International Solidarity News

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julian ichim and you are listening to The Daily GRRR! International solidarity news on 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario. Soundfm.ca on the web, today is feb 18th, 2014.

We are broadcasting from the centre of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Six Nations (Haudenosaunee).

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective; and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

Today’s feature is an interview with Martin Rafferty of the 32CSM and the case of the Craigavon Two

 

We will begin today with headlines:

The Daily GRRR! HEADLINES for  Feb 18th, 2014

1. Phone jam in support of Irish POWS

2. Free Seamus Daly

3. Rail Workers Strike

4. Harper Government's Attempt to Railroad 

Anti-Worker Legislation

 

 

1.  Phone Jam in support of Irish POWS Wed. Feb 18th

call British Consulate and demand an end to the intensification on attack of Irish Republican POWS in Maghaberry

416 593 1290

For more info check http://www.irpwa.com

Over the last weeks screws in Maghaberry have intensified the attacks and criminalization of Irish POWs in Maghaberry resulting in assaults and injury to prisoners. Take a stand and demand that this end as well as demand that the Brits respect the Aug 2010 agreement.

2. Free Seamus Daly Freedom for Seamus Daly!

The courts decision today to further remand Seamus Daly into custody, based on the assertions by the prosecution that a further 6 weeks was needed to obtain analytics and perhaps up to a further 4 months to obtain other material from the 26 Counties can only be viewed as a stalling tactic and disingenuous.

Seamus Daly has now been imprisoned for over 10 months on spurious evidence which has been available for over 15 years. Their claims that Seamus could not be located for upwards of 5 years and that they now have credible evidence flies in the face of the reality. The Reality that Seamus had been living openly, enjoying a family life in Jonesborough, Co. Armagh until his arrest in April 2014.

Those now involved in the continuing prosecution of Seamus Daly are engaging in the age old tactic of internment by remand.

The regurgitation of old tainted evidence, used in the prosecutions desperation to close the case, coupled with the intended use of discredited witnesses shows the lengths that they will go to in order to cover up their own incompetence.

With this in mind the family and friends of Seamus Daly have undertaken to campaign for his release, a campaign to highlight the injustice faced by Seamus Daly will be forthcoming in days.

We urge all those with an interest in human rights, genuine justice and truth to take a look at Seamus’ case and support us in our pursuit of freedom for Seamus Daly.

Ends.

3. Rail Workers Strike www.mlpc.ca At 3:52 pm on Monday, February 16, Teamsters Canada issued a press release announcing that CP Rail and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) had agreed to a mediation and arbitration process to address all outstanding issues which had led to TCRC’s 3,000 engineers, conductors, trainmen and yardmen taking strike action Sunday morning. "One major issue is fatigue management and the necessity to implement broad based and effective fatigue countermeasures for the rail workers," the Teamsters said. 


They announced that train operations will begin on Tuesday, "in a manner which will allow an organized start up to operations, also ensuring the workers have an opportunity to be well rested prior to once again operating trains throughout Canada."

"We took this strike action to improve the quality of life and the working conditions for our membership," Doug Finnson, the president of the TCRC, said. Referring to the Harper's government's action of railroading back-to-work legislation through the Parliament on Monday, Finnson added, "Our preference is to negotiate these improvements through collective bargaining, and the worst thing that could happen is a legislated process. These issues are far too important to our members to have a legislated process decide the issue. Consequently the better option is to use a fair mediation and arbitration dispute resolution in front of an independent arbitrator, where we can demonstrate that our plan is a proven fatigue management system which is highly regarded for a long time and is far superior to what the employer seeks to obtain."

"We are reasonably confident of being able to put an end to years of hardship by our members, and to improve the dysfunction system presently in place," Finnson said.

The Teamsters press release also pointed out that another significant issue that will be addressed "is the poor relationship CP management has adopted towards the workers, which has developed into massive numbers of outstanding grievances that need to be resolved. The Labour Code provides significant power to the Minister to address this matter and we will seek this service with vigor."

