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News from the union point of view...
 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Tuesday, November 13, 2018 1:27 pm 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
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Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) formally begins this August 16 - RSVP to the Portland Town Hall
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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, November 13, 2018 1:27 pm EST)
Unifor members at Saskatoon Radisson ratify new contract

SASKATOON—Members of Unifor Local 650 will see economic and safety gains after ratifying a four-year collective agreement with the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon on November 7.

“Unifor is a union for hotel workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Right across the country, Unifor members like these skilled negotiators at the Radisson are making real gains for hotel workers.”

The new agreement includes wage increases of 7.5% and clearer guidelines for treatment of banquet staff gratuities. Unifor was also successful at negotiation stronger protections against harassment and benefits gains including paid days off, crisis leave, and improved optical coverage.

“New limits on housekeeping workloads and improved scheduling language are welcomed news for our hardworking members,” said Kelly Ries, Unifor Local 650 President. “Should the minimum wage raise during the life of the collective agreement, the employer agreed to discuss all wage classifications​.”

Radisson workers also gained new access to a workplace Women’s Advocate.

Unifor Local 650 represents 123 workers at the Radisson in housekeeping; banquets, kitchen and in-room dining; front desk; the Aroma Resto Bar; maintenance; and the fitness facilities.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:15 pm EST

National Skilled Trades Council brings together delegates in Peterborough, On.

The National Skilled Trades Council brought together more than 100 delegates for its triennial meeting. Held on November 9-11 in Peterborough, Ontario, the event was hosted by the Oshawa and Eastern Ontario Skilled Trades Area Council. Diane Therrien Mayor-Elect of Peterborough offered welcoming remarks to delegates.

Delegates spent part of the Council reporting out on issues facing skilled trades members in their workplaces, including new technology, collective agreements, work ownership rules, apprenticeships and much more.

The Council was chaired by Dave Cassidy, Skilled Trades National Chairperson and featured a presentation by Ken Bondy, National Staff Representative, which included a discussion ­­­on the campaign for further recycling of automotive parts. In addition, John Breslin, Director of Skilled Trades, provided a report on issues facing trades. On November 11, delegates also participated in a Remembrance Day ceremony and presented the Bob Cherneki Charity of Choice to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

For more information, visit www.uniforskilledtrades.ca

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 10:15 am EST

Building solidarity across borders

More than 140 union leaders and activists from several countries gathered for the first ever North American Solidarity Project Conference at Unifor’s family education centre this weekend.

“If we are going to continue renewal of the labour movement we have to be bold. The rich are getting richer and working people need us to collaborate and fight back,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President.

The conference came about as a result of an in depth study and solidarity building project that began in 2017 when Unifor signed a Cooperation Agreement with the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers Union (UE)

"It is great to be in a room with more than a hundred like-minded trade unionists from the U.S., Mexico, Australia, and Canada, who are clear that as workers and as a class, we have more in common with each other than we do with the employer," said Peter Knowlton, president of UE.

The group leading the project also reached out to other unions including National Nurses United, Lecturer’s Employees Organization, Utility Workers of America, United Voice of Australia and six independent Mexican unions.

Delegates from all over the globe attended workshops to brainstorm on how to fight back as right wing governments continue to attack workers across North America.

The conference ended with a joint statement from all the unions that says: “In the face of right-wing populism, anti immigrant rhetoric, and rising inequality, unions must act to counter balance the forces that attack workers’ rights and undermine equality for all... We believe that it is time for unions to present a bold vision for social change and union renewal that unites the working class.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018 1:30 am EST

Unifor Social Justice Fund donates to Typhoon Mangkhut relief

Picture courtesy of the Philippine Red Cross

The Unifor Social Justice Fund has donated $27,397 to the Canadian Red Cross to aid Typhoon Mangkhut relief efforts in the Philippines. On September 15, 2018 the super typhoon left over 2.9 million people affected with 31 provinces impacted, 8 of which have declared state of calamity.

“In the wake of events such as Typhoon Mangkhut there is a long recovery and rebuilding process,” said Unifor International Director Mohamad Alsadi. “The Canadian Red Cross is working to support the Philippines Red Cross Society in their efforts to ensure those who need help are able to find it.”

The Red Cross has provided services including search and retrieval in landslide-hit areas and distribution of relief items including water containers, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets and hygiene kits.

To date, the Red Cross had served 18,700 hot meals, over 207,000 litres of safe water, psychosocial support to 11,680 and hygiene promotion to 5,010.

The Red Cross aims to continue supporting those impacted by the typhoon by focusing on shelter, livelihood and basic needs, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, protection and gender inclusion, migration, and disaster risk reduction.

For more information or to make a donation visit www.redcross.ca

Picture courtesy of the Philippine Red Cross

Friday, November 9, 2018 1:00 am EST

Unifor aluminum workers lobby for tariff removal

Unifor aluminum sector workers from Quebec and British Columbia joined forces in a two-day Parliament Hill blitz to urge MPs to take action to remove a punitive tariff imposed on exports to the United States by the Trump administration.

"The duties are based on false claims that Canadian aluminum is a threat to U.S. security," said Unifor Québec Director Renaud Gagné. "We're worried about our jobs. Secondary and tertiary processing companies are particularly vulnerable as they lack the necessary financial resources to absorb the cost of these tariffs." 

Gagné and Unifor Western Regional Director Joie Warnock joined members from Locals 2301 and 1937 to meet MPs and political stakeholders in more than 50 meetings held in Ottawa on November 7 and November 8. 

