Purolator Agreement Ratified by Members

To all Teamster members at Purolator:

The unanimously recommended tentative agreement was ratified by 75% of the members who voted.

We would like to thank all those who voted, attended their union meetings, spoke with their stewards, read the documentation, and asked questions.

The new 5-year agreement protects the defined-benefit pension plan, safeguards your retirement allowances, stops the company from contracting out your work, and provides an 8% raise.

As we’ve said before, a collective agreement can never be all things to all people. But this one offers gains and stability that far outweigh the economic hardship and uncertainty of a labour dispute.

We would like to congratulate your local unions and shop stewards for their hard work over the last few months.

Finally, thank you once again for your incredible support and patience during these tense negotiations.

In solidarity,

François Laporte
President of Teamsters Canada

Gary Kitchen
Chairman of the negotiating committee

On Friday we’ll commemorate the National Day of Mourning. Held annually in Canada on April 28, it’s an occasion to pay tribute to those who died or who were injured on the job. It’s also a day to remind ourselves of the importance of health and safety at work.

The latest numbers show that 852 people in Canada died in the workplace in 2015, fifteen of whom were aged between 15 and 24 years old. That’s on top of hundreds of thousands of workplace injuries, occupational illnesses, and incidents that aren’t even reported.

Finally, we can’t forget about all the parents, friends, co-workers and countless others who are impacted when someone they know falls victim to a workplace accident.

So in the spirit of solidarity, here are four ways you can commemorate the National Day of Mourning.

  1. Pause for a minute of silence at 11:00 a.m. on April 28

In some workplaces, everyone stops at 11:00 a.m. on April 28 to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of those we lost.

  1. Wear dark clothing, a black ribbon or a commemorative pin

Many show up to work on April 28 wearing black to honour those who passed. Others simply wear a black ribbon or a combative pin.

  1. Take part in a commemoration ceremony or lay a wreath

Commemoration ceremonies will take place across Canada on the morning of the National Day of Mourning. If you can make it to one of the ceremonies, you can also lay a wreath at one of the monuments dedicated to workers.

  1. Renew your commitment to prevention

Renewing your commitment to prevention means learning more about health and safety, including new issues like mental health in the workplace. Teamsters Canada launched MakeItMandatory.ca in 2015, which features videos on the topic and a call to make mental health support mandatory in workplaces.

Ottawa, April 14, 2017 – Teamsters are calling on the Trudeau government to reject the Senate’s recent amendments to Bill C-4. The amendments deprive workers of the right to safely and easily form a union by signing union membership cards. They also go against a Liberal campaign promise to restore automatic card check certification.

“Prime Minister Trudeau, we’re calling on you to keep your election promise by sending Bill C-4 back to the Senate in its original form,” said Francois Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada. “You mustn’t allow an unelected Senate to put the interests of corporations ahead of the will of an elected government.”

What is automatic card check certification?

Automatic card check certification allowed federal workers to from a union after a majority of staff members in a given workplace signed a union membership card. It meant that workers could safely form unions, unbeknownst to unfair and sometimes abusive employers.

In 2014, the Conservative government introduced a new mandatory vote regime, which forced a vote on union representation after enough workers had signed a union membership card. Employers were notified in advance of such votes, giving them enough time to launch anti-union intimidation campaigns in the workplace.

Later, the public learnt that the Conservative government had studies showing that using a mandatory vote regime was one of the best ways to weaken unions in the Canadian business sector.

How Liberals described their promise on C-4

The Liberal Party of Canada promised to grant workers automatic card check certification during the last elections. Their platform went as far recognizing that in recent years it had become “more difficult for workers to organize freely, bargain collectively in good faith, and work in safe environments.”

In his mandate letter to Labour Minister Patricia Hajdu, Justin Trudeau characterized Bill C-4 as “a critical step for our government in restoring a fair and balanced approach to labour relations”.

Minister Hajdu has publicly acknowledged that “employer interference and, more so, fear of employer interference is a real phenomenon” for workers trying to form a union. She added that the system introduced by the Conservative government “helps companies fight [union] certification campaigns.”

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

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Information:

Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514-609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

Responsible pipeline projects that create solid jobs can be a huge relief for struggling workers. That’s why we’d like to talk to you about the Project Labour Agreement (PLA) that we are seeking with Kinder Morgan for the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project.

Despite our efforts over many months to meet with Kinder Morgan, we have still not secured a commitment for jobs on TMX in British Columbia.

 
The Kinder Morgan Canadian President also publicly said that project costs were increasing due to onerous safety requirements.

Pipelines built with experienced workers are much safer than those that aren’t. So we want to let you know in advance that the B.C. Coalition for Safety Before Profits, of which Teamsters Canada is a member, launched an online campaign to tell Kinder Morgan to keep a promise they made to put safety before profits.

