OPSEU to file Charter challenge over college back-to-work law

OPSEU to file Charter challenge over college back-to-work law

Canada NewsWire

TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2017 /CNW/ – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is challenging the Ontario government’s latest back-to-work legislation in court.

The province ended a five-week strike by Ontario college faculty November 20 by passing Bill 178, the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Labour Dispute Resolution Act, 2017, on November 19. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the law violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically Section 2 (d), which protects freedom of association.

“For over a decade, the Supreme Court of Canada has viewed collective bargaining as a protected right under the Charter,” Thomas said. “More recently, the court has extended that protection to the right to strike.

“In the case of the colleges, the provincial government had the power to direct the employer to make the moves necessary to bargain a settlement,” he said. “The government chose legislation instead. They trampled on the right to collective bargaining when they clearly had other choices.”

On November 16, hours after 86 per cent of college faculty had rejected the colleges’ contract offer, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met with both sides and gave them three hours to settle the strike.

“The government never gave collective bargaining an honest chance after the contract was rejected,” Thomas said. “That three-hour deadline was a sham designed to provide legal cover for legislation that was already a foregone conclusion. Instead of directing the colleges to settle, the government let them walk away from the table, then came back with a hammer.”

The colleges are Crown agencies that receive nearly half their overall funding from the provincial budget and are in no way independent from government, Thomas said. The government has the power to direct the colleges to take specific actions any time it chooses to do so, he added.

News of the Charter challenge was met with thunderous applause at the Ontario Federation of Labour convention in Toronto this afternoon.

Thomas said it was “ironic, but not funny” that the government had passed Bill 148, which improves certain labour standards, “just a few days after it had walked all over the Charter rights of more than 12,000 workers.”

Bill 178 gave OPSEU and the colleges 90 days to settle the current contract dispute at arbitration.

SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2017/23/c7824.html

Ontario Labour Reforms a Start Toward Fairness in a Changing Economy, says USW

Ontario Labour Reforms a Start Toward Fairness in a Changing Economy, says USW

Canada NewsWire

TORONTO, Nov. 23, 2017 /CNW/ – Yesterday’s passage of Bill 148 (the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act) by the Ontario Legislature makes changes to Ontario’s labour and employment laws that should be seen as the first in a series of necessary steps toward fairer employee rights, says the United Steelworkers (USW).

“Bill 148 is not the comprehensive overhaul that is needed for Ontario’s labour laws, but it will help many employees and our union is proud of the role our members played in its development,” said USW Ontario Director Marty Warren.

The new laws provide a fairer path for some employees to choose union membership as well as strengthened employment standards in areas including minimum wages and scheduling. Other measures include better rights for union members during lockouts and strikes and greater powers for the provincial labour board to remedy illegal actions by employers.

“Our union works hard for improved labour and employment laws,” said Warren. “We gave the government’s advisory process our best input and ideas, but just as importantly, our members were front and centre at the hearings and in the streets making their views heard.”

Absent from Bill 148 is an innovative shift in bargaining structures that could have efficiently and fairly addressed the needs of tens of thousands of workers in the franchise sector. Broader-based bargaining, recommended to the Minister of Labour by his own expert advisors, was absent from Bill 148.

“We’ll keep on pushing for more effective and durable solutions like broader-based bargaining,” said Warren. “We hope that this government will soon set up plans to consider this and we expect the opposition parties to take a stand as well.”

The USW was a strong supporter of the Ontario Federation of Labour’s “Make It Fair” campaign and supported amendments proposed by the Ontario NDP such as three weeks of paid vacation after the first year of employment and extending card-check certification rights to all employees. 

“We are disappointed that those amendments did not find support from the government. We’ll keep employee rights on the front burner in next spring’s provincial election campaign,” said Warren.

View the full list of the labour law reform priorities identified by the USW.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/November2017/23/c2617.html

Powered by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab: Libya’s First Nationwide ENJAZI Business Innovation Competition Recognizes and Empowers Bright Entrepreneurs

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Powered by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab: Libya’s First Nationwide ENJAZI Business Innovation Competition Recognizes and Empowers Bright Entrepreneurs

PR Newswire

BEIRUT, Lebanon, November 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ —

The MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab and TATWEER Research announced the three winning teams of the ENJAZI Competition, the first nation-wide entrepreneurship competition in Libya. The announcement took place during a ceremony held in Beirut, Lebanon in the presence of Badr Ben-Othman, the CEO of the Local Libyan Fund for investment and development, representatives from the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, TATWEER Research and a number of media personnel.

     (Photo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/609876/ENJAZI_Competition.jpg )

ENJAZI Competition aims to empower entrepreneurs and start-ups in Libya by helping them evolve their projects to more advanced stages. Three winning teams Lisan, Yummy, and Sinbad were selected in recognition of their unique entrepreneurial projects. Team Lisan addressed problems faced by the mute/deaf community in the Arab world creating a solution that allows them to have face to face communication with non-sign language speakers. Team Yummy presented an application that consolidates all of Libya’s Restaurants and food providers on one comprehensive platform through which consumers can browse, rate and order. As for Sinbad, they created a hybrid game (online and offline) that constitutes a powerful interactive space that teaches the basics of entrepreneurship in a simplified and entertaining format.

Commenting on the competition, Hala Fadel, Chairperson of the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab said: “Although this is a local contest confined to Libyans, we consider it to be one of the main competitions organized by the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab. The importance of this competition lies in having the participants visit Beirut, benefiting from its entrepreneurial ecosystem. This in turn underscores Lebanon as a key hub for the “entrepreneurial scene” in the region as well as an advocate for entrepreneurs. During the final event, the participants met a number of Lebanese entrepreneurs and benefitted from a panel discussion that tackled the future of entrepreneurship in Libya.”

CEO of Tatweer Research Dr. Khaled Mufti praised the importance of this competition and the role that it plays in enhancing and diversifying the economy in Libya. He emphasized that it plays a fundamental role in supporting the knowledge economy and encouraging the private sector in the long term by providing value added jobs and establishing an ambitious generation capable of innovation. He added, “We are delighted to be partners and supporters of this first-of-its-kind competition in Libya, which is perfectly in line with our goals: Fostering a new Knowledge Economy, nurturing the brightest young minds in Libya and incubating the ideas of ambitious homegrown entrepreneurs.”

ENJAZI competition kicked off on the 8th of April till the 1st of June after which ten finalist teams embarked on a one-month training program in Libya last August, then moved to Beirut and participated in a series of seminars and workshops from the 9th till the 17th of November. During their training process, they met a number of prominent Lebanese entrepreneurs and business accelerators.

The three winning teams were also given the opportunity to visit London Tech City and Cambridge Science Park.

About MITEF Pan Arab:

Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region (http://www.mitefarab.org) is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global, an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. The MIT Enterprise Forum- Pan Arab has a proven record in promoting MIT-style entrepreneurship by organizing each year the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition targeting 21 countries of the Arab region and attracting over 12,000 entrepreneurs a year.

About Tatweer Research: 

Tatweer Research is a non-profit organisation, founded and funded to boost knowledge, capacity and private enterprise in Libya. By cultivating learning, leadership and entrepreneurialism among Libya’s youth, and building and investing in new technologies, Tatweer aims to create opportunity and drive progress for the benefit of Libya and for all the world.

About MITEF Pan Arab:

Founded in 2005, the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan Arab Region (http://www.mitefarab.org) is one of the 28 worldwide chapters of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global, an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation worldwide. The MIT Enterprise Forum- Pan Arab has a proven record in promoting MIT-style entrepreneurship by organizing each year the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition targeting 21 countries of the Arab region and attracting over 12,000 entrepreneurs a year.

 
Press Contacts:  
Lamis Kontar, Regional Media Relations Manager at J. Walter Thompson Levant  
lamis.kontar@jwt.com   
00-961-1-97-30-30 EXT 3122   

SOURCE MITEF Pan Arab