Refugee Rights Day is commemorated each April 4th to reflect on the impact of the Singh decision regarding the protection of refugee rights in Canada. On April 4th, 1985, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered the historic Singh Decision in recognition of refugee claimants Harnhajan Singh, Sadhu Singh Thandi, Paramjit Singh Mann, Kewal Singh, Charanjit Singh Gill, Indrani and Satnam Singh.
UFCW lost one of our own on April 1 – Addie Wyatt was a pioneering and inspiring union activist. She was a founding member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), the first woman International Vice-President of Amalgamated Meat Cutters, the first woman of colour to serve on the board of the UFCW after its formation in 1979.
Another group of service workers in the Alberta oil sands has added their voices to UFCW Canada Local 401 to bargain for better conditions and higher employment standards in their workplace and rapidly growing industry.
“This federal budget, the first budget from the Harper majority government, shows that the Conservatives are clearly out of step with Canadians,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “Canadians believe that government has a responsibility in addressing income inequality, and cuts to the public sector, cuts to public services and raising the OAS eligibility rates will do nothing to address that inequality.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that his Conservative Government will raise the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67 years old.This decision has enraged Canadians of all ages because, as it stands right now, OAS is a modest but essential benefit that provides retirees with roughly $508.35 per month, or $6100.20 per year.
“Bill C-33 is not simply bad labour policy as the Air Canada walkout has demonstrated. It is also an affront to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canada’s obligations under international law.”