Teamsters Canada Finds Trudeau Budget Lacking

François Laporte, President, Teamsters Canada
François Laporte, President, Teamsters Canada

Laval, QC, March 19, 2019 – Teamsters Canada President François Laporte released the following statement on the 2019 federal budget:

“Our union finds the 2019 federal budget lacking. The compensation package for the dairy industry contains nothing for dairy workers at risk of losing their jobs. Moreover, the government is lacking ambition on issues like pharmacare and retraining.

“If a government finds it is necessary to compensate an industry for harm caused by a trade deal, then they should also explicitly compensate workers. Today’s compensation package was designed for farmers. Those funds will not trickle down to everyone else who depends on the dairy industry for their livelihoods. Workers in the dairy processing sector or in bulk milk transportation are getting nothing.

“Generally speaking, the government needs to get more ambitious when it comes to retraining and life-long learning. A measly $250 annual credit to cover the cost of courses is simply not enough, considering that 42% of jobs in Canada are at high-risk of being automated in the next two decades.

“Expanding our social safety net will help Canadians navigate the coming changes to our economy. The creation of the Canadian Drug Agency and the development of a national formulary are steps in the right direction, but Canada remains the only country in the world with a universal healthcare system that excludes prescription drugs.

“Teamsters are pleased that the government is taking action to increase taxes on stock options. The write-off disproportionately benefits Canada’s richest CEOs, who already earn close to 200 times the average worker’s salary. This was one of the points we raised following last year’s budget.

“Our union welcomes today’s investment in passenger rail service for remote communities, as it stands to benefit commuters and bring the country closer together.

“We would have preferred to see even more infrastructure investments in the budget, as well as measures to expedite previously announced infrastructure spending. These investments create good jobs for Teamster members and working-class Canadians, while ensuring that supply chains remain efficient and competitive.

“The budget recognizes the importance of Canada’s pipeline infrastructure. It notes that the growing supply of crude oil from Western Canada has exceeded available export pipeline infrastructure. We are disappointed that no measures were taken to address that problem, considering the difficulties facing energy sector workers.”

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 5,000 in the dairy industry and 16,000 in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

-30-

Media requests:

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

Laval, QC, March 15, 2019 – The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and the families of the victims of the Ponton Derailment are welcoming Manitoba MP Niki Ashton’s call for an inquiry into the causes of the incident. This follows a Transport Canada directive which found failures in how the employer handled the situation. The derailment killed a conductor and left a locomotive engineer with life altering injuries.

“We are all surprised that the Transport Canada directive indicates that the employer was aware that the location at which the derailment occurred had, only five days before, been the subject of concern involving a passenger train,” said TCRC spokesperson Roland Hackl. “The union and operating crew were not previously aware of this. We note that the employer says it was a different location, but either way, there clearly appears to have been a known risk.”

The other concerns listed by Transport Canada, like the absence of communications support and ambulance service, were also raised by the union and the families in the aftermath of the derailment.

The Transport Canada directive can be read here.

“We are disappointed that the Hudson Bay Railway has chosen to appeal the directive. The TCRC will be participating at the hearing. This isn’t about pointing fingers. It’s about figuring out what went wrong, how the system failed and making sure it never happens again,” added Hackl.

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 finally died of blood loss while still at the scene of the crash.

The deceased conductor has now been identified as 38-year-old Kevin Anderson. The surviving locomotive engineer is a 59-year-old man who asks that his privacy be respected at this time.

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including over 16,000 workers in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

-30-

Media requests :

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

MORE LIKE THIS

Teamsters Request Coroner’s Inquest into Death of Conductor

Laval, QC, March 15, 2019 – The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) has filed for intervenor status to support the government’s order requiring the use of handbrakes when trains stop on a mountain grade after using their emergency braking system. Canada Pacific (CP), Canadian National (CN) and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) are all seeking a review of this order.

The order came after a major CP train derailment near Field, BC, which cost the lives of three railroaders, all members of the TCRC.

“The air braking systems on a train are designed for safely controlling the movement of a train during operation. The mechanical brakes – handbrakes – are designed for securing stationary equipment. When an emergency occurs, the train needs to be secured so the emergency situation can be assessed, and corrective action taken without the risk of involuntary movement of the train,” explained the president of the TCRC, Lyndon Isaak. “The ministerial order requires the use of handbrakes – the amount of handbrakes being determined by grade and the weight of train – to safely ensure the equipment is secure, thus ensuring the safety of employees and the general public.”

“At this stage, it is impossible to make an informed decision on whether or not there are safer alternatives to handbrakes. Our union believes the government’s order should remain in place until we have more information about the Field derailment, and any alternatives to the order have been tried and tested to ensure safety,” he added.

The rail industry’s appeal will be heard by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including over 16,000 workers in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

– 30 –

Media requests:

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

MORE LIKE THIS

Teamsters Applaud Order to Use Train Handbrakes on Mountain Slopes
Major CP Derailment Leaves Three Railroaders Dead

Friends,

Last night’s shooting at two Mosques in New Zealand was a heartbreaking and vile terrorist attack.

Most of us have a Muslim friend, neighbour, or co-worker. These good, honest, hard-working people deserve as much love and respect as any other human being.

Thousands of our members are Muslims. We stand in solidarity with them and all those who feel touched by this tragedy.

On behalf of all Teamsters, I would like to wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured, and offer our sincerest condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones.

Evil will not triumph.

Thank you,

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada

Laval, QC, March 11, 2019 – Teamsters are calling for dairy workers to be compensated in the upcoming federal budget for losses from recent trade agreements. The union represents 5,000 dairy workers in Canada in the dairy processing sector and in bulk milk and dairy product transportation.

