Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Local Executive wishes you and your families all the best this holiday season, and a very happy New Year.

There will not be a Local Union Meeting this month. There has not been much to update activity since the November meeting. The Executive has had a rough month, Vice President Melissa Bellingham was injured at work, and I was in a car accident. We are both on the mend, and thank you for the well wishes.

We had Bargaining Dates set for November 29 and 30, but due to my recovery from my accident on November 26 those dates had to be cancelled. We are currently trying to get dates for February of 2012. The Employer was not available in December and our CUPE Rep is out of the Country until the end of January. I will update you on new dates in the New Year.

There are only 2 Grievances still pending for 2012. One is in abeyance pending a resolution in Bargaining. The other is on an Employee Termination that the Local is dealing with.

It has been a busy year. The Local dealt with 13 new Grievances this year. There were some real advances made in Bargaining at the beginning of the year. We also received 2 National Rep changes, and two bargaining rep changes.

To see what has been going on at CUPE BC click here.
To see what has been going on at CUPE National click here.
To see what is new at the BCFed click here.
For current OH&S information and courses click here.

Health and Safety News

WorkSafeBC Caves to Late Night Retailers’ Lobby – Waters Down Grant’s Law
Vancouver, BC – WorkSafeBC announced today that safety regulations protecting employees working alone will be essentially revoked on April 15, 2012, a move that is being condemned by the family of Grant DePatie and the B.C. Federation of Labour.  The new stripped-down Regulation allows the employers to sidestep requirements that the door be locked and a window be used to exchange money and goods between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am, when employees are working alone.

The Regulation was named Grant’s Law in honour of Grant DePatie, a young gas station attendant killed on the job while working alone in Maple Ridge. At the time of its introduction, the Regulation was considered among the best in Canada.
"It is extremely disappointing to see WorkSafeBC sacrifice evidence-based safety regulations after a lobby based only on the profit motive of late night employers," said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. "This is a huge setback for some of the most vulnerable and lowest-paid workers in the province."
Doug DePatieWorkSafeBC scrambled to show they were taking action to protect late night workers, and doing right by Grant," said DePatie. "Two years later, with the issue out of the spotlight, WorkSafeBC is caving to employer demands to make workplaces more dangerous. They seem to have forgotten the negligence that led to Grant’s death."
Sinclair pointed out that many stores have two people working or lock the doors at night already. "Watering down safety standards rewards employers who aren’t concerned with the safety of their employees and punishes those who work to a higher standard."
In response to suggestions the new standards will still protect workers, Sinclair said that the best late night workers could hope for is that when they are robbed violently, they are lucky enough to survive and have their assault caught on video and their employer notified.
DePatie and Sinclair called on the Minister of Labour and WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors to reverse the decision and do their jobs --- which is to protect vulnerable workers, not lower safety standards because of a strong business lobby from employers who do not care for the safety of their employees.
For more information, contact Michael Gardiner, BCFL Director of Communications, 778-836-2108

Heard of "Glued Meat"? Just watch part of it.....
There is a 30 second short ad before the actual video clip (5:50)
Now along with not eating seafood from Asia or other countries ... we have to watch for GLUED meat! Be sure to watch this; you will be shocked. I sure was.
The next time that you are at the grocery store go to the pre-packaged meat coolers and look closely at the list of the countries on the label of any of the packaged meats (which is a mandatory FDA law) that shows where that meat came from. Buy only meat that came from USA or Canada .
Well, you can bet that if they are doing it in Australia , they're doing it here. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to learn the technology was developed here. This video is shocking & everyone should be aware of what they are doing and what you are buying!!! I have never seen or heard of such a thing!!!
 Transglutamase is very scary stuff! See also

Rights and Responsibilities
All workers in British Columbia have four basic Health & Safety Rights:

The Right to Know

Workers have the Right to Know about any potential hazards in the workplace. You have a right to training and information on machinery, equipment, working conditions, processes and hazardous substances.
Example of a worker’s Right to Know:
  • The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Violence in the Workplace (Past experience or occurrences)
  • Ergonomics (Known Hazards)
  • Asbestos (Known Locations)
  • Employer must post WCB inspection reports
You can ask the employer to provide information on:
  • Hazards in your workplace
  • Experience of other workplaces
  • WCB orders and penalties

The Right to Participate

Workers have the Right to Participate in the process of identifying and resolving workplace health and safety concerns. They participate through worker membership on Joint Health and Safety Committees and reporting concerns to their supervisor or employer. Workers also have the Right to Participate in workplace inspections and investigations.

The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work

Workers have the Right to Refuse work they believe is dangerous to their own health and safety or to another worker. The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work is one of the few exceptions to the “work now, grieve later” rule in labour relations.
Section 3.12 of the Workers Compensation Act (Canada Labour Code Part II - Section 128 & 129) includes the process for refusing work and employer responsibilities for responding to refusals. Legislation also provides workers with protection from reprisal from the employer.

The Right to No Discrimination

You cannot be fired or disciplined for participating in Health and Safety activities.Discrimination Defined:
  • Suspension, lay-off, or dismissal
  • Demotion or loss of opportunity for promotion
  • Transfer of duties, reduction in wages
  • Coercion or intimidation
  • Discipline, reprimand

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