Wednesday, May 2, 2007

May Day Radio

Radio program on migrant struggles and May Day, including:

RECLAIMING MAY DAY: People around the world are celebrating May Day today. It's a public holiday in many countries, everywhere from Brazil to Egypt, from the Philippines to India. Although Canada doesn't officially celebrate May Day, immigrant rights groups have begun using May 1st as a day to push for better working conditions. For more on this, we're joined by our immigration researcher, Bethany Or.

WORKING IN CANADA: In our series Working in Canada, RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda has been looking at how new immigrants can continue in their profession once they get here to Canada. Over the past few months we've looked at the basic differences between regulated and unregulated occupations. We've also looked at how to find work in different occupations such as carpenter, a dentist or an accountant. Today Wojtek looks at car mechanics.

ON THIS DAY: We continue to mark May Day now with a look back in history. May Day is a day of worker solidarity celebrated by the labour union movement worldwide. It was also the day when, in 1956, a major event occurred in Canadian labour history. With that story, we're joined now by Jim Craig and his column On This Day.

CANADIAN IN CHINA PRISON: Huseyin Celil is still in prison in China and is likely to stay there for a long time. Canada's foreign affairs minister was in China and met at length with the foreign minister yesterday. But he failed to convince him that Mr. Celil is a Canadian citizen and so, deserves visits from Canadian consular officials. The Chinese minister did say Mr. Celil has not been tortured. That's small comfort to his family and the groups working to secure his release. RCI’s Lynn Desjardins joins us with the latest.

TEMPORARY WORKERS’ SAFETY: Last week, two men died in an accident at construction site in northern Alberta. The men were from China and they were in Canada on temporary work permits. Because of a labour shortage in the province, more and more businesses in Alberta are bringing in foreign workers on temporary permits. But the deaths have reopened the debate in Alberta about the practice. Critics say temporary foreign workers are more likely to be exploited and possibly injured in the workplace. The Link's working man in Alberta, Frank Rackow, joins us from our Calgary studio with that story.

MAY DAY ACROSS CANADA: Minimum wage, unemployment insurance, health benefits and the weekend. These are things many Canadians take for granted in 2007. But when the labour movement started over 100 years ago, many workers had little to no job security. May first is the day that we remember the struggles of early labour activists and fight for continued just working conditions. Across the country, communities are hosting marches and speeches, concerts and gatherings. Today we are taking a tour of May Day activities in Edmonton, Toronto and Winnipeg.

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