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A summer of labor insecurity is expected as inflation soars and contracts expire

Canada faces summer strikes and other labor turmoil as workers demand higher living costs and better conditions than what has been seen in the pandemic over the last two years. Union officials say it is possible and other observers. 

Hundreds of thousands of medical and educational workerswill join the union and employer negotiation table over the next few months to transport other , Is one of the people alongside trade. , Food retail and other sectors.

Sudden inflation is 7.7%, so unions and labor professionals have a normal annual salary increase of 1-1.5% that workers would have accepted a year or two ago. I am not satisfied with it.

"We are in a summer of labor insecurity, and there is no doubt about it," said Larry Savage, a professor of labor research at Brock University in St. Catherine, Ontario.

"Their living costs are much higher, utilities are higher, rents are higher, food is higher, wages are not catching up. I think there is a lot of anger and resentment."

CN Railroad Signals and Communications Workers,Montreal CasinoCreupia, Toronto's 330 Workers , and many others are already on the picket line. An e-commerce warehouse owned by a subsidiary of Hudson's Bay.

CN Railroad Signals and Communications workers quit their jobs nationwide earlier this month. Here, workers will strike on June 20th at CN MacMillan Yard in Vaughan, Ontario. (NathanDenette / The Canadian Press)

On Thursday, these warehouse workers will vote on a tentative deal with HBC Logistics.

Their union, Unifor, admits that workers continue to pandemic online orders and demands a retroactive salary increase. They haven't signed a contract since May last year.

"Especially last year and this year we saw a real increase in the fighting power of our workers," said Lana Payne, National Secretary and Finance Officer at Unifor.

"Many workers out of the pandemic have been fully respected throughout the period, even though they have given everything necessary for the economy and our society to function. I didn't feel like I was ... now is the time, where the workers are saying "enough".

Hudson's Bay did not respond to a request for comment.

Unions representing medical and educational workers across the country will negotiate a new collective agreement for members within the next few months. It's a schedule. Here, Manitova Healthcare Support Workers, who have not signed a five-year contract at St. Boniface Hospital in Winipeg, will be demonstrating on June 3rd. (Trevor Lyons / CBC)

Suffering from price increases

Union leaders who spoke to CBC News are members, especially near minimum wages. He said raising the salary of inflation would be a top priority during the negotiations, as the members who get the money are struggling to achieve their goals.

Laura Walton, Chairman of the CUPE's Ontario Board of Education Council, said: 55,000 school staff, including educational assistants, caretakers, and infant educators.

"Many people are back with their parents. Many of them hire roommates to keep the roof overhead."

B.C. members The General Employees Union, which includes wildfire fighters, social welfare officers, correctors, , liquor and cannabis workers, demanded living expenses last week.

"The public sector has gotten our state over the last two and a half years. They kept the lights on and turned the wheels [and] they were in our economy. It will be most important for regrowth, "said President Stephanie Smith.

"I think the pandemic has made people reassess their value."

A collective agreement for thousands of supermarket workers in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Manitova will also be in the summer. It will expire. Their union, United Food and Commercial Workers, declined to comment.

On January 27, 2021, a person passed a sign to thank important workers in Toronto. The entire pandemic workplace wants their new contracts to reflect their contributions, their union says. (Evan Mitsui / CBC)

Pain, whose union represents workers in other grocery stores, while the workers have their "hero reward" , Said company executives and shareholders are increasingly dissatisfied with pandemic profits — ranging from a few dollars extra per hour to gift cards and other perks, I was frustrated a few months later.

"There is a lack of awareness of how these benefits were obtained, which is behind our members ... working people now push back and make real profits. I have the opportunity to do it, "Pain said. 

Timing can be useful

Timing is a coincidence and final for more than 15,000 Ontario carpenterswho struck in MaySecured a 10% salary increase for over 3 years.

Mike York, chairman of the Carpenters District Council in Ontario, said had negotiated a new deal a few months ago, while other unions had a few years before inflation surged. , States that the increase in members was kept much lower.

"[These] members say,'We settled down too quickly ... Look at the increase that other workers are achieving.'" York said.

Others seem to be stuck with a slight increase due to the law. In Ontario, salary and benefit increases for some state employees (including teachers, nurses, and Metrolinks employees — ) have a cap. 1% per year

May 11th, carpenter's picket unified in Otawa. Approximately 15,000 Ontario carpenters striked for three weeks before signing a new contract in late May. (Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press)

Still, Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster received a 13.1% salary increase last yearwith a salary of $ 838,961. I did. The benefit is $ 12,906.

"That kind of nonsense puts negotiations in a very difficult position," said Amalgamated Transit Union Canada, president of Metrolinks bus driver, Amalgamated Transit Union Canada, which is negotiating more than 2,100 new contracts for stations. John DiNovo said. Attendants, maintenance personnel, and other staff.

ATU Canada has asked these workers to approve the strike action. This is a move that can disrupt transit operations in the Toronto and Hamilton regions during the summer.

"All options are in the table," Dinovo said.

In a statement, Metrolinks stated that reaching a solution was "enthusiastic and hopeful," but to minimize confusion in the event of any outage. Have an emergency response plan.

ATU Canada has asked Metrolinks members to approve the strike action. This is a move that can disrupt transit operations in the Toronto and Hamilton regions during the summer. (Evan Buhler / The Canadian Press)

Given the tight labor market, employers may now be more open to workers' demands. Said David Macdonald, Senior Economist at the Canadian Policy Center. Alternative proposal.

"The pendulum of power is shifting to workers ... Employers come back early [before new contract negotiations] and say," The wage increase negotiated two years ago is not high enough. There is an example that said. I want to resume these negotiations. "

During the pandemic, Canada has never seen the same "great resignation" that swept the United States, million workers for better wages and conditions I changed my job. But McDonald is ready for more workers here to make that leap if sick days, flexible labor arrangements and other concessions are not paid in the next round of negotiations. It states that it is.

The Education and Health Union told CBC News that some members of would change jobs if the new contract did not reflect higher living costs and services of during the pandemic. He said he was ready to consider.

"Many people are thinking about their life decisions and where they want to work in the future," said Karen Littlewood, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation. Government this summer.