Striking Castlegar City Workers Hold Public Barbeque And Information Sharing Event To Garner Support For Contract Negotiations With City

October 21-Castlegar Civic employees, members of Cupe Local 2262,  joined their supporters in a parking lot behind City Hall on Monday, October 20 at a barbeque and information sharing opportunity organized by the Cupe Local.

City of Castlegar Cupe workers have been dumbfounded and frustrated with City negotiators to negotiate and settle a fair and reasonable contract, and  for the first time in 60 years of Cupe representing Castlegar City workers, Castlegar City employees are on strike, and have refused to work overtime in non-emergency stituations.

While further strike action is not being contemplated at this time, that could change if the City continues to decline invitations to reopen negotiations with the union.

After more than a year of negotiation on a new collective agreement, talks recently came to a impasse after mediation by the Labour Board ended with the City negotiators presenting the union with a “take it or leave it” final offer that the union says failed to address outstanding issues.

Leford Lafayette, president of Cupe Local 2262, said that while his members are asking for a modest wage settlement, the  main issues have to do with job security and no concessions.

“Our goal is not to disrupt service but to get City negotiators to bargain in good faith for a fair and reasonable collective agreement”, Lafayette explained.

WIN_20141020_173358a   Leford Lafayette, president Cupe Local 2262 (center) pictured with Stephanie Smith, executive board member of COPE 378 (right) and Andrew Chernoff (left) West Kootney Labour Council executive member.

Salt of the Earth (60th Anniversary) showing in Castlegar on November 16, 2014

The Old Castle Theatre offers a historic 60th anniversary showing of the only Hollywood movie ever to be banned in the United States. Why historic? Because Salt of the Earth was shown at the same theatre 60 years ago in defiance of the repression and political intolerance represented by creeping McCarthyism.

Date: November 16, 2014

Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Venue: The Castle Theatre

Phone: (250) 365-0740

Location.: 185 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, BC V1N 1A8

Web: Venue Website

Event Host:

file   The event’s host, Ron Verzuh, will give a short talk outlining the history of the film and its suppression. Ron Verzuh is a writer, photographer and labour historian.Before retiring in 2008, Ron was national director of communications at the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canada’s largest union.

He is the author of three books, several booklets and many articles on subjects ranging from the labour movement to travel, literature, news media, movies, culture and politics. He writes regular for BC Studies and is a frequent contributor to AQ, SFU’s alumni magazine, which published his feature article “Lefty’s Legacy, Margaret’s Hope: SFU alumnus funds new centre and paves way to a labour studies BA.”

Ron also serves on the boards of several historical organizations, including the Pacific Northwest Labour History Association, the Slim Evans Historical Society and the On To Ottawa Society.

Verzuh was born and raised in the Kootenays and is now living in the U.S.


Pope Francis Calls For ‘Legitimate Redistribution’ Of Wealth To The Poor

VATICAN CITY (AP) – On  May 9, 2014 Pope Francis called for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the “economy of exclusion” that is taking hold today.

Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who were meeting in Rome that week.

Latin America’s first pope has frequently lashed out at the injustices of capitalism and the global economic system that excludes so much of humanity.

Francis called for the United Nations to promote a “worldwide ethical mobilization” of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity.

He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through “the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society.”

Francis had a similar message to the World Economic Forum in January and in his apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel.” That document, which denounced trickle-down economic theories as unproven and naive, provoked criticism in the U.S. that he was Marxist.

Francis has denied he’s Marxist, and spent years in Argentina battling Marxist excesses of liberation theology. But he has said from the outset that he wants a church that “is poor and for the poor” and ministers to the most marginal of society.

He  urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure “dignified” labor for all.

“Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustices and resisting the economy of exclusion, the throwaway culture and the culture of death which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted,” he said.