Workers Issues in Canada

Canada: Saskatchewan oil refinery locks out 800 workers, deploys scabs

By Carl Bronski, 12 December 2019

The Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina, Saskatchewan has locked out its workforce after workers defied its demands for further pension cuts.

Ontario teachers strike against government assault on public education

By our reporters, 6 December 2019

Wednesday’s province-wide high school teachers’ strike won widespread support from parents, students and other working people.

Ontario high school teachers stage one-day walkout Wednesday

By Roger Jordan, 4 December 2019

More than 60,000 Ontario high school teachers will walk off the job today in opposition to the sweeping cuts the provincial Conservative government is making to education and their terms of employment.

Canada: Labour board greenlights closure of Nemak’s Windsor auto casting plant

By Carl Bronski, 3 December 2019

Unifor officials feigned shock over the arbitrator’s decision. But time and again the union has imposed concessions in exchange for “ironclad” job guarantees that quickly proved worthless.

Teamsters shut down CN Rail strike, praise Canada’s big business Liberal government

By Keith Jones, 27 November 2019

Everything suggests the union abandoned all, or at least most, of the CN Rail workers’ key demands in their rush to shut down the strike and avert a confrontation with the federal Liberal government.

As corporate Canada calls for strike-breaking legislation

CN Rail workers continue fight against onerous working conditions

By Carl Bronski, 22 November 2019

Demands have been made from all quarters of the corporate elite for Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to quickly bring in back-to-work legislation criminalizing the four-day-old strike.

Over 3,000 Canadian National Railway workers strike across Canada

By Roger Jordan, 20 November 2019

Workers, who have been without a contract since July, are protesting against dangerous working conditions and long shifts, which have led to high levels of fatigue.

Unifor imposes concessions contracts on Saskatchewan Crown Corporation workers

By Carl Bronski, 19 November 2019

Governments across Canada have initiated a new austerity wave, targeting public services and the jobs and wages of the workers who administer them.

Strike looms at Canadian National Railway

Workers Struggles: The Americas

19 November 2019

Some 3,000 conductors, trainspersons and yard workers were poised to strike Tuesday as contract talks between the Teamsters and Canadian National Railway reached an impasse over the weekend.

Dominican health workers strike, Chilean copper miners protest subcontracting

Workers Struggles: The Americas

12 November 2019

Healthcare workers in the Domincan Republic held a one day strike November 7 to press wage demands while Chilean copper miners are set to strike against the abuse of subcontract workers.

Massive vote in favour of strike by Ontario elementary school teachers

By Jake Silver and Roger Jordan, 9 November 2019

The virtually unanimous strike vote by teachers reflects the depth of opposition to the government’s austerity agenda and is part of a growing upsurge of the class struggle internationally.

Ontario elementary teachers return big majority for strike authorization

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 November 2019

Some 83,000 members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario have given a 98 percent strike authorization vote as talks continue with the provincial government.

Unifor’s attempt to impose concessions contracts on Saskatchewan workers meeting widespread opposition

By Carl Bronski, 4 November 2019

On learning that Unifor had accepted a two-year wage freeze in order to scuttle a 17-day strike, Saskatchewan Crown corporation workers denounced the union leadership from the floor of ratification meetings.

Canada’s pseudo-left Fightback supports wage cuts for Ontario education workers

By Roger Jordan, 30 October 2019

Fightback has lavishly praised the sellout agreement that CUPE is seeking to impose on 55,000 Ontario school support staff, after scuttling a threatened strike.

Teamsters warn of possible strike at CN Rail

Workers Struggles: The Americas

29 October 2019

Conductors and other railroad personnel gave a 99 percent strike mandate after months of negotiations have not resulted in an agreement.

British Columbia: IATSE suppresses opposition to union malfeasance

By Carl Bronski, 24 October 2019

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has threatened rank-and-file workers with criminal charges if details of a spending scandal were further publicized.

