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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am 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

The U.S. International Trade Commission Report
The U.S. International Trade Commission Report Last week, the U.S. Thursday, May 26, 2016 4:42 pm EDT

More to follow
AWPPW Local 69 is getting with the times and working on a website. Standby, more to follow. Friday, May 20, 2016 6:47 pm EDT

( Last updated Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT)
Mediator to be appointed in D-J Composites lockout
An independent mediator will be appointed to attempt to put an end to a 306 day lockout of Unifor members at D-J Composites, announced the Newfoundland government today. “Unifor is pleased the minister has agreed to our request for an independent mediator. This has been a very long and very difficult ten months for these aerospace workers,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. In September the union met with the Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour to request he use his authority under s.115(1) of the Labour Relations Act to appoint a skilled mediator to assist in resolving the dispute or report back on what the obstacles are to reaching a collective agreement. “We have 32 members facing a second Christmas on a picket line and our goal has always been to negotiate a fair collective agreement for these workers,” said Payne. The aerospace workers in Gander, NL were locked out by their American-based employer on December 19, 2016. In May 2017, the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Board found D-J Composites guilty of bad faith bargaining. The provincial labour department says it has provided conciliation services to both sides since August, and after meeting with both sides the Minister now believes an independent mediator is needed. “The appointment of an independent mediator will bring a fresh perspective to the collective bargaining process. I urge the parties to avail of this opportunity and to make a determined and honest effort to bring an end to this dispute,” said Hawkins. The province has not identified who will be appointed but Unifor’s bargaining committee is looking forward to working with the mediator to bring a fair end to this dispute. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT

Rallies for a better NAFTA held across Canada
Unifor members and allies held rallies across Canada today to show support for the government’s push for a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement that helps working families and their communities. “Every trade agreement we negotiate must put workers in Canada, Mexico and the US first,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President, speaking at a rally in Brampton, Ontario. Rallies were also held in Surrey, British Columbia; Windsor, Ontario; Woodstock, Ontario; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Several of the rallies were held outside the offices of local Liberal MPs, in an effort to encourage the federal government to strengthen NAFTA by putting the interests of the people and their communities first. In Quebec, Unifor members met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday when he came to the area as part of a by-election there.   “Unifor wanted to present the priorities that we believe should guide our government’s negotiators,” said Renaud Gagné, Quebec Director. “We told the Prime Minister the government must remain firm and stand our ground in the negotiating process. I’m pleased to say that our positions were well received by the elected officials.” The actions follow a week of intensive lobbying of Liberal MPs by a delegation of Unifor members on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, during which representatives stressed that the government should continue to push for stronger labour rights and work protections in all NAFTA countries, along with a range of other recommendations to reform auto trade, safeguard Canada’s culture, remove extraordinary investor privileges, among other issues.  “In Atlantic Canada, we don’t have to look very far to see the harmful impacts of NAFTA because it failed to put workers first, and because it gives corporations power over important government decisions,” said Atlantic Region Director Lana Payne. When Exxon and Murphy Oil challenged a Newfoundland and Labrador and Canadian government requirement that oil companies invest a percentage of offshore revenues in a research and training, they won. Canadian Workers lost out on training that would help build Canada’s oil and gas sector. Across the country in Surrey, British Columbia, Unifor activists gathered at the office of Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal, a member of the Standing Committee on International Trade. BC Area Director Gavin McGarrigle urged Dhaliwal to be a champion for a better NAFTA that enshrines workers’ rights and creates a new standard for multilateral agreements. The BC Federation of Labour President Irene Lanzinger and Vancouver District Labour Council President Joey Hartman reminded the crowd in Surrey that regressive trade agreements have been defeated in the past. For more information on Unifor’s active role in the NAFTA renegotiations, go to unifor.org/NAFTA. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT

Collective agreements ratified with MDA
Unifor locals 112 and 673 have ratified new collective agreements with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. after pushing back against employer demands for concessions. The new collective agreements include improved vacation eligibility, an increase in dental, wage increases each year of the agreement, cost of living retained and progressive retirement language. As well, a Women’s Advocate program and a domestic violence leave program were set up. The December 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women will be marked with a moment of silence. Social Justice Fund contributions will begin in the third year of the collective agreement. Local 112 also negotiated improved apprentice language. The previous collective agreements with MDA expired August 4, 2017 but were extended while a new contract was negotiated.  Negotiations between the Union and the employer began September 11, with a tentative agreement being reached on October 16 after a conciliator was brought in. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT

Montrealers march 15km in support of a $15 minimum wage
Unifor members in Montreal participated in the 15 kilometre march in support of a $15 minimum wage on October 15. Trade unionists joined students, the unemployed and underemployed, coalition partners and many others making their way across town in a colourful and boisterous demonstration. Marchers called on the Quebec government to become the third province to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15. The minimum wage in Quebec is currently $11.25.  The march started on the lower west side of the city at Lionel-Groulx metro station and extended all the way to the east end, wrapping up at Parc Jarry.  The march was sponsored by the broad-based coalition in support of a $15 minimum wage, the Fédération de travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), various local unions, neighbourhood associations, student groups and NGOs. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT

Aerospace locals reach tentative agreements
Unifor local 112 and 673 have negotiated tentative agreements with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. after a month of bargaining. The previous collective agreements with MDA expired August 4, 2017 but were extended while a new contract was negotiated.  Negotiations between the Union and the employer began September 11, with a tentative agreement being reached on October 16 after a conciliator was brought in. No details of the tentative agreement will be released until after members have voted and ratified to accept.  A vote of the membership will be held on October 18. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT

Ban on mandatory high heels at work helps tackle sexist, gendered dress codes, says Unifor
Unifor is supporting a new private member’s bill which would ban employers from requiring inappropriate shoes at work, such as high heels. The bill, ‘Putting your Best Foot Forward’ Act would update the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure that women workers are not being put at risk of injury or being fired over sexist expectations that characterize uniform rules for many female employees. The proposed legislation, introduced by Toronto MPP Cristina Martins today, would particularly help women in the restaurant and hospitality industries. “The sexist expectations of business owners should never outweigh a worker’s right to safety on the job – I’m pleased to see this bill going forward,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “The Occupational Health and Safety Act needs to be updated to account for the reality of work for women workers who are not just employed in industrial sectors – but in restaurants, bars and hotels where unsafe footwear makes the job dangerous and can cause injuries.” The new bill follows similar legislation in British Columbia passed last year. The Ontario Human Rights Commission also issued a policy paper in 2016 on gender-specific dress codes, indicating that women who work in restaurants and bars should not be forced to wear certain attire such as high heels, short skirts or low-cut tops. Rizvi said she would like to see the legislation also take into account other problematic areas of uniform requirements and see an outright ban on gendered dress codes, which rely on sexist, discriminatory and deeply binary expectations of how women and men should look. Approximately one third of Unifor’s 315,000 members are female. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT

New agreement with Silicium Québec
Ratification votes held over two membership meetings on October 16 and 17, Unifor Local 184 members at Silicium Québec came out 80% in favour of the new agreement. The new three-year agreement includes an option for a one-year extension subject to investments totalling $6.8 million and provides for the following increases: A wage increase of four percent retroactive to May 1st, 2017;  For subsequent years, wage increases of 2.3 per cent, 2.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent in the last year, conditional upon the investment. Additional gains include the establishment of Paid Education Leave (PEL), higher bonuses, an increase in annual vacation time, improvements to floating holidays, an increase in the bonus related to production, and several other notable improvements. “Because of the lock-out imposed by the employer in 2013 and the subsequent periods during which wages were frozen, our members’ expectations were high, particularly in terms of catch-up wage increases. While this agreement does not totally make up for lost time, it will allow us to continue our battle to further improve our working conditions,” said Jean Simoneau, Unifor Local 184 President. The union leader added, “I’d like to salute the patience and support shown by our members throughout the bargaining process. This was a team effort assisted by our national representative Luc Deschênes.” Local 184 represents nearly 140 members working at the silicon plant in Bécancour. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT

NS workers rally against anti-labour Liberals
October 15, 2017 Unifor members joined workers from several Nova Scotia unions Saturday at a march to send a message to premier Stephen McNeil and his anti-labour Liberals. “Life in Nova Scotia with Stephen McNeil and the Liberals is no picnic and he’s not just anti-worker, he is anti-women,” said Jessica Dauphinee, an LPN who works in long term care and is a member at large on Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Council.  McNeil's anti-worker legislation, including Bill 148, the Public Services Sustainability Act, targets women workers most and many of them earn between $15 and $17 an hour.  Dauphinee and many others chanted “Steve McNeil has got to go” outside the Liberal party’s annual general meeting at the Westin Hotel in Halifax where Liberal party insiders enjoyed a catered lunch. “Can you hear us Steve?” shouted workers on a loud speaker, reminding the premier that he has a slim majority and workers are not going to tolerate what has been a constant attack on their rights since the Liberals took office in 2013.  Unifor has joined other unions in fighting several pieces of anti-worker legislation. McNeil’s government is freezing wages of working people in a province where 120,000 Nova Scotians do not have a family doctor, students can’t afford post-secondary education, emergency rooms are closing, and classrooms are overcrowded. While nursing home residents are fed lower food quality and have seen massive cuts to long term care, McNeil will be speaking at a $300 dollar a plate dinner Saturday evening followed by a “back to back majority party.” ”McNeil and the Liberals congratulate themselves and wine and dine their wealthy donors, while our hard working members are treated like second class citizens,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “Enjoy your dinner Stephen!“ shouted workers who believe the premier is out of touch with most hard working Nova Scotians. McNeil’s weekend agenda also includes  a “cash for access” reception open only to supporters who pay $750 dollars to meet McNeil and his cabinet. Monday, October 23, 2017 9:38 am EDT


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