February 15, 2004

Volume 34, No. 6

Mediator Appointed in Alcan Occupation

The Quebec government has appointed a mediator in an attempt to resolve a dispute between workers who have occupied an aluminum plant in Quebec and Alcan Inc.

The provincial government's Serge Brault is meeting with representatives of the workers, who are members of a union affiliated with the Canadian Auto Workers, and company officials. Brault is to produce a report including recommendations to resolve the dispute on Monday, February 16.

The company recently announced it was closing the plant more than a decade sooner than it originally planned in 2015. During the occupation workers have continued to produce aluminum at the Arvida smelter and during that time output has increased. The plant is located 250 kilometres north of Quebec City.

CAW: Raising Health Care Issues at Queen's Park

Representatives of the CAW met with the Ontario Minister of Health's office on February 4, 2004 to discuss several key issues concerning health care workers in the province. The meeting comes after CAW president Buzz Hargrove and George Smitherman, Ontario Minister of Health met in December.

In addition to advocating for minimum staffing standards as part of the CAW 'Dignity is a Minimum Standard' campaign, a CAW presentation on full utilization of registered practical nurses (RPN) and our opposition to P3 hospitals were discussed. CAW director of health care, Ken Brown, said: 'Any opportunity is critical to engage in discussion and debate directly with the Ministry on the many vital issues in health care on behalf of our members'.

Also attending the meeting representing the CAW were Bob Chernecki, assistant to the president; Nancy McMurphy president Local 302 and NEB member; Katha Fortier, vice-president, Local 229 and president, CAW Ontario Health Care Council.

CAW Supports Children's Programs in Iqaluit

CAW president Buzz Hargrove and CAW national secretary treasurer Jim O'Neil with Paul Okalik, Nunavut Premier (centre left) and Hunter Tootoo, MLA for Iqaluit Centre (centre right).

Children in four schools in the Iqaluit region will have access to breakfast and school programs thanks to a $50,000 donation made in early February by the CAW Social Justice Fund and the efforts of the volunteers who run the programs.

Iqaluit (population 6,000) is the capital of the newest Canadian territory, Nunavut, in the Eastern Arctic. Despite covering one fifth of the land mass of Canada, Nunavut has a population of just over 26,000 people living in remote and challenging environments. The majority of the population are Inuit and most weave traditional culture tightly into their daily lives.

While in Iqaluit, CAW president Buzz Hargrove and CAW secretary-treasurer Jim O'Neil spoke with members of CAW Local 2002 who work for First Air.

CAW Local 5000 Members on Strike at Chateau Fairmont Tremblant

CAW Local 5000 members at Chateau Fairmont Tremblant in Quebec are on strike as they fight to win a new contract with employer Fairmont Hotels.

The 150 CAW members who work at the resort, located north of Montreal, went on strike late last month. Among the key issues in the dispute is wage parity with other Fairmont Hotels and contracting out.The workers were planning a number of rallies including a protest outside the Montreal head office of the hotel chain.

"CAW Hour" on Ontario Easter Seal Telethon

CAW locals in Windsor, in Toronto and the national union are jointly sponsoring part of the Easter Seal Telethon on Sunday, March 7, which will air on CBC television's Ontario regional network.

CAW members, their families and friends are encouraged to make a telephone donation during CAW Hour from 11 a.m. to 12 noon (EST) on Sunday, March 7, 2004.

Making a donation is a great way to help children and young adults with physical disabilities in Ontario.

Hershey Canada

Images from the strike by CAW Local 462 members at Hershey Canada in Smith Falls, Ontario

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