Buenos Aires metro workers strike over asbestos in trains

Workers Struggles: The Americas

22 October 2019

Workers are set to carry out a series of strikes and protests over the refusal of management to take any serious steps toward the removal of asbestos from trains.

Quebec Federation of Labour’s Solidarity Fund sponsors speech by Conservative Party leader Scheer

By Laurent Lafrance, 15 October 2019

The QFL’s promotion of the Conservative Scheer attests to the trade union bureaucracy’s readiness to collaborate with the most right-wing forces.

Chilean railway workers walk out; strike vote by Vancouver BC transit workers

Workers Struggles: The Americas

15 October 2019

Workers at Ferroarriles del Pacífico struck eight cities in Chile over wages while 3,200 transit workers in Vancouver have voted to authorize strike action after months of futile negotiations.

CUPE torpedoes Ontario school support-staff strike, accepts Ford’s wage and budget cuts

By Roger Jordan, 8 October 2019

CUPE has agreed to a sell-out contract that strengthens the hand of the Ford government as it presses forward with savage cuts to education, including dramatic class-size increases.

Public employees union blocks strike by 55,000 Ontario education workers

Workers Struggles: The Americas

8 October 2019

A deal reached just before a midnight Sunday strike deadline by the Canadian Union of Public Employees ended the threat of a walkout by school support workers across the province that could have cancelled classes for up to 2 million students.

Canada: Five thousand public sector workers strike in Saskatchewan

By Carl Bronski, 7 October 2019

The strike, involving workers at SaskPower, SaskTel, SaskWater, SaskEnergy, the Water Security Agency and two SaskTel subsidiaries, is the largest in Saskatchewan for decades.

Quebec prosecuting nearly 100 crane operators for “illegal” 2018 strike

By Louis Girard, 3 October 2019

While the government is making an example of the crane operators with the aim of intimidating workers into bowing before the anti-strike laws, the unions are deafeningly silent.

BC municipal workers authorize strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

1 October 2019

The threatened strike by municipal workers in Coldstream, British Columbia comes as 1,000 hotel workers are continuing their strike in Vancouver and 3,000 BC forestry workers remain on strike against Western Forest Products.

Half a million people join Montreal climate change protest

By our reporters, 30 September 2019

The scale of Friday’s protest attests to mounting popular anger at the failure of the world’s corporate-controlled governments to address this social and ecological crisis.

Argentine teachers set for national strike; Vancouver B.C. hotel workers walk out

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 September 2019

Argentine teachers have set a September 25 date for a nationwide strike to press wage demands while 1,000 hospitality workers in Vancouver, British Columbia have launched an indefinite strike

Unifor shuts down Nemak auto parts strike in Windsor, Canada

By Carl Bronski, 19 September 2019

Bitterly opposed to mobilizing tens of thousands of Canadian and striking US autoworkers in support of Nemak workers, Unifor has handed the initiative back to the company and the state.

Canada’s media join Conservatives in pushing for RCMP to play key role in election outcome

By Roger Jordan, 16 September 2019

The Trudeau government is a pro-austerity, pro-war government that must be implacably opposed by the working class. But in doing so, it must lend no support to the reactionary intrigues of the Tories and their media allies.

Canada’s pseudo-left Fightback group covers for Steelworkers’ betrayal of ABI workers

By Félix Gauthier and Richard Dufour, 14 September 2019

Fightback’s miserable apologetics for the union bureaucracy goes hand in hand with its promotion of Quebec nationalism.

As union prepares sell-out of their struggle

Unifor President Jerry Dias addresses Nemak workers in Windsor

By Carl Bronski, 13 September 2019

A court ruling is expected as soon as Friday on an order demanding the taking down of picket lines at the parts plant where workers walked out last week in defence of jobs.

Ontario education unions disarm teachers, support staff facing attack on jobs and conditions

By Roger Jordan, 11 September 2019

The unions are seeking to block a teachers strike, because they fear it could trigger a broader working-class challenge to the Ford government and the agenda of austerity.

