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(en) Canada, Toronto, Greenpeace declares labour war

From Mick <mickblack47@yahoo.com>
Date Tue, 5 Nov 2002 04:45:08 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E


Seems like Greenpeace is back to their old practice of union busting.  I
spent a few hours on the lines with the locked out Greenpeace canvass
workers today (Greenpeace broke the contract with a year left).  They
are a small local (25 members) and can really use the support.  Pickets
will be happening Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week from 10 a.m.
to 2:00 p.m.  It would be great if flying squad members could join the
lines. I'm sure union banners would be a welcome sight (I took a homemade
banner and it very well received).  The Greenpeace office is at 250
Dundas West, right across from 52 Division.  Details of the situation are
provided below.
 ------ Forwarded Message
 Hello Everyone,
 Many of you have been aware of the difficulties developing at Greenpeace
of late with regards to their commitment to justice and the treatment of
their staff.  I have been aware of  this ongoing situation as Gary, my
spouse, is the Union Steward.  Unfortunately, events have come to a
difficult place and so I am sending you the press release which has been
issued today by the Door Canvassers Union.
If you are in a union or concerned for workers' rights please pass this
info along.  Thanks, Sue
 Locked out Greenpeacers to protest AGAINST GREENPEACE!
 Starting Monday Nov 4 at 9 am, OPIEU local 343 (Greenpeace Door Canvass)
will be peacefully protesting their illegal lockout by Greenpeace (GP)
management in front of their office at 250 Dundas St. W., just west of
University. This will be an information picket with banners, placards, and
 This is a call for justice in solidarity with the union movement and all
social justice movements in general. Those who founded Greenpeace sought
to address wrongs by drawing attention to them. Sadly, 30 years later, it
is wrongs commited by Greenpeace that we must draw attention to. We hope
that our actions will bring about much needed change at GP.
 What happened?
 In Oct of 2001, GP and the canvass ratified a collective bargaining
agreement (CBA) that expires Dec. 31 2003. The door canvass was closed Oct
15 2002, despite the fact that the canvass was exceeding all terms of the
CBA. Starting in early July, management had illegally attempted to
renegotiate the contract by threatening to shut down the program while
offering new numbers or terms that if attained might be acceptable to
management and prevent a shutdown.
 The door canvass has raised millions of dollars for GP over its 14 year
history, signed up countless thousands of new members, and canvassers
have volunteered in hundreds of GP activities. Many canvassers have been
arrested on Greenpeace actions. It is no exxageration to say that the
canvass has been the heart of Greenpeace actions and activities in
Toronto. In fact, one could say that the grassroots of GP have been locked
 Recently,the union executive expressed the union's concerns to executive
director Peter Tabuns and chair of the board John Dohery. To date they
have not responded. Rather, Mr. Tabuns tried to enlist the support of
outside labour organizations for GP's position. Tabuns' requests included
asking a labour organization to advise the union to refrain from their
democratic right of peaceful protest. These outside organizations have
since denied his requests.
Peter Tabuns expects governments to honour environmental treaties that
they have ratified. We expect Greenpeace to honour this labour treaty that
they have ratified.
Greenpeace Canada has a poor labour record. This situation further damages
their reputation.
13 employees with up to 8 years seniority are illegally and unfairly
locked out. One of whom is still facing court charges for being arrested
on a Greenpeace action.
Please contact Peter Tabuns and Development Director, Rebecca Moershel to
let them know you think their actions are wrong and will suspend your
support for Greenpeace until their labour policies have clearly been
Peter Tabuns ext. 3012, Rebecca Moershel ext. 3014, both at
peter.tabuns@yto.greenpeace.org, rebecca.moershel@yto.greenpeace.org
For further information, please contact:
Gary Connolly, Union Steward 416-429-7658
or Patty Clancy 416-703-4448 ext. 29
 Picketing will continue Tue, Wed, Thu, each day from 10am-2pm. Further
picketing is likely and more emails will follow.  (Your support on the
picket line is welcome too!)
 We appreciate your solidarity against these injustices. 
 AND Please forward.

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