MARCH 16, 2005 – Tomorrow, March 5, will see marches across the country to celebrate International Women’s Day. Your paper (The Toronto Star) will undoubtedly cover these events. But to really cover issues of women’s rights, your paper should also cover a story a little closer to home.
Since December 6, 59 mostly women workers – members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union (CEP), Local 87-M – have been on strike against Brabant Newspapers, a company owned by TorStar – the owners of your newspaper.
These workers earn a top rate of $8.99 an hour. But they have been offered precisely nothing in year one of a new contract, followed by “raises” of 13 cents and 14 cents an hour. They can accept this, and a one-time lump sum payment of $400 – if they abandon a pay-equity complaint laid against the company.
The women are arguing that they are being paid less than male workers who do similar work, and should receive a pay-equity increase of $1.52 an hour – which would take their top pay to the “princely” sum of $10.53 an hour.
Let’s really stand up for women’s rights – by supporting these strikers in their fight against poverty wages, and for pay equity.
Paul Kellogg, Toronto
Letter from striking workers
Thanks for again showing your support and solidarity by withdrawing work from Hamilton Web and making other socially conscious customers aware of our dispute.
It’s not surprising that many people don’t know about our strike because Brabant hasn’t printed a single story on it 96 days into the dispute and the Spectator has only run a couple of brief items. Our company is obviously also neglecting to inform customers of our strike.
And thank you for also writing a letter-to-the-editor (to the Toronto Star) on our Brabant/Hamilton Web strike. I’m sure they won’t print it, but it’s nice to let Star bosses know people are aware of their corporate hypocrisy.
Richard Leitner, union chair
© 2005 Paul Kellogg. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.