CN Conductors – Negotiations Update #4

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.

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Information:

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

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
President
Teamsters Canada

Toronto, September 1, 2016 — Wayne Garner, Assistant Director of the Armoured Cars Division of Teamsters Canada, took part in a telephone conference between the federal government and the industry representatives today to discuss safety issues in the armoured cars industry.

This hearing follows a decision by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety on August 18 regarding the safety of the model used at the Edmonton branch of Brinks Canada, which employs 215 members of Local Union 362. A member of Local Union 362 filed a work refusal because his safety might have been at risk working on a specific assignment of work.

There are Teamsters members sitting on all the Garda and Brinks health and safety committees across the country. In addition, a Teamsters Canada representative holds regular meetings with the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Labour with a view to informing the federal government about the issues that workers are facing.

“We are keeping a close eye on the situation wherever our members are found,” explained Jason Sweet, Director of the Armoured Cars Division. “The operating model varies from one neighbourhood, one city and one region to another, which means that deployment of resources varies from one place to another.”

Jason Sweet also believes that information concerning the armoured car industry must not be disclosed to the public, “given the unique nature of the work involved.”

“We’re talking about human beings who transport cash,” cautioned the union representative. “It would be irresponsible of us to disclose any sensitive information because the lives of these workers – as well as the safety of the public – could be threatened if there were to be any leaks.”

At the moment, no other complaints have been identified and no other work refusal has been recorded in all the bargaining units represented by the Teamsters Union.

The Teamsters represent 120,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 2,000 armoured car guards. 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

Franҫois Laporte, the President of Teamsters Canada, visiting Garda armoured car workers in Edmonton.

 
EDMONTON, August 25, 2016 – The Teamsters Union has taken note of an August 18th decision from the federal Ministry of Labour regarding the security model used at the Edmonton branch of Brinks Canada, which employs 215 members of Local Union 362.

“Our local is respecting the decision but wants to make it clear that members have been safely working under a similar model for over a decade,” explained Wayne Garner, Business Agent at Local Union 362.

Teamsters Canada, which represents 2,000 armoured car guards, has been lobbying the federal government on armoured car safety for over a decade. Issues like the design of armoured cars, access to firearms, standardized training and psych testing for new hires are just some of the labour union’s top armoured car priorities.

Teamster local unions, on top of brokering industry-leading collective agreements, also push for safer working conditions on a case-by-case basis.

“It boils down to where an armoured car is headed,” continued Garner. “The best safety standards are site specific.”

Caution urged when discussing armoured car safety

Teamsters Canada is asking other unions to exercise extreme caution when publicly discussing armoured car safety and security.

“Our members are upset about some of the recent articles highlighting the safety issues they face,” explained Jason Sweet, Director of the Teamsters Canada Armoured Car Division. “Valuable security secrets were made public, putting lives at risk.”

The labour union believes that any and all details about the possible vulnerabilities of armoured cars should never be publicly discussed.

The Teamsters represent 120,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 2,000 armoured car guards. 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, August 14, 2016 — The Teamsters Union is calling upon Francine Charbonneau, Minister responsible for Seniors and Anti-Bullying, to bring the owner of Résidences Soleil, Eddy Savoie, back to the negotiating table. Despite the maintenance of all services by union members, the month-long strike is impacting the quality of life of residents at Résidences Soleil’s Manoir Sainte-Julie, and the Union wants to see the conflict resolved.

Meanwhile, since negotiations aimed at renewing the contracts of some 70 workers are deadlocked, the Teamsters Union has decided to go on the offensive and organize a tour of several other residences to remind management that, sooner or later, this dispute must be resolved.

On Monday, August 15, members of Teamsters Local Union 106, accompanied by residents, will begin picketing in front of Manoir Sainte-Julie and then move on to Résidences Soleil Manoir Mont Saint-Hilaire and Manoir Boucherville, ending up in front of the home of the company’s CEO, Nataly Savoie.

“Management is giving us no choice,” fumed Jean Chartrand, President of Teamsters Local Union 106. “We must mark the occasion, since Eddy Savoie is turning a deaf ear to the presence of a mediator, our willingness to negotiate and the support of Manoir Sainte-Julie residents.”

The workers are demanding an hourly raise of $1.50 and a night shift bonus for a two-year labour contract. It should be noted that many night shift workers of a well-known convenience store chain receive a $2 hourly rate bonus, whereas the employees of Résidences Soleil get none.

The Teamsters represent the orderlies, who earn up to $6 an hour less than they would in the public sector, as well as the nurses and nursing assistants, who also earn less than their peers in the public sector. However, these workers all have the same skills, the same training and virtually the same duties.

“Our members deserve more than the $15 an hour demanded by other unions,” stressed the union leader. “We can’t throw them breadcrumbs and then expect them to stay in the private sector and continue providing quality services to our seniors.”

We know that personnel turnover makes the residents anxious and that the best way to remedy this situation is to improve working conditions. One Manoir Sainte-Julie employee actually just resigned because she found a better paying job in the public sector.

“We are asking Minister Charbonneau to intervene; otherwise, this may be a long dispute,” said Mr. Chartrand. “She could also drop by for a little impromptu tour and share one of the bland meals served to the residents while listening to what our members have to say about their working conditions and day-to-day life.”

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.

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Information:

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

Laval, July 25, 2016 – The lockout at the Hôtel Le Président in Sherbrooke will end today, Wednesday, July 27.

The roughly 30 workers of Teamsters Local Union 1791 ratified the tentative agreement reached late this afternoon. Besides salary increases of 15.5% for the duration of the five-year contract, sick leave and vacations were improved. Several non-monetary clauses were also strengthened.

The lockout and closure of the restaurant left their mark on workers, which explains why they voted 60% in favour of the new collective agreement.

“I would like to congratulate the negotiating committee as well as our members for their courage and devotion during the dispute,” said Union Representative Michel Richard. “They held their ground, and I’m proud of them.”

Scabs

The suspicions of the Teamsters proved to be founded: An investigation by the ministère du Travail determined that two strike breakers worked at the facility during the conflict.

As a result, the Ministry could levy fines against the Hôtel Le Président.

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.

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Information:

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