 
You can help by visiting www.safetybeforeprofits.ca. You’ll find easy links to Facebook, where many of our stories will be showcased, and where you can like and share with friends, relatives and neighbours.

Thousands of hard-working British Columbians are available for work. Collectively, our members have built the safest pipelines in Canada. Kinder Morgan needs to keep its promise to and ensure well-paying middle class jobs go to experienced and trained workers.

Gary Kitchen, Director of the Parcel Division at Teamsters Canada and Chairman of the Bargaining Committee

 
I would like to thank each Teamster member at Purolator for their support and patience during this most difficult set of negotiations.

When we started in August 2016, your bargaining committee was faced with an employer that was losing market share. Some of their proposals included contracting out your work, eliminating the defined benefit pension plan and your retirement allowances, and allowing 25% of all hours in each depot to go to a new type of employee at drastically reduced wages.

Faced with these threats and more, you responded with a show of solidarity by voting 97.4% in favour of strike action.

After negotiations resumed, the company presented a final offer that was ultimately rejected by 56.1% of the members who voted. The union, as mandated by the membership, served the company with a 72-hour notice of strike action that would have taken effect at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, March 29.

Both sides were called to a meeting by the Director General of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services in a last-minute attempt to avert a strike. The results of that meeting brought us to where we are today. We managed to stop the demands referred to above and reach a tentative agreement.

Your entire negotiating committee – in other words, your local union officers, business agents, and stewards – is unanimously recommending that you accept this agreement.

I will not go into the agreement’s details as you are entitled to review them before the press or the public has a chance to do so. Instead, I urge you to attend the information meetings that your local unions are scheduling. You owe it to yourself to make an informed decision on your future.

Do not rely on social media to make this important decision. While the Internet certainly makes communication immediate and far-reaching, it does not necessarily make it accurate or factual. In fact, some social media groups are rife with falsehoods and misinformation about this agreement. Attend your union meetings, talk to your steward and business agent, read the documentation, and ask questions.

Each member of the negotiating committee signed a statement in support of this unanimously recommended agreement.

While a collective agreement can never be all things to all people, the bargaining committee and I believe this agreement offers gains and stability that far outweigh the economic hardship and uncertainty of a labour dispute.

In Solidarity,

Gary Kitchen
Director, Parcel Division
Teamsters Canada

To all Teamster members at Purolator:

Your bargaining committee is unanimously recommending a memorandum of agreement. Teamsters and Purolator reached the deal at 2:30 am on March 29 after over twelve hours of intense negotiations.

Local unions are currently scheduling information meetings where details of the agreement will be made available to you. We urge you to attend these meetings, and to contact your local union should you have any questions.

Teamsters Canada is organizing an electronic ratification vote in the meantime. Voting information will be made available on teamsters.ca in the coming days.

Out of respect to members, we will not publicly release details on the agreement until everyone has had a chance to attend an information meeting. Your voting package will contain a link to read the entire agreement online.

For further information as it becomes available, please visit this website often, like Teamsters Canada on Facebook, and keep in touch with your local unions.

To view our previous update, please click here.

Updated on March 29

Teamster local unions unanimously reached a tentative agreement with Purolator early on March 29. The strike set for today at 4:30 pm has therefore been averted. More details will be made available throughout the day.

The tentative deal still needs to be ratified by members.

Purolator’s final offer was initially rejected by members on March 26. As a result of this rejection, the union had served a 72-hour notice of strike action to the company.

On March 28, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services called a meeting with both parties in an attempt to avoid a labour dispute.

For further information as it becomes available, please visit this website often, like Teamsters Canada on Facebook, and keep in touch with your local unions.

To view our previous update, please click here.

Laval, March 22, 2016 — Teamsters are satisfied with the Trudeau government’s second budget, which continues on the path laid out in the previous budget.

“Workers and the middle class should benefit from this budget,” commented François Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada.

New measures to help Canadians keep their skills up to date are a good first step in dealing with the challenges posed by automation. However, the government will need a more aggressive strategy as technological change is expected to eliminate jobs faster than people can retrain.

Though details are lacking, proposed changes to make the Canada Labour Code more “flexible” will need to be carefully analyzed. Teamsters will fight any attempt to go after labour rights and job security.

Welcome investments

In an effort to put Canadians back to work, infrastructure spending should be expedited wherever possible.

“We recognize that investing billions of dollars quickly and intelligently is easier said than done,” explained Laporte. “But the government also needs to recognize that fixing and building the nation’s infrastructure creates much needed jobs for tens of thousands of Canadians.”

Teamsters applaud the federal government for investing $5 billion over 10 years on mental health. The union views mental health in the workplace as a pressing issue; according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, mental illness costs the economy over $51 billion each year.

The $867 million investment in Via Rail is also welcome news, as it stands to directly benefit travellers and Teamster members employed at the crown corporation.

