Logout
Click here for Pulp & Paper Radio International
The Paperitalo Library
Free Downloads
Search
My Profile
Login
News from the union point of view...
Print
 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
(ERROR 35: Could not open RSS source "https://awppw.org/RSSFeeds/rss_whats_new.cfm"; received message, "OpenSSL SSL_connect: SSL_ERROR_SYSCALL in connection to awppw.org:443 ". Last updated Wednesday, December 31, 1969 7:00 pm EST)
This feed could not be retrieved
 CEP
( Last updated Tuesday, August 4, 2020 1:39 pm EDT)
Unifor calls for significant, lasting reforms to end systemic racism in Canada

Unifor’s National Executive Board has issued a call for redefining public safety in Canada and for comprehensive reforms to Canadian institutions that allow, support, or excuse systemic racism.

“As trade unionists we cannot ignore the deadly threat that racism poses to Black, Indigenous, and racialized peoples,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor will take action to organize, educate, and fight discrimination in all its forms.”

With increasing incidents of violent and deadly racism across Canada, including the recent deaths of nine Black, Indigenous, and racialized people killed during police interactions, Unifor has made combatting systemic racism a top priority. Today, the National Executive Board motion, passed unanimously, proposes a series of reforms to public institutions including redefining and demilitarizing policing and public safety, reallocating policing resources towards community-based models, destigmatizing mental health struggles, and ending systemic racism.

“Racially-motivated murders at the hands of law enforcement compels us to do more than just adopt an anti-racist posture,” said Christine Maclin, Unifor’s Director of Human Rights. “We have to take concrete action to eliminate systemic racism. Unifor members are doing just that by organizing educational events, actions, and promoting reforms that not only reshape how we conduct policing in our communities, but all institutions and structures in society.”

The union has organized a National Day of Action for Racial Justice on July 31 that includes educational events, sharing educational materials and a moment of silence for Black, Indigenous, and racialized people killed in police interactions.

Unifor has also called on all Premiers to recognize Emancipation Day. Currently, Ontario is the sole province to designate August 1 as Emancipation Day, the date on which John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada and slavery abolitionist, signed the first piece of anti-slavery legislation in 1793. 

Emancipation Day is intended to confront and acknowledge Canada’s role in upholding and maintaining slavery of Indigenous and Black people for more than 200 years. The history and legacy of slavery in Canada is often poorly understood and is regularly ignored, particularly when compared to the history of slavery in the United States.

“We have to use today as an opportunity of envisioning and building communities where everyone can thrive regardless of race, ethnicity or mental health status,” added Dias. “If we are truly going to work towards the elimination of systemic racism then we cannot shy away from the difficult conversations and hard work needed to reconcile both historical and current injustices against Indigenous, Black, and racialized peoples.”

Thursday, July 30, 2020 4:15 am EDT

 
Take action for racial justice on Emancipation Day

To mark the August 1st Day of Emancipation, Unifor is holding a Day of Action for Racial Justice across Canada that includes workplace and online actions on July 31st. As part of the effort, Unifor has created and distributed t-shirts that read “2020 Civil Rights Movement. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” 

In order to make the day as successful as possible, Unifor leadership is encouraging members to share photos and videos of their actions and individual members wearing our t-shirts and participating in local and online events to social media platforms using the hashtag #Unifor4RacialJustice. As well, Unifor members are encouraged to share photos and videos with Unifor’s Communications Department at communications@unifor.org.

On July 31 Unifor members and locals plant to hold the following events where possible and take the following actions:

As trade unionists, we must continue to work towards combating discrimination in all its forms. We must continue to organize, educate and take action in our workplaces and our communities.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 3:15 am EDT

 
New collective agreement negotiated with Carpenter Canada amid COVID-19

A new collective agreement has been negotiated between Unifor Local 252 and Carpenter Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Effective use of time, patience and self-control will yield the best result in any situation," said Wolson Stowe, President Unifor Local 252. “Bargaining was very difficult and the impact of COVID-19 made it even worse. However, we were able to continue the process online through Zoom with the help of a Conciliator from the Ministry of Labour.”

