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wmtc: from the front lines, day five

I have been staring at my computer screen, trying to figure out how to describe the amazing day we had, and how to express my feelings about what we’re creating together. Not an easy task.Plus, my members keep posting awesome pics and vids to Facebook … . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day five

wmtc: from the front lines, day five

I have been staring at my computer screen, trying to figure out how to describe the amazing day we had, and how to express my feelings about what we’re creating together. Not an easy task.Plus, you all keep posting awesome pics and vids to Facebook and… . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day five

wmtc: from the front lines, day four

Every day, more and more members are coming out on the line!

At least 250 people were at Thursday’s morning rally and lunch-time barbecue with CUPE Ontario. Spirits were very high, and we were NOISY!

We were joined by members of many other unions:

– Ryan & Evan, CUPE 3902, University of Toronto
– Sandra & Tracey, CUPE 5167, City of Hamilton
– Sonia from CUPE 4914, Peel CAS
– Mary, CUPE 3904, Ryerson University
– Bhupinder & Inderdep, United Workers Canada
– Sandeep, NDP Brampton
– Fair Wages Brampton
– Jim McDowell, Peel Regional Labour Council

Our afternoon visit from National Treasurer Charles Fleury was a bit more subdued, but still important. Before coming to Celebration Square, Charles had visited our sisters and brothers in CUPE Local 2974, the Essex Public Library Workers, who are also on strike. He was delivering greetings of thanks and strength. He was also delivering our second $5,000 donation of the day!

And our brothers from CUPE 3902, University of Toronto, are sending a $2,000 donation. Pretty amazing, this solidarity stuff.

The new issue of The Mississauga News has a picture of president Laura Kaminker proudly marching on the line on the cover and a very positive story inside. There still has been no word from the City, and not one word from Mayor Bonnie Crombie. However, we did hear from an unnamed source that — pardon the expression — huge shit-storms are ricocheting all over City Hall.

And there was an emergency Library Board meeting this week. … Hmm, what could that have been about?

Here is the text of a letter one of our customers sent to Library Director Rose Vespa:

Dear Ms. Vespa,

As a regular user of the Mississauga library system, I am disappointed that negotiations with CUPE have failed. I am also dismayed by today’s report in the Mississauga News that includes CUPE’s characterization of library workers’ contracts as “the very definition of precarious work” with part-time workers having “no benefits, no paid sick time or bereavement leave and no paid vacation” and “nothing but a constantly changing schedule that prevents them from holding down a second job, yet offers only 12 to 16 hours a week, often less.” I am sure that neither you nor I would want to have to work in those conditions. I do hope that the city will make a better and more compassionate offer so that we can all continue to benefit from this wonderful service.

Thank you.

John S.

This Saturday, the Strike Committee and the Executive are meeting to debrief for the week and strategize for the week ahead. If you have ideas that you want to pass along, we are listening.

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wmtc: from the front lines, day four

Every day, more and more members are coming out on the line!At least 250 people were at Thursday’s morning rally and lunch-time barbecue with CUPE Ontario. Spirits were very high, and we were NOISY!We were joined by members of many other unions:- Ryan … . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day four

wmtc: from the front lines, day three

Here are some highlights of the incredible support our strike action is generating:1 – A customer called this morning. “Good morning, I am a library patron, just calling to say we support you. It is so hot today, would a donation of water be acceptable… . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day three

wmtc: from the front lines, day three

Here are some highlights of the incredible support our strike action is generating:1 – A customer called this morning. “Good morning, I am a library patron, just calling to say we support you. It is so hot today, would a donation of water be acceptable… . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day three

wmtc: from the front lines, day two

We had another great turnout on Tuesday. When I arrived at 8:30 AM, there were already 100 people making noise at our favourite corner, and another 40-50 waiting to sign in.So what did we learn today…?The labour community rocks!Folks from the Ontario… . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day two

wmtc: from the front lines, day two

We had another great turnout on Tuesday. When I arrived at 8:30 AM, there were already 100 people making noise at our favourite corner, and another 40-50 waiting to sign in.So what did we learn today…?The labour community rocks!Folks from the Ontario… . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day two

wmtc: from the front lines, day one

About 200 of us were on the picket lines today. Despite the blazing temperatures, our spirits were high. We waved our signs and our flags, showing our pride to every passerby.MediaI did interviews with the Toronto Star, CBC (we were at 6:00 PM), CTV, C… . . . → Read More: wmtc: from the front lines, day one

wmtc: mississauga library workers vote overwhelmingly to strike

Yesterday, the members of CUPE Local 1989, Mississauga Library Workers Union, voted overwhelmingly to strike. Amid massive turnout in three separate meetings, 96% of the members in attendance said they are willing to take strike action in order to win … . . . → Read More: wmtc: mississauga library workers vote overwhelmingly to strike

wmtc: it’s crunch time at the bargaining table

Now here’s an interesting calendar of events.June 27-29: The Negotiating Committee for CUPE Local 1989, Mississauga Library Workers Union, returns to the bargaining table for three days.June 30: The Negotiating Committee presents membership with a sett… . . . → Read More: wmtc: it’s crunch time at the bargaining table

wmtc: dogtopia: a dog hotel comes to mississauga (and we give it a great review)

When we travel, we’ve always had someone stay over in our home with the dogs. In almost 30 years of dogs, we only boarded our dogs once. It was not a good experience, and we never did it again. Also, for many years, our schedules also required a dogwal… . . . → Read More: wmtc: dogtopia: a dog hotel comes to mississauga (and we give it a great review)

wmtc: blue jays vs. royals, library style

Library smackdown? Toronto Public Library vs. Kansas City Library, via Twitter.

wmtc: a historic opportunity for residents of peel region: vote ndp on october 19

In the upcoming federal election, Peel residents have an opportunity to make a real difference for ourselves, our neighbours, and all of Canada. We can support a platform aimed at supporting working people, preserving and expanding public healthcare, restoring our democracy, and protecting our environment. We can vote NDP.

