Purolator Voting Information

Voting on Purolator’s final offer will take place from March 17, at 4:00 pm (ET) until March 26 at 4:00 pm (ET).

You’ll recall that the bargaining committee is presenting the offer without recommending its acceptance or rejection. Voting “no” authorizes the union to take strike action.

As has happened in the past, we’ve made arrangements with a third party to conduct the vote online and by telephone. Electronic voting was well received by Purolator members during previous negotiations with the company.

Voting instructions containing your PIN along with the eVoting website and phone number are being mailed tomorrow, March 10. This is a confidential, secret ballot vote.

Please contact the toll-free voter helpline if you require any assistance.

Helpline: 1-888-281-8683 (toll free)

Hours of operation (ET):

March 17: 4:00 pm — 10:00 pm
March 18–25: 8:00 am — 10:00 pm
March 26: 8:00 am — 4:00 pm

Very important: Please call the helpline after March 19 but before March 24 at noon if you have not received your voting instructions. Note that we cannot resend voting instructions before or after these dates.

In solidarity,

Gary Kitchen
Chairman of the bargaining committee

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 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 to 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

Laval, March 16, 2017 – The provincial government and the Québec Provincial Police (QPP) are looking for scapegoats. It appears that they’re accusing two truckers, who were stuck in snow and allegedly refusing to move, of causing the traffic jam that trapped 300 drivers on the A13 during a blizzard from the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.

In any case, that’s what the Teamsters are taking away from the QPP’s press conference this morning. These are, in our opinion, serious allegations that need to be put in perspective.

If this is true, then the police failed in its duties by not taking all the legal means at its disposal to force to the truckers to move.

Tow trucks should also have been able to access the highway to move the vehicles.

Moreover, the Ministry of Transportation should have had snow removal crews in place to facilitate traffic on the A13. None of this would have happened had the highway been properly cleared.

Finally, we sincerely doubt that these truckers wanted to stay put for hours on the A13. Truckers are usually paid by the kilometre and lose a substantial amount of money when they aren’t on the road.

There were so many failures during these sad events. Instead of scapegoating a couple of truckers, the Couillard government should focus on improving how it deals with major snowstorms.

This is Canada, after all.

Teamsters Canada represents 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, Directeur of Public Relations
Cell: 514-609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

Today is International Women’s Day — a day to recognize the progress women have made and the challenges they still face. Sadly, in 2017, men and women are still a long way from being equal.

How long, exactly? According to the World Economic Forum, if current trends were to continue, women and men around the world won’t be truly equal for about another until 2186.

In Canada, although some find it hard to believe, there is still a gender pay gap. Even if things have gotten better in some industries, Canadian women are still making on average $8,000 a year less than men doing an equivalent job.

Thankfully, unions can help.

Joining a union like the Teamsters is the best way for women to get equal pay for equal work. According to the Canadian Labour Congress, women with a union earn on average $7.10/hour more than those without. That extra money completely bridges the gender pay gap for almost all unionized women.

The problem, unfortunately, isn’t just economic. A third of all Canadian workers have been subjected to domestic violence. Moreover, the harassment follows more than half of all victims to work, often in the form of threatening phone calls or text messages.

Domestic violence is a scourge that Teamsters actively combat. By training members on the issue, supporting a shelter for abused women and children, and lobbying governments about the problem, our union is taking a strong stand against domestic violence.

We obviously still have a long way to go before we can honestly say that men and women are treated equally. Count on us to stand with women every step of the way as we help build up a fairer country for all.

The spokespersons of the Teamsters Union will be available for interviews before and after the presentation of the brief. Contact Stéphane Lacroix at 514 609‑5101. The brief can be viewed here.

Laval, February 27, 2017 — The Teamsters Union is demanding that we stop squeezing our truck drivers like lemons. This is the main conclusion of the brief they will be presenting this evening at the SAAQ consultation on road safety.

Teamsters are inviting the government to focus its attention on all the issues undermining the industry, starting with the consequences of the deregulation implemented by the federal government in the 1980s.

Deregulation led to the proliferation of fly-by-night transport companies. These companies have dragged down the working conditions and profit margins in the industry by offering, for example, ridiculously low delivery prices and promising very short delivery deadlines.

This means that truckers have to rush, and sometimes even take risks, to meet the requirements of the industry. Their jobs may even be on the line if they miss too many delivery deadlines because the penalties imposed by the shippers on transport companies can be very heavy.

In addition, road work and traffic jams are the day-to-day bane of this business, adding to the stress of delivering the merchandise on time.

The unavoidable road work and inescapable traffic jams force truckers to work long hours, to neglect their circadian rhythms (and, hence, their rest and their sleep) and to cut into their leisure time. These pressures have an impact on the mental and physical health of truck drivers, and, consequently, on our road safety statistics.

In short, workers are stressed out and less rested and, therefore, more likely to be involved in an accident.

Accountability of shippers

Shippers and transport company accountability is the cornerstone of the Teamsters’ recommendations.

“Everything is interconnected in the trucking industry: the conditions offered by the companies, their work schedules, truckers’ health, and shippers’ requirements,” explains Jean Chartrand, President of Teamsters Local Union 106. “The SAAQ consultations are useful, but we can’t just look at the safety issues; we also have to consider the big picture.”

Also, it’s important to note that in an industry that is attracting fewer and fewer young workers, the high number of retirements expected in the coming years, coupled with the arrival of new, less experienced workers, will also likely have an impact on road safety statistics.

Electronic logbooks

The electronic logbooks that will be implemented this year cannot assess human fatigue.

To illustrate, let’s take Claude, a trucker scheduled to make deliveries overnight on Monday night into Tuesday morning. Because he is proactive and responsible, Claude sleeps all day Monday to be awake and alert come Monday evening. If, by misfortune, Claude is reassigned to work on Tuesday morning, he won’t be able to sleep much on Monday night after sleeping all day Monday. So Claude will be tired on Tuesday morning but he won’t dare refuse the work because, like you and me, he has to pay his bills.

In addition, if Claude has a very tight, or even unreasonable, deadline for making his deliveries, he may take risks that could have dire consequences for him and others on the road. Conclusion: logbooks cannot counter lack of sleep and the tight delivery schedules imposed by transport companies.

Teamster recommendations

If the SAAQ and the government could only retain one thing from the Teamsters’ brief, it should be that truck drivers must be their main concern. We must make sure that drivers have predictable schedules and that they can get enough rest to optimize their chances of improving Quebec’s road safety records.

Brief presented by the Teamsters at the SAAQ consultation on road safety

When: February 27 at 4:45 p.m.
Where: Hôtel Omni – 1050, Sherbrooke street West
Why: Brief presented by the Teamsters at the SAAQ consultation on road safety
Who: Stéphane Lacroix and Marcel Massé of the Teamsters Union

Teamsters Canada represents 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. Teamsters Canda represents the interests of 4,000 workers in the road transportation industry in Quebec.

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Information:

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

We’re happy to report a major organizing victory out of Local Union 395! The pre-board screeners at the Saskatoon International Airport voted overwhelmingly to join the Teamsters. These 85 new members were looking for reliable representation — in other words, a union that people could count on to be there for them.

“The endless hours Organizer Joshua Cenaiko put into this gave folks a sense of security,” added Randy Powers, Secretary-Treasurer of Local Union 395. “His presence showed workers why Teamsters have a reputation for solid union representation.”

With this organizing victory, almost all pre-board screeners in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are now Teamster members.

Have any questions about joining the Teamsters? Get in touch with us here.

Originally posted on teamstersrail.ca

Ottawa, February 17, 2017 – Canadian Pacific has launched a campaign to legitimize constant video surveillance of its workers, alleging that this measure would improve safety in the rail industry.

The rail carrier explains on a unilingual English website that the current legislation – which allows for the installation of onboard video and voice recorders on locomotives – prevents railways from using the recordings to adopt proactive safety measures. CP adds that legislative amendments would make it possible to prevent accidents and ultimately, maybe even save lives.

“This initiative by management would be used as a tool to intimidate workers and advance a culture of fear under the guise of safety,” states the President of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) Doug Finnson. “We intend to take any and all actions necessary to fight this unconstitutional assault on the rights of our members and all workers in Canada because the precedent this would create could have far reaching consequences on the privacy rights of all Canadians.”

The TCRC continues to support it’s documented position that allows for the installation and use of this technology under the protected status of the existing legislation which safeguards the data for Transportation Safety Board use only. The union views CP’s meaningless marketing and lobbying campaign is another attempt by their strongly American influenced management team to weaken laws that protect Canadians and move toward the less restrictive legislative requirements they enjoy in their US operations.

Cockpit audio recorders have been in use in the airline industry for decades, however, safeguards are in place in that industry that do not violate privacy rights and have consensus support.

“Why is this approach good for air transportation but bad for rail transportation?” questions the union leader. “Our members offer their full collaboration when it comes to health and safety, but cameras fixated on them with continuous monitoring for their entire tour of duty will in no way prevent accidents from happening. The real solution is for government to put an end to the self-regulation and commit sufficient resources for inspection, compliance and enforcement of legislation designed to protect the health and safety of workers and the Canadian public.”

The fundamental notion of protecting worker’s rights to privacy will quickly become meaningless if the government gives in to what the rail carrier is demanding.

The data necessary to continue improving safety performance is all readily available through less intrusive tools already at the railways disposal. Consequently, this attempt to manage operations remotely is disrespectful for workers in an already toxic workplace.

“I invite the federal government to reflect on the impacts of what Canadian Pacific is asking for,” concludes Mr. Finnson. “Rail disasters like the one that struck Lac-Mégantic stress the need to more closely oversee the rail industry. Transport Canada must extend its reflection to include existing practices and systemic issues that could be improved before considering anything that would affect workers’ right to privacy and strip Canadians of their dignity.”

It should be noted that a CBC report sheds very interesting light on the documented disregard for safety displayed by CP managers:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/cp-rail-bc-mountain-train-1.3930258

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.

Information:

Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations
Telephone: 450 682-5521
Cell: 514 609-5101
Email: slacroix@teamsters.ca

Laval, Qc, February 13, 2017 – Teamsters Canada is praising the Canadian government on meeting with the Trump administration, and is hopeful that both countries will continue working together to build on the current mutually beneficial trade relationship.

“Millions of workers owe their jobs to the free flow of goods between Canada and the United States,” stated François Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada. “Hundreds of thousands of good Teamster jobs on both sides of the border, especially in manufacturing and cross-border transportation, were created thanks to a stable trade relationship.”

Teamsters broadly support the Canadian government’s position on trade, which is understood to put the interests of workers and the middle class first. The union also supports Canada’s willingness to retaliate should the U.S. impose new tariffs, as these would be mutually harmful.

Canada and the United States are each other’s biggest customers; 35 states have Canada as their largest export market and the opposite is true of all Canadian provinces. There is no significant trade imbalance between the two countries.

Labour shut out of meetings

Teamsters salute initiatives like the roundtable discussion on women in the workforce. However, the union was alarmed that company bosses were the only ones invited to participate in the day’s meetings.

“I’d remind our leaders that a significant portion of the workforce is represented by unions,” commented Laporte. “Keeping us out of the loop is guaranteed to lead to policies that worsen inequality and hurt working families.”

Teamsters represent 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.

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Information:

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