Thursday, December 10, 2009

As the Vale Inco strike drags on into the holidays, without any sign of resolution, strikers in Sudbury are seeing the community rally behind them. Today, on International Human Rights Day, a week of action began with a candlelight vigil. Here's the story from the strike support website Fair Deal Now.
Candle Light Vigil and Support Strike kick off a ‘Week of Action’:
SUDBURY—The Sudbury District Labour Council (SDLC) will be holding a candle light vigil to commemorate International Human Rights Day and to support the Steelworker’s strike at Vale-Inco on Thursday, December 10th at 6:00 pm. The event, which is sponsored by both the SDLC and United Steelworkers Local 6500 will start at the McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff and continue with a candle-lit procession to the Steelworkers’ picket line at Vale’s smelter.

The vigil will be held on International Human Rights Day—the day that marks the 61st anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The Declaration includes several articles on economic human rights and workers’ rights including the right to work and join trade unions (Article 23), the right to rest and leisure (Article 24) and the right to a decent standard of living (Article 25).

Organizers say they want to show that the Steelworkers fight at Vale is a human rights issue. “Workers’ rights and the right to decent work and a decent standard of living are some of the most important aspects of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. We see the Steelworkers fight at Vale as a human rights issue, and an issue impacting this entire community, not just the members of Local 6500.”

Week of Action for Working Families The Workers’ Rights are Human Rights Candle Light Vigil will kick off a Week of Action for Working Families in Sudbury and at Vale locations across Canada. In Sudbury union members, student activists, retirees, and families of the strikers are planning six days of action on the picket lines and across town. The week is being organized by USW members and community supporters as an opportunity to display widespread and growing support for the Union’s struggle for a Fair Deal at Vale-Inco.
Contact: John Fera, President, USW Local 6500—705-675-3381
John Closs, President, SDLC–705-929-1496
For a full schedule of Week of Action events, please click here.
Here's the schedule of events for the coming week.
Thursday, December 10th—International Human Rights Day Candlelight Vigil on the Picket Lines, sponsored by the Sudbury District Labour Council and the United Steelworkers
Event starts at 6:00 pm at the McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff and continuing at the Smelter Picketline.

Friday, December 11th—Out of the Classrooms and Onto the Picket Lines! Students and faculty from Laurentian University are coming out to hold ‘class’ at the picket line at Clarabelle Mill at 11:00 am. Sponsored by the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) and Laurentian Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).

Saturday, December 12th—Sunday, December 13th—Families Supporting the Strikers Fundraiser. Bake sale, penny tables, indoor yard sale, face painting, door prizes, jewelry, and private vendors. Admission is $2.00 and children under 10 get in free.
Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.
At the new Steel Hall at 66 Brady St.

Sunday, December 13th—Steelworker Solidarity with the Strike
Join a busload of USW members from the Toronto area for an action on the Clarabelle Mill picket line at noon.

Monday, December 14th—Lessons from the Past—Protecting What We’ve Won
Retired veterans of the 1978 strike and other struggles at Inco tell their stories of how we won the contractual benefits we have now. Starts at 1:00 at the Smelter Picket Line.

Tuesday, December 15th—Fair Deal for Our Families—Join members of the Families Supporting the Strikers Committee as they march from Copper Cliff Park to Vale’s offices to deliver a message of support for the strikers. The event starts at 3:00 at Copper Cliff Park and the march steps off at 3:30.

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