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News from the union point of view...
 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:34 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 Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:34 am EDT)
Workers across Canada vote to join Unifor
In the first two weeks of May 2018, workers at seven workplaces across Canada – including five in just two days – have voted to join Unifor. “It is very gratifying to see so many workers in such diverse workplaces choosing not only to unionize, but to join Unifor,” said Danny McBride, Acting Organizing Director. “Having so many workplaces join in such a short period of time is the result of a lot of hard work by the workers themselves, as well as local unions and organizing staff.” In early May, 56 production technicians and skilled trades workers at Eacom Timber in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, voted to join Unifor. The mill makes engineered wood joists for construction projects. In Antigonish, Nova Scotia, 46 workers Parkland Antigonish, operating an assisted living retirement residence and a licensed nursing home, voted in early May to join Unifor, with the votes counted May 15. These successful votes were followed two weeks later by workers holding certification votes at a variety of workplaces: Mohawk Casino in Milton, Ontario, with 85 gaming workers joining along with the securities guards at the casino who were already members of Unifor. Kuehne + Nagel Ltd. warehouse in Mississauga, Ontario with 38 warehouse workers. GFL Environmental Inc. in Windsor, Ontario with 38 workers in transportation, and treatment, recycling and disposal of solid waste. Hamilton Legion Branch 163, in Ontario with 10 bar staff voting to leave UNITE HERE Local 75 and join Unifor Local 7575. Black Press Group Ltd in Surrey, British Columbia, where two workers voted to join 67 other unionized workers at the community newspapers group. So far this year, Unifor has welcomed more that 1,900 new members to the union, and every day we are approached by workers that have an interest in seeking strong representation from Unifor. If you know someone in your community or family who wants to join Unifor, please contact organize@unifor.org or visit unifor.org/join for more info. Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT

Future of Work Conference set for Halifax
The world of work is changing rapidly, with new technologies being developed at a pace that is sometimes abrupt and often alarming. Unifor’s Automation, New Technology and the Future of Work conference in Halifax on August 15, 2018, in the lead up to Canada Council, is therefore especially timely. “Advanced robotics, automated vehicles, platform applications and artificial intelligence are just a few of the technologies that are transforming our workplaces, our relationships, and our lives,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “But to respond to this need our union is gathering together to discuss and strategize for the future of work to ensure the needs of workers, their rights and livelihoods are at the forefront with advancements.” At this conference, members will learn about the future of work and how some workers are taking a stand and fighting back to ensure their voice is heard; their needs are met; and their well-being is considered as part of the new workplace. Participation for the day-long conference is filling up fast. Submit your registration today!  Work and workplaces are all susceptible to disruption and transformation over time. Disruption has the potential to affect the quality and quantity of work in Canada in substantive and meaningful ways in the years ahead. In addition to the changing nature of work, the expansion of the gig economy, services, online movie and television access and mobile apps, such as Uber, Netflix and Airbnb in Canada, have exposed major loopholes in government regulation, and labour rights. But while this poses a threat, it also presents opportunities. New technologies have the potential to enhance connection between people and disrupt the power dynamics that run workplaces and the country. It can also improve how work is organized and reduce physical stress. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to engage with experts, researchers and workers to discuss how automation and new technology are affecting work today and how our union can respond.  The day-long conference will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and registration is separate from Canadian Council. It culminates in an evening event featuring a “no nonsense” debate on the implications of new technology in the workplace with The Debaters Live! and a hard-hitting address by Jerry Dias. A dessert reception will be provided and we’ll finish with plenty of time left to enjoy the Halifax pier. “This conference will be our opportunity to collectively brainstorm and plan fora future that’s quickly approaching,” said Dias. For more information on registration and participation visit the web page  or contact Linda.McCrorie@unifor.org. Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT

Strike appeal for Thunder Bay Health Centre workers
Since April 9 there have been 65 women, members of Local 229, on strike at the Port Arthur Health Centre in Thunder Bay demanding fair compensation and an end to precarious work. “We are finishing our sixth week on strike with an employer who has little respect for the importance of the work these women perform and now refuses to negotiate,” said Kari Jefford, Local 229 President. After the workers rejected a forced vote on the final offer the employer is utilizing replacement workers and refusing to respond to requests from an Ontario Labour Relations Board senior mediator and the union to meet and try to reach a settlement. The union says this strike is about securing decent work for women and recognizing the value of the work these women do. A national strike appeal was issued to all locals on May 15 to ask for solidarity for these women workers. “It’s really disheartening they haven’t come back to the table,” said Unit Chair Lori Salmi. “We work so hard on their behalf to make the clinic run smoothly and care for every patient who walks through our doors.” The employer’s last offer would have the majority of women making barely more than the minimum wage. Local 229 President talked about the issues in this short CBC radio interview: www.cbc.ca/player/play/1208299075507/ All locals and members are encouraged to send a financial donation to assist the striking workers and keep the strike line strong. Your contributions can be made via cheque, payable to ‘Unifor Local 229’. Grocery gift cards for Metro and gas cards are also appreciated.  Please send donations to: Angie Martz, Financial Secretary, Unifor Local 229 106 North Cumberland St., Suite 101 Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4M2 Download the Strike Appeal for Port Arthur Health Centre here. Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT

