Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Part One of The Current
It's Wednesday, October 12th.
The Harper government has launched a $28 million campaign to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
Currently, at least $20 million of that is to build a time-machine so that Defence Minister Peter MacKay can rally the troops himself.
This is The Current.
Air Canada Labour Dispute - Sid Ryan
We started this segment with a clip from Canada's Labour minister Lisa Raitt mulling the government's options to avert a strike by Air Canada flight attendants. The airline's 6,800 attendants were poised to walk off the job at midnight tonight ... after voting down a tentative contract agreement recommended by their negotiating team at the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
It is the second time the attendants rejected a deal brought to them by the union leadership. And as you heard Minister Raitt say, the government was prepared to legislate them back to work if they followed through on their threat to strike. But with Parliament not sitting until next week, Minister Raitt late yesterday announced a different - more immediate - course of action. The government is taking the Air Canada labour dispute to the Canada Industrial Relations Board for consideration which automatically shuts down the prospect of a strike.
The move caps an interesting and unusual sequence of events in Canadian labour relations ... one that some say could have wider implications on unions - and collective bargaining - in this country. Longtime canadian labour leader Sid Ryan has been watching this unfold. He's the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, and formerly served as President of the Ontario Branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. He was in Toronto this morning.
Air Canada Labour Dispute - John Mortimer
We did request an interview with union representatives for the 6,800 airline attendants with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, but we were turned down. We also requested an interview with Minister Raitt, but her staff said she was unavailable for an interview today.
John Mortimer is the President of the Vancouver-based Canadian Labour Watch Association, a non-profit organization that champions the individual employee over unions. John Mortimer joined us from the airport in Philadelphia.
Air Canada Labour Dispute - Laurel MacDowell
Laurel MacDowell is a history professor at the University of Toronto. She specializes in labour history and she joined us in studio.
Other segments from today's show: