Teamsters Crash Groundbreaking Ceremony at New Molson Brewery

Laval, QC, October 19, 2018 – They weren’t invited to the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future Molson Brewery on the South Shore of Montréal, but the Teamsters Union decided to show up anyway. Éric Picotte, spokesman and union president for workers at the Molson Brewery on Notre-Dame Street, will be available for interviews. He will be accompanied by his Teamster brothers and sisters from Notre-Dame Street in Montréal.

While Teamsters are happy that Molson-Coors chose to maintain its activities in the metropolitan area, there are still important issues left to tackle regarding the shift from brown-bottled beer to canned beer.

Former provincial Environment Minister Isabelle Melancon had ignored several requests from the Teamsters Union to meet to discuss the future of the Recyc-Québec agreement, which ended two years ago.

This agreement stems from the Act respecting the sale and distribution of beer and soft drinks in non-returnable containers, which imposed penalties on brewers if they sold more than 37% of their beer in cans. Since 55% of beer in Québec is sold in cans, it’s clear that the agreement wasn’t enough to convince the Molsons and the Labatts of this world to shift beer production away from less eco-friendly containers.

Since the Recyc-Québec agreement has now expired, brewers can theoretically produce as much canned beer as they want without having to pay penalties.

Teamsters want to discuss these issues with MarieChantal Chassé, the new provincial environment minister, as soon as possible. Molson’s decision regarding its new factory will have economic, social and environmental consequences.

Economic consequences – The shift to canned beer that brewers like Molson have undertaken, along with the construction of a new high-tech brewery complete, could lead to job losses, as canning lines need less labour than bottling lines. Our opinion is that canned beer benefits Molson’s shareholder, not the community or workers.

Social consequences – Jobs losses could lead to revenue shortfalls for local, provincial and federal governments, and put working-age men and women on government assistance. The shift to canned beer can have consequences that the Legault Government would be wrong to underestimate.

Environmental consequences – Capped brown beer bottles are recycled up to 17 times before being crushed and melted in the Montréal area and resold. Cans are single-use containers, and are recycled outside of the province. Moreover, close to one third of aluminum containers end up in landfills. Capped brown beer bottles are therefore much better for the environment.

The recent IPCC report regarding the urgent need to act on the climate crisis only adds to the concerns being raised by the Teamsters Union. The use and distribution of capped brown beer bottles produce less CO2 than cans.

When announcing his cabinet, Premier Legault mentioned today that the environment is a sincere concern of his.

The uncertainty is pushing some to quit

Molson workers have been worried ever since they learned that a new brewery will be built on the South Shore of Montréal. The shift to canned beer, technological changes and a general lack of information about the new brewery have created a feeling of uncertainty among workers, pushing about 40 workers to quit since last summer.

Molson-Coors can’t afford to lose so many workers in a period of full employment. The company must better communicate what to expect from the move to the South-Shore of Montréal to retain and reassure workers transitioning to the new brewery.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Molson brewery on the South Shore of Montréal is an important event. Teamsters would like to invite the press to meet them to get a better picture of all the issues that will affect workers and citizens.

Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, represents 1.4 million workers in North America.

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Media requests :

Stéphane Lacroix
Cell : 514 609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

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Laval, QC, October 15, 2018 – Some 400 workers at Téo taxi have chosen Teamsters Local 1999 to defend their interests. A request for union certification filed on July 31 this year was certified by the labour board this week.

The organizing campaign started when workers got in touch with the Teamsters to discuss issues with their current employer. Some workers complained about having been fired over engaging in union activities. Teamster lawyers filed complaints with the labour board before the workers were even unionized, and hearings are set for November.

“I would like to salute the courage of these drivers,” said Michel Héroux, president of Local Union 1999. “After standing by them every step of the way, I’m very happy to welcome them into the Teamster family.”

A representative from Local Union 1999 will once again consult members over the coming weeks before starting negotiations over a first collective agreement.

“People want to improve their working conditions while assuring a certain degree of stability in their lives and that’s what we intend to negotiate with Téo taxi management,” concluded the union leader.

Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, represents 1.4 million workers in North America.

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Media requests :

Stéphane Lacroix
Cell : 514 609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

It’s with sadness that the Teamsters Union learned that a pioneer of our union in Québec, Pierre Deschamps, passed away.

Brother Deschamps was president of Joint Council 91 (Teamsters Québec) in the 90s early 2000s, after having been president of Local Union 931 from 1971 to 1992. He cut his teeth in the Teamsters as an organizer and climbed the ranks to become one of our union’s leaders.

Brother Deschamps was at the forefront of major Teamster battles for decades.

Thanks for everything, Pierre!

Laval, QC, October 1, 2018 – The Teamsters have written to the Chief Medical Examiner of Manitoba to request a coroner’s inquest into a September 15 derailment near Ponton, MB that killed a conductor and left a locomotive engineer with life altering injuries.

Both men initially survived the crash, and the injuries sustained by the conductor appeared to have been entirely survivable. But paramedics were not allowed to attend to the wreck site. It is not clear how that decision was made, or by whom. Nine and a half hours after the derailment, the conductor apparently died as a broken bone bled out.

“Our hope is that an inquest will shed light on how this incident could have either been prevented or, at the very least, how to ensure critical medical attention could have reached these two workers sooner, easing their suffering and perhaps making it possible for a 38-year-old man to still be with us,” said Roland Hackl, Vice-President of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

The wreckage of the train was discovered entirely by chance by a helicopter. The outside world only became aware of the derailment some two hours after the crash, when the helicopter crew was able to find cell service and call for help. The Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the cause of the derailment.

“Our railway family is grieving and in pain. We kindly ask that the media respect this and give the families of the affected members some space by not contacting them at this time,” added Hackl.

Download the letter to the Chief Medical Examiner of Manitoba.

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including over 12,000 workers in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

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Media requests:

Christopher Monette
Director of Public Affairs
Teamsters Canada
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

The devil is in the details…

Laval, QC, October 1, 2018 – Teamsters Canada will be studying the final agreement and its implementing legislation before deciding to support or stand against the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“Teamsters in both Canada and the United States have been working tirelessly to ensure the new NAFTA works for workers. This new trade agreement makes progress in some key areas, like labour and dispute settlement, but raises serious concerns on dairy,” said François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada. “Ultimately, the devil is in the details. Teamsters on both sides of the border will withhold their support until we can fully analyze the USMCA.”

Dairy

Concessions on dairy market access are especially concerning. Dairy was not part of the original NAFTA and it should not have been part of its replacement. It is difficult to imagine how these new concessions will benefit rural communities and the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who work in the dairy industry.

The dairy concessions did not take place in a vacuum. They follow previous trade agreements in which access to the Canadian dairy market was granted, sacrificing the equivalent of a quarter of a billion dollars annually in dairy production to industries in other countries.

Labour

We note with approval the progress which has been made on the new labour chapter. On paper, the new labour chapter is superior to the original NAFTA and the CPTPP, and will force Canada to ban goods made by child labour. Its enforceability remains to be tested, and the numerous footnotes to the labour chapter still need to be studied.

Transportation

The United States has reserved the right to institute new restrictions on Mexican-domiciled carriers, and Teamsters look forward to working with the U.S. Administration and Congress to craft those new restrictions in the implementing legislation and new regulations. These restrictions are meant to protect jobs, improve highway safety and address some environmental concerns.

Unfortunately, both the U.S. and Canadian governments failed to address a similar issue with freight rail. Teamsters had been lobbying to stop rail companies from using workers from one country to drive trains deep into the territory of another country, instead of stopping for a crew change at or near the border.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

The investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism granted investors the right to sue foreign governments without first pursuing legal action in the country’s court systems, to protect foreign investors from supposed discrimination.

We are glad that the controversial ISDS corporate court system was purged from the final deal. Under ISDS, Canada became the most sued NAFTA nation because of its comparatively stronger environmental and public health regulations. Corporate interests should never trump the public interest.

National Security Tariffs

We note with disappointment that negotiators still have not found a solution to the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs which have been affecting Teamsters in Canada’s manufacturing sector. It is ridiculous for any nation – let alone the U.S. – to call Canada a national security threat.

Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, represents 1.4 million workers in North America.

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Media requests:

Christopher Monette
Director of Public Affairs
Teamsters Canada
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

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Laval, Qc, September 16, 2018 – One member of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) died and another was taken to hospital in critical condition following a train derailment on the Hudson Bay Railway.

“Our thoughts are with the friends, families, and coworkers of the two men involved in this tragic accident,” said Doug Finnson, President of the TCRC. “As we mourn the loss of one of our Teamster brothers, we are also praying for the recovery of the man who remains in hospital at this time.”

The derailment occurred in the evening of Saturday, September 15 near Ponton, Manitoba. The TCRC is actively monitoring the situation and has written to the Arctic Gateway Group, which owns the Hudson Bay Railway, to request to be made aware of developments as they arise.

The cause of the derailment remains unknown at this early stage. The TCRC intends to fully cooperate with any investigation by the employer or the Transportation Safety Board.

The victims’ names will not be released by the TCRC out of respect for their loved ones.

Teamsters represent locomotive engineers and conductors who operate on the Hudson Bay Railway.

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including over 10,000 workers in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

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Media requests:

Christopher Monette
Director of Public Affairs
Teamsters Canada
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

Laval, September 14, 2018 — Teamsters will meet this month with managers at cement company Demix to demand that the “Optimizer” tablet computers that were installed on board its trucks be deactivated. The tabs are being used to send and receive messages while the vehicle is moving.

The tabs, which were installed in fall 2017, initially couldn’t be used if a truck was moving faster than 50 km/h. But workers, who are members of Teamsters Local Union 931 in Montreal, later noticed that they could send and receive messages regardless of the vehicle’s speed.

The company is using the tabs to send messages about routes, assignment changes and
dinner breaks. Workers felt obligated to open the messages and to look at the screen for several long seconds before directing their attention back to driving.

Once the Teamsters were made aware of the situation, the union reminded its members that it is illegal to use these devices while driving, and that doing so puts lives at risk.

After inquiring about the issue with workers at other cement companies, the Teamsters found that the use of tablet computers is not a widespread problem in the industry.

Many semi-trailer truck fleets are equipped with devices similar to the “Optimizer” tablet which can be used in a very limited way while the vehicle is moving. In some cases, when the driver receives a message, an envelope appears on the screen. When the driver taps the envelope, the message is read out loud by the device. The driver therefore doesn’t have to look away from the road, unlike the tablets which were installed on board the Demix trucks.

Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including more than 15,000 in the trucking industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, represents 1.4 million workers in North America.

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Media contact:
Christopher Monette
Director of Public Affairs, Teamsters Canada
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

Hoffa, Laporte Say Workers’ Concerns Must Be Put Front-and-Centre in Any Agreement

Laval, QC, September 10, 2018 — The following is a joint statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and Teamsters Canada President François Laporte in response to outstanding issues that U.S. and Canadian trade representatives must hash out to ensure that a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a deal that works for workers.

“As negotiators eye the finish line for replacing NAFTA, it is time for parties on both sides to reach consensus on the remaining issues that are holding up completion of the pact. We reiterate that this must be a trilateral agreement to enjoy the support of the Teamsters. Any compromises, however, must put the needs of workers across the continent first instead of just further lining the pockets of big business.

“To start, labour rights provisions included in the Labor Chapter must protect workers and their ability to organize with independent unions, and must be enforceable. North American families deserve the dignity that fair wages and working conditions bring.

