Rob Parmiter: Family Values

With 3 generations of Teamsters in his family, Rob Parmiter knows all about the security and benefits of being a union member. You are only as strong as your membership and with guy's like Rob in our corner, we're very proud to say we're one of the strongest around.

Rob Parmiter Lives of 362

"Every day... Every day is a proud moment to be a Teamster"
-Rob Parmiter 362 Pipeline/Construction Member

Health and Wellness Since 1976

partner-blue-crossThere are few business relationships that last over thirty-five years, but in the case of the Teamsters and the Manitoba Blue Cross, the relationship that started in 1976 is still going strong. It started with a few gentlemen: Kerry Bittner, Norm Finley and Lou Janze. Norm, the Chair of Local Union 362 at the time, wanted to establish a health benefits program for members. Working with Lou, a consultant running a union trustee business providing health plans, the two approached Kerry to discuss the opportunities for a Health and Welfare plan to provide medicine to the union members.


At the time, this sort of thing was unprecedented. Not knowing how many members it would be for, Norm and Lou urged Kerry to quote them on what “had the potential to service 1000 members.” None of the other insurance companies would quote, as they were reticent to provide a rate to something that wasn’t guaranteed. Although it felt like risky business, the Manitoba Blue Cross took a chance, and quoted Norm and Lou on a rate for 1000 members – despite there being zero members.

Visit the 362 Benefits Page

In June of 1976, at a trustees meeting, the Manitoba Blue Cross was appointed to be the carriers of the Health and Dental Plan for the Teamsters. A couple of short years later, membership enrolment was up to 300. Thirty-six years later, the Manitoba Blue Cross is still servicing the account under Kerry Bittner’s direction, and Local Union 362 provides its members with two plans: the 362 Plan, for Construction and Pipeline Members who work on a contract basis and bank hours, and the Prairie Plan, for Members who are employed on a monthly basis (as most members work year round). The 362 Construction Plan now services 800 Members, and the Prairie Plan, which, having started in 1982, is slightly younger than the original Construction Plan, services 3600 Members. Therefore, the plans together benefit 4400 Members of the Local Union 362. Both are related to the strong and long-lasting relationship that we have with Kerry.

Visit 362 Health & Welfare

Further, the Health and Benefits plan that is provided to the Local Union 362 members is one of the top in its class. In terms of dental and health coverage, its benefits are in the top category of any employer’s. The rate is stable and the Manitoba Blue Cross wants to keep it that way. “It’s a pretty unique relationship,” says Kerry, “working with the Teamsters Local 362 has been a truly great experience.”

Not only a Union of Workers but a Union of Community

In the face of adversity teamsters all across North America have come together to support not only their brothers and sisters, but more importantly the communities they build their lives and raise their families in. Our members not only donate financially but also their time to work alongside other volunteers in order to help rebuild lives and communities in need.

In the wake of tragedy, if even a modicum of solace can be found in the kindness of others and the support of a community coming together, our members have shown that they will be there to help in any way they can. While they would never ask for it, we wanted to take the time to recognize and thank these amazing people.

Boston Marathon Bombing

On April 15th, 2013 two blasts shook the city, killing three runners and injuring hundreds of people. One of those whose life was tragically lost was 29 year old Krystle Campbell. Along with the grief this family was going through, they had to cope with threats of a protest by Westboro Baptist Church, a radical church group who claimed this to be “God’s wrath” due to President Obama supporting same sex marriage.

Teamsters from local 25, who represent over 11,000 working men and women in the Boston area, quickly organized their off duty members to form a “Human Shield” that would block the Westboro Baptist Church from protesting the funeral.

"It's the right thing to do. The family deserves a peaceful grieving process that's free from any coward-led group."

- President/Principle Officer Sean O'Brien Local 25

Hurricane Katrina
In August 2005 hurricane Katrina hit land with all its fury, causing one of the most devastating natural disasters in U.S. history. The flood waters almost overtook the entire city of New Orleans killing thousands. Teamsters all over the U.S. and Canada hurried to their aide, delivering much needed supplies to the victims. Local 362 even drove our own Kenworth down from Alberta full of donated relief supplies. Teamsters also created the “Adopt a Family” program which matched families with union locals in their area to help them with resources and guidance to rebuild their lives.

Alberta Floods

In June of 2013 southern Alberta experienced the worst flood in the history of the province. The flood ravaged cities and towns, demolishing homes, businesses and wreaked havoc on families and communities, with an estimated cost of 6 billion dollars in damage.

The devastation was immeasurable, more than 100,000 residents were displaced and in need of assistance. Homes, possessions, pets, and lives were lost to this tragic disaster. The efforts of first responders and volunteers coming together to rebuild the community will never be forgotten. The Teamsters Joint Council 90 raised $105,625.00 that went to the Calgary Foundation Flood Fund while Local 362 donated $10,000.00 to the Building Trades of Alberta which, along with the efforts of the other trade union locals within the Building Trades of Alberta, raised over $240,000.00 for the Red Cross Alberta Flood Relief efforts.

“You have to be united to be strong”, not only as a teamster but as a member of the community!

The Industrial Revolution: The Rise of Labour Unions

1912_Lawrence_Textile_Strike_1Times of industrial revolution stand out as pivotal turning points for all western nations that brought prosperity and fast paced expansion. The rise of labour unions can be linked to Europe (in the late eighteenth century) and in North America (in the nineteenth century) where the movement from rural to urban life in order to work in factories and machines was the most pronounced. This max influx of workers into the workplace helped provide gains in profits of developing industries, however at the expense of less than ideal working conditions.

Labour unions arose because there were many who found difficulty in accepting how “big business” was run; on the backs of the workers in the factories who saw very little in compensation. Along with less money, mechanized production of goods replaced household manufacturing, but these machines were difficult to use and could be dangerous to work with. Labour unions helped spread the balance of power more evenly so that labourers could bargain for more rights such as more pay and better working conditions.

The imbalance of power between industry and labourers made the first few labour movements, such as the National Labour Union, limited in their success. The largest union at this time was the Order of the Knights of St. Crispin that represented the shoe and printing industry. They sought to decrease the trend toward mechanized production that stood to replace master cobblers and printers. Ultimately, as we see today, efficient machines took their place in the industry and prevailed. Labour unions saw much more promise when the American Federation of Labour sought to focus on improving wages and the working conditions of its members.

Today, we see the effects that these early labour unions have had with helping our labour force. The laws developed to set minimum wage standards, living wage standards, maximum hours worked etc. were all developed with pressure from these early labour unions. Whether fighting for better working conditions, compensation when hurt on the job, or better wages the principles that labour unions stood for during the industrial revolution are still incredibly relevant.

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