Unifor members show solidarity for striking B.C. hotel workers
On May 10, dozens of Unifor members from across British Columbia’s Lower Mainland joined striking Local 3000 workers at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel to rally for a fair contract. “This employer needs to know that they’ve picked a fight with our entire union,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Hospitality workers at the Sheraton Guildford deserve respect and a fair contract.” Since the strike began on May 1, major bookings at the hotel have been moved—including an event with Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner—as several organizations choose to respect the Unifor Local 3000 picket line. Activists from several other unions walked the picket line in a show of solidarity, including members of the International Longshore Workers’ Union, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, and the Amalgamated Transit Union. “The support we’ve received from other unions has been encouraging,” said Jean Van Vliet, Unifor Local 3000 President. “With the support of the national union, the community, and our labour movement partners, our members are going to last one day longer than the greedy employer.” Unifor represents 120 workers in all areas of the Sheraton hotel including guest services, the lounge, banquets, kitchen, laundry, room attendants, and maintenance. Across the country Unifor represents 19,000 hospitality and gaming workers. Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT

Flex-N-Gate workers sign new agreement
Unifor Local 195 members at Employees Flex-N-Gate in Windsor, Ontario have ratified a new three-year collective agreement. The 580 workers, who manufacture auto parts for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford, voted 76 per cent in favour of the new contract which includes a signing bonus, improvements to benefits and pensions, and wage increases. “Regular production workers will see a $1 an hour increase and skilled trades will receive $1.90 an hour over the lifetime of the agreement,” said Unifor Local 195 President John Toth. The new collective agreement contains improved vacation pay as well as additional personal paid holidays. The company also provided the bargaining committee with a commitment letter to invest in the plant and provide the right to bid on future replacement work.  Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT

Education conference teaches members to unlearn racism
Truth, Reconciliation and Education was the title and focus of the 2018 Unifor education conference, and through the power of stories, members learned why and how to unlearn the historical and deep-rooted racism and colonialism that has been inflicted on Indigenous Peoples from coast to coast to coast. On the weekend of May 11 – 13, 100 members were filled with powerful truths as they listened to the lived experiences with colonialism and racism. Director of Education, Tim Carrie, opened the conference to say, “There will be a lot of listening and feeling over the next two days, and that is good because education got us (as Indigenous people) into this mess and it can now help you and all Canadians get us out of it.” The opening night speaker, Jesse Wente, a CBC broadcaster, advocate and Ojibway man explained why Canadians need to focus more on the truths if we are truly to reconcile the past.  “When we don’t control our own stories it allows Canadians to continue to allow the unacceptable,” said Wente. “And if Canadian really knew our stories things would be different. So believe it, hear it, take it in, and listen to understand.”  In an effort to replace and fundamentally shift the learned ideas about Indigenous people Don Wren from Local 1-S in Saskatchewan delivered a presentation titled Decolonization 101 to unpack where and how the powerful stereotypes and prejudices have come from. Wren’s message to members both at the conference and in the union was summed up when he said, “Always learn more to unlearn the dysfunctional relationship that the state has caused.” Janna Pratt also from Local 1-S brought the room to a quiet but engaged stillness as she shared her own personal story as a residential school survivor. Two generations of Pratt’s family went through the residential school system and she explained that this experience helped to make her into who she is today. “I had to learn to be both a fighter and a protector of myself and others,” said Pratt. “But I am not a victim. I am a survivor.” Pratt also acknowledged the role of education in her own life to be a transformative agent of change. As a trained Discussion Leader and education facilitator for Unifor, Pratt delivers workshops for the education department and expressed that this has been a life-changing experience. “Thank you to the education department and all the other discussion leaders who taught me how to stand up here in front of all of you to tell my story,” Pratt said. “You taught me how to speak up, embrace my story, and be proud.” Members also learned about the current struggles of Indigenous people in Canada. Even though water is a human right, access to clean drinking water still continues to be a main issue of concern on several First Nations reserves. Kelly Bondy delivered a powerful presentation to expose the truths behind access to water and the unequal conditions that First Nations communities live with. Members were reminded that just because the water may look clear in some communities it is not drinkable. To take action on this fundamental rights issue members wrote letters to the Prime Minister to demand change. The last day of the conference closed with a panel discussion moderated by Deb Tveit, Assistant to the National President, on allyship and how to be a change agent. It was followed by an open discussion on what each of us, as members, trade unionists, and residents in Canada can do. Tveit reminded members that changing the past can sometimes feel hard but it is always worth it. “The most important skill is listening before you act, but always remember that change is never done without a struggle, so prepare for it.” Director Carrie also issued a challenge to the union to get active and take action to tackle colonialism. Members were provided with a list of 150 action plans to aid the process of truth and reconciliation both inside our union and in the community. After a heavy weekend of listening, learning, and unpacking ideas members thanked the conference organizers and the education department for their work to guide this important process of learning to unlearn racism. Many members commented that parts were hard to listen to, but they departed with a lot to think about. In his closing words, Carrie offered this, “your sincerity and caring is amazing to see and feel, but now I want you to consider what you can do, and that must start today.” Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT

Local 88 volunteer strike communications team wins awards
Unifor Local 88’s communications committee won three awards out of the eight delivered to Unifor at the Canadian Association of Labour Media Awards in Halifax. The ceremony on May 11 was part of a conference happening from May 10-12, bringing together labour communicators from across the country. “We’re very thrilled particularly since we have some new people who’ve been contributing,” said Linda Smith, co-chair of the volunteer-based communications committee. “They’re very excited to be part of a committee that deservedly wins awards.” The committee won for best photograph, volunteer produced. It was a picture by Doris Weir that captured member Ashley Osbourne and her son on the picket line during the 2017 CAMI automotive strike in Ingersoll. Osbourne, facing the plant and with her back to the camera, is wearing a shirt that says “Keep Good Jobs in Canada”. “That was our real reason for being on strike,” said Smith. “We wanted to keep jobs in Canada. This was about jobs. Not just jobs for our members but jobs for the community because we have related jobs in the parts suppliers and local restaurants that survive because of the plant.” Local 88’s April 2017 issue of the “Off the line” newsletter also won the Rosemarie Bahr award for excellence in print layout and design in regular print publication for imaginative and effective use of graphics, cartoons, photography, typography and layout - volunteer produced. And finally, Local 88’s website, unifor88.ca, won for best website content - volunteer produced. It’s a website that the committee connects readers to with the help of the Unifor Local 88 app, which now has over 800 users, notifying them anytime something goes on the website. “We started with just a newsletter committee and grew with technology to a portion that had the website, webmasters and so on, and then we joined together as the communications committee,” said Smith. Now the newsletter which publishes every two months has two co-editors, someone works on layout and design, and one member is the photographer. Local 88’s communications committee is showing what members who have a story tell can accomplish. “It’s nice for us to be able to go back to our local after the award ceremony and show our leadership that we have a great, active committee that can produce award-winning material,” said Smith. Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT

Unifor members recognized at CALM awards
Unifor members were recognised with eight awards at this year’s Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM) conference. The annual CALM awards, presented at the annual conference on May 12, recognize excellence in union publications and productions. Congratulations to all who tirelessly represent members in our fight for good jobs and social justice. Unifor locals were well-represented at the annual conference, with members from Locals 1-S, 88, 112, 222, 1106, 1285, 2002 and 5555 present, as well as national staff. Information about all Unifor winners is listed below. CALM brings together nearly 200 labour unions and locals across Canada to strategize and better communicate with members on campaigns and issues. Local unions of all sizes benefit from CALM’s membership through resources, education, training and support. For more information about membership, or to join, please click here. Unifor CALM Winners, 2018 Awards The Cliff Scotton Prize for narrative, video, audio or visual that reflects history, traditions and culture of the labour movement: Unifor “Remembering Bob White” by Charles Haggart. Bob White was a true working class hero. Founder and President of the CAW until he was elected president of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1992, he championed fairness for Canadian workers around the world. Please join Bob’s family, and his labour movement family, to celebrate his life, his fearless leadership and his relentless commitment to social justice. Dennis McGann Stroke-of-Genius Award: Unifor - Six Minute Challenge. The 6-minute challenge is a witty and viral campaign that highlights the dire staff shortages in long-term care in Ontario. Through the campaign, Unifor asked the public to try to get ready in just 6 minutes in the morning, the average amount of time that staff currently have to get residents up and ready each morning. The resulting pictures were funny, but also painted a troubling picture of the reality of life in long-term care. Best Poster- Staff Produced: Unifor national: Unite to stop racism and Islamophobia. The poster, designed by Tariq Sami in collaboration with national staff, focused on the elimination of Islamophobia, was produced in the immediate aftermath of the January 29, 2017 shooting in a Quebec City Mosque. Download and print the poster, and associated statement here. Best Photograph Volunteer Produced: Unifor Local 88 for the photograph below of a member and her son on the picket line during the 2017 strike at CAMI in Ingersoll. Rosemarie Bahr award for excellence in print layout and design in regular print publication for imaginative and effective use of graphics, cartoons, photography, typography and layout. - Volunteer produced: Unifor Local 88 - Off the line, April 2017. Read and download issues to the publication here. Best Website Content Volunteer produced: Unifor Local 88 for their member-focused website, unifor88.ca. Best audio production: radio ad, podcast Volunteer Produced: Unifor Local 199 for Young Workers of Niagara Podcast, produced by Brock Labour Studies co-op students. Best Website Redesign Volunteer Produced: Unifor Local 199 for their website, unifor199.org. There is more to CALM membership than the annual awards and conference. Local executive, committee members and staff can benefit from CALM resources, including royalty-free images, media-consulting and training, education and much more. More details about the awards and CALM can be found here. Wednesday, May 23, 2018 4:41 am EDT


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