“Additionally, the U.S. and Canada must create a mutually beneficial landing zone where they can come to terms on dairy and dispute settlement. For the U.S., that means compromising when it comes to Canada’s dairy market and supply management system. Meanwhile, Canada must not allow its views of the current U.S. administration to cloud its judgment and should drop its demand to preserve Chapter 19 dispute settlement.

“If all this is done, NAFTA 2.0 can become an agreement that lifts up North American workers and, therefore, can be supported by the same unions that have opposed the original deal and its expansion in other free trade pacts for over twenty years.”

Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 5000 in the dairy industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, represents 1.4 million workers in North America.

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Media contact:

Christopher Monette
Director of Public Affairs, Teamsters Canada
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

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Hoffa, Laporte Say Continent-Wide Deal Is Necessary to Garner Union’s Support

WASHINGTON – The following is a joint statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and Teamsters Canada President François Laporte in response to ongoing North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) reform discussions taking place in Washington now between U.S. and Canadian trade representatives and the need for a trilateral agreement.

“The Teamsters are encouraged to see U.S. and Canadian representatives sitting down this week and trying to reach agreement on essential outstanding issues as part of NAFTA 2.0. Canada’s inclusion in any revamped trade deal is necessary if the Teamsters are ultimately going to endorse this pact.

“Likewise, all North American nations must be included in a freight rail fix the Teamsters and our Mexican rail union brethren are demanding that would protect the jobs of some 143,000 freight rail workers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It builds off an agreement reached by the continent’s railway unions two decades ago in the spirit of solidarity – that no movement of employees across borders would occur absent explicit agreement with the unions permitting it.

“The U.S. Teamsters-affiliated Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen sent a letter to President Trump in July informing him that Kansas City Southern Railway was already allowing Mexican rail workers to staff trains inside U.S. borders, in violation of federal law.

“Similarly, Teamsters Canada sent a letter to the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs in late August calling on Canada to protect its rail members from companies wishing to replace them with U.S. workers. It referenced the 2015 actions of Canadian Pacific Railway as necessitating the request.

“We note that the exclusion of foreign rail crews that the Mexican government inserted in the original NAFTA is likely to survive into the replacement agreement and therefore we call on the U.S. and Canadian governments to similarly protect our freight rail crew members. These workers are members of BLET and TCRC, Teamsters all, and we expect that their existing collective bargaining agreements will be honored and their jobs will be protected from unilateral cross-border incursion under any new trilateral NAFTA replacement.

“The threat to North American rail workers is real. We urge the U.S. and Canada to make sure these workers are protected as part of a new NAFTA.”

Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, represents 1.4 million workers in North America.

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Media contact:

Christopher Monette
Director of Public Affairs
Teamsters Canada
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

MORE LIKE THIS

TELL THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TO PROTECT SUPPLY MANAGEMENT!
CANADA MUSTN’T CAVE TO NAFTA BULLYING
TEAMSTERS WANT TRIPARTITE TRADE AGREEMENT

President Trump continues to bully Canada to give ground on dairy, so that American farmers can export more American milk to Canada – replacing locally produced high quality Canadian milk and dairy products on our store shelves. Recently, Prime Minister Trudeau stated once again that the Canadian Government remains steadfast in its support of Canadian dairy farmers and the system of supply management.

Dairy farmers, their families and the hundreds of thousands of Canadians whose jobs are linked to the Canadian dairy sector are now counting on your support.

Please sign your name to the letter here, to encourage the Prime Minister to keep defending our dairy farmers at the NAFTA negotiating table. This letter will be sent to the Prime Minister, copying Canada’s Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, in addition to your local MP.

With a potential deal coming this week, we urge you to join the more than 20,000 Canadians who have already signed a letter and add your name to this important initiative. Please encourage your friends and family members to do the same. If you have already signed the letter, know that your support is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much for your help!