SALON WORKERS PICKET BOSS WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS

Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch
Industrial Workers of the World

MEDIA RELEASE
January 10, 2012

For Immediate Release

SALON WORKERS PICKET BOSS WHO STOLE CHRISTMAS

OTTAWA—Two workers who helped launch a new hair salon in Ottawa in November went without wages this Christmas because their boss did not pay them. The Industrial Workers of the World will continue to picket the salon this week.

Management at Hype Unisex Salon and Spa, located on 386 Bank St., refuses to pay Brandon Wallans and Stephen Toth the $3,600 they are owed for 7 weeks of work.

Hype Owner, Claudette Wilkinson Fagan, has not responded to a demand letter from the workers’ lawyer and refuses repeated requests by the workers and their union to negotiate a settlement or discuss the matter.

“Wage theft in today’s economy is common in Ottawa or anywhere in Ontario,” said Ahmed, secretary of the IWW branch in Ottawa. “Brandon and Stephen are experiencing hardship because of Hype’s refusal to do the right thing. Everyone has the right to get paid for work done.”

The Ottawa-Outaouais IWW will continue holding picket lines at 386 Bank Street and invites the media to speak with the workers and hear their story.

More information about wage theft in Ontario can be found at OttawaIWW.org

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

I.W.W. Pickets Bank Street Hair Salon

When Fellow Worker Brandon Wallans quit his job along with Fellow Worker Stephen Toth at Hype Unisex Salon and Spa because he realized he wouldn’t get paid for several weeks worth of work, and started picketing the business alone, his ex-boss told him she would bring a friend of hers to put an end to his one-man picket. Brandon did not have to wait much longer before an aggressive police officer showed up and started harassing him, writing him tickets for breaking a city by-law before crumpling them up and stuffing them into the fellow worker’s jacket. When from across the street, an ally from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers National building approached Brandon to offer him coffee, he was charged with obstruction of justice. This was the beginning of the wage theft case that the Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch is now fighting on the picket line.

Fellow Workers and community allies have held numerous pickets outside Hype on Bank Street over the last few weeks highlighting the business’ labour practices as well as the rising wage theft incidences across Ontario to the neighbourhood. They have put up with several incidences of police intimidation designed to disrupt their legal and constitutionally-protected picket line.

In the last couple of weeks Hype has been investigated and fined by the city health inspectors for not following proper code, and more recently has been put under an investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour in response to complaints and the union pickets. The Ottawa-Outaouais IWW will continue to press for the wages owed to Brandon and Stephen through direct action.

Union Members Picket Hype Hair Salon

Ottawa-Outaouais General Membership Branch
Industrial Workers of the World

MEDIA RELEASE

December 19, 2011

For Immediate Release

UNION MEMBERS PICKET HYPE HAIR SALON

WAGE THEFT IS NOT A ‘SPECIAL EVENT’ IN OTTAWA

PICKETS
TUESDAY, DEC. 20, 12.30PM
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 12:30PM
THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 12:30PM
FRIDAY, DEC. 23, 12:30PM

OTTAWA—Two union members are demanding their first month’s pay from a hair salon on Bank Street the week before Christmas.

Brandon Wallans and Stephen Toth, members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), are owed approximately $2,400 and $1,200 respectively for a combined 7 weeks of work at Hype Unisex Salon and Spa at 386 Bank Street.

“We thought helping launch this salon was a great opportunity, but the manager took advantage of our enthusiasm. When we realized that we would not get paid, we quit.”

Management at Hype now denies Brandon and Stephen were employees. She has rebuffed all attempts of the union to negotiate a settlement or discuss the matter. Instead, she has repeatedly called the Ottawa police in order to disrupt the picket line while she snuck clients into her salon through the back door.

The police have threatened Brandon, Stephen and their supporters with charges of trespassing for picketing on a public sidewalk. Police ticketed Brandon under Ottawa’s Special Events on City Streets bylaw during his first week.

“Wage theft in today’s economy is common, not a “Special Event” in Ottawa or anywhere in Ontario,” said Ahmed, secretary of the IWW branch in Ottawa.

The IWW will continue to press for justice and demands that the Ottawa police respect our lawful picket and the rights of our members as guaranteed under the Constitution of Canada. Everyone has the right to get paid for work done.

The Ottawa-Outaouais IWW will continue holding picket lines at 386 Bank Street and invites everyone who is concerned about workplace justice to join us.

More information about wage theft in Ontario can be found at OttawaIWW.org

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

The Industrial Worker is Now Available at Britton’s Magazine Store in the Glebe in Ottawa!

For the price of $2, you can read the following stories and more!

Headlines:

* Workers Win Big at New York Restaurant Supplier
* Bay Area Couriers Fight for Living Wage
* Kansas City Sandwich Shop Workers Organize

Features:

* Special: Report from the 2011 General Convention
* Interview: Joe Burns on “Reviving the Strike
* The Beginnings Of Revolutionary Unionism In Romania

Ask your vendor to show you where to find the Industrial Worker.