The struggle of autoworkers against GM, Ford, and Chrysler requires a global strategy

By Jerry White, 11 September 2019

Just days before 158,000 US autoworkers face a contract deadline, GM workers in Korea and Mexico have entered the battle, underscoring the need to unify autoworkers across national borders.

Court orders end to “unlawful” Windsor, Ontario auto parts strike

By Carl Bronski, 6 September 2019

Unifor President Jerry Dias is again ramping up his anti-Mexican demagogy in an effort to divert the struggle by workers at parts maker Nemak who have blockaded the plant in an effort to defend their jobs.

Quebec: New attack on crane operators provokes strong opposition

By Louis Girard, 5 September 2019

The government’s regressive regulatory “reform” poses a serious threat to the safety of both the public and construction workers.

Unifor tries to keep Canadian autoworkers in the dark about US contract battle

By Carl Bronski, 4 September 2019

The Unifor bureaucrats are terrified that the impending struggle of US Detroit Three workers could trigger a unified cross-border offensive by autoworkers.

Uruguayan health care workers strike, teachers poised to walk out in Washington state, British Columbia

Workers Struggles: The Americas

27 August 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Unifor convention gives centre-stage to Trudeau, Freeland and the Liberal re-election campaign

By Roger Jordan and Carl Bronski, 24 August 2019

Unifor is spearheading a massive union drive to keep the big business, pro-austerity, pro-war Trudeau Liberal government in power.

Ontario teachers face threat of state repression, wage and job cuts in upcoming contract fight

By Carl Bronski, 23 August 2019

The role of the teacher unions has been to hand the initiative to the Ford government, allowing the Tories to unveil a sweeping assault on teachers’ wages and working conditions without their organizing any meaningful opposition.

“We are in a war with social injustice that cannot be reversed without an uprising”

Oshawa autoworker speaks on wildcat strikes, Unifor treachery

By Marcus Day, 9 August 2019

An autoworker at a supplier factory for GM’s Oshawa Assembly Plant in Canada, which is set to close later this year, spoke to the WSWS about last week’s wildcat strikes.

Canadian auto parts workers stage wildcat strike as Oshawa GM plant closure looms

By Carl Bronski, 7 August 2019

The short strike was organized by rank-and-file workers independently of the pro-company Unifor union, which spent the day telling workers to get back to work.

Quebec: A political balance sheet of the United Steelworkers’ betrayal of the ABI workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 5 August 2019

The United Steelworkers and Quebec Federation of Labour systematically isolated the ABI workers’ militant anti-concessions struggle after an 18-month lockout.

Two-day strike by Peruvian doctors

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 July 2019

Doctors struck to press demands for increased funding for healthcare, salary increases and an end to supply shortages.

Ontario government writes off 2009 auto bailout loan to Chrysler

By Carl Bronski, 22 July 2019

The federal Conservative and Ontario Liberal governments handed $13.7 billion over to the auto bosses at General Motors and Chrysler, while extorting massive wage and benefit concessions from autoworkers.

British Columbia forestry workers strike enters third week

By Jean LaChance, 17 July 2019

The USW is determined to isolate the forest workers and reach a rotten compromise with WFP management.

Nurse shortages persist after UAW sellout of Mercy Health St. Vincent strike

By Shannon Jones, 17 July 2019

The fight by nursing staff in Toledo, Ohio has important lessons for the overall fight in defense of healthcare as well as for autoworkers facing demands for more health givebacks.

Argentine bus drivers carry out one-day strike, judge orders fines for American Airlines workers over protest actions

Workers Struggles: the Americas

16 July 2019

Bus drivers across Argentina carried out a one-day strike on July 11 to press wage demands.

Build rank-and-file committees to prepare a political general strike against Ontario's Doug Ford!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 15 July 2019

To prevail in this fight, workers must break free of the trade unions and NDP, and unify their struggles in a global working-class counter-offensive against capitalist austerity and war.

18-month lockout at aluminum plant ends

Quebec ABI workers’ struggle betrayed by United Steelworkers Union

By Laurent Lafrance, 11 July 2019

The unions isolated the workers at ABI and collaborated with the corporation to impose a defeat that will be used to attack working conditions throughout the industry.

Costa Rican public health workers strike over pay cut, government policies; truckers block highways

Workers Struggles: the Americas

9 July 2019

Three Costa Rican public health unions began strike action July 4 against government policies while Costa Rican truckers blockaded highways over imposition of a value added tax.

Quebec: Alcoa issues ultimatum to locked-out ABI workers

By Keith Jones, 2 July 2019

The United Steelworkers Union has refused to make any public comment on Alcoa’s ultimatum, let alone coupled an emphatic call for it to be rejected with an appeal for workers across North America to come to the ABI workers’ defence.

Ford announces 12,000 layoffs, five plant closures across Europe

By Will Morrow, 28 June 2019

A global restructuring is underway, with all the automakers relying on the trade unions to seek to suppress the seething and growing opposition of autoworkers.

Quebec: ABI lockout in its 18th month

By Laurent Lafrance, 27 June 2019

Having isolated the ABI workers and promoted the lie that Quebec’s right-wing premier would come to their aid, the union is now turning to Québec Solidaire to give it a “left” cover.

Whitewashing Canadian capitalism’s crimes:

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s inquiry issues final report

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 21 June 2019

The MMIW report shifts the blame for the oppression of the native people from Canadian capitalism and its state to a racist “colonialist” mindset and “white society.”

Quebec premier denounces workers’ “high wages,” supports employer drive to extort concessions

By Laurent Lafrance, 12 June 2019

Quebec Premier François Legault and his right-wing populist Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government are on a collision course with the working class.

The global assault on jobs

By Jerry White, 5 June 2019

Job cuts by the Australian telecommunications company Telstra are part of a wave of international layoffs that urgently point to the need for a globally coordinated response by the working class.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Mass demonstrations in defense of education in Brazil, Honduran educators and doctors strike

4 June 2019

Mass protests are continuing in Brazil against education cuts by the right-wing Bolsanaro administration while striking Honduran teachers and doctors held protests against privatization of healthcare and education.

Longshore union sabotages strike by 2,000 dockworkers in Vancouver, British Columbia

By Roger Jordan, 28 May 2019

Despite a 98 percent strike vote by dock workers, the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada called off the strike just hours before it was to begin.

Chilean professors call for strike, teachers in Honduras begin nationwide walkout

Workers Struggles: The Americas

28 May 2019

Members of Chile’s College of Professors have set a June 3 strike date, meanwhile Honduran teachers declared a nationwide walkout over threats to privatize education.

Three-day strike by Mexican teachers against “education reforms”

Workers Struggles: the Americas

21 May 2019

Last week teachers all across Mexico took part in strikes and protests to oppose continuing attacks on public education being overseen by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Canada’s government uses bogus “foreign interference” claims to expand censorship ahead of federal election

By Penny Smith and Roger Jordan, 17 May 2019

The government’s reactionary campaign has the twin aims of legitimizing censorship of social media and whipping up hostility against Russia and China, which Canadian imperialism views as its most dangerous rivals.

How Québec Solidaire abetted the rise of anti-Muslim chauvinism and continues to divide the working class

By Richard Dufour, 15 May 2019

Québec Solidaire’s volte-face on discriminatory measures targeting religious minorities is an attempt to cover its tracks under conditions where it was increasingly being discredited as an accomplice of the far right.

One-day general strike in Colombia

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 April 2019

Workers mobilized in opposition to the National Development plan being proposed by President Ivan Duque that would mean significant attacks on workers.

GM continues tax avoidance schemes while it slashes thousands of jobs

By George Kirby, 26 April 2019

General Motors has received billions of dollars in government tax benefits over the past decade even as it continues to cut jobs and extract concessions from workers.

