On October 30, 2014 a tragedy occurred on a Kelowna City Transit bus. A passenger who had fallen asleep while commuting, was stabbed in the neck and passed away on the bus.
Since that day, we the members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722, have paid our respects to Caesar Rosales by wearing a black ribbon and observing a 1 minute “moment of silence”, at 12:00pm noon every October 30th.
Before that horrific day, violence on transit buses and in particular attacks on drivers were at record levels. Since that attack on Caesar Rosales, violence on public transit in this country has continued to increase and the ferocity of those attacks continues to garner front page headlines.
In Winnipeg this year Irvine Jubal Fraser, a driver of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 was murdered while on duty.
Every transit community, every transit jurisdiction has their own tragedies, their own stories of strife and sadness.
It is time to recognize this nationally. We invite you to observe National Transit Safety Day with us. On October 30th at noon share with us a one minute “moment of silence”.
On behalf of ATU 1722,
Respectfully, Scott Lovell
President / Business Agent Amalgamated Transit Union Loc. 1722 “The Transit Union”
Minister of Labour Harry Bains issued the following statement on Friday:
"Beginning today, B.C.'s lowest-paid workers will see an increase to their hourly wage by 50 cents, bringing their wage up to $11.35 an hour and up to $10.10 for those who serve liquor. Increasing the minimum wage is one way our government will help make life more affordable for hard-working British Columbians.
"Today's increase to the minimum wage is significant as it now gives B.C. the third-highest minimum wage among Canada's provinces - up from seventh position.
"In the coming weeks, we will announce details of the fair wages commission. This commission, through consultation and research, will provide recommendations on how to get B.C. to a $15-an-hour minimum wage with regular, measured and predictable increases that businesses can absorb. The commission will submit its first report within 90 days of its first meeting."
Kelowna’s 4th annual Labour Day picnic will take place at Mission Creek Regional Park on Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, noon to 3:00 pm
The North Okanagan Labour Council is hosting this event from noon to 3 p.m. It’s a fun event for the whole family featuring a no cost BBQ, entertainment, such as a bouncy castle for the children, local musician; giveaway items, and informational displays from many unions and local organizations in our community.
Labour Day is an annual holiday held on the first Monday of September when we celebrate the achievements of workers across Canada. Its origins in Canada can be traced back to December 1872.
There are many Labour Councils in each province, which represent workers from many unions. You can find them in offices, supermarkets, factories, forests, the media, construction, hospitals, schools, transportation systems and even the corner coffee shop. The North Okanagan Labour Council represents about 40 unions in the North and Central Okanagan. We fight for the rights of all workers.
The treatment under existing laws of thousands of laid off Sears employees highlights the need for stronger basic protections and employment standards for workers in Canada, says the BC Federation of Labour.
Sears closed 59 stores and laid off 2,900 staff on June 22. Six locations and several hundred layoffs were in BC. At the same time, the company filed for bankruptcy (creditor) protection under federal law.
In doing so, BCFED President Irene Lanzinger says the company escaped its responsibility to pay severance to workers affected by the store closures. “It means that laid off workers including many long-term employees who would be otherwise legally eligible for compensation will receive nothing,” Lanzinger says. “And that’s wrong.”
Other former Sears employees who were receiving severance as part of an earlier round of buyouts had their payments terminated. Creditor protection laws also allow companies to shirk their pension responsibilities as well.
“While the company’s efforts to use creditor protection fall under federal—not provincial—laws and jurisdiction,” says Lanzinger, “the circumstances highlight why basic protections for non-union workers need to be strengthened in a number of ways here in BC and across Canada.
Local 1722 of the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Nicola Valley Transportation Society, operator of the Merritt Transit system have agreed to a new five-year contract. A ratification vote was conducted by the ATU today in Merritt. The proposed agreement received a strong positive vote
While the agreement provided for no concessions and industry standard wage increases, the main selling points to members were new and improved clauses protecting their rights, an increase in health employer contributions to the health plan and the introduction of sick day provisions.
According to Bargaining Committee member Tim Larsen, the agreement puts the system on a sound basis for the coming years. “With the expansion in service we will see next year, it was important to get a sound five-year deal,” said Larsen.
In January. late night service hours will be increased, Sunday and on-demand service will be introduced and frequency to Lower Nicola will be increased.
With the tenth anniversary of the Merritt transit system approaching, it continues to be a held up by BC Transit as an outstanding example of a small system in BC.
"ATU 1722 is proud to be a part of this success story,” said ATU President Scott Lovell.
The NDP-Green Confidence and Supply Agreement that should see the NDP under John Horgan form the new B.C. government later this month includes a number of points that refer to workers, working conditions and creating jobs
- Improve fairness for workers, ensure balance in workplaces, and improve measures to protect the safety of workers at work so that everyone goes home safely and that workers and families are protected in cases of death or injury.
A summary report from the BC Employment Standards Coalition reveals why the B.C. Employment Standards Act needs a lot of repairs and stronger enforcement.
The report, “Workers’ Stories of Exploitation & Abuse: Why BC Employment Standards Need to Change”, tells the horror stories of workers who have not been protected by the Act, outlines its shortcomings and makes recommendations for improvements.
For the first time in 25 years, British Columbia workers have been given a voice to publicly share their experiences with BC’s employment standards law and enforcement. Today, the BC Employment Standards Coalition released a summary of its forthcoming report, “Workers’ Stories of Exploitation & Abuse: Why BC Employment Standards Need to Change”. The report exposes employer violations of BC’s Employment Standards Act, and proposes revisions to the Act to protect unrepresented workers from abuse and exploitation.