Anti-Union Legislation is Shut Down with Passing of New Bill

As we head into the summer season in Canada, the parliament is pushing through several bills before they take a break.

One bill that was passed through this week was Bill C-4, a bill that was praised by union members and leaders across the country.

This bill repeals two bills that were passed under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives, C-377 and C-525.

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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.

It was also argued that it was designed to ‘smother unions in red tape’ and would require extra costs and time.

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.

In April, the senate had passed amendments to the bill that changed some of the most important aspects. In May it was rejected.

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"By passing Bill C-4, the federal government has demonstrated it understands the importance of fair labour relations, and the critical role unions play advancing rights for all Canadian workers," said Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff in a press release.

The ability for Canadians to join a union is a right we all have. Higher union membership has been shown to create a stronger middle class and a happier society overall. Unions fight for the rights of not only their members, but all Canadians in the workplace and that should bot be hampered by the government.


Teamsters 362 Highlights June 26

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 MEETINGS
Vice-President Wayne Garner attended board of trustee meetings this week. Outside of regular communications throughout the year, the trustees meet twice annually with all our service providers as we work to run our Pension Plan and our Health and Welfare Plans.

Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur visited Inland membership to discuss the board issues.

Business Agent Jordan Madarash had a grievance meeting with Garda PBS in Calgary.

CURRENT BARGAINING
Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur continued bargaining with Progressive Waste Edmonton.Business Agent Jordan Madarash is prepping this week for upcoming ASIG bargaining next week for both Calgary and Edmonton.

IMPORTANT NEWS
Business Agent Jordan Madarash attended that national health and safety policy committee meeting for Garda pre board screeners. He is the employee co chair.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer will be taking place in Alberta on Aug 12 - 13 and Teamsters 362 will be taking part. Proceeds will be benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Find out more information about how you can take part http://ab17.conquercancer.ca/.

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. Come and meet some of the staff and executive from Teamsters 362 who will be taking part in the ride.


Women Still Doing More Unpaid Work Than Men

Times have definitely changed in Canada when it comes to having children and raising a family.

Men are doing more work at home than they did in previous generations, with more of a role in cooking and household cleaning.

Today 76 per cent of men take part in house hold work, where as in 1986 just over half did.

We have come a long way, but according to a Statistics Canada Time Use Survey, women are still doing the overwhelming majority of unpaid work at home.

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According to the report women spent an average of 3.6 hours per day doing unpaid household, which is 50 per cent more than the 2.4 hours men spent doing the same tasks.

The highest participation rates for fathers was found in Quebec, and the lowest was in the prairies – Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

So why does this matter? It is a contributing factor to the gender pay gap.

A recent article in the New York Times pointed out that the gender gap starts to widen most sharply when women are in their late 20s to mid 30s, when most women are having children.

They said that the main reason that pay is lower is because the division of labour at home is ‘still unequal, even when both spouses work full time.’

Women are more likely to give up job opportunities or take less intensive jobs, because they know they will have more responsibilities at home.

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A study found that the bulk of the pay gap is from ‘women not getting raises and promotions at the rate of men’ and that ‘seniority and experience seem to pay off much more for men than for women.’

Studies have shown that being a member of a union can help narrow the gap for all members of society, including women. 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, getting paid more fairly.

Being a member of a union also means you have a collective agreement that will make sure you are treated fairly no matter what gender you are or if you choose to start a family.


Wood Buffalo Slow Cooker Food Bank Program

Please click the link below to view and read about the $100,000 donation.

http://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com


Teamsters Shop Steward Goes Above and Beyond to Help Stranded Couple at Airport

There is going the extra the mile at your place of work and then there is what Teamsters Local 362 Shop Steward Pei-Ling Vanden Brink did last month.

Pei works at Garda Pre Board at the Edmonton Airport and has been there for 6 years. On May 14 while on shift she was asked to help a couple from China who only spoke Mandarin, and who had been through quite the ordeal.

While on a flight back from Dallas to Shanghai as part of a tour group, the flight had to be grounded in Edmonton due to a medical emergency on board. While EMS was on the plane dealing with the medical emergency of another, the gentleman who only spoke Mandarin complained of being nauseous. The EMS and tour guide said he should get off the plane and be treated.

It turned out he was fine, but when he and his wife tried to get back on the plane they were stopped. According to the flight records, he and his wife were still on the plane. They would not let them back on.

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They were stuck in Edmonton – not able to speak English and all of their luggage on board except for one small bag with their passports. No money, no food and no idea what to do.

That was when Pei was called at around 8:30 p.m.

“They kept telling me that they were fine when I asked if they needed anything, but I could tell that they were upset,” Pei said of her interactions with the couple.

She translated everything to the airline and was on the phone with the tour company for hours trying to find them a flight home. There were no direct flights to China from Edmonton, but she did find a flight from L.A.

Although she was supposed to be finished work at 10 p.m., she accompanied them to the airport hotel at nearly midnight. She bought them food and made sure they were comfortable, and explained that they needed to be at the counter at the airport at 6 a.m.

Even though Pei had the day off, she went and met them the next day at 5:30 a.m. with tea, a cell phone charger and medication for the woman who had mentioned having a headache.

And then she purchased the tickets for them to go to L.A. and get a direct flight home.

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“She is from Taiwan so she understood their culture,” explained Ernest Poetker, a fellow Shop Steward who has worked with Pei for six years. “When they arrived home a day and a half later, they called Pei and said they considered her their daughter.”

Pei said she has talked with both the family members and the couples since they have been home quiet a few times.

“She reminded me a lot of my mom,” said Pei, adding that she is happy they still keep in contact.

Pei’s kindness helped a couple who would have been in a lot of trouble without her and we couldn’t be prouder to have her as a member of Teamsters 362.


Teamsters 362 Highlights June 16

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 MEETINGS
Business Agent Lukas Eichel-Fominov had a step two grievance meeting at Grada pre-board in Calgary.

CURRENT BARGAINING
Business Agents Jordan Madarash and Mary Snider and Vice-President Wayne Garner are in Fort McMurray bargaining for Clean Harbors.

Vice-President Wayne Garner will be in Edmonton charing negotiations for Mammoet, Premay, NCSG Trans Tech and Sarena Canada this week as well.

IMPORTANT NEWS

This week marks the five year anniversary of the HUB Mall tragedy. On June 15, 2012, tragedy struck G4S employees who were also Teamsters 362 members. While performing a routine cash transfer at the University of Alberta’s HUB Mall, Travis Baumgartner fatally shot three of his coworkers, Eddie Rejano, Brian Ilesic and Michelle Shegelski, a fourth, Matthew Schuman, rushed to hospital with a gunshot wound to the head. Since then we have started a number of mental health initiatives. You can find out more about them here.

Secretary - Treasurer & Principal Officer Rick Eichel and President Al Porter had a meeting with Sarah Hoffmann, Minister of Health and Deputy Premier this week to discuss issues important to Teamsters Local 362 members and all Albertans. A special thanks to Chris Ohalloran for setting this discussion meeting up.

They were able to discuss Kinder Morgan and the trouble union contractors are having getting on a bid sheet when most other pipelines are built safely and efficiently with union labour. This government gets the importance of our oil getting to trading partners.

We further elaborated on the need for legislative and regulatory amendments for Collectively Bargained Multi Employer Pension plans moving to a going concern funding and reporting structure. Al Porter informed the minister how the industry can improve the diversity of the economy by making Alberta more competitive and in attracting motion picture projects.

Lastly we discussed professionals from our industry that would be glad to help with board and panel positions that need filling to run our province. Rick Eichel was proud to say that our Deputy Premier was all ears and one of the most humble and approachable politicians he has ever met.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer will be taking place in Alberta on Aug 12 - 13 and Teamsters 362 will be taking part. Proceeds will be benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Find out more information about how you can take part http://ab17.conquercancer.ca/.

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. Come and meet some of the staff and executive from Teamsters 362 who will be taking part in the ride.


Five Years After the Hub Mall Tragedy

Five years ago tragedy struck our local union and G4S at the University of Alberta’s HUB Mall. On June 15, 2012 Travis Baumgartner fatally shot three of his coworkers Eddie Rejano, Brian Ilesic and Michelle Shegelski. He also shot Matthew Schuman, rushed to hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

Family, friends and our members were absolutely devastated. The impact of the shootings had an overwhelming effect on the mental health of those involved.

Now five years later, our local has worked tirelessly with advocates, members, family and friends of those effected of by the tragedy to create major change when it comes to mental health support in the workplace.

“What is unreal is that so many unions and agencies are all bringing mental health awareness and policies to the workplace. To think back five years ago, no one was doing this,” explained Teamsters Secretary - Treasurer & Principal Officer Rick Eichel. “When we sat down after raising money and said ‘how can we have a greater impact?’, I am happy to see all the work going on with this issue.”

Teamsters Local 362 initially wanted to know what could be done to prevent something like this from happening again. The problem was clear – there was not enough mental health support in the workplace for Canadians.

Not everyone with mental health issues is violent, but one in five Canadians experience mental health issues in their lives. What is troubling is that despite the significant number of people experiencing mental health issues, there is still stigma surrounding talking about it or seeking support at work.

Visit Our Initiative #YouAreNotAlone

In 2014 we launched the Make It Mandatory campaign that consisted of an eight-part docuseries on the topic of mental health in the workplace. Participating in the videos were Eddie’s family and Brian’s parents.

These videos led back to an ‘action engine’ where people were could easily tweet and email politicians and influencers to make mental health support mandatory across Canada.

The Ilesic family also invited us to attend the Victims of Homicide conference in 2015 and we were then honoured to be invited to attend again this year by the Ilesic family.

The campaign was a huge success and the Teamsters Canada Youth Committee eventually took the project on as well with our own Business Agent Jordan Madarash. They made another eight-part docuseries featuring interviews with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, several MLA’s, Brian Burke and Sheldon Kennedy.

Overall, our videos reached over 3 million people across Canada and received over 1 million video views.

This past year we also continued to advocate for mental health support with our campaign You Are Not Alone, a docuseries that was created when we saw rising suicide rates in Alberta.

Visit Our Initiative #YouAreNotAlone

Our eight-part docuseries traveled around Alberta to hear from those who have been directly affected by suicide and advocates who are speaking out and trying to raise awareness. It also took a special focus on mental health in Fort McMurray after the fires.

One of the most important things that has come out of the campaigns is that we have been able to negotiate mental health support into collective bargaining agreements.

Teamsters Local 362 has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association and is bargaining language into collective agreements requiring employers to participate in the "Safe and Sound" course during the term of the agreement. This is a course specifically designed to address the stigma of mental health related issues in the workplace. Our long term goal is to bargain this language into all of the locals agreements.

Five years after this tragedy, we have come a long way in terms of mental health support in the workplace but unfortunately there is still work to be done. People are still suffering in silence and are afraid of the stigma associated with coming out as suffering from a mental health issue.

No one should have to struggle alone, and our local union will continue to fight for mental health support for all Canadians.

 


Fire Rods 3rd Annual Fundraiser

Please click the link below to view the thank you letter from this years' Fire Rods 3rd Annual Fundraiser.

Fire Rods 3rd Annual Fundraiser - Thankyou


Raising the Minimum Wage: Why Some Say it's Good for Canada

Ontario’s Premier Kathlene Wynne was in the news this past week, with some hailing and others criticizing her announcement on the minimum wage.

The government said that they will phase in this increase over the next 18 months with the minimum wage rising to $14 by January 2018. It will be up to $15 by 2019.

Critics have said that raising the minimum wage will crush small businesses and destroy jobs, especially for young people in this economy that is already tough for them. They also said it will force businesses to raise their prices.

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But economic experts point out that raising the minimum wage is actually good for business and it is time for change. Here are some reasons why:

Consumer Consumption:

According to Macleans Magazine, household purchases account for 57 per cent of Canadian GDP and helps to drive the economy. Rising housing costs across the country have eaten up a lot of disposable income for all Canadians. They pointed out that when lower income earners see a rise in their income they will spend it locally, boosting the economy from the bottom up.

Productivity:

Increasing wages has been shown to increase productivity in workers. A study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that higher wages motivate employees to work harder, leads to lower turnover, enhances quality of service and attracts more capable workers.

Big Business:

When it comes to larger business, those who support a higher minimum wage point out that low wages maximize profits for these big businesses. Macleans points out that big businesses complain about higher minimum wage, but don’t make the same statements about the growing compensation for senior management.

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It’s Time:

Ontario is not alone in there commitment to raising the minimum wage. They join Nova Scotia, Alberta, Quebec and Manitoba who has hinted a raise. Statistics Canada has found that Canada has outpaced the United States in its reliance on low wage work and Ontario has the highest reliance in Canada.


Teamsters 362 Highlights June 9

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 MEETINGS
Business Agent Lukas Eichel-Fominov and Jordan Madarash had a meeting for a step three grievance meeting at Garda World Pre-board on Tuesday and a step two grievance meeting at Garda World Pre-board Calgary as well.

Business Agent Jordan Madarash had arbitration this week for the termination of a member from Garda Cash Edmonton.

Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur continued with arbitration with DTL Edmonton and a grievance meeting at Lafarge Nisku.

Vice-President Wayne Garner will be preparing for the upcoming Clean Harbor negotiations next week and upcoming Grimshaw Trucking Clerical negotiations at the end of the month.

CURRENT BARGAINING
Bargaining continues for Business Agent Ryan Adams for the four Heavy Haul Agreements (Mammoet, NCSG, Premay Equipment and Sarens) this week. Vice-President Wayne Garner will be charing these.

Adams also continues to travel Alberta voting the Memorandum of Agreement for Grimshaw Freight.  He will be in Edson, Hinton and Bonnyville this Thursday and Friday and expects to complete the voting process in Yellowknife next week. The results will be posted for the memberships' consideration shortly thereafter.

IMPORTANT NEWS

Our Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur and Jordan Madarash attended the Loops for Troops truck event at the Edmonton Garrison Army Base last Sunday.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer will be taking place in Alberta on Aug 12 - 13 and Teamsters 362 will be taking part. Proceeds will be benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Find out more information about how you can take part http://ab17.conquercancer.ca/.

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. Come and meet some of the staff and executive from Teamsters 362 who will be taking part in the ride.