Ottawa-Outaouais IWW

The General Membership Branch of the Ottawa-Outaouais region

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Ottawa-Outaouais IWW Rescinds Protest and Boycott of CAA

September 15th, 2014 by OBU

Following a meeting on September 9, 2014 with representatives of CAA North & East Ontario, the Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is calling off actions targeting the automotive insurance group. The dispute began when one of CAA NEO’s independently owned and operated contractors, Glen’s Towing, failed to provide overtime and termination pay to former employee Deepan Budlakoti. He was also provided with a fraudulent Record of Employment and T-4 that didn’t account for all the hours that he worked, as it did not include the many overtime hours worked (paid out at the regular non-overtime rate), attributed to a “commission” line on his pay stubs.

Until recently, Glen’s Towing has operated in the Ottawa area as one of CAA’s contractors. The IWW has learned that CAA NEO ceased contracting with Glen’s Towing in July 2014. The IWW is pleased with the outcome of our meeting with CAA NEO representatives.

Picket actions took place at CAA locations in Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa, Ontario. These actions informed the public about this issue; a meeting between CAA NEO and the IWW took place shortly thereafter. The IWW has agreed to end actions targeting CAA NEO given their demonstration of social responsibility in this matter. The IWW is satisfied that CAA NEO has ceased contracting with Glen Comeau, an employer who routinely violates the Employment Standards Act, and with other measures that CAA has taken to remedy the situation and effect a settlement of this dispute.

However, Mr. Budlakoti’s fight continues. The fraudulent Record of Employment that Glen’s Towing provided Mr. Budlakoti, fails to document any of the overtime hours worked. This has caused Mr. Budlakoti’s Employment Insurance application to be denied due to insufficient hours worked, resulting in further financial hardship. I f all hours worked were properly attributed, Mr. Budlakoti’s EI claim would not have been denied for this reason.

Glen Comeau, who also operates multiple towing companies including 514 Towing in Montreal, continues to avoid all contact with the IWW and the Ontario Ministry of Labour. The IWW is continuing to support an employment standards claim against the employer, Glen’s Towing, and continues to seek an outcome that will make Deepan whole with respect to his EI entitlement by providing him with proper documentation of the hours that he worked.

The IWW wishes to thank Deepan Budlakoti’s supporters in the Ottawa-Outaouais region, as well as members of the Montreal and Toronto IWW branches for their part in organizing actions.

The IWW is a member-driven organization that is willing and dedicated to achieving justice for working people. For more information about the IWW please visit http://iww.org.

Contacts:
John Hollingsworth, Ottawa-Outaouais IWW Secretary, 613-558-3338; Deepan Budlakoti, member, Ottawa-Outaouais IWW, 613-265-1364
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IWW Pickets CAA

August 30th, 2014 by OBU

Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

MEDIA RELEASE

August 29, 2014

For Immediate Release

IWW TO PICKET CAA IN SUPPORT OF DEEPAN BUDLAKOTI

OTTAWA – Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) members and supporters of Deepan Budlakoti, a member of the Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch, will hold an information picket on August 29 at 12pm, at the CAA Travel office located at 1224-1226 Wellington St. West. This picket will inform the public about CAA’s role in an ongoing wage theft case.

Mr. Budlakoti was employed by CAA subcontractor Glen’s Towing, owned by Glen Comeau, which was established in Ottawa at CAA’s behest.  Although he had seven months of successful service, Glen’s Towing terminated Mr. Budlakoti after CAA demanded a criminal record check. Glen Comeau systematically defrauded Mr. Budlakoti and other employees by failing to pay overtime and requiring his drivers to work beyond the maximum allowable hours per day. Furthermore, Mr. Budlakoti’s Record of Employment was issued with falsified information, failing to accurately report his hours of service in order to hide the illegal nonpayment of overtime.  As a result, Mr. Budlakoti is further penalized by appearing not to meet the minimum hours of service to qualify for Employment Insurance benefits.

Glen Comeau has been the subject of past Employment Standards violations, a fact that doesn’t seem to concern the CAA North and East Ontario President, Christina Hlusko, who refuses to meet with IWW representatives regarding this matter. The IWW intends to bring this to the attention of the public as CAA is the primary customer of Glen’s Towing. Users of CAA services deserve to know about their complicity in this issue. The IWW is asking people to voice their concerns to both Glen’s Towing and CAA North and East Ontario and boycott both organizations until Mr. Budlakoti is paid what he is owed and receives accurate paperwork. IWW branches across Canada support Mr. Budlakoti.  Montréal members picketed CAA-Québec on Thursday, August 21st. More actions in these and other cities across the country are pending, should CAA continue to refuse to meet with the IWW to discuss what concrete actions they can take to remedy the situation.

Ottawa-born Mr. Budlakoti is no stranger to combating injustice. He is known for being targeted for deportation by the Canadian government despite being born in Canada and not holding any other citizenship, making him functionally stateless. His case is before federal courts and has received extensive media coverage. Further information is available at www.justicefordeepan.org.

Wage theft is a growing problem.  “This case has affected me financially based on the fact that I can’t get Employment Insurance because my ex-employer falsified my Record of Employment and shorted me on hours,” states Mr. Budlakoti, who adds “CAA is supposed to be a reputable business yet they did not attempt to rectify the situation.  They are not doing due diligence on their side.  They are choosing which policies to enforce and not enforce.”

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For more information, please contact John Hollingsworth, Ottawa-Outaouais
IWW Secretary, 613-558-3338 and Deepan Budlakoti, 613-265-1364.

Deepan Deepan2 leafleting talking Young Wob with Flag

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IWW Settles with Vittoria Trattoria

July 15th, 2013 by pmoore

Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

MEDIA RELEASE

July 15, 2013

For Immediate Release

IWW SETTLES WITH VITTORIA TRATTORIA

OTTAWA—The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) reached an agreement with the owner of Vittoria Trattoria in the case of Fellow Worker David Wightman. The IWW picketed the restaurant on July 9 and 10.

“The agreement is satisfactory to both parties and we have agreed to not discuss its terms further,” said Ahmed Hertani, an IWW representative.

Arbitrary firings and disrespect for the Employment Standards Act are major problems in Ottawa. Service industry employment standards need to be raised for servers and other staff that depend on gratuities to make a living. Organizing a union is the best way to achieve lasting improvements and defend against management abuse.

“Wage theft is a growing trend among bosses who decide to not pay some or all of the wages, severance pay and other benefits earned by their employees. Workers such as David can win these fights when they unite and take action,” said Hertani.

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For more information, please send an email to info@ottawaiww.org

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VITTORIA TRATTORIA FIRING UNFAIR, MUST NEGOTIATE WITH THE IWW OR FACE BOYCOTT

July 10th, 2013 by admin

Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)
MEDIA RELEASE
July 9, 2013
For Immediate Release

VITTORIA TRATTORIA FIRING UNFAIR

MUST NEGOTIATE WITH THE IWW OR FACE BOYCOTT

OTTAWA—The Industrial Workers of the World are picketing Vittoria Trattoria (William Street location) to defend a member unfairly fired on May 18, 2013.

After two years on the job, our member spoke up to demand fair treatment for his co-workers and to improve health and safety standards at the restaurant.

In response, Vittoria Trattoria summarily fired him. The manager did not give our member two weeks notice nor was he paid two weeks’ termination pay as required by the Employment Standards Act. His response to legitimate workplace concerns was to fire the worker and intimidate by example the restaurant’s remaining employees.

The IWW will continue to picket the restaurant to demand fair treatment for our member and for all Vittoria Trattoria employees. Our member is not the only worker who has faced this unacceptable behaviour.

The IWW is calling on Ottawans to not cross our picket line and to respect a boycott of both the William Street and Rivergate Way restaurants until management meets with our union to negotiate in good faith and to respond in a fair and meaningful way to our settlement offer.

Arbitrary firings and disrespect for the Employment Standards Act is rampant in Ottawa. Furthermore, wage theft is a growing trend among bosses who decide to not pay some or all of the wages, severance pay and other benefits earned by their employees. Workers can win these fights when they unite and take action.

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For more information, please contact Heather Bostelaar, IWW Organizer, 613-618-9459

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Ottawa Police, City must stop harassing panhandlers

May 1st, 2013 by admin

 

POLICE, CITY MUST STOP HARASSING PANHANDLERS

MAY DAY NEWS RELEASE

May 1, 2013

Ottawa—The Ottawa Panhandlers Union of the Industrial Workers of the World is calling on the Ottawa Police Service and the politicians at City Hall to stop harassing and intimidating panhandlers.

It is time for Ottawans to stand up for this city’s panhandlers. The police continue to use the Safe Streets Act as a tool to sweep the streets, making it more difficult for panhandlers who are trying to simply get by, day by day.

We are urging our members and the public to watch out for police officers who are pulling the following tricks:

Threatening Tickets Citing Irrelevant Bylaws

Police officers are telling panhandlers in the Market area that they are going to issue them tickets using Byward Market Bylaw 2008-449. We’ve read the bylaw and it only applies to vendors; not panhandlers who do not sell anything.

Pressuring business staff and owners to complain about panhandlers

Police are entering businesses in order to solicit complaints from owners and staff about panhandlers on the street nearby. Fortunately, many business owners and staff resist the police pressure to file a complaint. We thank them for their efforts. Police should stop this tactic immediately; it’s not their job to make up complaints so they can harass our members and people on the street.

The Ottawa Panhandlers Union finds these tactics of misinformation and harassment unacceptable. The police should know better.

We urge Ottawans to write their city councillors and the Ottawa Police Service to let them know what they think of this behaviour.

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The Ottawa Panhandlers Union was formed in 2004 as a way for people on the street to unite, help each other and defend against police, municipal and provincial attacks. For more information or to get involved with the Ottawa Panhandlers Union, email opu@ottawaiww.org.

 

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