NDP candidates are running in . . . → Read More: wmtc: a historic opportunity for residents of peel region: vote ndp on october 19

wmtc: sunrise from the 19th floor

19th floor, central Mississauga, facing east. For locals, this is from the corner of Hurontario and Burnhamthorpe.

You can see a bit of Lake Ontario on the right.

Toronto is not that close. I’m zooming in. Here’s the actual foreground. . . . → Read More: wmtc: sunrise from the 19th floor

wmtc: the other side of waste management in peel: shocking lack of recycling in apartment buildings

Goodbye, old friends

In the 10 years I’ve lived in Mississauga, I’ve always been impressed with Peel Region’s recycling and trash management. Now that I live in an apartment, I’m seeing another side of those services, and it’s not pretty.

First, there’s no “green bin” – organics – recycling. I’ve grown so accustomed to . . . → Read More: wmtc: the other side of waste management in peel: shocking lack of recycling in apartment buildings

wmtc: wheelchair rugby finals, parapan am games 2015

The 2015 Pan Am Games and Parapan Am Games were held in Toronto and the GTA this summer. Although I regard these events as a ridiculous waste of money, a very bad deal for residents of the host cities, there was one very bright upside for me: the opportunity to see some disability sports, nearby . . . → Read More: wmtc: wheelchair rugby finals, parapan am games 2015

wmtc: thoughts on luxury, plus know your rights, rental edition, part three

We have to move.

We are heartsick over it.

Our landlord is selling the house we live in. We’re not letting ourselves get kicked out (see below), but chances are very good we’ll have to move, so we’re taking steps to find a place sooner rather than later.

With the shock of our . . . → Read More: wmtc: thoughts on luxury, plus know your rights, rental edition, part three

wmtc: more art and culture in the suburbs: indian art activism and the baps mandir

In September my mother was here for her annual visit. I always plan some art or cultural attraction for us to take in. This time she was recovering from some knee surgery, so major walking in Toronto was out. On a previous visit, we had already done most of the cultural attractions in Mississauga – . . . → Read More: wmtc: more art and culture in the suburbs: indian art activism and the baps mandir

wmtc: steve mahoney for mayor of mississauga

We’re having a historic election here in Mississauga: it will be the first time in the city’s existence that Hazel McCallion is not running, the first mayor other than McCallion that Mississauga has ever had. Twelve candidates are on the ballot, but the race comes down to two people: Steve Mahoney and Bonnie Crombie.

. . . → Read More: wmtc: steve mahoney for mayor of mississauga

wmtc: guest post: "rob ford, eid prayer and the silencing of dissent"

Rob Ford, Eid Prayer and the Silencing of Dissentby Fizza Mir

July 30, 2014

My Eid started out like most, enjoying a morning coffee after a month of abstinence, rushing to get to the downtown prayers at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and navigating through hoards of playful children and beautifully dressed congregants. The khutbah . . . → Read More: wmtc: guest post: "rob ford, eid prayer and the silencing of dissent"

wmtc: summer, teens, the library, and me

Yesterday was my first summer program at the library. Attendance was low, but very keen. An artist and activist (who happens to be a friend of mine from the war resisters movement) led a workshop I called “Comix that Save the World”. We explored the use of the comics form to express larger social concerns. . . . → Read More: wmtc: summer, teens, the library, and me

wmtc: sometimes knowing your rights is all it takes: in which we win our landlord battle

We won! And we won so easily, we’re left scratching our heads and asking, “What just happened?”

As you’ll recall, our landlord asked for an illegal rent increase – 10.5% when the legal allowable is 0.8%! – and implied that he would resort to dirty tricks if we didn’t pay.

We did our homework, checked . . . → Read More: wmtc: sometimes knowing your rights is all it takes: in which we win our landlord battle

wmtc: know your rights, rental edition, part two

Just about one year ago today – July 8, 2013, to be exact – our area was hit with a massive flood that swamped homes, cars, highways, trains, and . . . our basement. The basement had been Allan’s office. The office in which he was working to meet a publishing deadline. Stressful? You . . . → Read More: wmtc: know your rights, rental edition, part two

wmtc: a baby polar bear, three white lions, and my first visit to the toronto zoo

After living in the Toronto area for more than eight years, I still had never visited the Toronto Zoo, opting for several trips to Jungle Cat World and the Haliburton Wolf Centre instead (links here and here). But when one of the polar bears in the Toronto Zoo gave birth in November, there was . . . → Read More: wmtc: a baby polar bear, three white lions, and my first visit to the toronto zoo