Ottawa-Outaouais IWW

The General Membership Branch of the Ottawa-Outaouais region

Ottawa-Outaouais IWW header image 4

GDC Local 6 Endorses Canadian’s fight against deportation

October 20th, 2014 by pmoore

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General Defense Committee Local 6 appeals to all GDC locals and IWW branches to hold fundraisers for the legal defense of Fellow Worker Deepan Budlakoti.

 

The Canadian government is attempting to strip him of his citizenship, even though he was born in Ottawa, Canada and held a Canadian passport. Both of his parents, immigrants from India, are Canadian citizens.

 

Deepan ran into some trouble with a break-and-enter in 2009; he was arrested, convicted, served a four-month prison sentence, and released. The next year, the Canadian government decided to deport him as a non-citizen. The police then set an undercover police officer to entrap Deepan for trying to buy two hunting rifles. They also charged him separately with trafficking drugs; lacking the funds to mount a defense, Deepan pled guilty and served nearly 4 years in jail.

 

Over that time, the government has continually attempted to deport him. After serving his time, he is detained by immigration officials. Only when India refused to issue this Canadian citizen travel documents for deportation did the Canadian government release him on April 10, 2013 under strict conditions.

 

Since then, the Ottawa-Outaouais GMB has tirelessly sought to win justice for him in two wage theft cases, which have been resolved successfully.

 

To fight deportation, Deepan has launched a Charter of Rights challenge in the federal government to keep from being deported from his home and native land.

 

Deepan is on the spearhead of an attempt by the government to use criminal history, even for people that have served their sentences, as cause for stripping them of their citizenship and deporting them. By dehumanizing convicts, immigrants and the children of immigrants in this way, it is then a short step for the government to apply this practice against its critics and political enemies who run afoul of the law during protests, direct action and civil disobedience.

 

We urge all IWW and GDC members to take the following steps to support Deepan and the fight for all of our freedom:

 

Please make your presence felt and engage in whatever actions you see as necessary to raise funds and awareness about Deepan’s campaign for justice across Canada and across the world.

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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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