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Toronto IWW Solidarity Committee Launch Party!

Where: The 460, 460 Spadina Ave. (College and Spadina)

When: Monday, September 2nd, 8:00-late o’clock

Why: Have some fun and support a good cause this Labour Day!

Join the Industrial Workers of the World as we celebrate the launch of our Solidarity Committee. This committee will support unorganized workers fight back against bad bosses, wage theft and other workplace problems, based on the “Solidarity Network” model pioneered by the Seattle Solidarity Network. By organizing ourselves and other workers to collect what’s ours, we hope to make this city a little better to live, work, and struggle in.

The event will feature music, a brief discussion of the Solidarity Committee and its organizing model, and guest speakers.

If you or someone you know is having tips stolen, is missing wages, not being paid overtime, or some other problem with the boss, get in touch! Likewise, contact us if you would like to help organize with us or participate in Solidarity Committee actions

On facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/363993993703837/?ref=ts&fref=ts

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Toronto May Day 2013 – International Workers’ Day

Another May Day has come and gone in Toronto. Toronto wobblies joined the march and had a great party afterwards. Click the preview to see a video one of our members put together of the sights and sounds of the march.

Click to view a video of May Day 2013.

Click to view a video of May Day 2013.

Here are a few pictures. Check out our Facebook album with more.

May Day march down Queen St in Toronto, 2013

May Day 2013 marches down Queen St in Toronto

May Day 2013 in front of Loblaws in memory of Bangledesh garment workers murdered for profit

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto's 2013 May Day march

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto’s 2013 May Day march

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto's 2013 May Day march

Wobblies and striking Porter FBO workers in Toronto’s 2013 May Day march

may day

April 15 Day of Action: Porter Aircraft Fuelers on Strike!

Since January 10, 2013, aircraft fuelers at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto have been on strike over health and safety conditions and wages. The fuelers unionized with the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 343 in August after years of continual understaffing, high turnover and serious injuries sustained on the job. Porter hired a team of scab workers when the strike began, enabling operations to continue as usual.

On April 15, Porter is even adding another daily flight to Windsor, Ontario.

Image

The final – and only – contractual offer Porter presented to its unionized workers was a shameful $0.25/hour raise for those without a DZ license (for small truck-driving), no raise for those with a DZ license, and the provision of fuel-resistant gloves and coveralls. Since the strike began, Porter has begun to provide its scabs with this protective gear, as if to suggest that the safety issues faced by its workforce have been resolved. The workers are some of the lowest paid in the industry, at a starting wage of $12.00/hour. Toronto is one of Canada’s most expensive cities, where a full-time living wage exceeds $16.60/hour. Porter has declined all offers from its workers to negotiate since the strike began.

Despite numerous public demonstrations, community involvement, pickets and support from other unions across the country, Porter has attempted to sidestep the strike. But we can’t allow Porter to ignore its striking workers or their demands any longer.

Here’s What You Can Do on April 15!

Solidarity demonstration at Billy Bishop Airport – Come show your support for the workers’ demands on Monday, April 15 at 6:00pm. Meet in Little Norway Park next to the airport!

Hold a solidarity picket at other Porter worksites – is your city a Porter destination? Spread the word that Porter won’t negotiate with its workers in Toronto. Below is a list of cities to which Porter flies, and text for a sample flyer.

Flood Porter’s phone lines to tell them what you think – Jam the reservation lines at 1:00PM (Eastern Time), and keep calling them all day! The lines open at 5:30AM and close at 11:00PM (Eastern Time).

Send a letter of solidarity – the Porter aircraft fuelers in Toronto would love to hear from you. Tell them what actions you’re taking to put pressure on Porter!

COPE Local 343
555 Richmond Street West
Suite 701, PO Box 1202
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3B1
Canada
Attention: Porter Strike

For the phone zap, call Porter’s toll-free reservations line: 1-888-619-8622. If you can’t reach them on their bookings line, call their customer service line: 1-416-203-2424On the customer service line, ask to speak to the Vice-President, Airport Operations and Customer Service at Porter FBO, Paul Moreira.

Sample Script:

Hi, I am calling from __________ to urge Porter Airlines to negotiate with its striking fuel workers in Toronto, Canada. I am unwilling to fly an airline that treats its employees so poorly and will not be booking a flight with Porter until the labour dispute is resolved.

