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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am 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 Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT)
First tentative agreement reached with East Tank Farm
FORT MCMURRAY—After a year of negotiations, Unifor Local 707A and Suncor Energy Logistics have reached a tentative agreement for 13 workers at the East Tank Farm (ETF) facility north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The contract will be the first for the newly unionized group. “Unifor is a union for energy workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “A union is the best protection for workers who are often subjected to boom and bust cycles.” The first contract includes union recognition, a grievance procedure, statutory holiday pay up to 12 hours per day, and the standard severance package for Unifor energy sector workers. Wage increases will be up to 5.6 per cent in the first year, then the prevailing Suncor increase for the remaining three years (to be negotiated in 2019). Unifor also secured lump sum payments for increases delayed since the union was certified in 2017. The contract is effective beginning March 15, 2018. For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell). Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT

Unifor pushes for international gender equity
Unifor’s three regional directors, Joie Warnock, Naureen Rizvi, and Lana Payne attended the commission meeting in New York this year with Lisa Kelly, Women’s Director, and Roxanne Dubois, Young Worker Liaison. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The CSW promotes women’s rights, documents the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shapes global standards. Here are their reflections on the vital work of the UNCSW and what’s still to be done in achieving gender equity. Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director “Not only are working conditions difficult and dangerous with poor access to transportation, medical, educational and vital community services – California farmworkers and their families but these workers are also combating increasing racism and discrimination. Empowering Rural Women and Girls behind the Digital Curtains” featured a panel of Women and Indigenous Farmworkers’ organizations that described the critical work they are doing to eradicate the oppression that Farmworkers, particularly women and Indigenous farmworkers face. The Organization “Act for Women and Girls” described the critical work they are doing to eradicate the oppression that lies deep in the roots of California’s Central Valley region. ACT has created a movement of social justice leaders who raise their voices to impact their community, state and country." Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director “I am struck by how organizing is consistent across borders. Though the specifics of the struggles that we face are different, from attacks on reproductive freedoms to painful gender-based violence and colonialism, and the outcomes we seek are varied, the formula is the same- educate and organize your communities, and keep pushing until you win and eradicate the violence.  In Ontario, I mourn the seven women who have been murdered in cases of domestic violence already- this early in the year, and whose deaths have been reported by media. Their lives should not have been taken. The only thing we can and must do is to organize in our communities and our union to stop the violence, just like women are doing around the globe.” Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director “There was a significant focus on Indigenous women and girls and the reality they face across the planet, one of exploitation, violence and higher rates of murder. But here too, women are using their voices in new and profound ways. They are organizing and mobilizing, taking political and media space and refusing to allow what often seems like insurmountable odds on the path to full equality to hamper their work. Women, everywhere, from rural Norway to Kenya to northern Canada, still fighting. Still resisting. Still living with violence. Still surviving. Still demanding full rights and equality. And still telling their stories.  Perhaps finally this is the time of profound change. For certain, it won’t happen without all these women pushing together.”  Lisa Kelly, Women’s Director “The knowledge, information and contacts from these sessions will be helpful to our continuing gender equality work back in Canada. Representatives from Uruguay work on ensuring care obligations don’t lead to inequality for women in pensions or other social security programs. The government is also implementing universal child care. The representatives credited the feminist movement for pushing and achieving these measures. The Icelandic government has accelerated gender equality through effective pay equity, child care and shared parental leave to the point where the former mayor of Reykjavik said that her children, when waking in the middle of the night, were just as likely to call out for their father as they were for her.” Roxanne Dubois, Young Worker Liaison “It is informative to hear from women on the front lines of economic, reproductive and racial justice across the world. The fight for decent work is connected in so many ways to the struggle for women's rights. Reproductive justice is not only a fight for access to abortions, but it is also recognizing that precarious economic situations and the lack of affordable child care stand in the way of women and their ability to shape their own lives. It is up to all of us to build a labour movement that is inclusive, anti-oppressive, and a true force of advancement for all women.” Unifor is committed to ending gender-based violence and working with partners around the world to reach that goal. The wider labour movement must empower all women. Those priorities were reflected at the UNCSW62 meetings and the work continues throughout the year. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT

Unifor marks March 21 with a call for justice
On March 21, 2018, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Unifor will join others in recognizing the ongoing oppression facing Indigenous and people of colour. Read our statement, download this year’s poster here and social media graphics here And learn more about some of Canada’s most recent victims of racial discrimination: Colten Boushie, a young Cree man from Saskatchewan was killed without consequence by a farmer for merely stepping foot on his property. Tina Fontaine, 15 years old, and one of this country’s deplorably long string of murdered and missing Indigenous women, also died without consequence despite overwhelming evidence about the identity of her killer. Abdoul Abdi, a 24 year old former child refugee from Somalia, is at risk of being deported from Canada because the government institution whose care he was in failed to process his citizenship when he was a child. Ebrahim Toure, from Gambia, has been in immigration detention for five years now simply because he has no documentation to prove his citizenship. Mavis Korkor Lamyoh from Ghana died of hypothermia trying to reach Canada by foot from the U.S. because of an unjust immigration policy which, intentionally or not, encourages irregular and unsafe ways of reaching the country. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT

Keep members in the loop!
As a national union with hundreds of locals across the country, more than 315,000 members, and one that’s directly involved in campaigns from coast to coast to coast, member engagement is a critical and ongoing project. Many members consistently visit Unifor’s national website – unifor.org – to stay connected and up to date with what’s happening at their local or elsewhere. We’re consistently getting over 100,000 page views on the site every month alone, which is encouraging but it’s also revealing some room for improvement. The Unifor website has a handy reference page found at unifor.org/locals which members from across the country often visit to find basic information about their local – like office address, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. - but we noticed that not all of our local contact information is up to date. “This needs to change,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “If members are visiting the national website for information about their local they should be able to easily and quickly find information so they can stay in the loop and remain engaged in their local.” This is why the Communications Department has a small ask of Unifor local Presidents. We have begun contacting Presidents of every local asking them to fill out a simple form, available in both English and French, to ensure local information is current. Every local is asked to confirm all relevant contact information by March 28 and there is a new option to now include local Facebook pages and Twitter. With the growth of social media and online communication, many members are searching for Facebook pages, websites and Twitter to find up to date news and ways to plug in. Online engagement can help your local expand the communication network, so let’s help the union list this information and keep members and local leadership connected with each other. If you have any questions about this request please email communications@unifor.org. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT

Air Canada expansion brings new jobs to New Brunswick
Unifor welcomes the expansion of Air Canada’s reservations centre in Saint John and the addition of 227 full-time jobs over the next five years. "Unifor activists from Local 2002 fought hard to keep this contact centre in New Brunswick open and we are pleased to see this new investment in jobs by Air Canada and the provincial government,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. Air Canada’s Saint John work force is set to nearly double and hiring is already underway for business service agents. One million dollars will be spent to modernize the plant, located in Millidgeville, N.B. The provincial government will invest up to $1.5 million in the form of payroll rebates, which are performance-based and disbursed annually to companies that create jobs in N.B. After a “record year” for Air Canada, the company said the need for more business service agents to handle complex reservations and customer contact around the clock. “These 227 new agents will be Unifor members and it is so good to see that the company recognizes the value and excellent customer service that these New Brunswick workers provide, in both official languages,” said Tammy Moore, Unifor Local 2002 bargaining representative. The expansion is expected to contribute an estimated $33.3 million to the province's GDP over five years and generate an estimated $3.5 million in provincial taxes. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT

Manitoba budget gets failing grade from Unifor
The 2018 Manitoba budget fails to address some of the province’s most urgent problems, especially in the North, according to Unifor. “Premier Brian Pallister is failing Manitoba’s most vulnerable,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “There is a stunning indifference to the struggles of Manitobans who are falling farther and farther behind.” The third provincial budget under Premier Brian Pallister is silent on the crisis facing the primarily First Nations Northern Manitoba communities still lacking rail service since May 2017 when the line was flooded. Without rail access, food and other supplies must be flown in, driving up the cost of basic necessities. The budget also fails to make plans for meaningful poverty reduction or tackling housing challenges faced by low-income Manitobans. The rental housing stock in Manitoba could suffer as a result of the 2018 budget because the rental housing construction tax credit was cut (effective 2019). “The Progressive Conservative donor class will be satisfied, but it’s hard to imagine many working people benefitting from the 2018 budget,” said Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director. Health care and education spending also did not keep up with inflation and population growth, resulting in a de facto spending cut that follows several closures in 2017. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT

Unifor fights to #SaveLocalNews and end harassment
Dozens of Unifor members were honoured for their work at the Canadian Screen Awards, March 6 - 11 in Toronto, with some using the opportunity to highlight the crisis in local news rooms across Canada. “Newspapers are closing and newsrooms are cutting jobs,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “We have to stop the erosion of local news before it is too late.” Unifor members at Global News in Edmonton took top prize for Best News Special, beating out three network specials, demonstrating the importance of local coverage. Their special, “Fort McMurray: The Road Back,” took viewers back on an emotional journey to show the community rebuilding after the devastating 2016 wildfire. “Local news matters, and we all have to work to make sure this local news category is here next year and the year after that, so please follow #SaveLocalNews,” said Natalie Clancy, Unifor Communications Representative, as she accepted the award for Best Local Newscast, for her work with her previous employer. #SaveLocalNews is the hashtag for Unifor’s Media Action Campaign that is promoting a petition demanding the federal government level the playing field by taxing tech giants Google and Facebook to save Canadian media jobs. Nearly 4,000 broadcasting jobs and thousands more newspaper jobs have been lost in Canada since 2012. #AfterMeToo is another hashtag gaining momentum during screen week, promoting a campaign to end sexual misconduct in the media industry. Unifor Local 700M, which represents film, television, and new media technicians has worked with other unions to create an industry-wide code of conduct  that has been signed by several media companies and unions, including Unifor. “It’s time to make sure unwanted sexual attention, inappropriate comments, and other unwelcome behavior are not tolerated on film sets, casting auditions, or production studios” said Dias. “There are particular challenges in fighting harassment in the media sector,” said Lisa Kelly, Director of Unifor’s Women's Department. “Harassment is about power and we know that many of our members work under precarious conditions and an enforceable code of conduct will help address an issue that undermines women's equal access to the workplace.” Local 700M also celebrated International Women’s Day by sponsoring a day of seminars featuring industry leaders and candid discussion on how to create a harassment-free media industry. “We wanted to celebrate the amazing work of our award winning female members and many other strong talented female creators from across the industry,” said Jonathan Ahee, President, Nabet 700M Unifor. A podcast with five women nominees was recorded on March 8, followed by seminar on best practices for creating policies to address sexual misconduct and harassment in the film, television, and digital media sector in Canada. Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT

U.S. takes Canadian steel and aluminum as NAFTA hostage
Round seven of NAFTA renegotiations ended in Mexico City on March 5 with the American government holding Canada’s steel and aluminum sectors hostage in an effort to extort a deal. “The U.S. is using Canada’s steel and aluminum industries and workers as NAFTA bargaining chips,” said National President Jerry Dias. “I’m encouraged to see that Canada has taken a firm stance against this trade blackmail.” At a joint press conference with her Mexican and U.S. counterparts Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told media that Canada would view any tariffs on steel or aluminum as unacceptable. “Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Canada will take appropriate responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers,” said Freeland. At the same event U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer confirmed the American pressure tactic, calling plans to impose import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum an “incentive” for Canada to sign a renegotiated NAFTA.   Lighthizer made it clear that Canada, the largest exporter of both steel and aluminum to the U.S., would not receive an exemption and that tariffs would only be lifted once NAFTA was signed. “The U.S. is using tariffs as a trade weapon,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “The federal government must walk away from NAFTA negotiations if Canada is not excluded from tariffs.” Unifor represents thousands of members in the steel and aluminum sectors, including 4,000 aluminum workers at Rio Tinto in British Columbia and Quebec, in addition to 40,000 auto sector members. In Mexico City, Dias and Gagné joined fellow unionists from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to release a Trilateral Declaration denouncing the current NAFTA negotiations and calling for the establishment of clear and binding labor standards to improve conditions of the working class in all three countries. The Unifor delegation was also invited to visit Mexico City earthquake survivors in a tent city located in the shadow of the condemned buildings where they used to live. More than 500 families have been camping in the makeshift facilities for over five months. Unifor has donated $20,000 in the effort to help them rebuild their lives. To view a photo gallery visit Facebook.com/JerryPDias . Tuesday, March 20, 2018 9:18 am EDT


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