Trudeau Reiterates Commitment to Labour as MP's Prepare to Return to Parliament

Summer is almost over and that means a lot of things – vacations are ending, days are getting shorter and parliament will be back in session.

This past week Liberal MPs gathered together prepare for a year of coming through on their election promises. Part of that was to reiterate the message that ‘the last federal election marked a new era in labour relations with the federal government.’

"The labour movement has been essential to building a stronger economy, one that's centered on the principles of fairness and inclusion," said Trudeau. "You hold employers to account, and that includes my government. You fight for the interests of the middle class, and you demonstrate a sense of community in everything you do."

Some of the promises made by the liberals during the election when it comes to labour is more flexible parental benefits, helping veterans re-enter the workforce, protecting middle class growth, better employment insurance, skills training and infrastructure investment, youth employment strategies, and of course, repealing anti-union bills.

Meeting with the Canadian Labour Congress last November, Trudeau said he would ‘fulfill the Liberal promise to repeal Bills C-377 and C-525 — the former Conservative government’s anti-union legislation.’

Bill C-377 is the amendment to the Income Tax Act, targets labour organizations with the intention of creating ‘more transparency’, while critics argued it is unconstitutional and violates the rights and privacy of all Canadians.

Bill C-525  would make the union certification process very difficult, eliminating the automatic card check certification and replacing it with a two-stage process adding a voting process in addition to card signing.

It also changes decertification of a union and would be changed to where a minority could initiate a decertification vote.

As we roll into September and our voted representatives start to make decisions that affect all Canadians, union members from across Canada will be keeping a close eye on how this session unfolds.

Local Union 355 Letter of Appreciation

Please click the link below to view the letter of appreciation from Local Union 355. Members at US Foods in Severn, Maryland, have been on strike for just over 100 days and counting.

Lu355 Letter of Appreciation

Safety In The Workplace Should Be A Top Priority, No Matter What Job You Have

In our culture we tend to see athletes as celebrities or stars, but the truth is they are people with jobs just like millions of other Canadians.

Sometimes we forget that they also deserve to have their safety protected in the workplace, and their union has released a statement reminding people of the importance of taking safety seriously no matter what workplace you work in.

Download Our Guide On How To Know If You Need A Union

The Canadian Football League’s Players’ Association (CFLPA) said its players have ‘very minimal coverage for accidents and injuries they sustain as part of their work.’

They called for the Alberta Review Panel to come up with ‘workable solutions that acknowledge the responsibility that our employers have to their employees – our members.’

This comes as a reminder of the importance of a union backing you up in the workplace, no matter what type of work you do. From trades, to the service industry to sports – no one should ever feel unsafe where they work.

Download Our Guide On How To Know If You Need A Union

The truth is some workplaces don’t always see their employees mental and physical health as a top priority.

The most current data from Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) shows that Alberta fatality rates were down from 2013 to 2014, but the number of workplace-related deaths in 2014 (a total of 169), was still higher than the three years previous.

Unions have fought for health and safety for decades, many labour laws that are taken for granted to day were made possible by unions. Through leadership safety training, implementing safety protocols in collective bargaining and fighting for mental health support in the workplace like the Teamsters 362 Make It Mandatory campaign.

No one should ever have to feel unsafe at the workplace, and this is how unions may be able to help you if you do.

PLCAC Canada Student Award Program

Since 1974 the Pipe Line Contractors Association of Canada has financially supported students with their education. To qualify, an applicant must be a son, daughter, or ward of a person whose principle income is derived from the pipeline construction industry.

Please click the link below for more information and the deadline for completed applications is October 14, 2016.

PLCAC Student Award Poster 2016

12 Stop Ride for Recovery Motorcycle Road Rally

The 12 Stop Ride for Recovery Motorcycle Road Rally is coming up August 27, and Teamsters 362 is looking for sponsors to donate to the cause.

The fundraiser is a motorcycle scavenger hunt to raise awareness about addiction, with donations going to the Fresh Start Recovery Centre.

Local 362 members Shaun Quaghebeur, Rick Eichel, Wayne Garner and Rick Prouty are riding for the cause, and encourage anyone who wants to volunteer or ride alongside to register here:

Teamsters 362 wants to thank all those again who have helped so far, and look forward to the big ride!

Ontario Paramedics To Receive Mental Health Support in the Workplace

Physical safety in the workplace is something that has been regulated and given attention for many years – unfortunately mental health does not get the attention it deserves.

The good news is that things are starting to change in Canada, and it seems that every few months more money and resources are being invested into mental health support for employees.

The latest example is for paramedics in Ontario.

The province’s government has said that it will put $200,000 to ‘a program developing a psychological health and wellness standard for paramedics across Canada.’

This program will allow the paramedics in Ontario to work with Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), and the Ontario Paramedics Association.

Pierre Poirier, vice president of the Paramedic Association of Canada, said that the project will be guided by the Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace standard created by the CSA and MHCC in 2013.

