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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST)
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 Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST)
New petition calls for referendum on stopping privatization
Local unions in Saskatchewan have thrown their support behind a new initiative to protect the province’s Crown corporations. Led by recently retired Canadian Labour Congress Secretary-Treasurer Barb Byers, the campaign aims to force a referendum on the process of any change to public ownership of Crowns. “The Sask Party can’t be trusted to keep our Crowns strong,” said Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director. “Time and again they’ve lied about privatization. They must be held to account.” In the 2016 election, the incumbent Premier Brad Wall promised not to privatize large Crown corporations. A year later, his government passed a law to facilitate partial privatization, then promised to repeal it, but then only retracted some sections of the law. Tired of piecemeal privatization and broken election promises, Byers and other activists want to leverage the massive popularity of Crowns such as Sasktel, Sask Power, and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) to eliminate the possibility of incremental privatization. If the petitioners are able to trigger a referendum and it’s passed, no future change could be made to the Crowns’ ownership model without voters’ explicit approval. “Saskatchewan Crowns save people money every day, plus millions are contributed in annual revenue for schools and hospitals,” said Warnock. “Selling off Crown corporations would be a disaster.” Warnock says the campaign is a good fit with Unifor’s ongoing Stand Up For Your Crowns campaign. In the coming months, Unifor locals will begin canvassing workplaces to collect signatures. The Sask Party has a long record of privatization, which includes Heritage Gas, Navigata, and DirectWest Canada. Over the last two terms, Premier Brad Wall has also privatized portions of SaskTel via contracting out, including Operator Services, Max Television Service. Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST

Notice to Members on Unifor’s Disaffiliation from the Canadian Labour Congress
Over the course of the past year Unifor has been vocal and public about our concern with US-based unions trampling on the rights of workers and their democratic right to choose their own representation or to express dissent. In light of the ongoing lack of action and will by the affiliates of the Canadian Labour Congress to address the aggressive and undemocratic tactics shown by US-based unions towards workers in Canadian locals, a decision was made by the leadership of our union.  The National Executive Board (NEB) made a unanimous decision on January 16, 2018 to discontinue Unifor’s affiliation and membership in the Canadian Labour Congress effective immediately. The CLC has been notified of this decision today, along with other labour federations. Our union will remain affiliated and continue to participate in and support the federations of labour and labour councils and our collaborative campaign work. The NEB and leadership of Unifor feel strongly that this is the principled action to take at this time. Ongoing communication will be provided to members in a timely matter as we move forward. Unifor stands in support of union democracy and the rights of workers. Our union is opposed to any union that threatens, harasses, intimidates, or silences workers for simply asserting their democratic rights to choose a union or for the purpose of quelling dissent within the local.  Unifor is proud to defend the rights of working people and unions and will continue to do so in a stead fast manner. Should you have any questions on this decision please contact the Executive Assistant to the President, Scott Doherty scott.doherty@unifor.org. Please see this letter that was sent to Brother Yussuff on Wednesday, January 17.  In solidarity,  Jerry Dias, National President and Renaud Gagné, Quebec Director Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST

Airport Terminal Services bumps up all wages in response to Ontario wage hike
As a result of advocacy by the union, Airport Terminal Services (ATS) has increased all wages for its Toronto Pearson International Airport workers by $2.20. While ATS was required by law to increase wages for those earning less than $14, the company took the move a step further and increased wages by $2.20/hour for every level of the pay scale, with the highest paid on the wage grid now earning close to $20 an hour. The change was agreed to in a signed memorandum of understanding with Unifor. The 175 workers at ATS are unionized with Local 2002 and work as baggage handlers, aircraft marshals, in lavatory services and as passenger service agents. “In the ground handling world, the wages are not high, so this win is quite significant,” said Leslie Dias, national representative in the airlines sector. “At a time when employers like Tim Hortons are crying poor, this is an important example of a business that understands if it wants to keep trained employees, it must also pay them properly.” Dias also mentioned that over the summer, ground handling companies operating at the airport were forced to pay higher wages beyond the legislated minimum to recruit new workers and reduce heavy turn-over. This wage increase occurred outside of the collective bargaining period and is just one example of how the union continues to make gains for workers as a result of positive changes made from Ontario's recent labour law reforms.   Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST

Workers at Port Arthur Health Centre vote to strike if necessary
Members of Unifor Local 229 have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, in a vote on January 10.  The union represents approximately 65 members who are employees of the Port Arthur Health Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario who work as medical aides, appointment secretaries and in medical records.  “The main issues in this dispute are related to the lack of permanent positions which has led the employer to overuse casual employees. Our members are concerned about job security and fairness for all workers,” said Kari Jefford, Local 229 president.  The other pressing issue in this round of bargaining is fair compensation and equal pay. “These workers lag far behind in compensation when compared to other workers who do the same jobs at both the local and provincial level, but they certainly compare equally in terms of workload and the skills utilized daily in their work,” said Jefford. The union has applied for conciliation and will be asking for a no board report which is the last step required to be in a legal strike position. Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST

Unifor stands with Tim Hortons workers
Unifor members are participating in rallies right across Ontario in support of Tim Hortons workers who are seeing their benefits clawed back, days after the new $14 minimum wage came into effect. These workers do not belong to a union. More than 15 rallies have been planned across the province outside local Tim Hortons franchises to express solidarity with the workers and protest bullying by employers. The events were organized by local labour councils, the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Fight for $15 and Fairness. While not all franchisees have opted to roll back benefits, Ontarians are being urged to sign the petition to Daniel Schwartz, CEO Restaurant Brands International (parent company of Tim Hortons), calling on him to take action to end this practice across the restaurant chain.  “The minimum wage increase in effect since January 1 is long overdue and very much deserved. To see wealthy business owners now use that as an excuse for their own greedy desires is outrageous,” said Jerry Dias, National President. A Tim Hortons outlet in Cobourg, Ontario, owned by heirs to founders of the donut chain, made headlines for its decision to cut benefits and paid breaks for its non-union workers, and claimed the cuts result from an increase in the minimum wage to $14 that came into effect this week. Since then, instances of additional Tim Hortons outlets and other chain restaurants cutting benefits, and even confiscating worker’s tips, have come to light. This follows complaints from Loblaw Chief Executive Officer Galan Weston last summer about the cost of the wage increase.  “At a time when CEOs are making record multi-million-dollar salaries, it is not too much to ask that workers be able to afford a decent standard of living – and that begins with raising the minimum hourly wage.” Dias pointed out that there was no shortage of discussion about the minimum wage increase in the months leading up to it, giving businesses plenty of opportunity to prepare without hurting vulnerable staff. As well, small businesses were given a tax break to lessen the impact. “There is no excuse for these wealthy business people for making these cuts. Workers deserve better and their rights should be respected," said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. Rizvi also pointed out that workers in unionized shops are not seeing such arbitrary measures being taken because the employer can’t take away rights enshrined in a collective agreement. Please take a moment to send a letter to Restaurant Brands International CEO here in support of Tim Hortons workers. Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST

Unifor supports CJFE in its battle to survive
Canada’s largest media union is urging its members and all Canadians to support the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression as it tries to raise money to stay afloat in 2018. “This organization defends the rights of journalists and works towards press freedom around the world and it would be a big threat to Canadian journalism if it dissolved due to lack of support,” said Bob Orr, National Secretary-Treasurer. Unifor is donating$10,000 towards what CJFE is calling an urgent campaign to raise $100,000 by the end of January. The non-governmental organization says without more support, it won’t survive the year. “We have a small staff in a cramped office and nominal overhead beyond the costs of campaigning, but we still have an impact well above our visible size,” said Duncan Pike, Co-Director of CJFE.  “A future without CJFE means journalists dying while waiting for help to escape a dangerous situation. It means reporters in Canada sent to prison for refusing to reveal their sources. It means police spying on journalists with impunity,” said Pike. Unifor, which represents 12,000 journalists and media workers,  has been a strong supporter of CJFE and its work on behalf of journalists and press freedom. “CJFE was instrumental in pushing for Canada’s first press shield bill, passed in October after it was revealed that journalists in Quebec were being spied on by police,” said Howard Law, Media Director. CJFE was also among several organizations that supported Vice news reporter Ben Makuch when he was ordered to divulge a confidential source and is seeking to intervene when the Supreme Court of Canada hears the case. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to CJFE now. Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST

Paramedics rally for a fair contract
Paramedics and supporters in Sault Ste. Marie demonstrated in front of City Hall on January 8, calling for a new collective agreement for EMS workers represented by Local 1359.  The demonstration was organized to remind city councillors that paramedics need a fair deal, which takes into account issues such as: lunch breaks, major gaps in pay and benefits between Sault Ste. Marie and other emergency responders and the ongoing issue of PTSD. The group, made up of paramedics, nurses, retired health care workers, union members, family and supporters, marched into the council chambers after the rally with signs and Unifor flags.  “Our employer is not negotiating fairly. City representatives continually talk about the debt and nothing else,” said Mary Casola, Local 1359 unit chair and paramedic of 28 years. “They offered workers a measly wage increase of 10 cents an hour, per year. That’s 0.25 per cent. But as our sign says - ‘10 cents is non-sense.’” Casola said that in Thunder Bay, EMS workers recently negotiated pay increases of 2.5, 2.6 and 2.65 per cent a year and there remains a number of important gaps in compensation, particularly as it relates to the workers’ compensation top up and the lack of shift premiums, which is an industry standard.  National representative Fred Bond said the City of Sault Ste. Marie is also trying to erode sick time, in addition to failing to address scheduling needs so that paramedics can have a meal break during their shift. “Unifor paramedics often work through their breaks because of emergency calls – they are professionals, but that doesn’t mean being constantly on call doesn’t take its toll.” Bond said other key items at the bargaining table are job security and contracting out.  The 54 members of Local 1359 have been without a contract since March 2017. The two sides will be starting conciliation on January 12. ​ Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST

Family of worker killed on the job supported by Local 114
After tragedy struck the community of Lavington in the North Okanagan, Unifor members at Local 114 responded with action and compassion. On December 6, construction flagger Isabelle Bourroughs succumbed to the injuries she sustained after being struck by a motorist at her job. Although Bourroughs is not a member, Unifor 114 members felt the loss deeply because, as transit workers, they both appreciate the work of flaggers and are familiar with the area’s traffic challenges. Local 114 matched rank-and-file donations and presented Bourroughs’ husband Gord with a cheque to help with expenses. “It broke our heart when we heard the news, and we knew we needed to respond,” said Gerry Shook, Chief Steward for Local 114 in Vernon, B.C. Thursday, January 18, 2018 2:56 am EST


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