The three-year collective agreement, in effect from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2022,  

contains strengthened language for the 96 members at Carpenter Canada. Highlights of the new deal include wage increases, improved scheduling and overtime practices, increased benefits and a signing bonus for workers at the Woodbridge Ontario plant, which manufactures mattresses-in-a-box.

The ratification vote presented new challenges with pandemic measures in place. Masks and hand sanitizer were provided with the hotel grand ballroom divided into sections with chairs placed to accommodate social distancing guidelines. A sound system was set up to ensure that all members could hear the contract details before gaining controlled access to the voting area. Contact tracing info was also taken as members entered the facility should it be necessary.

The bargaining committee also achieved a Women’s Advocate in the CBA with 40 hours of training paid by the employer.  Domestic abuse language was also included and a paid day was added for unexpected emergencies.

“I will never give up. I will never stop fighting for the rights of our members to earn a decent wage, to be treated with dignity, and respect in all areas of their work life,” said Stowe.   

 

 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 2:15 am EDT

 
Nurses grow impatient as province remains inactive on compensation for expanded role

Close to 4,000 nurses across Nova Scotia say they’re tired of waiting for government and their employers to implement a pay increase they are owed.

Five Unions representing licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are asking for immediate action and compensation for all LPNs, regardless of where they work, following the June 15th Consent Award granting a 12 per cent increase to LPNs represented by the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) at the former Capital District Health Authority. The increase is retroactive to March 17, 2014.

The Award does not apply to LPNs represented by any other union, namely NSNU, CUPE, SEIU and Unifor, or LPNs represented by the NSGEU with employers other than the former Capital District Health Authority (CDHA).

The Consent Award was the culmination of a review process and subsequent grievance initiated by the NSGEU on the basis of the expanded scope of practice for LPNs employed by the former CDHA.

“I’ve been an LPN for 21 years and I can tell you that the scope of our work has changed dramatically. We started as nurses’ aides and now as nurses we are working everywhere from the emergency room, to the operating room, COVID clinics, we are charge nurses in long-term care… the list is endless,” says Nan McFadgen, president of CUPE Nova Scotia.

NSGEU argued that LPNs were doing work above their pay grade and deserved to be reclassified. Other health care unions made the same argument but, unlike the NSGEU, did not have mechanisms or language in their contracts to grieve job reclassification.

Jason MacLean, president of the NSGEU says that all LPNs, not just those who received the Consent Award have been waiting for too long to be properly recognized for their contributions to the health care system. Further delays in rectifying this imbalance would be unacceptable.

“It took six years and an Arbitrator for us to resolve this matter. Asking thousands of nurses to wait potentially for many more years for equal pay sends a callous message,” says MacLean.

Janet Hazelton, President of the Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union, says grievances have been filed citing parity of wages as a fundamental principle of the wage table and that employers are essentially violating that principle by refusing to adjust the rates for all LPNs retroactive to 2014.

“We’ve filed grievances in all sectors, acute care, community care and long-term care, but feel government and employers should address the disparities immediately. The unions fought for and gained wage parity for all LPNs many years ago. This is an irrevocable setback if not dealt with now,” says Hazelton.

Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Director, Linda MacNeil, believes there’s been a demoralizing and polarizing effect on LPNs who are doing the same work from one end of the province to the other, but will now be paid significantly less than some of their colleagues. Delaying a resolution to the problem will further impede recruitment and retention efforts throughout Nova Scotia, particularly in rural areas.

“All five unions representing LPNs in Nova Scotia have mounted a joint a letter-writing and public awareness campaign to unify our members and gain support for nurses. Collectively, LPNs are feeling more and more undervalued and disrespected the longer this goes on,” says MacNeil.

The timing couldn’t be worse says Cathy Retieffe, President of SEIU Local 2, Branch Nova Scotia, representing LPNs at numerous long-term care facilities in the province.

“A second wave of COVID-19 could have a devastating impact on long term care as we’ve seen play out in other provinces and here at home. Paying nurses different wages to do the same work, especially during a pandemic, is a needless distraction. Our efforts and priorities should be on keeping everyone safe, not on the fundamental pursuit of equal wages for equal work.”

The unions recognize that all LPNs in Nova Scotia have seen an increase in their duties and responsibilities over time and hold an advanced role in patient care. It is time for government to acknowledge and appreciate our LPNs in all sectors of care by applying wage parity immediately.