“If a government finds it is necessary to compensate an industry for harm caused by a trade deal, then they should also explicitly compensate workers,” explained François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada. “Compensating businesses will not help workers who lose their jobs. The benefits do not trickle down.”

The impact of CETA, the CPTPP and NAFTA 2.0 (CUSMA) on Canada’s dairy sector is cumulative and severe. Close to 10% of the Canadian dairy market – the equivalent of a quarter of a billion dollars annually – has been sacrificed on the altar of these free trade agreements.

Workers deserve access to training funds to upgrade skills within the dairy sector. If they lose their jobs, they need funding for skills upgrading in addition to those available through existing programs, or funds to help older workers bridge into retirement with dignity.

“Workers need to be part of the picture. But the compensation package for the dairy industry is being negotiated in secret between the federal government and big business. Ottawa has inexplicably chosen not to consult unions on the issue,” said Paul Barton, Director of the Teamsters Canada Dairy Division.

The next federal budget is set to be tabled on Tuesday, March 19.

Teamsters Canada represents 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 5,000 in the dairy industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

-30-

Media requests:

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

Laval, QC, March 9, 2019 — Teamsters Local Union 931 has filed a request for union certification on behalf of approximately 30 owner operators at FedEx Freight. The Montréal-based workers make deliveries and drive semi-trucks for a living.

Teamsters have been actively organizing FedEx drivers from coast to coast to coast. Workers at a FedEx warehouse in Surrey, BC, have also chosen Teamsters Local Union 31 to represent them.

“That was our first major organizing victory, after FedEx pilots joined in the United States,” explained the president of Teamsters Canada, François Laporte. “These workers want better and they deserve better.”

The formal request for union certification was filed on Thursday with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board.

“I would like to welcome the FedEx Freight workers into the big Teamster family,” added the president of Teamsters Local Union 931, Richard Lamoureux. “Teamsters are the dominant union in the transportation industry in North America. These workers make the right choice.”

The presidents of Teamsters Canada and Teamsters Local Union 931 also wanted to thank organizers Alain Coursol and Alain Turcotte for their excellent work, as well as the workers who helped with the union drive.

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including over 17,000 workers in the courier industry and over 15 000 long-haul truckers. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

-30-

Media requests :

Stéphane Lacroix
Director of Communications and Public Affairs (Québec)
Cell : 514 609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

fernanda
Fernanda Santos, Member of the Teamsters Canada Executive Board

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let us take a moment to remember the many strong and determined women who fought bravely and relentlessly for us to have equal rights and status in society.

Women like Thérèse Casgrain, who fought for women’s suffrage and who became the first female leader of a political party in Canada. And women like Agnes Macphail, who served as Canada’s first female MP and who later went on to serve in provincial politics, introducing Ontario’s first equal-pay legislation.

Without those pioneers, the road would not have been paved and we would not be where we are today.

There are many, many other women we have to thank for getting us to where we are today, not all of whom are famous or well known. But let’s not forget that we still have a long way to go.

There are still many women in many countries that are miles and miles away from achieving status and having any rights in their society.

Lest we forget that globally, women still earn only 50 cents for every dollar a man makes. Every year, 12 million girls marry before the age of 18. Women are also disproportionately affected by domestic violence.

It is clear to me that every generation, and every country, will need their pioneers to continue forging ahead toward equality.

People everywhere need to remain proud, strong and determined to continue paving the road until women in every country, without exception, can enjoy equal rights and status!

by Fernanda Santos,
Member of the Teamsters Canada Executive Board

#teamsterswomen ‪#InternationalWomensDay
#HappyWomensDay2019 #IWD2019 #WomensDay
#InnovateForChange

The death of seven children in a Halifax house fire has shocked and saddened our union.

My thoughts are with the young victims’ family and loved ones. No parent should ever have to bury their children.

I pray that the two adult survivors of the fire, who are still in hospital and who are presumed to be the victims’ parents, will one find the strength to recover.

On behalf of our union’s 125,000 members, I would like to express our sincerest condolences to everyone affected by these events.

In sympathy and solidarity,

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada

Calgary, February 8, 2018 – Teamsters are applauding Transport Canada’s order that all railway companies must use handbrakes when trains are stopped on a mountain grade after an emergency use of their air brakes. The order comes after a deadly train derailment between Field, BC and Calgary which cost the lives of three railroaders, all members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

“Transport Canada’s order on the use of handbrakes is a clear demonstration of their commitment to rail safety,” said Don Ashley, National Legislative Director of the TCRC. “We can’t be taking any chances until the exact causes of this tragic derailment are determined. You can’t put a price tag on rail safety – it’s a matter of life and death.”

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including over 16,000 workers in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

-30-

Media requests:

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

Accident marks eight deaths in the rail industry in a little over one year…

Calgary, AB, February 4, 2019 – Three members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) have died as a result of a major Canadian Pacific (CP) train derailment. The accident occurred at approximately 1 a.m. Mountain Time between Field, BC and Calgary, AB.

Details are sparse at this stage. Teamsters have learned that the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators to the crash. The union will cooperate fully with the TSB and CP, monitoring the investigation’s progress closely.

“Our hearts and our deepest condolences go out to the victims’ loved ones and co-workers. Our union and its 125,000 members stand with them in mourning,” said François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada.

The three victims are believed to be a locomotive engineer, a conductor, and a conductor trainee. Their names have not yet been released.

Eight railway workers have now died in Canada since November 2017. Investigations into these accidents are still ongoing.

“Today, our focus is on this accident as well as the victims’ friends and families. But moving forward, the government and the rail industry will have to recognize that something is wrong and change is needed. Eight workplace fatalities in a little over a year is not something that should be expected or accepted,” said Lyndon Isaack, President of the TCRC.

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including over 16,000 workers in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

-30-

Media requests:

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