The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 70/No. 18           May 8, 2006  
On the Picket Line
1,000 rally in N.Y. to back TWU
Roberto Mercado
Transport Workers Union Local 100 president Roger Toussaintspeaks in New York after march across the Brooklyn Bridge April 24. He then reported for a 10-day jail term imposed under the antilabor Taylor Law for strike by 34,000 transit workers in December.
Police in Mexico attack
strikers occupying steel plant

On April 20 about 600 police attacked striking workers occupying the Sicartsa steel plant in the western state of Michoacán in southern Mexico. The plant is owned by Group Villacero. Three workers were killed, two of them from gunfire by the cops, who threw tear gas canisters at the workers. One cop was killed and more than 30 people injured. The steel facility employs 2,100 unionized workers. “Workers remained in control of the plant despite the police operation,” the BBC reported. Workers have been on strike since the beginning of April to protest the government’s refusal to recognize Napoleón Gómez as head of the Miners and Steelworkers Union. Federal officials accused him of misappropriating funds paid by copper company Grupo Mexico into a trust for workers.

—Brian Williams  
Paperworkers in Quebec
fight layoffs, plant closure

LEBEL-SUR-QUEVILLON, Quebec—The 360 members of the Chemical, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) have been locked out by Domtar in northern Quebec since Nov. 24, 2005. Two days earlier workers at the pulp plant had voted by 97 percent to reject the company demands that would lead to the layoff of more than 100 workers. Domtar wants layoffs by department, ignoring overall seniority. “If you don’t have seniority you haven’t got a union,” Ron Allard told the Militant on the picket line.

One of the latest acts of solidarity for the mill workers was an April 10 rally that drew 1,500 people in a community of 3,500. In Malartic, in the same area, CEP-organized workers at the Domtar sawmill are fighting the announced closure of the plant, now scheduled for May 5.

—Joe Young and
Annette Kouri
Locked-out carpenters
in Ontario appeal for support

VAUGHAN, Ontario—Some 60 members of Carpenters Union Local 1072 have been locked out since last December, by idX here, just north of Toronto. The unionists refused to accept the company’s contract proposal, which included a 33 percent reduction in pay and benefit and pension cuts. IdX has brought in replacement workers and hired private antiunion security. “It’s union-busting 100 percent, they’re not interested in negotiating, but in getting rid of the union,” Local 1072 business agent Tony Orelas told the Militant in the union picket trailer on April 17. The Ontario Federation of Labor is appealing to other unionists to give their support by visiting the picket line and sending solidarity messages or financial contributions. These can be sent to Tony Orelas, c/o Carpenters Union Local 1072, 222 Rowntree Dairy Road, Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 9T2.

—Beverly Bernardo  
Australia: protesters condemn
wage cuts at Opera House

SYDNEY, Australia—A series of protests at the Sydney Opera House, called by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the United Service Group has agreed to re-negotiate a union contract for the 20 maintenance workers there. The company, which is taking over maintenance work at the Opera House, had initially offered nonunion individual contracts that cut pay by 15 percent to 20 percent. Joao Mavureira, the union delegate, and Adriano Juarez, still on light duty after being seriously injured on the job, weren’t offered contracts—or jobs—by the new company. The protests began February 24 with the largest in early March. Negotiations on the contract are now taking place.

—Bob Aiken
Related articles:
Two more miners die in Kentucky  
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