Thursday, July 23, 2020 12:00 pm EDT

 
First labour contract with Unifor for DHL workers in Quebec

Local 700 members working for the DHL courier service recently ratified their first labour contract since joining Unifor in April 2019. After a bargaining process that began in November 2019, an agreement was finally reached in June.

It should be noted that the group of workers in Quebec was represented by another union prior to 2019, whereas all other DHL employees in the rest of Canada were already members of Unifor.

Highlights of the new agreement include the following gains:

  • Integration of 90% of Quebec workers in the national agreement;
  • A 5% wage adjustment and increases of 2.2% retroactive to January 1, 2020;
  • A lump sum payment of up to $3,000;
  • A reduction in the number of years required to be eligible for the 4th and 5th week of vacation and addition of a 6th week of vacation after 20 years of service;
  • For owner operators, a 5% + $5 adjustment on the minimum per day and 5% adjustment on stops, parts, core zone, etc.;
  • For owner operators, a right to have a say on route revisions; option to work a maximum of 10 hours per day;
  • A 5-year contract with increases of 2.2%, 2.5%, 2.5%, 2.6% and 2.8%;
  • A contribution of $0.25/hour for the Paid Education Leave program (PEL);
  • Numerous additional gains.

 “I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of the bargaining committee members and stewards who made it possible to achieve this first collective agreement with Unifor for our Quebec members,” said Alain Daigle, Local 700 president.

Unifor represents approximately 2,000 DHL members across Canada, including 200 in Quebec. They work as hourly drivers and owner operators in DHL’s four Quebec service points, located in Quebec City, downtown Montreal, Lachine and Mirabel.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 5:45 am EDT

 
Three-year collective agreement ratified at Con Cast Pipe

Members working at Con Cast Pipe in Guelph ratified a 3-year collective agreement, securing wage and benefit improvements, and introducing the unit’s first Women’s Advocate.  

The 125 members of Local 1917 manufacture reliable building products including precast and concrete pipe to support infrastructure projects.

“Ontario’s manufacturing sector continues to support not only good jobs like these at Con Cast Pipe, but ensures that materials required for infrastructure and construction are made here at home,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. “I congratulate the bargaining committee, and the membership, for securing a good contract during this difficult time.”

The new deal includes increases to shift premiums, life insurance, meal allowance, and dental, major medical, and vision care.

All workers will see wage increases in every year of the agreement, with additional bumps for those in the trades and for apprentices.

“I’m proud of the work of our members every day, and am glad that the bargaining committee was able to secure a collective agreement that shows the value of their work,” said Jerry Escott, Local 1917 President.

A Women’s Advocate is a specially trained workplace representative who assists women with concerns such as workplace harassment, intimate violence and abuse. The Women’s Advocate is not a counsellor but rather provides support for women accessing community and workplace resources. Read more about the program here, including information about how to negotiate Women’s Advocate language, or a Domestic Violence Policy and Program.

 

 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 11:30 am EDT

 
Unifor locals and National Executive Board take steps to defend workers’ rights in Alberta

Jason Kenney’s Trump-style attacks on worker’s rights has sent shockwaves across the country, as workers across Canada’s various sectors and regions worry about the run-off effects.

On Thursday, July 16, Unifor’s National Executive Board unanimously passed a resolution to organize in opposition to bill 32 and to any attack on workers’ rights in Alberta. The full text of the motion is at the end of this article.

“Where governments attack workers’ rights and their unions, wage cuts, unsafe work environment, and low unionization follow,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor’s elected worker representatives are rightly concerned about Bill 32’s overreach, but also how it will weaken workers’ power to advocate for better, safer jobs.”

At concurrent meetings on July 20, local union leaders from across the province met online to discuss the worst impacts of the proposed legislation, and plan for how Alberta’s workers will directly oppose the law.

On Thursday, July 23, members from across Alberta can participate in an activist seminar about building an opposition to Kenney’s attacks, and defending workers’ rights. All members in Alberta are invited to sign up.

“Kenney’s trying to silence the collective voices of Alberta’s workers, voters, but we will not go quietly. I heard that message loud and clear- Unifor members in Alberta will not stand for this draconian attack on their rights, and theft of their collective power,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor western Regional Director.