"The elected officials we've met with have been very receptive. They seem to have a clear understanding of what's at stake with these tariffs. These are good jobs in regions that badly need them," said Alain Gagnon, President of Local 1937.

The aluminum lobby delegates met both government and opposition MPs to demand the full removal of U.S. aluminum tariffs on current Canadian exports without any quantity restrictions or limitations on Canadian export growth.

“In order to protect the jobs and the workers it’s key that any resolution of this issue does not include conditions that will restrict future investment or growth in the aluminum sector,” said Martin McIlwrath, President of Local 2301.

The aluminum lobby took place immediately after a midterm election that changed the U.S. political landscape as the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives.

“In our meetings we’ve urged MPs to renew action as the political change in the U.S. provides a fresh opportunity to end all of the unjust tariffs that have been imposed, including those on aluminum, steel and softwood lumber,” said Warnock. “Unifor has made it clear that we will back all necessary measures to defend the interests of Canadian workers.”

For more information and to view a video on the devastating affect that these tariffs are having on Canadian aluminum workers visit unifor.org/stoptrumptariffs.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 10:45 am EST

Ontario workers fight back

The conservative government of Ontario is levelling its first major attack on workers through Bill 47. But Unifor members are showing that the rights that workers have fought for in Ontario will not be taken away so easily.

“We’ve seen this before. Whenever they take power, conservatives don’t waste any time in trying to take away workers’ rights,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “As the workers of this province, we are the strongest opposition to the majority government’s attacks.”

Every Friday, and every day in between, Unifor members plan and execute targeted actions in their workplaces and communities across Ontario. In Ottawa, members visited the offices of MPP Fullerton where they rallied with workers from across the riding and left a note on the MPP’s locked office door asking if she would oppose Bill 47.

A similar weekly action in Woodstock resulted in MPP Ernie Hardeman finally responding to constituents’ requests for a meeting, after ignoring those requests for two weeks. These Unifor members will meet with their MPP on Thursday, November 8 and let him know where they stand on Bill 47.

“We’re not letting anyone off the hook,” said Josh Coles, Unifor Director of Membership Mobilization and Political Action. “If you’re an employer or an MPP who lobbied for or plans to support this bill, you can be sure we’re going to hold you responsible for those actions.”

In Ajax, at Loblaw-associated Logistics in Motion, organizers raised awareness at a shift change, speaking with hundreds of workers about how Bill 47 is an attack on their rights.

The proposed legislation attacks workers in three major ways.

  1. By freezing the minimum wage at $14 and eliminating key employment standards, the government is dropping the floor for workers in Ontario, pushing millions into more precarious, worse paying jobs.
  2. By making it harder to join a union or keep the union of your choice, the Ford government is telling current workers and next generation that they should settle for less fairness at work.
  3. By taking over and closing the independent Ontario College of Trades and degrading apprenticeship training, the Ford government is taking power away from this body of united workers, threatening the future of high quality apprenticeship training, and possibly endangering skilled trades workers. 

Members across the province are encouraged to participate in Fridays of Action in workplaces and communities.

“The workers’ resistance to this government’s attacks will be a marathon. Together we can speak with union members and non union workers across the province to show the ways that conservative politicians are no friend to working people,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director.

The opposition to the conservative government will grow through member-to-member conversations. Here’s how you can participate:

On Fridays, wear red.

Print and distribute the leaflets and posters from unifor.org/Bill47

Speak with your coworkers about how the bill will affect them! Ask them to take photos with the posters, and share your photos with the national union online.

Want to take the next step? Review the changes on the campaign website, and then call your MPP’s office. Ask them to vote no on Bill 47, and explain that workers in their riding strongly oppose the change.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 10:15 am EST

Local 2458 member wins Excellence in Care award

Sarah Heuston, Local 2458 won the Excellence in Care of Older Ontarians Award, presented by the Registered Practical Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

“This award goes to demonstrate that as nurses, we go the extra mile in patient care, even in the face of budget cuts and ever-increasing workload for health care workers,” said Heuston. “In Ontario, we need to redouble our efforts to address the threat of privatization, if we are to continue to provide patients with the high quality care they deserve.”

The Excellence in Care of Older Ontarians Award is dedicated to Martha Thumlert, an older adult who died unnecessarily from a hospital-acquired infection. This award celebrates the dedication of an RPN who provides exceptional care to our beloved older adults in a manner that is respectful, compassionate, professional and exemplifies nursing excellence. In particular, the award acknowledges a nurse who is focused on the improvement of safety and well-being of older Ontarians by demonstrating knowledge, innovation and leadership.

 “Local 2458 extends congratulations to Sarah for the recognition of her work,” said Tullio DiPonti, Local 2458. “We must continue to advocate for adequate funding in health care, in order to protect health care workers’ right to a workplace that facilitates the provision of such award-winning care.”

Unifor represents nearly 30,000 health care workers and advocates for greater investment in public health care.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 10:15 am EST

Hotel-Dieu Grace hospital workers make gains in bargaining

Unifor members at the Windsor, Ontario hospital Hotel-Dieu Grace Health Care have made gains in wages, benefits and vacation entitlements.

“We’re pleased for our members in the service and skilled trades units who achieved solid gains over the life of this agreement,” said Tullio DiPonti, President of Unifor Local 2458.

Both units voted 100% in favour of the collective agreements, showing their strong support of the work done by the bargaining committee.

In addition to wage increases of more than 6% over four years, workers will reach vacation thresholds sooner.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 10:00 am EST


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