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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:14 pm EDT)
Safety Survey Results
The AWPPW staffed a booth at the annual safety conference and asked folks to fill out an anonymous survey about safety where they work.  There were 142 people who participated in the survey and the totals are listed under each category of the questions asked. Friday, December 8, 2017 2:33 pm EST

AWPPW Local 675 Members 94% Rejection of WestRock Labor Offer
. Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:56 pm EDT

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) formally begins this August 16 - RSVP to the Portland Town Hall
. Monday, August 7, 2017 6:36 pm EDT

An inside look at how Koch Industries does business

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 4:59 pm EDT

Japan's Nippon Paper to buy US beverage container operation
June 16, 2016 2:00 am JST Japan's Nippon Paper to buy US beverage container operation src=http://asia.nikkei. Wednesday, June 15, 2016 6:26 pm EDT

( Last updated Wednesday, September 19, 2018 4:14 pm EDT)
Claiming Human Rights for All

The 2018 Unifor Human Rights Conference was a celebration and a call to action. Delegates came together after two years at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario.

A lot has happened in the past two years; the presence of right-wing governments that spread racist, xenophobic organizing was felt in all conversations. Delegates looked to their own experiences and to our shared history to plan a path forward.

Unifor Human Rights Director Christine Maclin laid out the task ahead of union activists, “The hate is here. We cannot pretend that it is not. We cannot send people with hateful ideologies into corners and pretend that they don’t exist. They won’t go away.”

Presentations from Alex Neve of Amnesty International Canada and author Robyn Maynard put this work into context.

Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives, shared some of her research on Canada’s legacy of anti-Black racism, framing this racism as a system of power, not a set of beliefs held by individuals.

Unifor welcomed two special guests from the Bermuda Public Service Union, President Jason Hayward and Vice-President Linda Bogle-Meinzer. Their union has begun to prioritize anti-harassment work in recent years and has made space for workers to share their whole stories and live their authentic lives.

Many of our workplaces are not accessible spaces for workers with disabilities. Unifor lawyer Niki Lundquist and Derek MacLeod, National Chair of the Workers with disABILITIES Committee, made an informative presentation on the dire need for increased advocacy for workers with disabilities, and to build workplaces that are truly accessible.  

Before an inspiring Living Stories social, Unifor National President Jerry Dias shared stories about the legacy of Dr. Bromley Armstrong, and how his work showed that “racism and discrimination are deeply rooted in Canadian culture.”

Despite the challenges that lay ahead, delegates and presenters showed hope in the face of oppression. Alex Neve reminded all members present, “The international human rights movement is stronger than ever and does not relent. People do not stay silent in the face of oppression.”

Many speakers referenced great resources at the conference, find some of these below.

My Name’s Not George: The Story of the Sleeping Car Porters in Canada

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present

Report of the Unifor Equity Advisory Task Force, 2018

Inclusive Practices Toolkit

Monday, September 17, 2018 3:15 am EDT

Unifor members pitch in to help NDP win byelection

The NDP continues to gain ground on the ruling conservatives in Saskatchewan after a byelection win on September 12. The byelection in Regina North East was the third since 2016 in which a Sask Party seat went to the NDP.

Unifor Western Regional Director Joie Warnock says Unifor is playing a role in building to the next general election, expected in 2020.

“Campaigning and building a progressive movement doesn’t stop between elections,” said Warnock. “Big money drives the conservatives, and grassroots mobilizing is what sustains our movement.”

Unifor’s member-to-member campaign in Regina North East was led by members Lorne Hill, Bill Lawson, and Dave Lyons-Morgan. Unifor organized a canvassing blitz during advanced voting and conducted a phone bank. In all, nearly 500 Unifor members were contacted during the campaign.

Monday, September 17, 2018 10:45 am EDT

Rail members meet to discuss common front

Representatives of Unifor’s 9,200 members in the rail sector met on September 12 to discuss strategies for establishing a common table for bargaining this fall.

“We’re stronger together,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Pattern bargaining can be an incredibly effective tool to secure a fair collective agreement sector-wide.”

Unifor’s rail membership includes workers in servicing and repair in the shop crafts, operations, onboard services, and ticketing across eight companies: Canadian National Rail, Via Rail, Canadian Pacific Rail, Ontario Northland, Toronto Terminal Railways, Savage Alberta Railway, Algoma Central Railway, and the Hudson Bay Railway.

At the meeting, members received presentations on benefits challenges, current issues in the skilled trades, effective mobilization, and bargaining communications, which paved the way for a wide-ranging strategy discussion about common bargaining demands.

“It was really encouraging to see us come together to find ways to work together and develop a plan of action,” said Zoltan Czippel, Vice President of the Mountain Region for Unifor Local 100. “Every round of bargaining in this sector is tough, so it makes sense for rail locals to present a united front.


Thursday, September 13, 2018 1:00 am EDT

Unifor activists push employers and municipalities to call for universal pharmacare

As we ramp up the call for federal, provincial and territorial governments to take immediate action in instituting national pharmacare, more and more employers and municipalities are coming on board.

“Our workplaces and our communities are important stakeholders in the call for universal pharmacare,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President. “It is heartening to see the support for national pharmacare grow, and it gives us the momentum we need at this crucial juncture.”

People, organizations and voters across Canada are mobilizing to demand action from governments on universal pharmacare. An increasing number of employers and municipal officials recognize that Canada needs national pharmacare to succeed in a global economy, instead of the current bewildering patchwork of programs and plans that leaves many Canadians out. Consider presenting this municipal motion to your City Council, or this joint union-employer letter to your employer for their support in calling for national pharmacare.  

Below are some of the employers who are now proud supporters of universal pharmacare, having signed the joint union-employer letter in support of national prescription drug coverage. By signing the letter, these employers recognize that universal pharmacare will help benefit all of us, and the time for that change is now.

  1. Resolute
  2. Jervis B. Web Co in Mississauga, Ontario
  3. Gab Induspac in Candiac, Quebec
  4. Wilson Display in Brampton, Ontario
  5. Torstar Corporation in Toronto, Ontario
  6. Solvay in Niagara Falls, Ontario
  7. Bruce A. Smith Limited
  8. Genpak
  9. LP Canadian Operations
  10. Port Arthur Health Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario
  11. Post Media
  12. New Flyer Bus in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Unifor activists are also bringing the call for pharmacare to their municipalities. So far, these municipalities and municipal associations have endorsed a national pharmacare plan:

  • Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) (April 23, 2015)
  • Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) (June 2016)
  • Town of Marathon (April 13, 2015)
  • City of Hamilton (August 12, 2015)
  • Town of Ajax (September 14, 2015)
  • Region of Durham (November 4, 2015)
  • Regional Municipality of Peel (November 12, 2015)
  • Town of Whitby (November 23, 2015)
  • Township of Uxbridge (November 30, 2015)
  • City of Toronto (December 9, 2015)
  • Municipality of Clarington (December 15, 2015)
  • City of Kingston (March 22, 2016)
  • County of Peterborough (January 18, 2017)
  • Municipality of Huron East (February 7, 2017)
  • Township of O’Connor (February 13, 2017)
  • County of Prince Edward (March 14, 2017)
  • City of Brantford (March 21, 2017)
  • City of Thunder Bay (April 9, 2017)

“These city councils and organizations demonstrate a commitment to addressing the real harm that lack of universal access to prescription drugs causes,” said Andy Savela, Director of Health Care. “They are paving the way for others to also advocate for a universal pharmacare plan that would offer consistent coverage, leading to a healthier population as well as savings.”

The well-being of all people in our country forms the foundation of a healthy, engaged and economically vibrant community. Yet, Canada remains the only developed country with a universal health care system that has no universal prescription drug coverage.

The time to act is now – let the government know that we need an accessible, affordable and inclusive pharmacare plan that covers all Canadians, regardless of income, age, or where the person works or lives. Participate in the federal government’s online consultation and share your thoughts on how we can best implement pharmacare.

For more information, read this letter from Jerry Dias, Unifor National President on how national pharmacare would benefit Canada.



Wednesday, September 12, 2018 4:15 am EDT

187 retirees convene for 2018 annual council

This week retired members gathered in Port Elgin for the annual National Retired Workers’ Council, which represents more than 38,000 retirees across Canada.

“Our retired workers have paved the way for the today and tomorrow’s workers to continue the fight for the good jobs and a fair share of economic progress,” said Bob Orr, National Secretary-Treasurer in a speech Council.