Bill 32 includes changes to law that would:

  • impose time-consuming financial reporting requirements for local unions 
  • make union dues for core union advocacy* optional (*as defined by Kenney’s government)
  • reduce secondary picketing rights
  • limit arbitrators’ discretion 
  • lower the legal age of work to 13 years old

Attacks on unions like this are unheard of in Canada. Where laws like this are implemented in Southern U.S. states, workers see wages that are kept artificially low. For more information on Bill 32, visit Unifor’s campaign page to Stop Bill 32: Defend Workers’ rights in Alberta.  

Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne participated in Monday’s organizing meeting, sharing a cogent message about the campaign’s direction, “This is an attack on the very core purpose of unions, to stand up for the rights of working people. Every MLA in the province must hear that workers will not abide by this  attack on their rights. Unifor’s 315,000 members have your back, but it’s up to Alberta’s workers to unite to stop Bill 32 and oppose Bill 1.”

Read the full text of the motion below, and take action today to call your MLA and oppose this bill.

Motion of the National Executive Board:  Defending Workers’ Rights in Alberta

  1. Vigorously and urgently oppose the Government of Alberta’s proposed Bill 32, among other pieces of decidedly anti-worker legislation introduced by the Jason Kenney government;
  2. Coordinate a multi-faceted action campaign to stop the passage of Bill 32 and mitigate its effects on Unifor local unions, Unifor members and all workers in Alberta, in conjunction with a ‘Common Front’ of progressive organizations and allied groups;
  3. Undertake a province-wide membership engagement effort across Unifor bargaining units, using member-to-member engagement, public engagement, and digital communications tools and the full support of Unifor staff, to empower members’ participation in an independent, sustainable and activist labour movement;
  4. Debunk, wherever possible, the false, distorted statements about Unifor policies or practices communicated by Jason Kenney and government officials; and
  5. Explore all available legal options, including a potential Charter challenge, to contest the validity, reasonableness and discriminatory nature of labour law amendments proposed within Bill 32.

BECAUSE

  • In preparation for an attack on workers’ rights led by the United Conservative Party in Alberta, delegates to the 2019 Unifor Constitutional Convention resolved to “vigorously oppose changes to Alberta labour laws that undermine the capacity of working people to advance their collective interests.”
  • As feared, through Bill 32, the Kenney government seeks to undermine the rights of workers in Alberta by burdening unions with extraordinary financial reporting rules, restricting their public advocacy for all workers, limiting their freedom of association and their right to protest, among other measures, and is the latest in a series of legislative attacks on progressive policies in the province; and
  • By restraining the political activity of local labour unions, and enabling individuals to ‘free-ride’ on public advocacy efforts (without contributing funds), Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party are attempting to stifle opposition voices, and further consolidate power to the detriment of all working people.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 10:00 am EDT

 
Cultural center workers join Unifor

Workers at a London, Ont. agency that helps immigrants to Canada and refugees settle in the community have voted overwhelmingly to join Unifor.

“This campaign was all-electronic, and really shows the power and reach of online organizing,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

The 80 workers at the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (LCCLC) voted online from July 10 to 13, after having signed enough online memberships cards in the weeks before to prompt the Ontario Labour Relations Board to call the vote.

Throughout those weeks, Unifor organizers met with the workers at the centre via Zoom, and communicated with them through group emails and phone calls.

“Before the pandemic, we would meet in person with as many workers as possible. We’d hold group meetings, meet in coffee shops or go to their homes. We’d even bring leaflets to the workplace to hand out,” Unifor Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan said.

“The pandemic made all of that impossible, however, so we had to get creative.”

Unifor has several organizing drives on the go across Canadas using the same online and electronic tools as were successful at LCCLC.

“This is a breakthrough in the world of organizing. We are learning new methods that will continue to be useful even after the pandemic is over,” Scanlan said.

The workers at the not-for-profit LCCLC provide integration services and support to newcomers, as well as promote intercultural awareness and understanding. The centre has multiple programs and services to support immigrants and refugees in the community

Also recently, the Canada Industrial Relations Board ruled that 16 workers at NewsTalk 1010 radio station in Toronto are certified as members of Unifor.

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 2:00 am EDT

 
 

Related Articles:


Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: