Workers at Carillion Canada Join Teamsters

Close to 25 workers at Carillion Canada joined Teamsters Local Union 419 in Toronto, Ontario. These healthcare workers are in the Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex, located beside the Humber River Hospital which currently employs 900 members of Teamsters 419!

The Carillion staff was seeking better wages, and a strong union to put an end to problems like favoritism in the workplace and a generalized lack of respect from management.

Teamsters won the union representation vote, which took place earlier this week, by over 90%

“I would like to thank Teamsters Canada Organizer Fitos Vritsios for his hard work on this campaign,” added Brian Lawrence, President, Local Union 419.

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

This was the letter François Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada, sent on Tuesday to Canadian local unions on the issue of Bill C-4.

Sisters, brothers,

Good news out of Ottawa.

Bill C-4, which restores automatic card-check certification for federally regulated workers, passed and will officially come into force on Friday. This is a major victory for workers. People can now once again safely form unions, unbeknownst to unfair and sometimes abusive employers.

As you know, automatic card check certification (often simply called ‘card check’) allows workers to automatically form a union when a majority of their colleagues sign a union membership card.

In 2014, the old Conservative government introduced a new system, which forced a vote to take place after workers had signed their cards. Employers were notified in advance of votes, giving them time to launch anti-union campaigns in the workplace.

This was incredibly wrong – it meant that workers could face retaliation for exercising their democratic right to join a union.

Later, we learnt that the Conservatives had studies showing that getting rid of card check was one of the best ways to weaken unions in the private sector.

C-4 also repeals a series of Conservative measures which were designed to drown unions in red tape and to force us to publicly disclose our members’ personal information. Luckily, these measures never actually came into force.

Restoring card check and repealing union-busting Conservative laws were major Liberal campaign promises. I would like to thank Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, MP Rodger Cuzner, and Senator Diane Bellemare for their tireless work on this issue.

In solidarity,

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada

Sisters, brothers,

I was saddened to learn of yesterday’s workplace shooting at a UPS warehouse in San Francisco, which took the lives of three of our fellow Teamsters.

Today, the thoughts and prayers of over 125,000 Canadian Teamster members are with the victims’ co-workers and loved ones. I would also like to wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

While we mourn our collective loss, I have no doubt in my heart that the affected members will emerge from this tragedy stronger and more united than ever.

In solidarity,

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada

Earlier this week, union representatives from Ontario and across the country took part in the annual Teamsters Ontario Invitational (OTI) for Variety Village, a children’s charity dedicated to making a difference in the spirits and lives of young people with disabilities and their families.

This year, Teamsters raised $108,000 for Variety Village.

“It is an honour and privilege to be able to help this charity with this cheque for $108,000.00,” wrote Randy Doner, the President of Joint Council 52, in a Facebook post. “Thanks to all those who participated. There is no greater feeling than to be able to help children.”

Being a Teamster is about more than negotiating collective agreements and taking care of grievances. It’s also about lending a hand to those in need and building up a better country. Brother Doner would like to thank the volunteers, Teamsters representatives, friends and corporate sponsors who made this tournament another great success.

Since 1989, Ontario Teamsters have donated over $1.7 million to help children facing overwhelming adversity to have the tools to achieve their dreams.

The next Ontario Teamsters Invitational is tentatively set for June 4th & 5th, 2018.

Laval, June 7, 2017 — Unacceptable offers by management and a breakdown in negotiations forced some 80 workers at Sleeman-Unibroue, a subsidiary of Sapporo, to go on strike this morning.

The workers are members of Teamsters Local Union 931.

A final offer from the company was presented at a union meeting on June 3 and was subsequently rejected by 93% of workers. The results of the vote sent a clear message to the plant’s management team.

Teamsters are currently setting up picket lines around the plant.

The main issues

Seniority rights are at the heart of the labour dispute between the Teamsters and Sleeman-Unibroue. Repeated violations of the collective agreement and issues involving overtime are also sticking points.

Achieving a work/life balance at the brewery is impossible for some workers, who are often forced to work overtime on short notice. Company managers maintain that mandatory overtime is preferable to hiring new workers to fill positions left vacant due to retirements and job cuts.

The employer is also asking for provisions in the collective agreement that would allow experienced workers to be laid off and replaced by temp workers who don’t already work for the company.

“Our members feel disrespected and that’s why they walked off the job,” explained the President of Local Union 931, Gerry Boutin. “We also want to make it clear that salaries and pensions are not an issue.”

Training is another problem. Workers have a difficult time acquiring the skills needed to operate some of the equipment, leading to health and safety concerns.

Moreover, a hostile work environment has led to over 200 grievances being filed in past months on a variety of collective agreement violations. Acrimonious labour relations unsurprisingly led to problems at the bargaining table.

On top of everything else, the company decided to install surveillance cameras throughout the brewery, violating workers’ privacy.

“Intransigent and inflexible corporate executives caused this labour dispute,” explained Boutin. “Instead of working with workers and seriously trying to resolve problems at the brewery, the company decided to go to war with their employees in what I can only describe as a lose-lose strategy.”

“Management is solely responsible for this tremendous failure.”

Background on the negotiations

Negotiations started on November 7, 2016, one month prior to the expiration of the collective agreement. After just one meeting with the employer, the Teamsters were forced to seek help from a mediator given the company’s complete disinterest in tackling the issues that were harming labour relations at the brewery.

All in all, both parties negotiated for 10 days, 9 of which were spent in the presence of a mediator, for an actual total of 8 hours of face-to-face talks.

A strike vote was held on May 13 and, in an impressive show of solidarity and unity, 90% of voting members were in favour of strike action.

The brewery, which is located in Chambly, Québec, handles popular beer brands like Sleeman, Sapporo, Blanche de Chambly, la Maudite, and la Fin du monde.

Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including thousands of workers in the brewery industry. 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, May 30, 2017 — Workers of GardaWorld Cash Services affiliated with the Teamsters Union ratified a new collective agreement yesterday. Over 90% of members who voted were in favour of the employer’s proposal.

Truck safety was the main issue in these negotiations. The fleet of trucks will meet higher safety levels, therefore giving more protection to the workers. Teamster members are also getting wage and benefit improvements. The previous contract was due on April 30th.

“I would like to congratulate the bargaining committee, especially Owen Lane who did a tremendous job,” said Jason Sweet, Director of the Armoured Car Division of Teamsters Canada. “The members stood behind their union which gave us the strength we needed at the bargaining table.”

Local Unions 419 and 879 represent over 600 workers at GardaWorld in Ontario. The new contract will end in 2021.

The 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

Montréal, May 29, 2017 – A labour dispute at Canadian National (CN) was averted today at 5:15 p.m. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) withdrew its strike notice after the company withdrew its notice to unilaterally impose changes to the collective agreement.

The parties signed a tentative agreement shortly afterwards. The details of the tentative agreement will not be released until members have had a chance to review the document.

“We would like to thank our members for their patience and incredible support throughout these difficult negotiations,” said Roland Hackl, vice president of the TCRC and lead negotiator for the union.

The tentative agreement affects some 3000 conductors, trainmen and yardmen at CN across the country.

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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See also: Negotiation Update #11

Information:

Christopher Monette
Director of Communications, Web & Social Media
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

UPDATE – 2017/05/29 at 9:22 a.m.

“The bargaining committee worked through the night with CN and federal mediators. We have reached a critical stage and are going to catch a few hours’ sleep before starting again this afternoon to hopefully come to an agreement in principle.”
— Roland Hackl, TCRC vice president and lead negotiator for the union


Montréal, May 28, 2017 — Canadian National Railway (CN) could attempt to provoke a strike on Tuesday, May 30 at 4:00 a.m. This comes after months of negotiations with some 3000 conductors, trainmen and yardmen represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

CN is seeking concessions — which they call “efficiencies” — from workers on a wide range of issues despite averaging $3 billion in annual profits since the last collective agreement. By provoking a strike that would ultimately be resolved through binding arbitration, the company may achieve gains that could not have otherwise been made by bargaining in good faith.

“We’re doing everything we can to avoid a strike, and Teamster members expect the same from management,” explained Roland Hackl, TCRC vice president and lead negotiator for the union. “The company will try to paint themselves as victims, when in reality, they’re likely to provoke a strike for the sole purpose of having an arbitrator possibly grant concessions.”

This weekend, the company served notice that it would unilaterally impose changes to the collective agreement that could permanently and irreparably impact workers. The union had no choice but to issue a strike notice in order to prevent this.

The union is committed to averting a labour dispute and reaching a fair deal that can be ratified by the membership. Talks with the company continue with the assistance of federal mediators.

“We’re concerned not only for our members’ well-being, but for shippers, consumers and the economy as well,” added Doug Finnson, President of the TCRC.

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:

Christopher Monette
Director of Communications, Web & Social Media
Cell: 514-226-6002
cmonette@teamsters.ca

Gathering of the Trade Union Alliance (Alliance syndicale) this morning in Montréal.

 
Laval, May 24, 2017 — The 175,000 workers of the Trade Union Alliance (Alliance syndicale), a group of trade unions and labour organizations whose members work in the construction industry, launched a general strike last night. This is one of Québec’s largest labour disputes in recent years.

To show his support, François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada, participated in this morning’s gathering of the Trade Union Alliance, together with Teamsters-AMI and FTQ-Construction President Rénald Grondin, and other labour leaders.

From left to right: Teamsters Canada President François Laporte, FTQ-Construction Director General Yves Ouellet, Teamsters-AMI and FTQ-Construction President Rénald Grondin
From left to right: Teamsters Canada President François Laporte, FTQ-Construction Director General Yves Ouellet, Teamsters-AMI and FTQ-Construction President Rénald Grondin

“Teamsters Canada stands in solidarity with Québec’s construction workers and supports their legitimate demands,” said François Laporte at the end of the meeting.

“This labour dispute is all the more significant because our brothers and sisters in the construction industry are fighting for the middle class as a whole,” explained Laporte. “Deteriorating working conditions in this industry could have repercussions on all workers in Québec. This is why we must remain united, committed and steadfast for as long as it takes.”

The union leader also called on all local unions affiliated with Teamsters Canada and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) to honour the picket lines set up across the province.

The 10,000 members of Teamsters-AMI (Association des manoeuvres interprovinciaux) recently joined the Teamsters Union.

The Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including more than 10,000 members in Québec’s construction industry. 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, Public Relations
Cell: 514-609-5101
slacroix@teamsters.ca

Dear brothers and sisters,

Teamsters have always been an ally of workers in the construction industry. This is why I am writing to you today.

The strike mandate that you have given your union reflects a generalized feeling of exasperation among workers. Together with the 125,000 Teamster members across Canada, I would like to say that we are totally behind you in your struggles.

Please know that Teamsters Canada wholeheartedly supports all your demands and backs you in your fight to be treated fairly.

There’s strength in numbers! In order to win this battle, I know that you will remain committed and steadfast for as long as it takes. The Teamsters union will be by your side throughout the negotiations and in the event of a strike, if it comes to that.

In Solidarity,

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada