Teamsters favourable to more deposits on refillable containers

Laval, October 24, 2016 – The Québec government’s intention to collect deposits on water bottles and most containers of less than 900 millilitres in volume is well-received by the Teamsters Union, which represents thousands of Québec workers in the brewing (Molson, Labatt) and soft drink (Coke, Pepsi, Cott Cola) industries.

Seeing as all containers smaller than 900 millilitres in volume would be subject to deposits, it is estimated that this measure would extend to close to one billion containers.

“Extending the deposit is desirable because it would consolidate and even validate the relevance of refillable containers such as the brown screw-top bottles used in the beer industry,” explains Michel Héroux, president of Teamsters Local Union 1999. “In the long term, we hope that all bottlers and brewers sell their products in refillable containers.”

See also: Teamsters launch campaign on brown beer bottles

Water bottles end up in landfill sites or, worse, directly in nature and water courses. They are a danger for the environment, and the situation needs to be corrected as soon as possible. However, several major players are opposed to the measures contemplated by the government, on the pretext that small retailers would have difficulty managing the water bottles returned to them by consumers.

“In my opinion, care for the environment must lead to concrete action,” stresses the union leader. “Opponents’ recriminations about this government measure, namely those of Stéphane Forget of Québec federation of chambers of commerce, are exaggerated. I’m convinced that the government will implement solutions that are viable for everyone involved.”

Furthermore, a private deposit collection network already exists among major brewers, and it has proven itself efficient and useful.

“Imagine the environmental benefits if we managed to recuperate one billion refillable bottles every year,” concludes Mr. Héroux. “This [government] measure therefore appears viable to me in both environmental and economic terms.”

Ultimately, the Teamsters Union therefore hopes for deposits to be charged on most containers, including wine bottles, to further strengthen the current system of refillable containers.

The Teamsters represents 115,000 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.



Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514 609-5101

Pictured: Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk

Parliament moved one step closer to formally repealing the previous government’s union busting legislation. On Wednesday night, the House of Commons passed Bill C-4, which aims to repeal Bill C-377 and Bill C-525.

Bills C-377 would have drowned unions in red tape and compromised the privacy of union members. Bill C-525 was essentially an act to prevent workers from joining a union.

“The Trudeau government has once again demonstrated its commitment to fair labour laws,” commented François Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada. “I’d especially like to thank Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk and MP Rodger Cuzner for their outstanding work on this issue.”

Bill C-4 must now make its way through the Senate before becoming law.

“Union busting is about crushing those who stand for respect, fairness, and dignity in the workplace. It has no place in Canada,” said Laporte.

Laval, October 13, 2016 — To date, Hurricane Matthew has taken a major death toll in Haiti (the exact numbers were not known at the time this was written) and the situation looks dire for this island and many neighboring countries of the Greater Antilles.

François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada, is calling on Canadians to come to the aid of the victims of this natural disaster by making donations to the Canadian Red Cross.

“I can only imagine the despair they must be feeling in the face of such devastation,” he said. “This is why I am calling on my fellow Canadians and members of the Teamsters Union. These people are crying out for help and it is our duty to help them.”

The Teamsters Union sent representatives to Haiti a few years ago to support unions in the developing country. Subsequently, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Teamsters Canada joined forces to demand the reinstatement of a Haitian worker who had been wrongly dismissed.

“We know people in Haiti and have special ties with them,” concluded the union leader. “This is why we are appealing to your generosity today.”

The Teamsters represent 120,000 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.



Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Cell: 514 609-5101

Stéphane Morin and Patrice St-Onge take part in the Montreal Marathon to help build solidarity across Canada.

It was a crisp, sunny morning this past September 25. The mood was festive as thousands of marathoners gathered on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge for the great annual Montreal endurance event. Stéphane Morin, a proud member of Local Union 931, was among the thousands of runners participating in the prestigious Montreal Marathon for the first, second or even umpteenth time.

The Teamster gazed at all men and women waiting impatiently for the start gun and reflected on the reasons that had brought him there.

First of all, there was his father, who had died of cancer 15 years ago – a man whom he adored and still missed deeply. Then his mind turned to abused women, silent, invisible victims of a society not quite as equitable as he would like.

That morning, in the midst of all marathoners on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, Stéphane felt ready. After all, he had spent all summer training. His mission was to raise funds for two organizations which the Teamsters Québec Women’s Caucus had been supporting for years: Le Parados, which helps victims of domestic violence and Fondation Virage, which supports people stricken with cancer.

A Teamster at Heart

Stéphane Morin

Stéphane has solidarity and Teamsters blood coursing through his veins. He has worked at TD Meloche Monnex for 17 years and has been Chief Steward of Local Union 931 for 8 years. He has always tried to be a positive force in the lives of his sisters and brothers and to focus on the well-being of others. He has participated in many fundraisers and is always there in time of need.

“I felt a great sense of helplessness when my father died. This is my way of paying tribute to him, expressing my love for him and giving back to society what he so generously gave me,” explained Stéphane, who is 48 years “young”. “He taught me good values, including showing respect for others, particularly women. By participating in this half-marathon, I also wanted to help draw attention to two less visible organizations that work hard to assist people in real need.”

This courageous Teamster candidly admits that the first eight kilometres were tough, but the last 13 weren’t too bad.

“What I did is nothing compared to the blind participant who ran alongside his guide,” he stressed. “Running without being able to see – now that’s an accomplishment!”

His voice is full of admiration and humility. Nonetheless, completing the first half-marathon of a lifetime is no small feat.

Another Teamster Among the Runners

Patrice St-Onge

Stéphane Morin wasn’t the only Teamster on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge that morning. Patrice St-Onge, Local Union 1999 lawyer, was also participating in the marathon – and not for the first time.

Patrice has actually been running since 2008 and, on his own, has raised nearly $25,000 for these worthwhile causes!

He was inspired by the Teamsters Québec Women’s Caucus to start raising funds for breast cancer, so he decided to support Fondation Virage,

“Donations to Fondation Virage are deposited into a special account used specifically for providing assistance to Teamsters members and their families,” explained the lawyer. “My two daughters are lucky enough to be healthy, so I felt it was important to help women who are less fortunate.”

Patrice would like to thank all the generous donors who supported him on this venture.

Patrice and Stéphane managed to raise $3,500 in a very short time.

Just like thousands of other Teamsters across Canada, Patrice St-Onge and Stéphane Morin want to build unity and solidarity across Canada and make a real difference. They are asking all members of our great union to give generously to these two causes by visiting (French only) and (French only).

On Tuesday, 30 August 2016 we resumed negotiations with the CN Rail with the assistance of the three Federal Conciliators, after a short period of not meeting and have been bargaining for the past 3 weeks straight.

We have been working towards a process to synchronize the expiration of our collective agreements with that of the TCRC-Locomotive Engineers’ collective agreements. We are pleased to be able to convey that on Friday, 16 September 2016; every General Chair on CN Lines, both CTY (Conductors, Trainmen, and Yardmen) and LE (Locomotive Engineers) has agreed to meet with the Company at the same table when negotiations resume. The Company has likewise agreed to work with both the CTY and the LE in an effort to come to agreeable terms.

We have agreed to extend the conciliation period until 01 May 2017 and the TCRC LE’s General Chairs have committed to begin their negotiation process several months early. It has been agreed that all parties will begin discussions on 01 March 2017, in order to negotiate and renew separate agreements with common expiration dates. This will not change the expiration date of the current 1.1 and 1.2 collective agreements. All the collective agreements are still covered off and are protected by provisions of the Canada Labour Code. If we are unable to achieve satisfactory results, the CTY and LE’s bargaining committees simply revert to their original time frames for bargaining.

There are many benefits to having common expiration dates for the CTY and LE’s, not the least of which are not being required to cross each other picket lines in the event of a work stoppage. While there is still a lot of work left to do, we are confident that we will be successful in establishing a formidable negotiating team with both the head end and tail end working in solidarity for the betterment of their members.

In solidarity,

TCRC CTY National Negotiations Committee

Click here to view the original signed negotiations update, or click here to view the September 16th memorandum of understanding.

Ottawa, September 20, 2016 – Officers of the Teamsters Union have reacted strongly to some of the conclusions revealed yesterday by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) with respect to locomotive voice and video recorders. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) took part in the study and represents almost all workers who operate the trains throughout the country.

The report recommends that the TSB and rail companies be authorized to access the content of locomotive voice and video recorders. Although the Teamsters agree the TSB requires access to these recordings for the purpose of conducting investigations into railway accidents, it is categorically opposed to providing rail carriers with access to these same recordings.

“We disagree with the TSB’s interpretation of certain data, but I would nevertheless like to point out here that we have consistently maintained our position on this issue for several years now. We agree with the implementation and use of voice and video recorders, but the TSB must be the only body with authorized access to the recordings,” explains the president of the TCRC, Doug Finnson. “Rail carriers are not to be given access to the recordings because that would be an unprecedented and unparalleled intrusion into the workplace, one that is unnecessary, and would be tantamount to violating workers’ right to privacy.”

The TSB report acknowledges the serious workers’ rights issues raised by LVVRs, and recognizes the need to implement a balanced system with clear instructions on how recordings are to be used. However, Doug Finnson thinks that a culture of fear and intimidation will be the consequence of railway managers having unprecedented access to 24/7 electronic surveillance of workers.

“The reality is that rail companies would use these recordings arbitrarily and that the already negative relations that prevail in the industry worsen considerably,” warns the union leader. “It’s a sword of Damocles that we don’t need given the already acrimonious relations that prevail between certain carriers and their workers.”

It needs to be pointed out that, according to a report filed by the Advisory Council on Rail Safety last June 7, access to recordings by TSB had previously been mentioned in five accident investigations in a 25 year period. Taking the TSB authority to access recordings provided specifically to them under law and providing uninhibited access to rail management for daily intrusion, meaning thousands of times annually, is completely unparalleled and disproportionate to the real situation. The TSB original request is to install LVVR on locomotives and to provide the recordings to them for their investigations. Since then, industry has been trying to leverage the TSB and they are hoping to hit a home run in surveillance they have no legal right to obtain.

The measure put forth by the Transportation Safety Board could also result in significant additional demands on railway workers who are already pressured by long working hours and the inability in too many cases to refuse work even if they feel too tired to work safely. The TCRC has been advocating for a real fatigue management system within the rail industry, and emphasizes the need for fatigue risk management systems and processes based on current fatigue science.

Conclusion: There is no concrete proof demonstrating that allowing rail carriers to conduct continuous and intrusive surveillance of their workers contributes to improving the safety of the rail industry. However, the presence of a real fatigue management system within the rail industry, more railway inspectors mandated to verify the condition of the tracks and authorize tired workers to rest up are sustainable and effective solutions to improve rail safety and protect both the workers and Canadian public.

The Teamsters represents 120,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 12,000 in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.



Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Telephone: 450 682-5521
Cell: 514 609-5101

Workers at Manoir Sainte-Julie heading home after a day on the picket lines

The strike is over at the Résidences Soleil Manoir Sainte-Julie retirement home. The roughly 70 workers from Teamsters Local Union 106 ratified a tentative agreement on August 30th with 67% voting in favour.

The results of the vote can be attributed to the fact that Teamster members were furious at how they had to strike for nearly six weeks only to revisit the union’s proposals that were filed in June. The tentative agreement was reached before a mediator.

Workers will receive a 14 to 24% wage increase over the course of a four-year contract. For example, a personal care attendant will earn up to an additional $3.13/hour by the end of the term of the collective agreement. This would exceed a $15 hourly wage, which means that the Teamsters Union has secured one of the best collective agreements in the private sector retirement home industry.

It is with great sadness that we must report the untimely passing of Brother Jack Ferreira, a dedicated and loyal Teamster who lost his fight against cancer last Sunday. Brother Ferreira was the organizer and union representative for Teamsters Local Union 230 in Ontario. Details of the visitation and funeral arrangements are below.

Visitation: Tuesday, September 13 from 2–4 p.m. and from 6–8 p.m.
Funeral: Wednesday, September 14 at 9:30 a.m.
Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery (211 Langstaff Rd East, Thornhill ON)

“We’re saddened by his loss,” observed François Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada. “I would like to offer our deepest condolences to Brother Ferreira’s family. He will be greatly missed.”

On September 8th, the leaders of the Teamsters Union in Québec handed Camp Papillon a record $50,000 cheque as part of the 34th annual Teamsters Québec Golf Tournament.

Every year, the camp plays host to about 700 children with disabilities by giving them the opportunity to safely participate in outdoor life. The camp also allows parents of disabled children to take a break from a busy life.

The Teamsters have raised over $ 1.7 million since they started working with the cause.

Despite the rain and very wet conditions, over 300 golfers from all walks of life participated in the golf tournament, held this year at Centre de Golf Le Versant in Terrebonne.

Besides the tournament, each spring hundreds of volunteers also lend a hand to Camp Papillon by making repairs and helping get the camp ready for the summer.

The Teamsters Union supports dozens of charities across the country. From coast to coast to coast, local unions affiliated with Teamsters annually raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities because a just society must be built on generosity and empathy.

This year’s tournament was organized by Éric Laramée and Marilyne Philie, from Local Union 1999, who took over from Alain Lacroix and Lise Surprenant, now retired. Richard Lamoureux and France Dubois from Local Unions 931 and 106 also helped with the event.

François Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada, congratulated them on a successful tournament. President Laporte also highlighted the support of Jean-Paul Provost, one of the tournament’s pioneers.

François Laporte would like to thank all the volunteers who made this event a great success.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Labour Day is more than just a break before the start of fall: it is, first and foremost, a time to reflect on the big union battles waged before our time… and those that we are still fighting today. We should also re-member that this holiday has its origins in the struggles of 19th-century workers to institute an eight-hour work day.

More than 100 years later, our organization is still involved in important struggles, specifically in the rail and road transportation industries where the eight-hour day does not, for all intents and purposes, exist. The Teamsters Union is on the front lines of developments in these industries, and is fully aware of the increasing pressure put on workers to be ever more productive and to make their deliveries in record time.

The Teamsters Union has been an advocate for the health and safety of workers and the general public since it was founded in 1903. This is why we are so concerned about managing member fatigue in the transportation industry. We are also greatly troubled by the lay-offs we are seeing in the large rail carriers, and we will be keeping a very close eye on this situation so that we can protect both rail workers and people living near railway tracks.

The Canada Pension Plan and an Increased Minimum Wage

One of the big union victories of 2016 is the improvement made to the Canada Pension Plan. After years of relentless lobbying on the part of the labour movement, the Government of Canada has finally agreed to upgrade this plan.

We have been calling for improvements to the Canadian pension plan for years and I believe that the labour movement can be proud because its efforts will allow many future retirees to enjoy a better quali-ty of life.

Another major union initiative is the minimum wage campaign. The $15 per hour threshold the labour union movement has been demanding for years is just the beginning of a readjustment that will allow the most vulnerable among us to live decently. Next, implementing a guaranteed minimum income, such as that currently proposed by countries in Europe, would be an interesting prospect for a significant portion of workers in Canada.

All things told, we need to recognize that the labour union movement is still, to this day, the last line of defence for workers. When we look back at how far we’ve come in the last 100 years or so, and look ahead to the battles yet to be fought, it’s clear to me that we’re going to be relevant for a very long time to come.

And on this note, I would like to wish you and your family a happy Labour Day and a great fall season!

François Laporte
Teamsters Canada