Get Out And Vote: Teamsters Talk About The Importance of Voting At Every Level (Authorized By Teamsters Local 362)

Authorized By Teamsters Local 362

The federal election is only a few weeks away, and casting a vote is one of the most important ways you can make your voice heard. Voting gives you a say in how you want your country to be run for the next four years.

With voter turnout in Canada hitting record lows, it is important for Canadians to become engaged and get out and vote this Oct. 19.

In this video, Teamsters 362 members talk about the importance of voting at every level, whether it is within the union, provincial or federal.


Teamsters 362 Presents Cheque To The Fresh Start Recovery Centre

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Helping people since 1992, the Fresh Start Recovery Centre in Calgary has been able to provide an environment where men 'can escape addiction and learn to live rewarding and fulfilling lives in recovery.'

And today Teamsters 362 helped the centre out by handing over a cheque for $32,000 to Stacey Petersen, executive director of the centre, and Kate King, executive assistant if the centre.

The money was raised by Teamsters 362 at this years annual charity golf tournament.

The centre is a 'purpose-built facility that is one of the largest residential treatment centres in Alberta.' Their new facility was opened in winter 2011, and provides a setting for men and their families to begin their new lives.


Boston Brings It: Teamsters 362 Women Feel Empowered After Attending Women's Conference

This August one of the oldest cities in America hosted a group who represent the future of women in workplaces across North America.

Boston was home to the 2015 Teamsters Women’s Conference, an event that brings together ‘Teamsters throughout North America in the spirit of sisterhood.’

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it opened my eyes,” said Trisha Hinds, a Teamsters Local 362 member who attended her first conference this year.

Laughs, tears and incredible stories are what she said she would remember most.

“I didn’t realize how strong these women are – fighting for what’s right and fighting for equality.”

Women’s pay equality in Canada is something that has been a hot topic since a report from the UN Human Rights Commission said that Canada needs to ‘make more of an effort to ensure that Canadian men and women – especially minority and indigenous women – are paid equally for work of equal value.’

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But under a Teamster collective agreement pay equity among women and men in the workplace is not an issue. A recent Institute for Women’s Policy Research report showed that women in unions receive 'better pay, and greater access to employer-provided health insurance, paid sick leave and retirement, among other gains.'

Hinds recalled hearing a story from one woman at the conference from the United States who was single mother and consistently dealt with racism at her place of work.

“Stories like that really stuck out,” said Hinds. “To be part of that and experience that was incredible. There was so much to take in and listen to.”

Another Teamster 362 member who understands that feeling very well is Yvonne Bruyere, who this year attended her fifth conference.

Over the years she said she has made many friends at the events and stayed in contact with the ladies over the years.

Most of all though, she's said she enjoys seeing the different ages come together at the conference.

“It’s a big learning experience. You are learning something new every time you go and how the times have changed. You learn the changing of the generations. The new generation, it is totally different from when I started working,” she explained.

Bruyere said her biggest take away from the conference each year is empowerment, quoting Jimmy Hoffa to describe the feeling, who said 'you ladies are power.’

The key is in the exchanging of ideas of unity and solidarity, empowering all of the women together, according to Bruyere.

For Teamsters 362 member Shelly Crooks who attended the conference, the speakers were what stood out.

She recalled the speech Sean O’Brien, president of Teamsters Local 25 in Boston, who talked about the support the local teamsters provided to bombing victims in Boston and a speech from a Boston bombing victim named Heather Abbot, who told a ‘powerful story about the challenges she had overcome after losing a leg.’
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The conference also included ‘an impressive program of speakers, dozens of educational workshops and union-building activities’ with in-depth workshops on everything from shop steward training to the history of the Teamsters Union.

For Crooks, seeing all of these women from all different locations, backgrounds and walks of life come together and empower each other was what left her feeling ‘like a different person’ after the conference.

Being part of the Teamsters union is something Crooks said she felt extremely proud of and she said helps to pave the way for the rights of women in the workplace.

“More women need to be able to speak their minds in a comfortable environment where we’re all on the same page,” she said. “When you hear everyone’s stories, it seems like there is a lot that can be discussed. People feel better when they can discuss their issues.”


Riveting Ridings: 6 Election Races To Keep An Eye On In Canada (Post Authorized By Teamsters Local 362)

POST AUTHORIZED BY TEAMSTERS LOCAL 362

In the weeks of campaigning for the federal election there have been a lot of headlines and excitement surrounding all of the parties, and this will be at an all time over the next few weeks.

This year the number of ridings rose from 308 to 338, meaning a lot more candidates and more political excitement buzzing around the nation.

