Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loads Of Stories

I am truly amazed at the number of interesting stories that are out there. They just keep coming and coming.


  • "Mayor Eddie Francis and city councillors have been told to stay away from this year's Labour Day parade and events, labour council president Gary Parent said Thursday.

    Parent said the move is in response to the mayor's conduct during the 15-week strike by 1,800 municipal employees, members of CUPE locals 543 and 82...

    "It's unfortunate some are not able to move on."

    But the mayor said he will abide by the request.

    "It's their parade," Francis said. "Gary Parent, I'm sure, doesn't want me there and I will respect that."

Interestingly, Councillors Jones and Lewenza were there.


  • "An apparent snub from a major labour union didn't stop Toronto Mayor David Miller from stopping by the country's longest-running Labour Day parade.

    While Miller has been a fixture at the annual parade since taking office, he was told to stay away last week by Toronto and York Region Labour Council president John Cartwright.

    The animosity apparently stems from the way Miller handled this summer's acrimonious municipal strike, which kept 30,000 Toronto public employees off the job for 39 days.

    But on Monday, as thousands of workers marched along Queen Street in the city's downtown, Miller could be seen shaking hands, posing for photographs and chatting with workers. However, he reportedly avoided speaking with city employees."


The infamous quote:

  • "Parent also showed a taste of his firebrand style. He declared how proud he was to stand together in a "pretty damn good fight" with members of CUPE local 82 and 543 at City Hall, who were on strike for 101 days this summer, against what he suggested was an anti-union mayor and council.

    "There is no better labour city than Windsor," said Parent, who made his last words as a labour leader speaking to a rally a parting shot. "This is our community. And Mayor Francis, go to hell!"


  • "'And Mayor Francis, go to hell!'

    Retiring labour council president Parent gives parting shot"


  • "Parent chides francis in parting labour day shot"


I still think that we are just waiting for a CUPE decertification vote. And I still think that CAW wants to take over.

But how would they dare do that with Sid Ryan around you might ask? What if Sid was NO LONGER around:

  • "Already adept at making his voice heard, Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario President Sid Ryan might soon acquire an even bigger soapbox: the presidency of the Ontario Federation of Labour.

    Ryan, whose tenacity in fighting union battles has endeared him to many workers but whose outspokenness has occasionally produced controversy, said Friday that he is considering, but not yet committed to, a run for the OFL leadership...

    Sharleen Stewart, president of Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada, said "all of the leaders in Ontario are basically in discussions with Sid about the possibility..."

    The CAW, Canada's largest private sector union, has not been affiliated with the OFL since 2000. Its president Ken Lewenza spoke favourably of a potential Ryan candidacy, saying "there's no question" Ryan seeks to unite the labour movement once more.

    "And he works incredibly hard," he said. "I know there's been times of controversy, but I don't think there's any question that he's committed to trade unionism and social unionism and to world peace."


The Star story said:

  • "City council voted Monday night to deny post-retirement benefits to all future elected municipal politicians."

    Not quite true as you can see below:

Unfortunately, I did not keep a copy of the original Motion the Councillor introduced but after I read it I sent him a note:

  • "You have cut off Councillors elected on or before April 17, 2009 from anything unless they are elected for 4 terms.

    They are worse off than Councillors newly elected to Council on or after April 17, 2009."

And people think I am not helpful to Councillors. But not even a thank you back.


A fascinating comment I read in the Globe and Mail. What are Joe and Brian going to do for Windsor now given their enviable position of power. If past experience is our guide, don't hold your breath waiting. So why do we keep voting NDP?

  • "Let’s be serious: the NDP, which has no shortage of trade unionists among its members, should have no difficulty understanding its current bargaining power. Since the 2004 election of Paul Martin, none of the opposition parties has held the balance of power in the House of Commons. Now, Jack Layton is again clearly in the catbird seat.

    With that strength, there’s no reason for Mr. Layton not to go public with his price for supporting the government. He already sorta kinda did that yesterday, but he needs to make clear his demands as well as the quid pro quo."


We see the glowing Report from Luftansa Consulting about our airport

Then there are these stories from Lufthansa Cargo:

  1. "Lufthansa reported the six month long plunge in cargo traffic leveled out in May, mirroring the experience of its close European rivals Air France-KLM and British Airways.

    Lufthansa Cargo, Europe's second largest scheduled cargo airline, carried 125,000 tonnes of freight in May, a 9.1 percent decline from a year ago that left traffic in the first five months of 2009 down 21.4 percent at 566,000 tonnes.

    The decline in May shipments is a major improvement on the steep declines earlier in the year which peaked at 26.7 percent in April on sharply lower German exports to North America and the Asia/Pacific region.

    Lufthansa Cargo's sales fell, however, by 15.7 percent in May from a year ago, as yields remained under pressure.

    Capacity was 9 percent lower than a year ago, trimming the load factor, or capacity utilization, by 4.8 percentage points, to 60.3 percent.

    The Lufthansa group's overall freight traffic, including Swiss World Cargo, fell by 10 percent in May to 141,000 tonnes from 158,000 tonnes in the year-earlier period. Volume in the first five months of the year was 21 percent lower at 645,000 tonnes.

    "Cargo demand has stabilized at a very low level, which is giving good reason for substantial concern for the future of this business," said Christoph Franz, chief executive officer of Lufthansa's Swiss unit.

    We are not forecasting a miracle," Franz, who is also deputy CEO of Lufthansa, said at this week's meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Kuala Lumpur.

    The Americas network recovered from a 35.8 percent plunge in April shipments, with May volume down 13.6 percent at 39,000 tonnes."
  2. "Lufthansa May Sell Freighter Fleet

    Cargo chief warns Frankfurt night flight ban would force move

    Lufthansa Cargo warned it might give up its fleet of freighters if night flights are outlawed at its Frankfurt airport hub.

    "Everything that goes toward a single-digit number (of night flights) would mean that it no longer pays off to have our own cargo fleet," said Lufthansa Cargo Chief Executive Carsten Spohr...

    Lufthansa Cargo could gradually reduce its fleet of 19 MD-11 freighters if night flights are restricted, Spohr said. Freighters carry around half of Lufthansa Cargo's shipments with the remainder carried on Lufthansa's passenger aircraft.

    The carrier has ruled out moving its hub to other airports, including Leipzig, the base of AeroLogic, its recently established joint venture cargo carrier with Deutsche Post DHL.

    Lufthansa earlier announced plans to ground six freighters beginning in October and mothball four of them for at least a year in response to "feeble demand and a collapse in average yields."

Hmmm Lufthansa carries half of its cargo in passenger planes. Can our single carrier Air Canada Jazz fill up Eddie's Cargo Village? Why should Windsor get into a business that Luftansa Cargo may be exiting?