[If possible, ask to speak to a supervisor, and repeat the above message]

Porter’s Destinations:

BOSTON, MA – Logan International Airport (BOS)
BURLINGTON, VT – Burlington International Airport (BTV)
CHICAGO, IL – Midway International Airport (MDW)
HALIFAX, NS – Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
MONCTON, NB – Greater Moncton International Airport (YQM)
MONT TREMBLANT, QC – Mont Tremblant International Airport (YTM)
MONTREAL, QC – Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)
NEWARK, NJ – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
OTTAWA, ON – MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
QUEBEC CITY, QC – Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Sault Ste. Marie Airport (YAM)
ST. JOHN’S, NL – St. John’s International Airport (YYT)
SUDBURY, ON – Sudbury Airport (YSB)
THUNDER BAY, ON – Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT)
TIMMINS, ON – Victor M. Power Airport (YTS)
TORONTO, ON – Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ)
WASHINGTON, DC – DULLES – Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
WINDSOR, ON – Windsor International Airport (YQG)

Here’s text for a sample flyer to distribute in your city

Want to know more? Check out @PorterStrike or http://www.dontflyporter.com/

April 15 Day of Action: Porter Aircraft Fuelers on Strike!

Since January 10, 2013, aircraft fuelers at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto have been on strike over health and safety conditions and wages. The fuelers unionized with the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 343 in August after years of continual understaffing, high turnover and serious injuries sustained on the job. Porter hired a team of scab workers when the strike began, enabling operations to continue as usual.

On April 15, Porter is even adding another daily flight to Windsor, Ontario.

Image

The final – and only – contractual offer Porter presented to its unionized workers was a shameful $0.25/hour raise for those without a DZ license (for small truck-driving), no raise for those with a DZ license, and the provision of fuel-resistant gloves and coveralls. Since the strike began, Porter has begun to provide its scabs with this protective gear, as if to suggest that the safety issues faced by its workforce have been resolved. The workers are some of the lowest paid in the industry, at a starting wage of $12.00/hour. Toronto is one of Canada’s most expensive cities, where a full-time living wage exceeds $16.60/hour. Porter has declined all offers from its workers to negotiate since the strike began.

Despite numerous public demonstrations, community involvement, pickets and support from other unions across the country, Porter has attempted to sidestep the strike. But we can’t allow Porter to ignore its striking workers or their demands any longer.

Here’s What You Can Do on April 15!

Solidarity demonstration at Billy Bishop Airport – Come show your support for the workers’ demands on Monday, April 15 at 6:00pm. Meet in Little Norway Park next to the airport!

Hold a solidarity picket at other Porter worksites – is your city a Porter destination? Spread the word that Porter won’t negotiate with its workers in Toronto. Below is a list of cities to which Porter flies, and text for a sample flyer.

Flood Porter’s phone lines to tell them what you think – Jam the reservation lines at 1:00PM (Eastern Time), and keep calling them all day! The lines open at 5:30AM and close at 11:00PM (Eastern Time).

Send a letter of solidarity – the Porter aircraft fuelers in Toronto would love to hear from you. Tell them what actions you’re taking to put pressure on Porter!

COPE Local 343
555 Richmond Street West
Suite 701, PO Box 1202
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3B1
Canada
Attention: Porter Strike

For the phone zap, call Porter’s toll-free reservations line: 1-888-619-8622. If you can’t reach them on their bookings line, call their customer service line: 1-416-203-2424On the customer service line, ask to speak to the Vice-President, Airport Operations and Customer Service at Porter FBO, Paul Moreira.

Sample Script:

Hi, I am calling from __________ to urge Porter Airlines to negotiate with its striking fuel workers in Toronto, Canada. I am unwilling to fly an airline that treats its employees so poorly and will not be booking a flight with Porter until the labour dispute is resolved.

[If possible, ask to speak to a supervisor, and repeat the above message]

Porter’s Destinations:

BOSTON, MA – Logan International Airport (BOS)
BURLINGTON, VT – Burlington International Airport (BTV)
CHICAGO, IL – Midway International Airport (MDW)
HALIFAX, NS – Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
MONCTON, NB – Greater Moncton International Airport (YQM)
MONT TREMBLANT, QC – Mont Tremblant International Airport (YTM)
MONTREAL, QC – Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)
NEWARK, NJ – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
OTTAWA, ON – MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
QUEBEC CITY, QC – Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Sault Ste. Marie Airport (YAM)
ST. JOHN’S, NL – St. John’s International Airport (YYT)
SUDBURY, ON – Sudbury Airport (YSB)
THUNDER BAY, ON – Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT)
TIMMINS, ON – Victor M. Power Airport (YTS)
TORONTO, ON – Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ)
WASHINGTON, DC – DULLES – Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
WINDSOR, ON – Windsor International Airport (YQG)

Here’s text for a sample flyer to distribute in your city

Want to know more? Check out @PorterStrike or http://www.dontflyporter.com/

Supporting strikers at Porter Airlines

Background

Support the strikers at Porter!