WHERE TO BUY THE INDUSTRIAL WORKER:

Britton’s Glebe
846 Bank St
Ottawa, ON K1S 3W1

(613) 237-6116

Britton’s Westboro
352 Richmond Road
Ottawa, ON K2A 0E8, Canada
(613) 729-0551

Globe Mags & Cigars
57 William St
Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z9
(613) 241-7274

Mags & Fags
254 Elgin St
Ottawa, ON K2P 1L9 Canada
(613) 233 9651

Want back issues? Email ott-out@iww.org if you need others or check www.iww.org/projects/IW for PDF versions.

Triple E October: Get Educated, Engaged, & Effective!

Six multi-day learning opportunities on health and justice in our communities and workplaces.

The Politics of Resistance Workshop Series
Oct.17-Dec.12 Mon. evngs
(Intro session Oct 3rd/10th)
A workshop series on effective non-violent action. Explores sociopolitical struggles and changes in power and politics. Suggested donation: $50 (optional). Facilitated by Mike Kaulbars. More info here.

Activism: Building a Better World
Oct.11-Nov.15 Tues evngs
Participant-driven course on how to learn, organize and take action on what matters most to us. Build on collective knowledge, experience and inspiration. Sliding scale cost. Facilitated by Greg Macdougall, 613-656-5498. More info here.

Tools for Change Workshop Series
Different stand-alone workshops in Oct and Nov on the following topics: Grassroots Fundraising, Making Our Movements Accessible, Campaign Strategy, Media Strategy 101&201, Avoiding Burnout & Sustaining our Communities. No cost. Facilitated by OPIRG/GRIPO-Ottawa, 613-230-3076. More info here.

Sexuality Awareness Program Training
Oct.15-Nov.5 Saturdays
Background knowledge, information, practical skills and resources to help participants deal with and understand issues of sexuality. $300, or no cost if you become a community education volunteer: Planned Parenthood Ottawa, 613-226-3234. More info here (will need to scroll down a bit).

Aboriginal Perspectives on Education
Oct.28-Oct. 29 Fri evng, Saturday
‘Covenant Chain Link II’ – Building bridges of understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples: panel discussions, workshops, displays, resources, documentaries, networking opportunities, and more! $30/45 (discounts avail.) Contact Ed Bianchi, 613-235-9956 ext. 221. More info here (link to PDF).

Industrial Workers of the World Organizer Training
Nov.19-20 Sat/Sun
For anyone who seeks to organize a union in their workplace. 2-day intensive workshop to increase capacity and skills, with an emphasis on the IWW Solidarity Unionism model. Topics include: how to begin an organizing campaign, preparing to go public with your union, applicable federal/provincial labour laws & more. Sliding scale cost. Facilitated by OttawaIWW.org.

Unionize! Organizer Training Nov. 19-20, 2011

On November 19th and 20th, the Ottawa-Outaouais IWW will be hosting an Organizer Training.

An Organizer Training is a 2-day intensive workshop that aims to increase  capacity and skills of anyone who seeks to organize a union in their workplace, with an emphasis on the IWW Solidarity Unionism model. Topics covered range from, but are not limited to, how to begin an organizing campaign to preparing to go public with your union, as well as the applicable federal/provincial labour laws.

To register, please fill out this form:

http://ottawaiww.org/organize2011

Global Day of Action Calls on Tnuva to Hold Distributor Accountable for its Human Rights Abuses

Workers From All Corners of the World Tell Tnuva to Honor the Rights of its Distribution Workers

New York, NY– Workers around the world participated in actions today to call on Tnuva, the world’s largest kosher cheese company, to honor the human rights of its distribution workers. The mulitinational kosher cheese giant distributes its cheese in New York City though the Flaum Appetizing Corp., a business widely shunned for unlawful labor practices and abuse of immigrant workers from Latin America. While a consensus has largely emerged against Flaum’s labor practices, Tnuva continues to due business with Flaum.

“Flaum Appetizing exploited its immigrant workers for years,” said Ari Hart, a founder of Uri L’Tzedek, an Orthodox social justice organization. “Tnuva should use its influence to get Flaum to pay its workers or, if Flaum won’t, to choose a company that is yosher (ethical).”

In a Global Day of Action to pressure Tnuva management to bring justice to Flaum Appetizing., workers held nonviolent rallies, leafleted outside supermarkets, sent petitions to Tnuva and made phone calls to its president and CEO. As Flaum workers step up their actions to win accountability from Tnuva, workers and community supporters around the world peacefully demonstrated in solidarity. Because Tnuva’s cheese products are a significant source of revenue for Flaum, the actions called on Tnuva to either use its influence with Flaum to promote respect for workplace protections or to find a more ethical distribution company.

