Dangerous Codes

May, 2007

 By Peter Kerek

 Politicians and business people often speak in code. They use certain words and terms that soften the reality of what their intentions truly are. (Please refer to the translation column near the bottom right of this page.) It’s a tactic that’s been used for as long as rulers had to make their inhumane actions sound more palatable so as not to agitate the riot-ready masses – because a rioting mass of thousands can easily overtake a few dozen armed guards, just ask any Corrections Officer.

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Council Passes Mexico Travel Boycott

May, 2007

 Interior Worker

 Revelations about the continued police and military oppression of protesters in the Oaxaca region in Southern Mexico has reached an unacceptable level.

 “We understand the need for public safety, but that’s not what this is about, this is about the Mexican government refusing to acknowledge the right to peaceful protest and also denying human rights to it’s working and native classes of people, which is where this all started from,” says Kamloops human rights activist Peter Kerek.

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“Apples and Oranges”

March, 2007

 by Peter Kerek

 Every day two women are murdered in Guatemala. The murders are rarely treated as crime scenes and bodies are often left for roaming dogs and birds to pick at for a couple days before  garbage men come to pick them up.

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Fitness Tax Credits: just another way to subsidize those who need it least

January, 2007

 by Peter Kerek

 Stephen Harper’s government has introduced what they call a fitness tax credit for parents who have their children enrolled in some kind of sports activity that induces some form of exertion and sweat.

 On the surface, it sounds like a decent idea: let’s give parents this little incentive to get their kids more active and help reduce the health problems they are bound to incur at some later point in life due to a lifestyle of inactivity.

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Parting Words: Ruth Fane Retires as KDLC President

January, 2007

 by Peter Kerek

 After two uncontested runs as President of the Kamloops and District Labour Council, Ruth Fane (formerly Ruth McDermid) did not seek re-election in the recent bi-annual election.

 “I’m now retired, so I can’t be President,” says Fane. “It’s that simple.”

 Ruth Fane became the first female President of the KDLC since its inception in 1956. Fane was President of her own local with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) for over twenty years.

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2006: Worth Forgetting – a view on labour with CUPE 3500 President John Hall

January, 2007

 By Peter Kerek

Compared to 2005 when the province barely missed a general strike, Telus workers suffered a lengthy lock-out, and teachers hit the picket lines, 2006 was a much calmer year for labour and employers.

 Numerous public sector contracts were renewed without any job action. They typically had small wage increases and a healthy signing bonus which was equal to roughly 5 – 10 per-cent of their annual income. However, labour peace does not necessarily mean that labour made great strides towards achieving the traditional goals of overall lifestyle improvements for the entire working class.

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Lest We Forget: The Mac-Paps, 1936-39

November, 2006

by Peter Kerek

Although it is known that at least 1448 Canadians volunteered for and fought in the Spanish Civil War, the Canadian government continues to deny any veterans’ rights or acknowledgement of these soldiers’ efforts to defend the democratically elected Spanish government of 1936.

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Manitoba Leads Way in Ethical Purchasing

September, 2006

By Peter Kerek

Winnipeg–Manitoba will be the first province to become “sweat-free”. The policy is expected to come into effect this fall after a legislative vote.

“In any purchases the province makes, we will try to ensure they are not produced by sweatshop labour,” said Tracey Danowski, Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Transportation.

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Who Matters Most in Trade Agreements

September, 2006

 By Peter Kerek, Editor

 I can’t possibly be the only person baffled by the recent lumber agreement discussions between the United States and Canada, or, rather, the Canadian government and American industries.

When Trade Minister David Emerson announced that he would be seeking approval from the majority of lumber businesses before agreeing to the proposed settlement, this should have rung alarm bells of the highest altitude as an indication about who’s really important to this government. Read More →

Bill Ferguson: A Friend of the Workers

July, 2006

 By Peter Kerek

 There’s no doubt Bill Ferguson is a friend of the workers.  From his early years working in logging camps where he received much of his philosophical education, to his current work on the Employment Insurance Board of Referees, there has never been any question as to where his allegiances lay.

 In fall of 2005, Ferguson was one of two recipients of honorary lifetime memberships to the Kamloops and District Labour Council (KDLC). Ferguson has been a member of the council since 1959.

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