Every week, OPSEU's We Own It campaign publishes a newsletter called The We Own It Weekly. It's a round-up of news and information about the growing movement to protect communities from privatization.
And here's the latest issue:
Fight for women by fighting privatization
In honour of International Women's Day, let's acknowledge that while privatization hurts everybody, it hurts women disproportionately.
When British Columbia privatized support services in health care, for example, it meant a huge pay cut for the people—mostly women—doing that work.
According to Canadian Dimension, their pay was cut nearly in half, from almost $20 an hour to barely more than $10 an hour. Thousands of others simply lost their jobs altogether.
The evidence is clear that privatization disproportionately hurts women:
- The UN found that privatized education "exacerbates gender discrimination."
- The International Journal of Political Economy found that privatized social security leaves women "experiencing relatively greater workplace precariousness."
- Canada's National Network on Environments and Women's Health found that water privatization leaves "Women – especially Aboriginal women – who are more often the heads of lower income households, are disproportionately represented in this group, finding themselves making difficult choices about where money is spent, having to choose among food, shelter, and safe water."
So this International Women's Day, join the fight for women's rights and gender equity by helping spread the word about our movement for quality public services.
In the news
When the consortium behind Ottawa's privatized LRT was tunnelling under the city's downtown in the summer of 2016, a giant sinkhole opened up directly above, causing millions of dollars in damages.
But the consortium is now fighting hard to dodge financial responsibility for the sinkhole and the damage it caused.
According to CBC Ottawa, the company "believes the delay was not its fault, and shouldn't have to pay associated costs."
Meanwhile, the delays caused by the sinkhole are still costing the city "$2 million a month in expenses for things like running detours and keeping buses—and drivers—on the road longer than expected."
Who owns the privatized long-term care facility in your community?
In British Columbia, many of those facilities had been owned by a multinational insurance company called Anbang Insurance group.
As The Tyee online newspaper reports, they're now owned by the Chinese government.
"If the Chinese government’s goal is to save Anbang," writes journalist Paul Willcocks, "what pressure will be put on its global properties to deliver more cash, and how will that affect residents?"
In a surprise move, the U.S. Congressman pushing a scheme to privatize the country's air traffic control system has relented.
In a statement, Congressman Bill Shuster acknowledged that "some of my own colleagues" refused to support the plan.
According to Flying Magazine, A number of industry groups had lined up to oppose the scheme, including the National Business Aviation Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and hundreds of other general aviation groups.
We Own It Events
Rally to stop the private megadump in Leeds/Grenville
Monday, March 12, 8:30 am to 9:45 am, Brockville City Hall
Join We Own It at the Windsor Spitfires Game
Tuesday, March 27, 7 pm to 10 pm, WFCU Centre, Windsor, ON
Kenora Town Hall on Public Services
Wednesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m., Lakeside Inn, Kenora