A matter of fairness

Teamsters are pleased that the federal government will force ride-sharing companies like Uber to register and collect sales taxes. “We’re glad that the government has started to tackle the issue of the sharing economy,” added Laporte.

Efforts to crack down on tax evasion are also welcome, as long as the government has the courage to target big banks and large accounting firms. According to the Conference Board of Canada, tax evasion could cost Canadians up to $47.8 billion.

Teamsters urge the government to eliminate the tax credit on stock options in a future budget. The write-off disproportionately benefits Canada’s richest CEOs, who already earn over 193 times the average worker’s salary.

Finally, the union is delighted that the government’s budget recognizes issues faced by women, indigenous people, and the LGBTQ community.

“We’ll carefully monitor the implementation of this year’s federal budget,” concluded Laporte. “Overall, we’re satisfied and hope the Canadian economy will respond positively in the coming months.”

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

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Information:

Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514-609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

 

Laval, March 22, 2017 – The roughly 160 pilots and flight attendants employed by Air Inuit ratified a new collective agreement that guarantees industrial peace with the air carrier until 2023. Non-monetary and monetary clauses will be enhanced in the new contract.

Teamsters Local Union 1999 has represented Air Inuit workers since 1996.

Negotiations, which began in 2015, were not without snags. Management proposals were rejected by Teamsters members twice before being ratified on March 7. The assistance of conciliators and mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) was also required during talks.

“I would like to salute the work of the negotiating committee, as well as the patience shown by these workers, who really pulled together for two long years,” said Teamsters Local Union 1999 Chair, Michel Héroux. “Our members help provide quality air transportation services to the aboriginal communities of northern Quebec. That’s why we’re so committed to improving their living conditions.”

Air Inuit was founded in 1978. The airline provides freight and passenger service as well as charter and emergency flights in northern Quebec and elsewhere in Canada and the United States. It serves some 21 communities, including 14 villages in Nunavik. Air Inuit operates a fleet of 27 aircraft.

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

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Information:

Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514-609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

Laval, March 17, 2017 — Last Wednesday, Influence Communication announced that the storm that paralyzed Quebec was one of the most publicized news in the last 48 hours. Authorities were well aware that the situation on Quebec roads would be difficult once the storm began.

Yet, despite all the advance warnings, the province’s Ministry of Transportation (MTQ) did not find it necessary to dispatch additional teams, notably to clear the A-13. We all know what happened next.

Yesterday morning, the Quebec Provincial Police’s (QPP) allegations against the two truck drivers who were stuck in the snow provoked the anger of the Teamsters Union, truck drivers and many observers in the trucking industry. Some commentators even described these accusations as low and “cheap”.

In the course of the interviews given by Quebec’s Transportation Minister, Laurent Lessard, a number of questions were left unanswered, feeding the popular perception that the politician is not in control of his department.

The Teamsters Union is therefore asking Premier Couillard to remove Laurent Lessard from his position and to turn over Transport Quebec to someone who can handle the department.

Based on the premise that the MTQ did not clear the roads properly to begin with, the two truckers were victims of the situation, and not the cause of the problem.

A witch hunt

The two truck drivers targeted by the QPP are under considerable stress at the moment. But what could justify criminal charges against two truck drivers who were also victims of the negligence of the MTQ? The QPP’s allegations are all the more unacceptable since there were no patrol officers on site to order the truckers to have their trucks towed.

Common sense demands that Premier Couillard call the QPP to order and put an end to this witch hunt!

The Teamsters Union represents nearly 4,000 truckers who drive the roads of Quebec daily. In North America, the Teamsters defend the interests of 60,000 truckers. Our unique perspective of the trucking industry, the state of the roads and the challenges that truckers face is unparalleled.

Roads are the truck driver’s workplace. Every day, our members, just like non-unionized truckers, face the stress inherent to their trade: poorly maintained roads, difficult weather conditions, unreasonable delivery deadlines, delinquent behaviour by other motorists, unpredictable schedules, detours, inadequate road signs, never-ending roadwork, traffic bans, etc.

In this regard, the Teamsters Union filed a position paper during the recent SAAQ consultations on road safety.

Despite their difficult working conditions, truckers are major contributors to Quebec’s economy. For independent truck drivers, as is the case here, the high cost of having their tractor trailer towed in a major snow storm may have been a question of economic survival. For these truckers, the cost of the tow could have meant two, or even three or four weeks of wages coming out of their pocket.

Plus, there is no indication that motorists stuck behind the trucks would have been able to move, since smaller vehicles typically can’t get through roads that are too snowy large trucks.

The authorities would be well-advised to recognize the issues facing our members—and all truck drivers—and to address problems without pointing the finger at people who work hard every day to provide for their families.

The government must step up and take responsibility.

Teamsters Canada represents 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 4,000 members in the trucking industry in Quebec and 16,000 members in Canada. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America, including 60,000 members in road transportation.

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Information:

Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514-609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca