information are encouraged to contact: Bruce Allen at (905) 682-2611 ext. 225 or (905) 934-6233.


Labour Council Fights Hospital Cuts

Labour Council activists join the Niagara Health Coalition to protest cuts to Niagara Hospitals.


Major Cuts to Niagara Hospitals Threaten our Health

Niagara’s Hospitals are Particularly Hard Hit

The NHS has to find cuts to eliminate a budget deficit of approx. $16 million this year and $15 million next year, even though all experts agree that the hospital system is grossly underfunded.

The Niagara Health System has already announced major cuts to staff and services, including:Closing the Emergency Rooms and surgical beds – and ultimately the entire hospitals in Port Colborne and Fort Erie. These ERs saw more than 40,000 patients last year -- patients who will now have to travel into St. Catharines, Welland and Niagara Falls. This is threatening to overwhelm our already overstretched ERs and hospital beds.

Closing birthing and mental health services across the peninsula – all patients will have to travel into St. Catharines further overcrowding the hospital here.

Cuts to hospital beds and other services

The hospital cuts and restructuring plan for Niagara will result in a net loss of hospital services for our whole region. We should be very concerned that our hospital cannot take the influx of patients from all across the Niagara peninsula as services are cut and closed down.

What We Can Do: Take Our Fight to Jim Bradley

Did You Know?Ontario’s hospitals are funded $100 less per person than hospitals in other provinces. This equals $1.2 billion in total less than other provinces. McGuinty is forcing these cuts by funding the NHS at less than the rate of inflation. It is very important that our local Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Jim Bradley, hears from us in St. Catharines, that we are concerned and want him to stop the cuts.

April 4 : Mass leafleting day.Join us at the market square at 8:00 am or at the CAW Hall, 124 BuntingSt. Catharines at Noon . We will be leafleting for two hours.

April 8: Planning Meeting Niagara Health CoalitionCAW Hall , 124 Bunting RD, 7:00 pm

April 18: Join in the Cross Province Protest atJim Bradley’s office at noon. Unit 2, 2 Secord Drive, St. Catharines.

Write/call/email Jim Bradley our local MPP:Unit 2, 2 Secord Drive, St. Catharines, ON, L2N 1K8T: 905-935-0018 F: 905-935-0191 E: jbradley.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Write/call/email Premier Dalton McGuinty:Room 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M7A 1A4T: 416-325-1941 F: 416-325-3745 E: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Volunteer with the Niagara Health Coalition: 905-932-1646



April 28 Day of Mourning Events in the St. Catharines Area

The St. Catharines and District Labour Council will be sponsoring a series of three memorial ceremonies in Niagara On The Lake and St. Catharines to mark the April 28 National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed and Injured on the Job.

9:30AM at the Day of Mourning monument next to the Centennial Arena in Niagara On The Lake.

11:00AM at the worker's monument next to the Homer Bridge in Niagara On The Lake (beneath the skyway)

4:30 pm at the Day of Mourning monument in Merrit Park next to the Burgoyne Bridge (at the corner of St. Paul Street and McGuire Street)

The main ceremony will feature local labour leaders and politicians. These ceremonies serve to focus public attention on the shocking extent of workforce fatalities and injuries in this country. They also express our renewed commitment to fight to prevent workplace deaths and injuries and achieve safe workplaces.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend the April 28th Day of Mourning events. Persons wishing to obtain further information are encouraged to contact: Bruce Allen at (905) 682-2611 ext. 225 or (905) 934-6233.