Informed Digest: Right to Strike, WikiLeaks on TISA, Skills Gap, Arms Trade…

Keeping up & in the know…

International Trade Union Confederation: Right to Strike Backed by International Law—New Legal Report

“A new 122-page ITUC legal report, confirming that the right to strike is protected under international law, has been released today as employers try to overturn decades of jurisprudence at the International Labour Organisation.”

Behind the Numbers: Help Wanted—Ontario’s Temporary Foreign Workers & the Need for Answers

“Ontario is currently facing persistently high unemployment, relentless long-term unemployment, high rates of involuntary part-time work and high levels of unemployment for new immigrants. Shoring up the temporary foreign worker program to protect against abuse and deter firms from using temporary foreign workers as a replacement for Canadians is a welcome move. Better data could also go a long way to ensuring that employers are not taking advantage of a program meant to act as a complement to Canadian labour, not a substitute.”

-Kaylie Tiessen

Hennessy’s Index: The Skills Gap Trope

“23: Percentage of Canadians aged 15-29 who are estimated to have been underemployed in 2013. About a third of young Canadians work in part-time jobs, many of which are low paying and temporary.

[…]

26: Percentage of employers who told a Bank of Canada survey in the last quarter of 2013 that they face a labour shortage that restricts their ability to meet demand. That’s lower than at any time between 1997 and mid-2008, when recession struck.”

-Trish Hennessy

Council of Canadians: Canada-China Investment Agreement Challenge Back in Court

“The proposed FIPPA cannot be approved without prior approval of First Nations. Dene Treaties #8 & 11 with the British Crown in Right of Canada are legitimate International instruments that have legal standing. We the Dene already proved in Canada’s courts that we are the prima facie land owners and have an interest in 450,000 sq. miles of land. This land mark decision by Justice William Morrow in 1973 established at law that the federal government has a legal constitutional obligation to uphold. Dene title does exist and proposed projects like the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway violates the relationship that has been established and recognized in Canada’s Constitution Act, 1982. We ask the courts to instruct Canada in this regard.”

-Chief Bill Erasmus, Dene National Chief

Truthout: WikiLeaks Reveals Global Trade Deal Kept More Secret Than the Trans-Pacific Partnership

“Activists expect the TISA deal to promote privatization of public services in countries across the globe, and WikiLeaks said the secrecy surrounding the trade negotiations exceeds that of even the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) that has made headlines in the past year.

[…]

Public Services International (PSI), a global trade union federating public service workers in 150 countries, has reported that TISA threatens to allow multinational corporations to permanently privatize vital public services such as healthcare and transportation in countries across the world.”

-Mike Ludwig

The Political Watermelon: The Bloody Hands of Thatcher & Her Neo-Liberal Gutting of the NHS

“Sadly—and perhaps surprisingly in the case of her adversaries—few focus on the UK’s transition to neoliberalism under her stewardship, and the nefarious consequences which this has caused. This ideology—which is now endemic within the UK – contributed strongly to the current economic disaster by allowing the bankers to behave as they did, having been introduced by Thatcher in the 1980s as it was by Reagan in the USA. One long-term consequence it has generated is, quite bluntly, the deaths of those too poor to survive.”

Ceasefire: Saudi Arms Contract Has “Significant Risk”

“Critics denounce the deal as part of a deliberate government strategy to establish Canada as a bigger player in the international arms trade with little or no regard for the consequences of such sales in terms of conflict and human rights violations.”

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