"The Teamsters Union now hopes that the employer will finally abide by the collective agreement's clauses setting out the workers' entitled rest periods," the press release added.

4. Harper Government's Attempt to Railroad 

Anti-Worker Legislation  www.mlpc.ca The Harper government's attempt to railroad anti-worker legislation through Parliament yesterday was brought to a close at Monday, February 16 at 3:52 pm when the Teamsters Canada and CP Rail announced that the strike was over and that they had reached an agreement to go to binding arbitration. Until then, the stage was set to shamelessly trample on the workers' rights by pushing aside any obstacle to the speedy passage of back-to-work legislation.

 

At 12 pm on Monday, legislation was introduced in the House of Commons criminalizing the strike of CP Rail workers, members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. Engineers, conductors, trainmen and yardmenwalked off the job at one minute after midnight on Sunday, February 15 and were on the picket lines in sub-zero temperatures across the countryrefusing to submit to blackmail on the part of CP Rail and the government to accept the conditions CP Rail put forward in the name of negotiations.

Throughout this process, the Conservative Members of Parliament have once again revealed how arrogant, dictatorial and extremist this government has become. MPs were not shown the bill during or after debate, only its name, An Act to provide for the resumption of rail service operations. An atmosphere of emergency and imminent catastrophe was created by the government which added measures to the notice paper to suspend normal procedure so that first reading, debate and voting would all take place in one blitz. Committee study on the bill would have been limited to one hour!

The stated reasons given by the government for criminalizing the workers and their union was that "Canada is a trading nation," the economy is fragile, and it must be protected. Maintaining a supply chain is said to be critical for achieving the government's objectives with regards to trade corridors such as the Asian-Pacific Gateway. In all of this, defending the rights of the workers to wages and working conditions commensurate with the jobs they perform, maintaining the safety of the railways and chastising CP Rail for refusing to bargain in good faith do not enter the equation.

Minister of Labour Kellie Leitch managed to obliterate the very existence of workers when she declared that CP Rail, magically on its own without a human soul, transports grain, coal, fertilizer, auto products and other goods. Admitting that CP is currently making record profits which increased by eight per cent last year, she said that as a "trading nation," Canada relies on CP Rail "for moving goods to and from Canadian and U.S. and international markets." Canadian companies, in turn, rely on the government to make tough decisions, she said.

Conservative MPs all spoke as if from a script. They raised the spectre of a strike causing doom and gloom. Without considering the possibility of meeting the just demands of the rail workers for safety measures, either through a collective agreement or through government legislation, Bev Shipley (Lambton–Kent–Middlesex) suggested that if the rail workers were not forced back to work, the factories in Ontario would shut down, agriculture would suffer, and union workers in manufacturing would all lose their jobs.

Peter Braid (Kitchener–Waterloo) raised the same spectre. His position was that failure to criminalize the strike would means years of recovery from the detrimental impact to the economy. He repeated word-for-word much of what Leitch said in introducing the bill. Without a blush, Braid said the government was doing everything possible to reach a settlement, while all the world clearly saw it was only doing one thing: dictating an end to a legal strike via legislation. According to the government, the bill did not impose a settlement. It simply said the workers cannot strike. The only choice it gave the workers was to reach a settlement within the parameters CP Rail presented. The workers were not to have any power to force the railway to negotiate.

One question comes to mind when looking at this show of force by the Harper government. When a government compels an organization to act in a particular way, is it not resorting to a form of terrorism? TheCriminal Code (section 83.01) defines terrorism as an act committed  "in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause" with the intention of intimidating the public "…with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act." In this case the organization is the TCRC.  The government is certainly carrying out intimidation, it is also clearly jeopardizing the public’s security. There is no doubt it is compelling the TCRC not to go on strike and submit to CP Rail's dictated contract. It is a question.

 

 

You are listening to the international solidarity news edition of The Daily GRRR! Today is feb 18th2014 and my name is Julian Ichim and we are now moving into the feature portion of our broadcast.

Feature: Discussion with Martin Rafferty on the case of the Craigavon Two

 

 

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