Flaum Appetizing is a highly profitable kosher food processor and distributor in Brooklyn that has engaged in systematic exploitation of immigrant workers from Latin America. The company pushed its Latino employees to work at unsafe speeds, with 60-80 hour work weeks, while denying them overtime pay. When workers stood up for their rights, Flaum illegally fired seventeen of them in retaliation. A National Labor Relations Board judge found that Flaum engaged in extensive and unlawful retaliation, but the company has refused for almost three years to comply with the court order to pay its worker $260,000 in back wages.

With Focus on the Food Chain, the Flaum workers are leading a powerful campaign that has resulted in more than 65 of New York’s most popular supermarket locations to stop selling Flaum products until Flaum is held accountable. Meanwhile, Tnuva continues refuses to use its substantial influence with Flaum to encourage a just settlement for the fired workers. The Global Day of Action was organized by Focus on the Food Chain and Uri L’Tzedek.

“As both a student activist and an Orthodox Jew, it is crucial for me to be involved in this action,” said Dasi Fruchter. “Myself and my peers will simply not stand up for the injustices taking place at Flaum.”

Focus on the Food Chain promotes a sustainable food system that incorporates respect for workers’ human rights. Through worker-led organizing, direct action, and litigation, the Focus campaign is challenging and overcoming sweatshop conditions in New York’s food processing and distribution warehouses. The Focus campaign is a joint effort of non-profit organization Brandworkers and the NYC Industrial Workers of the World labor union.

Uri L’Tzedek is an Orthodox social justice organization guided by Torah values and dedicated to combating suffering and oppression. Through community based education, leadership development and action, Uri L’Tzedek creates discourse, inspires leaders, and empowers the Jewish community toward creating a more just world.

Actions took place in: Canada, Germany, Kansas City, L.A., NJ, NW Arkansas, NYC, Poland, Twin Cities, and the U.K.

Ottawa Panhandlers Union Artists at Can-Con 2011

Check out the art of the IWW Ottawa Panhandlers Union at this year’s Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature (www.can-con.org).

Ontario’s Safe Streets Act may prevent street artists from making a living selling their art on the curbside, but they are welcome as part of Ottawa’s creative community.

Sept. 9-11, 2011

Travelodge Ottawa Hotel & Conference Centre

1376 Carling Avenue

Ottawa, ON K1Z 7L5

Entrance fee is $45 for Saturday and $15 for Sunday.

For more information about the Ottawa Panhandlers Union, visit www.ottawaiww.org or email ott-out@iww.org.

Directions

The Hotel is located just west of Westgate Mall, on the south side of Carling Avenue between Merivale Rd and Kirkwood Ave. OC Transpo Routes 85 and 101 will stop at or near the Hotel, while routes 151 and 176 will stop at Westgate Mall across the street. Routes 14 and 86 pass nearby, but will require a transfer at Carling and Holland/Fisher or a long walk down the hill from there. Taking the O-Train to Carling Station also can help you connect with Route 85 or 101 for a quick trip to the Hotel site.

CanROC: Statement on Back-to-Work Legislation

Canadian Regional Organizing Committee (CanROC) of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). PO Box 36042, 1106 Wellington St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1Y 4V3

STATEMENT

June 27, 2011

The use of back-to-work legislation by the Canadian federal government is an abuse of power, a violation of labour rights and unconstitutional.

The Canadian Regional Organizing Committee of the Industrial Workers of the World denounces the government’s recent use of back-to-work legislation in the cases of Air Canada and Canada Post workers.

This practice undermines the rights of workers to collectively bargain with their employers and is a plain violation of both the Canadian Charter of Rights and of international labour standards to which Canada has agreed at the International Labor Organization at the United Nations. Arbitration does nothing more than delay the resolution of ongoing disputes and as such hurts workers.

IWW members have walked the line with these workers wherever they are and we encourage them in their struggle for justice on the job.

Whether the struggle is on the shop floor or on the streets, workers know that solidarity is the key to victory. We don’t need the government’s permission to strike or collectively bargain. We just need each other.

In Solidarity,

Canadian Regional Organizing Committee representatives

CALL OUT: May Day Rally & Street Art Auction

May Day – May 1st – is International Workers’ Day, a day established to commemorate labour struggles by workers around the world since the mid-19th century, when the fight for the 8-hour day cost the lives of many of those active in their labour movements.

Join us May 1st on Parliament Hill at 1pm as we take to the streets with United Steelworkers – Local 1005 from Hamilton, many of whom are currently locked out from their workplace. The attack on Local 1005 members by the employer, U.S. Steel, is part of a larger global attack on all workers around the world across all industries. These attacks include union-busting, cuts to wages, benefits, and pensions and affect all workers.

An injury to one is an injury to all.

Whether you work in a unionized shop or not, an attack on workers is an attack on you. These attacks are lowering the standards of employment and raising profits for employers not being properly held accountable for the effects their practices are having on society and the world.

Later, the Ottawa Panhandlers’ Union will be hosting a Street Art Auction, 6-8pm, 2nd floor of the Jack Purcell Community Centre (off Elgin, near Gilmour). Come out and support your local street artists at a time when Ottawa’s business and political interests side with wiping out the city’s street culture.