Canadians Honour Fallen Workers With Day of Mourning

Going to work is something millions of people across Canada do every day. Whether you are working in construction or sitting behind a desk, no one should ever have to feel unsafe in their workplace.

Unfortunately, every year we have workplace fatalities in Canada. On April 28 we remember those who have been injured or have lost their lives with the Day of Mourning.

In Alberta we lost 144 women and men to workplace injury or illness in 2016.

On Parliament Hill and at government buildings across the country flags will fly at half-mast and there will be a moment of silence at 11 a.m.

What was known as the Day of Remembrance was originally launched in 1984 by the Canadian Labour Congress, and in 1991 the Government of Canada passed the Workers Mourning Day Act making April 28 the official Day of Mourning.

It has now spread to over 100 countries around the world, in hopes that this day will help to establish healthy workplace conditions  around the world.

The latest statistics from the Workers Compensation Board of Canada shows that in 2015 there were 852 workplace deaths in Canada. They also found that there were 232,629 claims for lost time due to a work-related injury or disease and 8,155 of those were from workers 15 to 19.

There will be events across Alberta to honour the day:

Edmonton and District Labour Council
Amphitheatre in Borden Park at 12:15 p.m. For more details, please visit the Edmonton and District Labour Council's website.

Central Alberta Chapter and Parkland Regional Safety Committee
Red Deer City Hall (west-side steps) at 11 a.m.

Calgary Day of Mourning Committee
SAIT Aldred Centre at 11 a.m.


Alberta Receives a Poor Grade For Gender Wage Gap

Alberta recently received a grade in a study released from the Conference Board of Canada, and it was not good.

Their report card compared provinces and territories, as well as 15 peer countries in a number of categories including economy, education and skills, innovation, environment, health and society.

One of the most striking statements in the report is how bad Alberta measures when it comes to measures of equity. One of the worst? The gender wage gap, where we received a D grade.

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The report pointed out that Alberta has a difference in median weekly earnings of close to 25 per cent between men and women, making it the third-highest gender wage gap of all regions in the report.

But the gender wage gap wasn’t the only area where Alberta faired poorly in terms of wages.

We also received a C grade for the immigrant wage gap with nearly a 26 per cent gap between immigrants and Canadian born citizens. There was also a 66 per cent wage gap between people with disabilities and those without.

Craig Alexander is the board’s senior vice-president and chief economist. According to CBC News, he said that these numbers indicate some key social challenges in Alberta.

"Improving labour market opportunities and conditions for disadvantaged groups can help the province boost social and economic performance," he said.

One way to do this is through unions. It is well known that unions set the bar when it comes to wages for women, immigrants and those with disabilities.

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Unions have played a major role when it comes women’s rights in the workplace, including the Teamsters with contracts that have lead the way when it comes to gender equality. According to the Canadian Labour Congress, union members earn on average $5.28 per hour more than workers without a union and women earn $7.10 per hour more on average with a union.

A collective agreement can ensure that all workers are treated equally and have rights to protect them in the workplace.

Unions are also very much involved in social activism, fighting to make sure that our government and society are treating all people fairly. With continued unionization, we can push for Alberta to go from a D to an A.


Teamsters Local 362 Highlights

Each week Teamsters Local 362 will update our members on what is happening within the local and what our business agents are doing outside of their daily responsibilities. Make sure you check in to see what is happening in the union.

CURRENT BARGAINING 
This week we have bargaining with Grimshaw Trucking continuing in Edmonton.

CURRENT MEETINGS

Vice President Wayne Garner attended a step three grievance meeting with Brinks in Calgary and Business Agent Jordan Madarash attended a grievance meeting with Garda Cash.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

This weekend Jordan Madarash will be attending the Garda PBS YEG shift bid for the Summer.

IMPORTANT NEWS

Jordan Madarash and other business agents will be attending the presentation of the United Way Jim Shewchuk Award at the Labour Appreciation Night this Saturday.

This week Wayne Garner visited the set of Puppy Love which is a production shooting in Edmonton.  Find out more information here http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/mobile/video?clipId=1098098

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Teamsters truck and stage will be at the Spring Thaw Car Show in Calgary on April 23. All the proceeds go to the Interfaith Food Bank.

The 12 Stop Ride For Recovery has announced a date for its ninth year, and Teamsters 362 is proud to take part in it. The fundraiser is a 'scavenger hunt style' motorcycle ride to increase awareness of addiction helps us raise funds for the Fresh Start Recovery Centre. Find more information here. This year it will take place on Aug. 26. Come and meet some of the staff and executive from Teamsters 362 who will be taking part in the ride.


Senate votes to change bill that would reverse anti-union laws

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the 2015 federal election he pledged to reverse two laws that were viewed by many across the country as anti-union.

In November of that year he restated that commitment when he spoke at the Canadian Labour Congress gathering in Ottawa, stating that ‘labour is not a problem, but a solution.’

Unfortunately, not everyone in government sees it that way.

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The Senate amended Bill C-4 that reversed the original intent, which was to repeal C-377 and C-525.

