We Will Never Forget

Six years ago today, tragedy struck our sisters and brothers at G4S. While performing a routine cash service at the University of Alberta’s HUB Mall, Travis Baumgartner fatally shot three of his coworkers, Eddie Rejano, Brian Ilesic and Michelle Shegelski. A fourth, Matthew Schuman, was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds to the head.

This terrible tragedy moved and shocked us all, and sparked a powerful desire to understand, prevent and better react to similar events.

As members of Local Union 362 explored, they discovered that the ripple effect of the shootings had had devastating impacts on the mental health of those involved, as well as their families, friends and colleagues.

On this sad anniversary, I ask that you reflect on the lives that were lost. I also ask that you take a moment to watch some of the powerful videos produced by Local Union 362 about the shooting.

The full campaign from Local Union 362 can be viewed here.

In solidarity,

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada

Laval, QC, June 13, 2018 – Today, the Teamsters Canada Executive Board unanimously passed a resolution denouncing U.S. President Donald Trump, his personal attacks against Prime Minister Trudeau and his administration’s tariffs on Canadian goods. The resolution also reiterates the union’s support for the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

“In standing up to Donald Trump, Prime Minister Trudeau is righteously defending Canadian workers, industries, and jobs. Our union fully supports the Prime Minister and any retaliatory actions he may deem necessary in response to U.S. tariffs,” said François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada.

“We know that the majority of Americans are good people, many of whom are embarrassed by their president,” continued Laporte. “Let me make it clear that this resolution has nothing to do with the Americans and everything to do with the president.”

Since the G7 summit, people from across the political spectrum on both sides of the border, from Doug Ford to Jagmeet Singh and from John McCain to Bernie Sanders, have also denounced the U.S. president’s attitude on Canada.

These are not alternative facts

Canada and the U.S. enjoy a balanced trade relationship. The United States Trade Representative estimated the trade of goods and services between the two countries at US$673.9 billion in 2017. On that amount, the United States had US$8.4 billion trade surplus.

Canada bought US$341.2 billion from the United States in 2017, making it America’s biggest customer. According to Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador to Canada, 99% of trade between Canada and the United States is tariff free.

Dairy appears to be the U.S. president’s biggest issue when it comes to trade with Canada. American dairy exports to Canada are tariff-free until a quota is met, and according to the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. enjoyed a dairy trade surplus of nearly US$518 million over Canada in 2017.

Ambassador Heyman has said that dairy accounts for less than 0.5% of total trade between the two countries.

“Donald Trump’s willingness to start a trade war over what amounts to spilled milk can only lead to job losses on both sides of the border,” concluded François Laporte. “We condemn his recklessness in the strongest possible terms.”

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

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USA-CANADA
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters stand in solidarity with our Canadian brothers and sisters in calling for an end to the personal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a permanent exemption of tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel.

Click here to read the original letter from United Way.

May 21, 2018

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada
804-2540, boulevard Daniel-Johnson
Laval (QC) H7T 2S3

Dear Mr. Laporte,

I am honoured to grant Teamsters Canada and its members the “2017 Thanks a Million” award for raising over $1 million in support of the community work carried out by Centraide/United Way. Every year, this award is bestowed upon the country’s leading corporations and labour organizations on behalf of all Centraide/United Way Canada’s offices.

Please convey my heartfelt gratitude to the members of Teamsters Canada. Your collective contributions help us improve the lives of our fellow Canadians at the local level and make our communities better places to live for all.

A Centraide/United Way representative from your area will contact you to celebrate this remarkable feat. We will gladly highlight your generous support on the national website of Centraide/United Way (centraide.ca), as of June 25, 2018.

It is important to make other Canadians aware of the commitment shown by your organization and its members to build community. Your outstanding generosity sets a wonderful example and allows us to continue promoting charitable investments in our great country.

Thank you again for your unfailing support. We appreciate your confidence in our ability to make positive, lasting changes. When all we work together, anything is possible.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Jacline Nyman
President and CEO

c.c. Lili-Anna Peresa, President and CEO, Centraide of Greater Montreal

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The annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) came to a close last Wednesday. The CCMTA is responsible for the coordination, administration, regulation and control of road transportation and road safety across the country. Its members include government decision makers, including federal and provincial transport ministers, representatives from the American Department of Transportation, as well as representatives from the trucking industry.

Leo Laliberté from Teamsters Local Union 106 and Stéphane Lacroix from Teamsters Canada were present, along with Johanne Couture from the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). These three individuals were the only ones representing transportation industry workers at this important meeting. Unfortunately, brother John McCann, our National Freight Director, had to attend to a family matter. Teamsters Canada’s lobbyist Phil Benson had to attend a Senate Committee on autonomous vehicles so neither could participate in the CCMTA meetings.

This year, the event was held at Québec City Convention Centre. Discussion ranged from road safety, the use of electronic devices in vehicles, the legalization of cannabis, automation, electronic drivers’ licences and harmonizing a diverse array of national and territorial regulations.

Teamster representatives took part in several workshops and conferences for updates on how the industry is changing, all while striving to make workers’ voices heard by the different stakeholders at the CCMTA.

Safety First

Experts on road safety demonstrated how road users are insisting on using cellphones while driving – despite governments levying heftier fines with more demerit points. They also explained studies that show how on-board systems, like built-in navigation consoles, still aren’t being designed to limit interactions between the driver and the system, thus considerably increasing the risk of accidents.

Let’s be frank – using a cellphone while driving is both dangerous and illegal. When you start your car or your truck, your device should be stowed until you reach your destination.

For truckers, cellphones aren’t the biggest problem. Statistics from police forces across Canada show that truckers get more fines for seatbelts than for using electronic devices.

The issues facing professional drivers

Despite warnings, open letters and interviews given by the Teamsters, legislators will soon allow fleets of autonomous vehicles on our roads, even as the technology has yet to be proven safe.

The obsession with self-driving vehicles that seems to have taken some of our government officials doesn’t seem to be dying down. We can only hope that legislators, both in Canada and the United States, will finally understand the importance of strictly regulating these supposed innovations before an accident takes someone’s life.

The labour shortage which continues to hurt the trucking industry was not directly discussed at the CCMTA meeting. Teamster representatives did not hesitate to tell different company and government representatives that a large number of the challenges facing this industry stem from bad working conditions that make the industry unappealing to jobseekers.

We also noticed that North-American regulations are gradually becoming harmonized with US norms, especially when it comes to the transport of dangerous materials. Canadian authorities can’t do much about this because of how integrated the Canadian and US economies are.

In conclusion, leaders from the Teamsters Union from Canada and the United States will continue working with company and government decision makers in hopes of making sure transportation workers’ voices are heard.

On Sunday, May 6th, port and rail company drivers and owner operators employed at Simard Westlink ratified their first collective agreement at the Teamsters Local Union 31 Head Office on Annacis Island.

The 127 drivers at Simard Westlink perform work at all Ports in Metro Vancouver. In addition, it is now one of two Teamsters Local Union 31 trucking firms to haul containers to and from the Canadian Pacific Railway yards. Simard Westlink is a national company with terminals in Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal.

After receiving the labour board certification to represent, Local President Stan Hennessy assigned Business Representative Larry Sargeant to Chair negotiations, as well as Director of Organizing Ben Hennessy to co-Chair while Brother Joseph Chadirir was the Driver Member at the table.

During negotiations the bargaining committee was able to enhance working conditions by implementing a four year agreement with significant increases to all rates of pay, the 100% employer paid Teamsters National Health and Welfare Plan, job security language, improvements to vacation entitlements, the addition of statutory lieu days and more.

“This new agreement is significant for all drivers working at the port and railyards in Vancouver”, stated Local President Hennessy. “This contract says the Teamsters Union does the job right and Local Union 31 is extremely proud to welcome all the drivers and owner operators into the union.”

The success of the Simard Westlink organizing drive has spurred the organizing of an additional group of 14 port drivers at Dayal Transport Systems in Delta, BC.

“The bargaining committee wishes to express thanks to all our new Teamsters for their patience and support during the organizing and negotiating process,” said Business Representative Larry Sargeant. “Furthermore, we thank Local President Stan Hennessy for all of his guidance and advice.”

Interested in joining the Teamsters? Click here to have an organizer get in touch with you. All information is treated confidentially.

If you’re in the Vancouver area and want to organize your workplace, you can also reach out directly to Ben Hennessy, Director of Organizing for Local Union 31, at 604-527-2722 or bhennessy@teamsters31.ca

New Aerocar Service Teamsters at a union meeting with Local Union 31 Director of Organizing Ben Hennessy and Business Rep. Caley Fieldhouse

 

On Monday, May 7, sixty-five Vancouver International Airport based limousine Drivers employed at Aerocar Service Ltd., Highend Limousine Ltd., 0935143 B.C. Ltd, and 632,226 B.C. Ltd. voted unanimously in favor of ratifying their first collective agreement.

The bargaining committee endured many employer obstacles, including unfair labour practices, but in true Teamsters fashion, Local Union 31 stayed the course and gained more support from our brothers as time carried on.

Business Representative Caley Fieldhouse chaired the negotiations, while Director of Organizing Ben Hennessy co-chaired and Brothers Azhar Bashir and Hichem Abida were the driver representatives at the table with the union.

“Our union dedicated itself evening and weekends building strength for our new Teamsters at Aerocar Service,” stated Local President Stan Hennessy. “It’s no coincidence that this hard work paid off with a first limousine collective agreement in Canada.”

The first of its kind collective agreement contains increased driver revenue, seniority (including seniority on all new highend cars or SUVs purchased by the company), security language including no unauthorized deductions, wait time rates, and improvements to general working conditions.

“Mediation was an excellent avenue for bargaining,” informed Business Representative, Caley Fieldhouse. “Clearly the parties weren’t on the same page at the table.”

However, mediation broke down and the Teamsters gave 72 hour strike notice to the company. A day later, on Tuesday afternoon, a collective agreement was finalized.

Our new members proudly pin the Teamster button to their suit lapel as a reminder of the struggle and adversity in organizing and negotiating a first agreement, but most importantly, they wear it because of the optimism the future will bring as members of the greatest union.

Interested in joining the Teamsters? Click here to have an organizer get in touch with you. All information is treated confidentially.

If you’re in the Vancouver area and want to organize your workplace, you can also reach out directly to Ben Hennessy, Director of Organizing for Local Union 31, at 604-527-2722 or bhennessy@teamsters31.ca

Read more about this story on Local Union 31’s website:

Teamsters Local 31 Reaches Tentative Agreement with Aerocar Services, Highend Limousine Services, 632,226 B.C. Ltd, and 0935143 B.C. Ltd.

72 Hour Strike Notice Issued at Highend Limousine Services Ltd. and Aerocar Service Ltd.0935143 B.C. Ltd., 632,226 B.C. Ltd.

Laval, QC, June 6, 2018 – Teamsters Canada is supporting the federal government in its swift action to ensure the construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX). The pipeline is critically important to the Canadian economy and Teamster members.

“We salute the Trudeau Government for standing up for Canadian workers and the national interest,” said François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada. “Skilled, highly trained labour from the Teamsters Union stands ready to safely see this project through.”

After working on the original Trans Mountain Pipeline and countless others without incident, union members established a track record for building safe pipelines. Teamsters now hope to work with the federal government, as well as any future owners, to ensure that TMX is safely built by the best possible hands.

“Our message to the federal government is that pipelines built by unionized Canadian pipeline workers will be safer than those built using unqualified or temporary foreign labour,” explained François Laporte.

In Canada, a majority of all pipeline projects are currently being built by union members. Meanwhile, in the province of Québec, the law says that all major construction projects (including pipelines) must be built by union members.

TMX will allow Canada to sell oil abroad at fairer prices. It involves building a new pipeline along the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline running from Edmonton to Burnaby, and expanding the capacity of the terminal in Burnaby. This expansion will increase daily capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels, while improving market access to the US Pacific Coast and Northeast Asia.

Teamsters represent close to 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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Media requests:

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

Sisters, brothers,

As some of you may already know, we recently learnt with great sadness of the death of Brother Jean-Guy Levesque, former president of Local Union 106 and happy Teamster retiree. He passed away on May 26, at the venerable age of 85.

He is survived by his wife, Denise Ouimet, his children Christiane (Michel Lemieux), Guy Levesque, Benoit, Marco (Silvana); his grandchildren Isabelle, Francis, Vincent, Maxime, Samuel; his great-grandchildren, his sister Monique, brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, as well as other friends and family members.

The family will receive condolences on Saturday, June 9 at 10 am at the Église de Sainte-­Thérèse-D’Avila, located at 10 rue de l’Église in Sainte-­Thérèse. The funeral will follow at 11 am.

Donations can be made to the Pallia-Vie foundation for palliative care at http://pallia-vie.ca/faire-un-don/ or by mail at Fondation Pallia-Vie, 385 rue Lebeau, St-Jérôme (Québec) J7Y 2M8.

Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of Brother Jean-Guy Levesque.

In solidarity,

Jean Chartrand
President, Local Union 106

 Calgary, May 30, 2018 – The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) reached a tentative agreement with Canadian Pacific (CP) to renew the collective agreement for over 3000 conductors and locomotive engineers, ending a strike which began at 2200 ET yesterday. At the same time, the parties have reached a tentative agreement for the Kootenay Valley Railway (KVR). 

Full operations at CP and KVR will resume tomorrow at 0600 local time across Canada. 

“We would like to thank our members for their incredible support throughout this process,” said Doug Finnson, President of the TCRC. “We believe this is a fair contract that our members can feel good about ratifying. I am personally very satisfied with what we have negotiated.” 

The tentative agreement must now be ratified by TCRC members, a process which will take place over the coming months. 

Details of the agreement are being withheld pending ratification. The union is in the process of communicating with its members, who will be receiving more information shortly. 

Teamsters would like to thank the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu for helping parties find common ground, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for standing up for workers’ right to negotiate. 

“Previous governments were all too eager to threaten back to work legislation, acting quickly on behalf of employers against workers and their unions,” said Doug Finnson. “We thank the government for proving that collective bargaining can work when it’s allowed to.” 

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers in Canada in all industries, including over 10,000 in the rail sector. 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

Calgary, May 29, 2018 – Over 3000 conductors and locomotive engineers at Canadian Pacific (CP) went on strike at 2200 ET tonight, despite the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference’s (TCRC) best efforts to reach a negotiated settlement.

Negotiations with the company are ongoing.

Teamsters are committed to working with federal mediators and reaching a negotiated settlement. The union is willing to remain at the bargaining table during the strike.

Members of the TCRC voted 94.2% to authorize strike action on April 6, 2018, and voted 98.1% to reject CP’s final offer Friday.

Commuter train services in Montreal (RTM), Toronto (Go & UP) and Vancouver (WCE) are operated by Bombardier, not Canadian Pacific. Teamster members who operate trains in those locations are Bombardier employees and will not go on strike. Commuter train services will therefore not be affected by this strike.

Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers in Canada in all industries, including over 10,000 in the rail sector. 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