Ontario Tory government intensifies assault on workers’ rights

By Penny Smith, 26 April 2019

Ford’s thinly veiled threat to criminalize teachers’ strikes must be taken as a serious warning: emboldened by the unions’ complicity, the Tories are escalating their class-war assault.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Argentine newspaper and casino workers strike

23 April 2019

Workers at Clarín and sports daily Olé walked off the job April 17 over the firing of 56 of their colleagues while workers struck all Buenos Aires-area casinos for 48 hours over threatened closures.

Mexican teachers protest while DHL and Amazon pilots protest stalled talks

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 April 2019

Workers in a number of towns in Chiapas are protesting education “reforms” under the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador while air cargo pilots protested outside Amazon’s offices in Florence, Kentucky.

Quebec premier backs ABI in extorting massive concessions from locked-out workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 12 April 2019

Legault’s pro-company bullying underscores the utter bankruptcy of the strategy of the USW, which has isolated the ABI workers while urging them to put their faith in appeals to Quebec right-wing CAQ government.

US independent trucker group calls for shutdown, protests in Argentina against austerity

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 April 2019

A group of US owner-operator truckers has set April 12 for a protest over rates and regulatory issues, while tens of thousands in Argentina marched to protest the Macri government’s anti-worker economic policies.

“We are the future. Give us what we need!”

Thousands of Ontario students walk out to protest school cuts

By our reporters, 6 April 2019

The student-led initiative saw thousands rally across the province against the right-wing government of Doug Ford.

Ontario workers need an international socialist program to defend public education and fight austerity

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 6 April 2019

If public education from kindergarten to university is to be defended, workers and students must launch a political struggle independently of the unions and in opposition to the entire political establishment.

Prioritizing of profit at root of fire that killed seven Syrian refugee children in Nova Scotia

By Frédéric Charlebois, 5 April 2019

The mandatory installation of automated sprinklers would save lives, but capitalist governments are loathe to diminish the profits of the construction industry.

Infighting in Canada’s government deepens with release of surreptitious SNC-Lavalin recording

By Roger Jordan, 2 April 2019

Revelations that the former justice minister secretly recorded a discussion with the country’s senior civil servant have intensified the Liberal government’s crisis.

Mexican paper workers strike, demand ousting of company union

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 April 2019

Paperworkers in the state of Tamaulipas struck March 29 to demand the expulsion of the Fasim union, which they accuse of siding with their employer, Absormex.

Quebec: USW proposes further rollbacks, after locked-out ABI workers reject derisory company offer

By Laurent Lafrance, 30 March 2019

It is the Steelworkers’ systematic isolation of the ABI aluminum workers’ anti-concessions struggle that has emboldened Alcoa to repeatedly escalate its demands.

FCA Canada to cut third shift at Windsor Assembly

By Shannon Jones, 30 March 2019

The global assault on auto jobs is continuing with the announcement by Fiat Chrysler that it is eliminating a full shift, 1,500 jobs, at its plant in Windsor, Ontario.

Unifor announces bogus ‘job saving’ plan as GM moves to close Oshawa plant

By Carl Bronski, 22 March 2019

Unifor will suspend its Save Oshawa GM publicity campaign on the basis of nothing more than the possibility of a slight adjustment in the plant’s closing schedule.

047 Ford layoffs

22 March 2019

Canada: Train derailment kills three, exposes terrible working conditions

By Penny Smith, 16 March 2019

CP Rail is lobbying Transport Canada to abandon a new rule it introduced following last month’s derailment, calling it too "time-consuming."

Argentina: Patagonian teachers vote to strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

26 February 2019

Workers in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz have voted to strike over pay increases and staffing shortages caused by the layoff of thousands of teachers.

Callous government policies lead to freezing death of homeless man in Edmonton, Alberta

By Riksen Stewart, 21 February 2019

The man’s death follows the city's decision to shut subway stations at night to prevent homeless people from sheltering inside during the cold.

Colombian teachers in 24-hour national strike over attacks on public education

Workers Struggles: The Americas

19 February 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Series of regional strikes hit Argentina

Workers Struggles: The Americas

12 February 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

As Unifor escalates racist anti-Mexico campaign

Canadian union leader postures as supporter of Matamoros strikers

By Roger Jordan, 6 February 2019

Unifor’s near-total silence about the courageous struggle of the Matamoras workers is of a piece with their reactionary campaign attacking Mexican workers for GM’s job massacre.

Brazil service workers on strike, Ford workers end job action

Workers Struggles: the Americas

29 January 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Unifor launches anti-Mexican boycott as diversion from fight over Oshawa closure

By Carl Bronski, 26 January 2019

Unifor President Dias has announced an anti-Mexican consumer boycott over the Oshawa closure as workers in Matamoros, Mexico, expand their struggle against sweatshop conditions.

Teachers protest in Venezuela, contract talks begin with US oil refiners

Workers Struggles: The Americas

22 January 2019

Teachers in Venezuela participated in strikes and protests last week over pay, which is being decimated by hyperinflation; some 30,000 US oil refinery workers face a February 1 contract deadline.

The working class must come to the defence of the Canada Post workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 18 January 2019

Having outlawed postal workers’ campaign of rotating strikes, the ruling class views the imposition of further concessions as crucial to their agenda of austerity and militarism.

Six-hour strike by Honduran public health workers over wage demand

Workers Struggles: The Americas

15 January 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Following Oshawa GM sitdown protest, autoworkers fed poison of Canadian nationalism at Windsor rally

By Shannon Jones, 12 January 2019

Autoworkers attending a rally called by Unifor in Windsor, Ontario who were looking for a way to fight GM plant closures were instead hit with a strong dose of Canadian nationalism by union officials.

Unite Canadian, US and Mexican autoworkers!

Build rank-and-file committees to fight GM’s plant shutdowns in Oshawa and the US

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 11 January 2019

Unifor cannot be pressured or reformed. Workers must take the struggle to stop the plant closures into their own hands.

Chilean port workers resume protests over firings

Workers Struggles: The Americas

8 January 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

As one-year anniversary of lockout approaches

Alcoa intensifies attack on Quebec ABI workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 4 January 2019

The United Steelworkers’ systematic isolation of the ABI workers’ anti-concessions struggle has encouraged management to escalate its takeaway demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Argentine teachers protest and strike over night school closures

3 January 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Government-named arbitrator to dictate Canada Post workers’ contract

By Louis Girard, 29 December 2018

The criminalization of the postal workers’ strike campaign and the impending imposition of concessionary contracts constitute an attack on the entire working class.

UAW, Democrats seek to block struggle by workers against GM plant shutdowns

By Marcus Day, 28 December 2018

The UAW and the Democratic Party are seeking to whip up anti-Mexican sentiment and divert anger away from the auto corporations, which are attacking workers around the world.

Echoing Trump, Unifor pleads for GM to cut Mexican auto jobs

By Carl Bronski, 22 December 2018

For decades, Unifor and the UAW have pitted workers against each other, helping the automakers to whip-saw jobs, wages, pensions and benefits back and forth across borders in a never-ending race to the bottom.

Ontario Conservatives ban impending power workers’ strike

By Carl Bronski, 20 December 2018

The attack on the power workers comes just three weeks after the federal Liberal government outlawed a campaign of rotating strikes against Canada Post.

Ontario Tories to block power workers strike; Mexican teachers strike to demand bonus

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 December 2018

Thousands of teachers in Baja California struck to demand payment of their year-end bonus last week while the Ontario Tory government has recalled the provincial legislature to illegalize a threatened strike by power workers.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Chilean public workers and airline workers strike

11 December 2018

Public workers in Chile held a nationwide walkout December 6 to protest layoffs at the same time that airport workers for LATAM airline in Chile walked off the job in a pay dispute.

“A serious fightback will only develop through action initiated by the rank-and-file workers”

GM Oshawa workers speak out against plant closure

By A WSWS reporting team, 8 December 2018

WSWS reporters visited GM’s Oshawa plant in Ontario Wednesday to discuss the company’s plan to close the plant and how workers can fight back.