Posts Tagged ‘LabourStart’

Winnipeggers rallied in support of locked-out CUPW members in Winnipeg June 16, 2011. Photo: Paul S. Graham

This, just in, from Derek Blackadder at LabourStart. While it is addressed to trade unionists it should resonate with anyone who believes in democracy. The Conservative government’s decision to impose back-to-work legislation strikes at the heart of democracy; it is a form of forced labour, something expressly forbidden by the International Labour Organization of which Canada is a member.

If you think the Tories will stop with postal workers, think again. We must stop Harper here.

Please support the LabourStart campaign and tell Lisa Rait and Stephen Harper what they can do with their back-to-work legislation.

As trade unionists we understand that the right to free collective bargaining without interference from the state is fundamental to what we do.

When the state interferes on behalf of an employer our rights as workers are at stake.

‘Our’ newly-elected Conservative majority government is using the Post Office lockout as the first salvo in its war on trade unions in this country.

The legislation not only forces an end to free collective bargaining, it imposes wages that are less than those Canada Post had tabled.

It is virtually unprecedented for back-to-work legislation in Canada to impose terms and conditions of employment. (You can read the bill in PDF form here.)

Our CUPW e-campaign is within sight of the 10,000 messages mark.

The Minister of Labour is saying that she has thousands of messages demanding legislation to end the strike and to impose new conditions of employment on post office workers.

Help give the union the ability to say ‘we have tens of thousands of messages demanding free collective bargaining’.

Help build not only CUPW’s fightback, but the 4 year long fightback that has just started.

Join this campaign here and pass this link along to ALL your contacts!

See also: Video: Winnipeg Solidarity with the Postal Workers

Mansour Osanloo in 2007, shortly before his arrest by the Iranian government.

Once in a while there is good news to share on the political prisoner front, and this is one of those times.

Mansour Osanloo, a bus driver and president of the Vahed Syndicate which represents bus drivers in Tehran, was freed on bail by the Iranian government today after four years of imprisonment.

According to the International Transport Workers Federation: “From its beginnings in 2005 the ITF-affiliated union was subjected to heavy repression, including repeated attacks and arrests. Mansour Osanloo was heavily targeted. As well as being beaten up and having his tongue slit he was imprisoned in 2005 and 2006. Then in 2007, just one month after visiting the London head office of the ITF and meeting trade unionists in Brussels, he was arrested. Three months later he was sentenced to five years imprisonment on charges of ‘acting against national security’ and ‘propaganda against the state’; in 2010 another year was added to his sentence. In reality his only offence was to help found a genuinely democratic trade union.” For more on his case, visit Justice for Iranian Workers.

Regrettably, Mansour Osanloo is not the only trade unionist imprisoned in Iran. Many others, such as Farzad Kamangar (murdered by the Iranian government in 2010) have not been so fortunate. As Amnesty International reported May 20, 2011, arbitrary arrests, torture and executions continue to be routine.

While expressions of international solidarity are not always successful in gaining the release of political prisoners, international silence almost guarantees a bad outcome.

Doing your part to support prisoners of conscience has never been easier. Two of my favourite organizations in this regard are LabourStart and Amnesty International-Canada. There are many others. Find one that fits your preferences and lend a hand. You may help save a life.