Graphic from flyer developed by wobblies in support of this strike Click to download full PDF.

 On Thursday, January 17th COPE local 343, a union of Porter Airline refuelers, went on strike primarily over health and safety issues and working conditions.
The health and safety issues at Porter are numerous. When refuelers, who are working without proper protective clothing, have notified management of fuel leaks they have been told to “Put a bucket under it.” Additionally, workers have been doing jobs that require a partner by themselves. This has resulted in accidents (although given Porter’s refusal to better conditions “accident” may not be quite the right word). For example, on a night shift one worker fell, injuring himself. Luckily, the next aircraft he was supposed to fuel was a ORNGE (air ambulance) helicopter whose medics came to assist him. If they hadn’t he may have been left alone and unconscious on the tarmac, in winter and without any means of communication, until the next shift came on 5 hours later.
In addition to unsafe working conditions, the striking Porter workers are the lowest paid in the industry, making only $12 an hour compared to $16-18 an hour at other Canadian airlines. The company refuses to offer anything more than a 25 cent raise for workers without a DZ (heavy truck) license. They are offering no increase for DZ certified workers.
The response from Porter has been cold and clear – safety and the well being of their workers is not among their priorities. In addition, rather than negotiate, Porter brought in scab workers to replace the strikers. These replacement workers had only one week of training – regular employees are trained for a month. We shouldn’t be surprised that a company that puts its workers’ safety and wellbeing in jeopardy also puts its customers’ safety and wellbeing in jeopardy as well in the pursuit of profit.
We, as the broader community and fellow workers, refuse to sit passively by while a company like Porter attacks the dignity and health of COPE 343 workers. They’re on the picket line fighting for better working conditions and wages today – we might be the ones struggling tomorrow.

Wobblies and GTA Solidarity Pact in Solidarity

On Friday the 18th, several IWW’s and a few members of the SolPact group joined the striking airplane fuelers from Porter Airlines represented by COPE Local 343. We came with greater numbers than our first visit on Wednesday, and we had a great time getting to know the the strikers while we picketed. They were warm, friendly and spirited despite the cold and the fact that they are being scabbed on and are worried about the strike’s current effectiveness.
The current tactics are fairly non-confrontational and involve holding up cars coming in and out of two parking lots at the entrance to the ferry – 3 minutes for those who are respectful, for those who aren’t somewhere around 5 minutes. I spoke to a brother who had his foot run over and stopped on by an angry driver the day before. He got back up and confronted the driver, however kept his cool in the end.
After getting to know the workers and their situation a bit more, we made clear our intention of standing with the group of workers to fully blockade all ferry traffic if that was their wish. There was a 1 hour shift overlap where all 20 workers would be present, and this seemed the best time to set up. Nearly every worker agreed that they wanted to participate, and said they were becoming frustrated with the current tactic. Even some COPE reps expressed similar frustrations.

A morning which was cold, and hot

 At 4:30 in the morning on Tuesday January 22nd, an Action Committee-organized flying squad braved the cold and earliness and headed down to Billy Bishop Airport in an attempt help COPE 343 escalate their strike. Workers decided to set up lines at two parking lots with the intention of delaying Porter employees (especially scabs) from making the first ferry to the airport at 5:15.
We picketed until 7:00 (when the morning shift had largely already arrived at work). Besides walking the line with the strikers, we handed out a wobbly produced information flyer.
For an early morning action, we had, I think, an excellent turnout of seven wobblies and three of our friends (mostly from Common Cause). Combined with the 15-20 strikers and the COPE staffer, we had enough people to successfully execute the action.
The strikers remain upbeat. Everyone seemed pleased that their strike had moved away from a strictly symbolic picket/protest and to something that might actually put economic pressure on the company.

Take action

 Action Committee is doing good stuff and it’s fun! We have some plans in the works which will be announced as they are finalized. Join us at our next meeting which will be announced in the next few days and come out to actions!
How you can help
In order to beat Porter, the strikers need your support. Please call Porter (416-203-8100) and tell them to get back to bargaining! If you’re near the airport, please come down to the picket line and say hello!
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