This standard has already shown great success among 40 companies, according to MHCC.

But it is not just paramedics that are in need of mental health supports, all workplaces across Canada need to be providing resources to their employees not only for the safety of their workers, but also to keep up productivity in the workplace.

One fourth of the population will experience a mental health issue and mental health issues cost the Canadian economy over $50 billion each year.

Teamsters Local 362  and Teamsters Canada have created ‘Make It Mandatory’ mental health campaigns to make mental health resources mandatory in every workplace across Canada.

We can no longer let stigma get in the way of helping Canadians in the workplace. With more announcements like this recent one in Ontario, we are moving towards changing the way we talk about mental health.

Teamsters 362 Plays Special Role In Alberta Ride To Conquer Cancer

The Ride to Conquer Cancer is well known across Alberta, raising millions of dollars each year for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

And each year Teamsters Local 362 is proud to play an important role in the huge weekend event in Calgary.

The event is ‘an epic, two-day cycling event spanning over 200 km in the majestic Rockies.’

Every year the Teamsters 362 truck ensures the bikes from riders in the Edmonton, Red Deer and surrounding areas are transported to the event in Calgary.

“As you can imagine our participants take great pride in their bikes, so we only use the best transportation provided to guarantee all equipment is delivered in the best shape," explained Lisa Then, who is involved in the production of the event. "Over the years we have worked with Teamsters who provide the best service and protect the bikes as if they were their own.”

It all started several years ago when Teamsters 362 Vice-President Wayne Garner decided to participate in the ride, because cancer is something that had impacted his family. He attended an orientation that is required when you are a rider. He said the organizers were asking if anyone would be able to help transport the bikes or had spare room.

Garner instantly thought of the huge Teamsters truck and offered it free of charge to the event. Now each year Garner and his son make the trek, rain or shine, from Edmonton to Calgary with all of the bikes.

“It’s two huge days of volunteering and we have become a part of the family,” said Garner of the event.

Not only do Teamsters help transport the bikes, but many members including shop stewards and 362 leadership, take part in the ride.

This year the event had over 1,400 riders and raised over $6.3 million dollars for the Alberta Cancer Foundation, which provides funding to doctors and scientists who search for new discoveries and improved patient outcomes.

Want a great workplace? Make sure your employees are happy.

Money may not be able to buy happiness, but research shows that happiness can make for a better workplace.

While it has been shown that fair wages improves productivity, research has shown that there is a strong link between employees happiness and productivity at work.

A study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12 per cent spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10 percent less productive.

And a strong factor in making employees happy are unions.

A study from Baylor University and the University of Arkansas found that overall union members are ‘more satisfied with their lives than those who are not members and that the substantive effect of union membership on life satisfaction is large and rivals other common predictors of quality of life.’

Union members ­have higher wages, work better hours, have better job security and good benefits. There is also the added factor of being part of a union family who will have your back both inside and outside of the workplace adding to a sense of security in the workplace.

According to Shawn Anchor, author of The Happiness Advantage, when a person is feeling positive that are better at solving problems and are better collaborators. All of this leads to higher levels of profits for companies and better work environments for the employer.

It's clear that when workers are happy, everyone benefits.

Teamsters Truck Makes Appearance At a Special Event

Stampede was a busy time of year for the Teamsters truck with lots of stops at pancake breakfasts around Calgary.

On July 10 the truck made its way to Northeast Calgary for a community gathering and breakfast with MP Ricardo Miranda, the Minister of Culture and Tourism for Alberta. With a great country band playing and a white hat presentation to Miranda and other ministers, the day was one to remember.


Our Teamsters truck, complete with stage and audio equipment, makes over 25 charity stops a year. We can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer events have in store!

Unions Looking to Millennials as Alberta Workforce Grows Younger

Times have changed when it comes to Alberta's labour market, and the workforce is getting younger.

With millennials now making up almost 40 per cent of Canada's working population, it will be up to a younger generation of employees to decide how relevant unions are in today's labour movement.

For decades unions have fought for fairer wages, more secure pensions and equality in the workplace. With high unemployment rates and growing numbers of precarious jobs spanning the province, millennials are looking to unions for opportunity and security.

As baby boomers and Gen X populations continue to retire, the millennial workforce will only increase; issues more unique to these younger generations — low wages, precarious work, etc. — may allude to why we’re seeing the popularity of unions rising with the millennial labour movement.

Although young workers are the least unionized part of the Canadian workforce,70 per cent of public sector employees are unionized; soon many of these roles will be occupied by a millennial generation.

For those who view unions as outdated and taxing on time and resources, recent statistics show 360,000 Canadian union workers between ages 15 and 24 “on average earn nearly $3.16 more per hour than their non-union peers.” And despite what many people commonly think, union jobs are varied — they accommodate everyone from highly skilled workers to new employees without experience.

Already making strides in the young worker movement today, the growing popularity of unions will continue to be reliant on millennials and their push for better, safer places to work.

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