Bill C-377 received royal assent on June 30, 2015, on the last day of Parliament and after years of debate. The amendment to the Income Tax Act, targets labour organizations with critics arguing that 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.

Many have argued that this extra vote gives employers the opportunity to intimidate workers before the second stage of the process where they vote on joining a union.

In a vote by the Senate, mostly supported by Conservatives, they changed the bill to keep the elements of Bill C-525.

However, a spokesperson for federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu signalled that the government would be voting to reverse the Senate changes, according to the Globe and Mail.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail Hassan Yussuff, President of the CLC, said that the card check system has not shown any signs of problems.

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“It prevents employers from intimidating and interfering,” he explained. Every time there is a vote, employers do interfere. They express their opinion. They threaten to close the workplace.”

The labour movement, and those who want to unionize, will be keeping a close eye on the Senate as more developments come forward over the next few weeks.


Teamsters Weekly Update April 14

Each week Teamsters Local 362 will update our members on the latest news within the local. Make sure you check in to see what is happening in the union.

CURRENT BARGAINING 
Last Friday we had the first round of bargaining at MacCosham and round two will be taking place this week.

UPCOMING BARGAINING 
Just last week we met with representatives from Mammoet Canada Western, Trans Tech Contracting, Sarens Group and NSG Crane and Heavy Haul to strategize on a format leading into a joint negotiations for the renewals of their perspective collective agreements.

We have bargaining with Grimshaw Trucking coming up next Wednesday through Friday.

Proposals have been taken and dates are being set for Inland Concrete pipe in Calgary. Proposals have also been taken and we are waiting meeting dates for Burnco Rock Products in Calgary.

CURRENT MEETINGS

We will be at the Edmonton International Airport helping with the shift building process for the upcoming shift bid next week.

We have had visits at Inland and Lafarge in Edmonton to discuss applications to the Labour Board.

Members of our leadership attended the Teamster Canada Division meetings this week. These were very important meetings with the various divisions of Teamsters including small parcel, warehouse, freight and armoured car, who each gave their reports that followed with discussions. These meetings are focused on networking strategy and collaboration between the Local Unions that better unite the country, which in turn creates a better representation to our members from coast to coast.

Not sure what all of the Teamsters Trade Divisions are? Check out the full list here http://teamsters.ca/en/about/union-profile/

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Our annual Pipeline Dispatch meeting is scheduled for Thursday April 27th. This meeting is for our pipeline division membership to discuss their dispatch rules and other relevant issues pertaining to this important industry.

IMPORTANT NEWS

Canadian workers are worried about Kinder Morgan’s commitment to safety and training of their workers on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion. Read about how you can help .

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Teamsters truck and stage will be at the Spring Thaw Car Show in Calgary on April 23. All the proceeds go to the Interfaith Food Bank.

The 12 Stop Ride For Recovery has announced a date for its ninth year, and Teamsters 362 is proud to take part in it. The fundraiser is a 'scavenger hunt style' motorcycle ride to increase awareness of addiction helps us raise funds for the Fresh Start Recovery Centre. Find more information here. This year it will take place on Aug. 26. Come and meet some of the staff and executive from Teamsters 362 who will be taking part in the ride.


World Happiness Report Lists Top Countries

The world happiness report was released last week and a new country has taken the top spot from previous years winner Denmark.

Norway was announced as the happiest out of 155 countries. The top five list was rounded out by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.

Canada fell this year to 7th, our lowest ranking since the happiness index began in 2012.

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Central African Republic was listed as the unhappiest  followed by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.

The rankings are based on GDP per person, life expectancy, social support, freedom to make life choices, sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.

It is clearly not about just how much money people have, but so much more. Norway had large declines in oil prices and still made the top of the list.

What do all of these countries have in common? The have high levels of unionization.

According to Psychology Today, ‘unions help to produce a greater level of happiness, and to help it be distributed in a more equitable manner, including to those who are not themselves union members.’

Another important aspect of the report was specifically the workplace.

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"People tend to spend the majority of their lives working, so it is important to understand the role that employment and unemployment play in shaping happiness," said Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, one of the authors of the report.

Union jobs provide good wages, benefits and stable hours – all aspects that are important in providing a good work-life balance. Work-life balance was an important aspect in measuring workplace happiness.

The results show that once again, countries that are highly unionized tend to be happier.


Safety Before Profits

When Kinder Morgan announced the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, residents of B.C. and workers from all over Canada were promised that their province would see major benefits.

But concern in the Canadian community is growing.

They are worried about Kinder Morgan's level of commitment to safety and rigorous training for their workers. Due to these concerns, the B.C. Coalition for Safety Before Profits was formed, which includes members from he Labourer’s International Union of North America, United Association Canada (Canadian Piping Trades), and Teamsters Canada.

These unions have built most of the pipelines in Canada, with highly skilled workers who put safety first.

If you want to support thousands of experienced British Columbians, and other Canadian workers, who are ready to work on this pipeline you can help in a number of ways – by sharing this information on social media and emailing Kinder Morgan. You can find a link to our email here and more information on the issue here.


Ride For Recovery Gearing Up For 2017

The 12 Stop Ride For Recovery has announced a date for its ninth year, and Teamsters 362 is proud to take part in it.

The fundraiser is a 'scavenger hunt style' motorcycle ride to increase awareness of addiction helps us raise funds for the Fresh Start Recovery Centre. This year it will take place on Aug. 26.

Registration begins at 8:00 am at the Centre and the ride begins at 10:00 a.m. The ride is made up of a series of stops through the city and rural landscapes. Each of the 12 Stops holds a new clue to direct you to a fun and unique experience at the next stop.

The Fresh Start Recovery Centre has been running for over two decades as a residential alcohol and drug addiction treatment centre for men located in Calgary. It has been recognized nationally by the Donner Canadian Foundation as the best run treatment centre in Canada for effective program delivery.

They provide a comfortable environment where men and their families can escape addiction, and learn to live rewarding and fulfilling lives in recovery.

You can register to take part in the ride here or you can offer to volunteer, donate an auction item or just get the word out on social media.


Teamsters Weekly Update April 7

Each week Teamsters Local 362 will update our members on the latest news within the local. Make sure you check in to see what is happening in the union.

UPCOMING BARGAINING 
This week we were taking proposals from the members at Clean Harbors to prepare for upcoming bargaining.

We have secured a date in the middle of April to go back to the table with MTE Calgary.

We will be preparing bargaining documents this week for MacCosham City P&D.

CURRENT MEETINGS

We met with some of our members from our Film Division on Sunday to discuss the new Master Agreement with the CMPA and get some feedback to our modifications of the dispatch rules prior to the roll out to the membership.

We attended a special Canadian Industrial Relation Association meeting to discuss the Government’s review of the Alberta Employment Standards Code and the Alberta Labour Relations Code. The purpose of the meeting was to provide your input to Andy Sims and Jeff Parr, Deputy Minister as part of the Government’s review of Workplace Legislation and learn about the consultation process involved in this review.

We met with Mammoet, Premay, Sarens Canada and a representative from the Construction Labour Relations Association, to discuss strategies for the upcoming negotiations.

We also met with Fort McKay Logistics to discuss the recent changes in the Fort McMurray region.

A special meeting was held with Lafarge Edmonton membership regarding the common employer application.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

We will be having a Labour Management Meeting on Monday April 10th at Garda World Calgary International.

EXCITING NEWS

This week we rolled out the trial run of our Boom Rewards Program at the International airports in each city.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Teamsters truck and stage will be at the Spring Thaw Car Show in Calgary on April 23. All the proceeds go to the Interfaith Food Bank.

The 12 Stop Ride For Recovery has announced a date for its ninth year, and Teamsters 362 is proud to take part in it. The fundraiser is a 'scavenger hunt style' motorcycle ride to increase awareness of addiction helps us raise funds for the Fresh Start Recovery Centre. Find more information here (will hyperlink in this sentence) This year it will take place on Aug. 26. Come and meet some of the staff and executive from Teamsters 362 who will be taking part in the ride.


Building Trades of Alberta Makes Recommendations For Changes to Alberta Labour Code

This year the NDP government will be taking a look at Alberta labour laws, many of which have been untouched since 1976.

Labour Minister Christina Gray told CBC News that the government is ‘committed to reviewing Alberta’s labour laws to ensure they reflect today’s workplace.’

"In some cases, Alberta's labour legislation has not been reviewed in decades. The nature of work life in Alberta has changed a lot in that time," said Gray.

The Executive Board of the Building Trades of Alberta, including Teamsters Local 362 Secretary - Treasurer and Principal Officer Rick Eichel, submitted their recommendations to the provincial government when they review the laws.

"It's been over thirty years since any progressive changes have been made to our labour code and these amendments will be extremely welcomed by the working people of our province," said Eichel.

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Here are just a few of the issues the executive board feels should be changed:

Double Breasting

Double breasting, also known as spin-offs, is a major issue in Alberta especially in the construction industry. It allows employers that have unionized employees, to have a ‘spin-off’ or separate arm of the company that is non-unionized. This circumvents the bargaining process and puts ‘worker against worker.’

The executive board recommends changing the laws that allow this to happen so easily.

Certification Related Issues

When employees want to unionize in Alberta, they are forced to vote twice to do this. They first vote outside of the workplace to join a union, and then must vote again at a ‘formal vote’ held in the workplace. This allows employers time to pressure or inappropriately influence the employee to vote against the union.

The executive board recommends amended to allow for automatic certification, as is provided for in most other Canadian jurisdictions, if the Union applies for certification with proof of support by more than 50% of the bargaining unit employees.

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Access to Sites

Many workers in Alberta are employed and housed in remote locations where they live in camps that are under strict control of the employer. Union organizers have no ability to meet privately with workers on site or on their days off. This is ‘highly detrimental to their ability to exercise their right to join a union.’

The executive board recommends that union organizers have access to such remote sites on terms set by the Alberta Labour Relations Code.

To view the full list of recommendations visit bta.ca