KDLC News, August 4 2023

August 4, 2023

In this newsletter:

  1. Kingston Labour Day
  2. KDLC fights WSIB rollbacks
  3. Backpack Donation Drive
  4. Get on the bus: Sept.25 Defend Public Healthcare
  5. KDLC Book Sale: “Harvesting Freedom”
  6. News Briefs
  7. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

1. Kingston Labour Day: September 4

“Come celebrate the achievements of our labour movement in building our communities, delivering the goods and services, defending our rights, and redistributing the wealth created by our labour. Kingston doesn’t work without workers!”

When: Monday September 4, 10am-2pm
Parade: 10am start at Doug Fluhrer Park with speeches at City Hall
Festival: Victoria Park, 11am-2pm: Barbecue, live music, children’s games, union tables, community market

To participate in the parade, please confirm participation at kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com. Please notify KDLC if you are using any vehicles in the parade.

KDLC is requesting volunteers for 6 parade marshals. High school students requiring volunteer hours are encouraged to apply. Contact kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com while positions last. KDLC will provide gear and training.

To set up a table at Victoria Park, please register your union or community group with Kingston & District Labour Council: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com.

2. KDLC fights WSIB rollbacks: Where’s Ted Hsu?

Premier Doug Ford and his Labour Minister Monte McNaughton are looking at more WSIB rollbacks and fewer rights for injured workers. Cuts are being proposed in a government-commissioned report by multinational corporation KPMG (read report here). The Ontario Federation of Labour says KPMG’s proposals target the system’s appeal process. A detailed look at KPMG’s proposals has been published by the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups. Among the many problems with KPMG’s report, the OFL says the cuts would reduce the amount of time for injured workers to secure legal representation, and cut the time limit for objections to WSIB rulings from six months to one month.

To discuss this attack on injured workers, KDLC President Janet Heyman has contacted the office of Kingston and Islands MPP Ted Hsu several times over the past few weeks and has yet to receive a response on the matter. KDLC is also contacting Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston MPP, John Jordan, and Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP, Ric Bresee.

Tell Monte McNaughton to stop the rollback of injured workers’ rights: click here.

Contact your MPP:
Ted Hsu, Kingston and the Islands
John Jordan, Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston:
Ric Bresee, Hastings-Lennox and Addington:

3. Backpack Donations: Appeal to labour

The annual United Way KFL&A Backpack Donation Drive is underway. As the cost of living rises, unions and union members can make a huge difference to hundreds of local school kids with donations of backpacks and school supplies. Financial donations are also welcome.

What to donate? In addition to backpacks, high demand items include scientific calculators, math kits, lunch bags, and water bottles.

Where to donate? United Way Kingston office at 417 Bagot, or Salvation Army Napanee, 81 Dairy Lane.

When? Donations by August 18 will ensure the backpacks get to kids before school starts. Later donations also accepted!

Who benefits? This year, the United Way KFL&A’s goal has teamed up with 27 schools and more than a dozen agencies across KFL&A to deliver backpacks to kids in needs as the school year starts. Last year, the program redistributed 1,500 backpacks.

For more information, contact Doug at labour@unitedwaykfla.ca

4. Get on the bus Sept. 25: Monster Demo vs Hospital Privatization

“We paid for them. We built them. They do not belong to the Ford government to run them into crisis, gut their core services and privatize them.”

To reserve a space on the bus, email kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com. Please provide name, phone number, union affiliation, or community organization affiliation. Early registration ensures KDLC can book a bus in a timely manner.

What: Monster Demo Against Hospital Privatizatoin
Where: Queen’s Park, Toronto
When: Monday, September 25, 2023, 12pm noon
Who: Organized by the Ontario Health Coalition, endorsed by Ontario Federation of Labour

Click here to learn more about the protest and the Ontario Health Coalition demands.

5. KDLC Book Sale: “Harvesting Freedom”

KDLC is selling copies of Harvesting Freedom: The Life of a Migrant Worker in Canada, by Gabriel Allahdua. Allahdua was a guest speaker at KDLC’s Day of Mourning ceremony on April 28.

Copies will be on sale on Labour Day at Victoria Park at the KDLC table.

KDLC is also accepting donations of labour books for lending purposes. Contact kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com if you are interested.

6. News Briefs

  • Queen’s University employees demand fair compensation
    Unions and employees at Queen’s University continue to demand the Board of Trustees and senior leadership to deliver fair wage increases for the university’s 3,300 employees. The Unity Council, which brings together unions at the university, has set up an email campaign to keep up the pressure. Click here to send a message for fair compensation for our friends, family and neighbours employed at Queen’s University.
  • Kingston’s staffless library
    After many months of delays, the staffless library project, billed at $100,000, is now set to roll out in October. This is a full two years after the KFPL Library Board approved the staffless library pilot at the Pittsburgh Branch in East Kingston. KFPL library workers with CUPE Local 2202 have opposed the project, saying it undermines public health and safety, offers no human services, and takes away working hours and jobs from library staff. Other critics say the pilot is the start of a job-killing trend in our public libraries. Kingston & District Labour Council has helped organized protests and info pickets with CUPE 2202, and sent the following letter to the KFPL Board calling for the project to be scrapped in favour of investing in real services and jobs.
  • Lower 2.8% inflation rate is deceptive as food costs up 9.1%
    The inflation rate in June 2023 was 2.8 percent, down from 3.4 percent in May 2023. These inflation numbers compare June 2023 with June 2022, and May 2023 with May 2022. The inflation numbers are calculated using the Consumer Price Index, which is a “basket of goods” that are deemed ordinary consumer items in Canada. However, declining fuel costs have deeply distorted the June 2023 inflation rate, and hide the fact that food costs are up 9.1 percent, and mortgage costs up an astonishing 30.1 percent. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada continues to increase interest rates in its professed bid to lower inflation. Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske calls the Bank of Canada’s interest rate policy a squeeze on workers while failing to address the real sources of inflation, such as record corporate profits.
  • Just Recovery Kingston launches Tenants Survey
    The community organization Just Recovery Kingston is conducting a survey of tenants in Kingston. The survey can be conducted here. Survey participants who reside in Kingston are eligible to be entered into a draw to win a $50 gift card.

6. KDLC meeting, dates, contact info

  • Next KDLC General Meeting: September 18, 7pm
  • Next KDLC News: July 28
    To list events and reports in KDLC News, please send to kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com before July 24.
  • All official correspondence:
    Please email: kingstonlabourcouncil@gmail.com