Safety of Armoured Car Crews is a Top Teamster Priority

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

Laval, July 20, 2016 – The Teamsters and management of the Hôtel Le Président have been called to a meeting with the conciliator from the provincial Ministry of Labour tomorrow.

Workers at Hôtel Le Président are seeking a substantial wage increase to catch up with their brothers and sisters at other hotels in the region.

Hotel management brutally locked out roughly 30 workers on July 11. This shocking decision came on the heels of the closure of the hotel’s restaurant in June, and the resulting loss of 24 jobs.

The Union also noted the presence of possible strike breakers at the hotel last week. The Ministry of Labour is investigating and should issue a report shortly.

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 20, 2016 – The 74 workers of the Résidences Soleil Manoir Sainte-Julie are still waiting for a sign from owner Eddy Savoie to resume negotiations.

Nearly a week after the strike was called (July 14), there is still no meeting scheduled between the parties. Negotiations are deadlocked as members of Teamsters Local Union 106 continue to demand an increase of $1.50 per hour and a night-shift premium for a two-year collective agreement.

“Our members feel that Eddy Savoie doesn’t respect them,” said an exasperated, Jean Chartrand, president of Teamsters Local Union 106. “They provide high quality service to the facility’s 551 residents and deserve the best.”

Support and Petition

Still, the labour dispute has had some positive consequences. Several residents and their children have come by to greet and support the workers on the picket lines. They asked for buttons reading “We respect our seniors and those who care for them,” so they could wear them with pride. Even motorists along busy Chemin du Fer-à-Cheval in Sainte-Julie have been encouraging, stopping to chat with workers and honking in support.

A petition was also circulated at Manoir Sainte-Julie and submitted recently to the employer. Many residents are unhappy with the quality of meals offered in the Résidences Soleil network of retirement homes. Some residents even go to neighbourhood restaurants rather than eat the food offered on-site.

“The wave of sympathy and support from residents, their children and the public warms our heart,” added the union leader. “It would be a mistake for him (Eddy Savoie) to turn a deaf ear to our calls for negotiation. Stubbornly ignoring us is only tarnishing his image with his clients.”

The strike will continue until the workers get satisfaction. Personal care attendants in the public sector earn up to $6 more per hour than private sector workers. This situation is both unfair and deeply insulting to workers represented by the Teamsters.

“I don’t know if this will be a long strike,” said Jean Chartrand. “But I do know that our members are determined to get the respect they deserve.”

The Teamsters have decided to use pressure tactics only during their breaks and holidays, so as not to affect the quality of services offered to seniors. This is a first in Quebec.

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

Today, our sadness is only surpassed by our solidarity with the French people. Yesterday’s attack was as terrible as it was unbelievable.

As the representative of Canada’s over 120 000 Teamsters, I would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the French people.

I have no doubt in my heart that France will emerge from this tragedy stronger than ever.

In solidarity,

François Laporte
President
Teamsters Canada

Teamsters are committed to ensuring residents’ well-being by maintaining all services…

Laval, July 13, 2016 — Workers are set to go on strike tomorrow morning at Manoir Sainte-Julie, one of the seniors’ residences in the Résidences Soleil network owned by billionaire, Eddy Savoie.

Workers overwhelmingly rejected the three proposals submitted by the employer in April, June and July. Their main demand is a substantial wage increase that will reflect their hard work and dedication as orderlies.

The some 74 workers represented by the Teamsters Union will picket in front of the residence during their breaks and days off. The Teamsters are committed to maintaining all resident services – a first for the Union.

“Our main concern is the well-being of our seniors,” explained the President of Teamsters Local Union 106, Jean Chartrand. “Over the past few weeks, many of them have come to us to show their support and express their solidarity with our cause.”

The workers are asking for an hourly raise of $1.50 for a two-year labour contract, as well as a night shift bonus.

The previous collective agreement expired on September 18, 2015.

“No one can accuse the Teamsters of not respecting seniors,” concluded the union leader. “Now it’s up to Eddy Savoie to show that he respects workers.”

Teamsters Canada represents 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 11th 2016 – Contract negotiations at Résidences Soleil in Sainte-Julie, Québec have stalled. Barring a last-minute agreement, workers will strike on July 14th

During the strike, the Teamsters Union is committed to ensuring the entirety of services in order to guarantee the well-being and safety of the seniors under their care.

“We believe that the comfort of seniors must be fully ensured during the labour dispute,” explained Jean Chartrand, the President of Local Union 106, which represents the workers in question. “We’ll keep doing our jobs, and our members will picket during their break times and days off. ”

Management Coming Up Short

Workers rejected their employer’s three proposals in April, June and July. The rejected offers simply did not reflect the hard work done by the home’s orderlies, auxiliary nurses and kitchen staff. Orderlies, for example, are only paid between $12.86 and $14.19 per hour.

Teamsters Local Union 106 represents 74 workers at the retirement home. They’re asking for a $1.50 raise for a two-year collective agreement, as well as a premium for night shifts.

“We’re going on strike unless management returns to the bargaining table with an acceptable proposal,” warned the trade unionist. “We won’t back down. Workers deserve better.”

The previous collective agreement expired on September 18, 2015. Despite help from a conciliator, no significant progress was made at the bargaining table and workers reacted by voting unanimously for a strike.

Retirement home staff work in a non-competitive industry when it comes to their working conditions. They have no pension, very few days off and even fewer benefits. The Teamsters Union is working to change that.

“They’re asked to look after our mom and dads and get nothing but unfair treatment in return,” said Chartrand. “A strike in Sainte-Julie could lead to strikes across the province. We’re tired of being treated like cheap labour.”

In addition to improving working conditions, one long-term solution to the issue of working conditions in Québec retirement homes would be to set up a joint committee, which could significantly improve labour relations and the lives of workers.

“Working in a retirement home is physically and mentally demanding”, concluded Chartrand. “Our wages should reflect that.”

The Teamsters represents 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

Teamsters Union asks vacationers to steer clear of Hôtel Le Président until labour dispute is settled…

Laval, July 11, 2016 — Bad news awaited some thirty workers at Hôtel Le Président this morning. After being served lockout notice by management at 10 a.m., the employees were asked by security guards to vacate the premises immediately.

This sudden, disrespectful announcement follows the closure of the restaurant and very difficult negotiations between the two parties. Despite meetings with a mediator, the deadlock could not be broken.

“Needless to say, our members are furious and very disappointed,” fumed Michel Richard, representative for Teamsters Local Union 1791. “Negotiations had been at a standstill for a few weeks since we were waiting for a response to our proposal, but the employer never even bothered to contact us.”

The employer’s latest proposals for a 1% to 1.5% salary increase per year for a six-year contract are considered ridiculous. The Teamsters members were simply asking for parity with other local workers.

“When workers earn between $12 and $14 per hour, they are justified in seeking a better life for themselves,” added the union leader. “In addition to working for next to nothing, they have no pension plan and very few holidays.”

Such working conditions are unacceptable in 2016.

Picket Lines and Boycotting

Picket lines will be set up in front of the establishment tomorrow. The Teamsters Union asks vacationers to steer clear of Hôtel Le Président until the dispute is settled.

“It is not our practice to launch a boycotting campaign,” explained Michel Richard. “But the employer’s offensive attitude gives us no choice.”

“In any case, hotel management does not have sufficient human resources to ensure guests’ comfort without using scabs. Clients would be well-advised to stay elsewhere until the lockout is lifted.”

Teamsters Canada represents 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

As the spokesperson for Canada’s Teamsters, I would like to express our shock and sadness over the senseless violence gripping the United States.

Unfortunately, our union was not sparred from the bloodshed. Last Wednesday, we lost one of our own.

Brother Philando “Phil” Castile was a member of Local Union 320 in Minnesota and, by all accounts, a good man who loved his job and his community.

His death should remind us all that racism exists and affects workers every day. Even the Governor of Minnesota said that Brother Castile would probably still be alive had he been white.

Finally, I would also like to express our disbelief over the tragic shooting death of five Dallas police officers. Many Teamsters work in law enforcement, and I feel their pain as well.

Canada stands in solidarity with Brother Castile’s friends and family, and we offer our deepest condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones over the past days.

François Laporte
President of Teamsters Canada