Here are some ridings to keep an eye on as we head towards the Oct. 19 election date.

Victoria

Murray Rankin, NDP

John Rizzuti, Conservative

Jo-Ann Roberts, Green

Cheryl Thomas, Liberal

Murray Rankin is the current MP and won a byelection over the Green Party three years ago, but it was a very close race. According to Global News, the Green Party has become the second most popular party in Victoria and a Green win would take away a seat from the NDP, which could make a big difference.

Calgary Confederation

Kirk Heuser, NDP

Len Webber, Conservative

Natalie Odd, Green

Matt Grant, Liberal

Edmonton is thought to be where the NDP has ‘the inside track’ and the liberals are though to have a better chance in Calgary according to Global News. This Calgary riding has been making headlines for the extremely tight race between Matt Grant, who according to recent polls, has 38 per cent support among decided voters and Len Webber who has 37 per cent.

Saskatoon West

Sheri Benson, NDP

Randy Donauer, Conservative

Lisa Abbott, Liberal

Glendon Toews, Green Party

As pointed out by the Toronto Star, Saskatchewan has shut out the federal NDP since 2004, which may seem odd because it is the location where the party was started. The boundaries for this riding were recently redrawn and it is now primarily a suburban riding. A win for the NDP would be ‘strategically and symbolically important’ and would give them a firm hold on a province where they didn’t hold a seat.

Brandon-Souris

Melissa Joy Wastasecoot, NDP

Larry Maguire, Conservative

David Neufeld, Green

Jodi Wyman, Liberal

This riding is where the Conservative party could have problems if they do not win, and could mean ‘a collapse in the Prairie ridings.’ It could indicate that the party is losing support in the urban ridings of the prairies and it should be a exciting as the last byelection was a very close race.

Ahuntsic-Catierville 

Maria Mourani, NDP

William Moughrabi, Conservative

Giles Mercier, Green Party

Nicolas Bourdon, Bloc Quebecois

This riding covers a large area of Montreal and is very ethnically diverse – it is also one of the ridings that was not included in the ‘NDP’s electoral sweep of Quebec’ in the last election. Winner Maria Mourani won for the Bloc Quebecois, but has now changed over to the NDP.  The Toronto Star said that this riding would indicatethe strength of the Bloc Quebecois in the province.

St. Johns South-Mount Pearl

Ryan Cleary, NDP

Seamus O’Regan, Liberal

Described by the Toronto Star as ‘ a deadzone for the Conservatives with just one candidate named in the province’s seven ridings’ it has come down to a fight between the NDP and Liberals, and in this riding also a race between two journalists.

POST AUTHORIZED BY TEAMSTERS LOCAL 362


Where Do The Parties Stand: Your Guide To Election Issues (Post Authorized by Teamsters Local 362)

Authorized by Teamsters Local 362

With the election campaign heading into the final few weeks, there is a lot of focus in the media on the parties and their leaders – sometimes the actual platforms the parties are running can get overlooked during all of the hype.

Although there are several key issues that Canadian voters are interested in, we have focused on three that have come up very often during the campaign – economic, social and security issues – and where the parties each stand.

Economic Issues

Conservatives:

The Conservatives have focused their strategy for the economy on connecting Canadians with jobs, low taxes and supporting businesses.

·      They introduced a ‘family tax cut allowing couples with children under 18 to split up to $50,000 of income

·      Promised to balance the budget this fiscal year

·      Looking at ways for Canadians to voluntarily contribute more to Canada Pension Plan

NDP:

The NDP has said that the federal government should be doing more to address economic issues and should focus on putting Canada in the position of being an ‘innovative, energy-efficient high-tech economy.’

·      A balanced budget by 2016

·      NDP promises not to raise personal income tax rates

·      They would cancel the current income splitting policy, saying it only benefits the wealthy

Liberals

The Liberals have said that they would like to focus on ‘improving the standard of living and economic prospects of middle-class Canadians’ by making the tax system fairer and provide more ‘financial support for middle-class and low-income earners.’

·     A balanced budget by 2016

·      They would cancel the income-splitting for families, as they also see it as only benefiting the wealthy

·      Cut middle-class income-tax bracket to 20.5 per cent and create a new tax bracket of 33 per cent for annual incomes of more than $200,000.

Green

The Green Party is aiming to boost the economy and put more money into environmental-friendly policies.

•   They want to create jobs through investment in renewable energy

•   Expand access to Employment Insurance for those who paid into it.

•   Rethink Canada’s trade agreements to ensure they are “fair for all.”

 

Security and Terrorism Issues

Conservatives:

According to the Toronto Star, the Conservatives believe that the Ottawa attack proved that ‘Canada is not immune from the terrorist threat arising from groups like ISIS.’

·      Committed to military mission against ISIL, sending Canada fighter jets to Iraq and Syria

·      Passed the controversial Bill C-51, that gives expanded powers to CSIS

·      Committed nearly $300 million dollars to help combat terrorism

NDP:

They see the current governments response to terrorism as disproportionate and threatening our civil liberties.

·      Want to end the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria, while boosting humanitarian aid

·      Repeal Bill C-51

·      Support a counter-radicilaizaiton program

Liberals

The Liberals feel there needs to be a balance of security measures at a time of rising terrorist threats and better oversight of Canadian security agencies.

·      They want to end the bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria, but keep military trainers while boosting humanitarian aid

·      Make amendments to Bill C-51

·      Allow more refuges from Iraq and Syria

Green:

The Green Party would be in favour of more oversight of agencies involved in anti-terrorist activities.

·      Introduce a plan that would provide better coordinated direction to our security departments

·      Ensure responses to terrorism are carried out within the framework of international law.

 

Social Issues

Conservatives:

The party has introduced measures to promote security, health and employment for Canadians and their communities.

·      Increase annual health funding to provinces

·      Retool $2-billion-per-year Labour Market Develment Agreements with provinces

·      Provide $65 million over four years to business and industry associations to allow them to work with post-secondary institutions

NDP

They plan to expand federal action to address Canada’s Social issues.

·      Restore 6 per cent annual increase to health care transfers

·      Restor home mail delivery by Canada Post for households that lost it

·      Reinstate the mandatory long-form census

Liberals

They have stated that there are a wide range of Social issues need Ottawa’s attention.

·      Strengthen the federal government’s role in safeguarding the national health-care system

·      Restore home mail delivery system by Canada Post

·      Reinstate long form census and make Statistics Canada independent

Green

The Green Party wants to zone in on innovative ways to increase social housing and reduce homelessness.

·      Ban unpaid internships

·      Boost access to apprentice programs in key trades

·      Develop youth community and environment service corps that will provide federal minimum wage employment for youth

 


The Problem Of The Youth Vote: How Do We Get Young People To Vote? (Post Authorized by Teamsters Local 362)

Every election, at every level of government, the problem of the youth vote is always a topic of conversation.

The fact is, Canada’s population of young people just aren’t voting.

A new documentary out of British Columbia called The Drop: Why Young People Don’t Vote is taking a deeper look at the issue. The film was put together by Ian Waddell, 72, a former B.C. New Democrat MP and former provincial culture minister, actor Dylan Playfair, 23 and director by Kyle McCachen, 29.

In an interview with the Vancouver sun, Waddell said he wanted to bring some of the ‘1960s-era idealism of his generation to the youth of 2015.’

“Back then we were fearing thermo-nuclear war, so we got involved in the peace movement and marches and so on,” he said. “They have techniques that we didn’t have, like the Internet, and they have incredible abilities to mobilize. We’re hoping the film, if we take it to schools, will help them.”

So what are some of the issues surrounding the youth vote?

1. Statistics

In 2011, roughly 39 per cent of Canadians aged 18-24 voted in the federal election, just under half the 75-per-cent rate of Canadians aged 65-74. Almost three million young Canadians — 2.974 million — under 24 are eligible to vote this year.

2. Feeling Ignored

According to an article in the Globe and Mail, many young people feel as though that they are ignored by most politcians and the issues they care about are not being addressed by the political parties.  They feel disconnected from the parties, the candidates and the whole process.

3. Actually The Most Engaged Generation

According to the CBC a recent report by Samara found that young voters are engaged politically, but still less likely to vote than people over 30. According to the report ‘youth who had been contacted by a political party, were 15 per cent more likely to cast a ballot in the 2011 federal election, than those who weren't.’ They also found that Canadians under 30 participate on average 11 percentage points higher than citizens over 30.

4. Needs To Become A Habit

One of the major concerns about the low voting turnout for youth is that voting will not become a part of their routine, and rates will continue to drop off. This was brought up during an interview Teamsters 362 conducted with Ashley Tardif-Bennett, communications coordinator with Apathy is Boring.

“If we don’t address this issue, overall turnout rates will continue to dip and we will be are setting ourselves up for the dangerous reality of a fragile democracy and a disengaged generation,” she said.

What do you think are some of the solutions to get youth to participate in voting?

Post Authorized by Teamsters Local 362

 


Millennial Impact: How Young People Can Shape The Future Of Unions

Millennials are moving into roles of leadership across the world – as activists, politicians, journalists and more – meaning they are shaping the way our future will look, including union organizing.

The labour movement should be actively looking towards young people right now – a generation that is described as civic minded and having a strong sense of community. The spotlight has been shining especially bright on this issue since popular millennial news outlets such as Gawker, Salon and Vice have been unionizing.

Mojdeh Cox, a feminist, activist and writer recently wrote about the importance of young people in the labour movement in her blog Women In Colour and had some important points labour movements should consider.

1.     Encouraging Open Dialogue

Young people have not only become more open about having difficult conversations, they have found innovative ways to have them globally. Millennials may not always have traditional platforms to speak about the issues affecting their generation, but social media has created a place where issues are brought to the forefront. This includes movements such as the 'Arab Spring', 'Black Lives Matter' and the 'Am I Next' movement regarding missing and murdered aboriginal women. Young people have found creative ways to bring forward issues and labour organizations could benefit from this creativity in the future.

2.     Not Just Talk – Action

Moving past simply using a hashtag, millennials are making change happen. Arab Spring moved from just a hashtag to a movement that changed a country and Black Lives Matter brought global and legal attention to racial issues in the United States.  As pointed out by Cox ‘young workers have the mentality, energy, experience, and skills to speak on issues, organize the masses, and mobilize communities.’

3.     Moving Forward

Although many young workers are respectful of the past, Cox said that they are focused on ‘practicality’ at the core of their actions and ‘have little to no sentimental attachment to any tradition or practice of the past – especially if it isn’t working today.’ Young workers want to be leaders and unions offer this opportunity and the chance to move forward with many issues facing young people today.

4.    Time for Change

Young people are facing barriers when it comes to work and are often not included in the conversations that have to do with worker rights for their generation. As pointed out by Cox many millennials are ‘more educated, have higher financial burdens and debts as a result of schooling, yet are highly represented in the underemployment that plagues the labour market in this country.’ Young people are ready for a change when it comes to employment in this country, and unions offer an avenue to help with that.

Organized labour has a legacy of implementing positive changes for both union and non-union members, and as Cox wrote in her blog, millennials are ready to take the lead.


Pipe Line Contractors Award Program

Investing in education is important and thats why the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada has the Student Award Program.

Your son or daughter may qualify to receive money towards their education. Find out more by clicking on the links below.

 

Student Award Program Poster. 

Student Award Program Information Letter.


Shop Steward Is Always Ready To Help Out A Fellow Teamster

Teamster Jeff McConnell was nominated to be a shop steward by his fellow workers, and it has been a role he has enjoyed ever since.

He said he has become someone that they know they can come to with any problems – they have always stood by him the workplace, and now he is there to make sure their voices are heard.

And having Teamsters to back him up when he brings forward concerns, is something he said he takes pride in.

"When you have big brother like Teamsters, you are getting that equality and the fairness that everyone deserves," he said.

Hear more about his story in our latest Lives of 362 video.


Remembering Why We Celebrate Labour Day

The September long weekend means a lot of different things to many people across the country.

For some it is a time for one last summer barbecue, a final chance at a pool party or a drink on the neighbourhood pub patio – it is the last long weekend of the summer and signals a transition of seasons.

But Labour Day Weekend should mean a little bit more to Canadians, as it stands for something that is important to us all – worker rights.

But the rights of workers wouldn’t be acknowledged without the organized labour movement in Canada.

It is the reason kids are in school learning instead of being forced into labour, why employees get to enjoy long weekends, why there is work place legislation, the right to organize and get a union contract.

According to The Tyee, the origins of Labour Day in Canada can be traced back nearly 150 years to 1872 when there was a parade held to support a Toronto Unions strike for a 58-hour work week.

Ten years later in 1873, Prime Minister John A. MacDonald committed to repeal the law that banned union activity and in 1894 Prime Minister John Thompson declared Labour Day an official holiday.

And Unions have made a lot of progress in Canada since it was declared an official holiday.

According to the Alberta Federation of Labour, ‘Albertas 420,000 unionized workers make an average of 18 per cent more per hour than their non-unionized counterparts.’

They also pointed out that economists have found that union contracts effect all workers in a given sector, pulling up all wages for even non-union workers.

Besides wages, unions also provide health benefits, make sure workers are receiving proper hours and are involved in the community.

And as we enter the Labour Day weekend research shows that the popularity of labour unions is rising, especially among our future generations.

So this labour day whether your enjoying a CFL game with your pals, a road trip with the family or just taking some time for yourself, make sure to remember those who fought hard for your rights as a worker in Canada today.