On Labour Day, more than 1200 retired workers participated in the Port Elgin Parade, in collaboration with the Grey Bruce Labour Council. Floats, horse-driven carriages and off road vehicles were all featured at this parade, which saw a big turnout from the community of Port Elgin.  All attendees at the parade were then welcomed back to Unifor’s Family Education Centre for an afternoon of BBQ, draw prizes and family friendly activities such as face-painting and balloon art. Featured speakers included Mike Smith, Mayor of Saugeen Shores, Kevin Smith, of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and President of Grey Bruce Labour Council, and Dave Trumble, Power Workers Union, Labour Council Labour Day Chair.

In a touching act of solidarity with the striking workers of OPSEU Local 276 at Owen Sound Family Health Centre, all attendees, locked arms with the workers who are protesting unfair working conditions and low wages. Affiliate leadership from OPSEU 276, including Karen Gventer, Local President took to the stage to express thanks for Unifor’s ongoing support at the picket line. Demonstrating this ongoing support, over a 100 retirees volunteered to go to the picket line in Owen Sound, as bargaining continues.

Delegates discussed various health issues and pro-active aging. They watched presentations from Micheline Robichaud of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, and Clara Fitzgerald, Canadian Centre for Activity & Aging who shared tips for fall prevention, aging well and staying healthy. Walking the walk, Christy Micallef from the Centre led an energizing, interactive session that had members join along in strength training and stretching exercises.

Other guest speakers included Sandra Hong from Alzheimer’s Society of Grey Bruce, and Nancy Kline and Dale Murdoch of Diabetes Grey Bruce. Drawing the sessions to a close, Dr. Aric Sudicky detailed some preventative approaches to healthy aging. Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, told delegates that retirees have an opportunity to play a crucial role in building and supporting the union.

In addition, John Vanderpool, of Retired Workers’ Chapter 1451 won the Retired Worker of the Year award for his/her contributions to union activism.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 4:45 am EDT

Members at Tandus Carpets ratify collective agreement

Unifor Local 4612 members at Tandus Carpets plant in Truro, Nova Scotia have voted in favour of a new three-year contract. The 172 members working in textile manufacturing at the plant ratified the collective agreement on August 25, 2018.

“Our bargaining committee was persistent in getting the best contract for our members,” said Local 4612 President Greg Berry. “We improved our contract language,  increased wages and strengthened our benefits.

The agreement includes adding the Civic Holiday as a paid holiday, improving the overtime banking provisions and annual wage increases of two per cent per year over the life of the contract.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018 2:45 am EDT

Forestry workers celebrate tariff rejection

Unifor and the Canadian forestry industry were vindicated on August 29 when the U.S. Independent Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that tariffs on Canadian-made newsprint were unwarranted.

“We were always confident that a sober, non-partisan look at the facts would show that these tariffs were totally unjustified,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President of the anti-dumping and countervailing tariffs that were first levied against Catalyst and Kruger mills in January 2018.

Unifor members and the communities of Cornerbrook N.L., Trois Rivières QC, Port Alberni BC, Powell River BC, and Crofton BC all stood to lose hundreds of good, union jobs. The union immediately launched a campaign calling on Canada’s federal government to act, deploying videos, radio ads, emails to the forestry ministers, rallies, and lobbying in both Ottawa and Washington.

On August 29, the ITC unanimously ruled that Canadian newsprint do not materially injure or threaten to injure U.S. industry. The ruling overturns the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision to impose combined tariffs that were at one point as high as 32% on Catalyst’s products.

“Just as with NAFTA negotiations, the Government of Canada must be aggressive in its pursuit of keeping and creating good, unionized jobs in Canada,” said Dias. “Trade must be centred on decent wages, fair labour standards, and first-class health and safety regulations for all partner countries.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 6:00 am EDT

Unifor condemns conviction of journalists in Myanmar

Unifor condemns the conviction of two Reuters journalists who were sentenced to 7 years in prison after covering the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

“This verdict undermines the fundamental freedom of the press and the work of journalists who were doing their jobs, trying to cover the fight for democracy in Myanmar,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted Monday for illegally possessing government documents, under an archaic Myanmar law.

They were investigating the killing of Rohingya villagers by security forces of Rohingya villagers at the time of their arrest.

The evidence presented by the same security forces has been criticized by several legal experts who argue that the convictions should be overturned.

The Rohingya are a stateless people who lived primarily in Rakhine State on Myanmar’s west coast. Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims has been widely condemned by Canada and other countries. A majority of the Rohingya people are Muslim and have faced repeated persecution, including military crackdowns that began in 2016. An estimated 900,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the violence.

Unifor supports Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s demand that the journalists be released immediately.

Fearless, independent reporting is vital to democracy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 4:30 am EDT


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