Teamsters 362 Highlights Sep 29

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

Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur and Susan Davison with Lafarge – Labour Relations met to work on bargaining.  They will hopefully be settling some non-monetary language changes to propose to the bargaining committee for the next time we all sit down.

IMPORTANT NEWS

Vice - President Jordan Madarash had a meeting with Miranda Jimmy, the Ward 5 Candidate in the upcoming Edmonton municipal elections and he also had a Shop Steward seminar.

President Wayne Garner and Vice-President Jordan Madarash attended the Annual Construction Dispatch Meeting as well as Teamsters 362's first Safe and Sound workplace mental health awareness course, presented by our partners at CMHA BC.

Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur has been working on solidifying the list for Steward training and mental health training this coming weekend.

Both Shaun and Jordan attended the ”Canadian Industrial Relations Association - Medical Cannabis at Work, Implications and Issues” session this week.

Business Agent Ryan Adams met with Grimshaw Trucking to address a few issues arising out of Fort McMurray and Edmonton. He will also be meeting with Grimshaw Trucking Freight on Sunday to decide where to direct the monetary increases that were negotiate earlier this year.

Secretary - Treasurer & Principal Officer Al Porter and President Wayne Garner were at the IBT headquarters in Washington, DC with other progressive local Union officers. The focus of this particular Teamster Leadership Academy was on strategic planning.

Business Agent Lukas Eichel- Fominov was at the Airport with the shift building committee for two days working on the winter bid for Garda YYC with Stewards Riyaz Khawaja, Bruce Young, Harbans Minhas, and long time Member Ajay Ram. They spent around 16 hours discussing shifts and other complex issues that will be dealt with through the grievance procedure.


Teamsters Urge NAFTA Negotiators to Address Labor, Trucking

Please click the link below to view the Teamsters News release in regards to the NAFTA negotiations.

09.27.17jointNAFTAstatement


Human Rights and Labour Unions Will Always Be Connected

The topic of peaceful protest has been all over the news this past year, and especially this week.

United States President Donald Trump stated during a rally last week that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. He then took to twitter saying ‘Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country. Tell them to stand!’ and that ‘Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!’

In Canada, players from certain CFL teams also locked arms and players voiced their support of players in the NFL.

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The right to peacefully protest is something fundamental in both countries, and something unions have fought for for decades.

Teamsters have a strong history of being tied to the civil rights movement. They provided money and supplies to many civil rights groups and had a good working relationship with Martin Luther King Jr. When King was killed in Tenessee in 1968, he was there to support African American garbage workers who were ‘, who were on strike to protest unsafe conditions, abusive white supervisors, and low wages — and to gain recognition for their union.’

Unions in Canada have welcomed refugees, fought against racism and discrimination and lobbied the government for the rights of all Canadians inside and outside of the workplace.

Teamsters 362 has fought for better mental health support in workplaces across Canada and supported Fort McMurray during the devastating forest fires last year.

The important connection between unions and human rights have been highlighted by Amnesty International and the United Nations.

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report by the United Nations pointed out that there is a ‘growing concentration of corporate power weakens labour rights.’ and that ‘workers need protection now more than ever’ in the age of globalization.

The connection between human rights, peaceful protest and labour unions will always be interconnected. As these important things come under fire, it is crucial to find strength in solidarity.


Message from Mr. Robert Blakely

Message from Mr. Robert Blakely, Canadian Operating Officer, Canada's Energy Citizens 

 

You may recall that I sent this link out a couple of times already.  What is being asked here is that we get people to send something to their MP supporting the Energy East Pipeline.  The site is essentially a webportal not until the one used for Bill C 377.  Anyone who is already on Energy Citizen will have gotten an e-mail from the site.  It could pay a lot of dividends if we got a lot more people to go to the site and  register (it takes a few seconds) and send something especially in ridings held currently by the Liberals.

 

Once again the site is www.energycitizens.ca please send this out to your networks asap and see if we can generate a few 100,000 responses

 

Canada's Energy Citizens info@energycitizens.ca

 

Cheers

Bob


Islamophobia Must Not Be Tolerated In The Workplace

One of the biggest discrimination issues facing our country has been Islamophobia.

Just recently a video went viral where NDP leadership candidate Jagmeet Singh was confronted by a heckler who accused him of trying to impose Shariah law, an Islamic legal code based on the Qur'an.

Singh, who is Sikh, responded that ‘we don't want to be intimidated by hate. We don't want hatred to ruin a positive event.’

The heckler left, but the issue still remains.

Some of the highest levels of government in Canada are addressing Islamophobia.

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Last year, MP Iqra Khalid introduced a motion calling for parliamentarians to condemn Islamophobia. It was passed last spring and officially ‘called on the House to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.’

Recently Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to fight Islamophobia.

"Whether we are in a big city or a small town, we must continue to stand together, united against racism, hatred and Islamophobia," said Trudeau. "This is just who we are as Canadians. We are there for each other. We stand up for each other."

Despite these efforts, the issue still remains and has also entered the workplace.

A recent example took place in Alberta when Amino Rashid was fired from her oilsands job with Newcast Contracting Inc, a subcontractor of Husky.

She said she and two other colleagues were fired after complaining about an incident of Islamophobia. She has issued a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

Despite incidents like this as a recent survey has found that the majority of Canadians do have a generally positive impression of Muslims.

Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed said Muslims should be treated no differently than any other Canadian and 78 per cent thought they should maintain their religious and cultural practices.

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A majority of respondents thought that there was ‘an increasing climate of hatred and fear towards Muslims in Canada and that it will get worse.’

Canadians pride themselves on being a country that is diverse and open to all cultures. As incidents of Islamophobia rise, we need to all do our part to show that we will not accept this kind of hate in the workplace or anywhere in society.

Teamsters Local 362 intends on implementing committees of rank and file members to represent the five key equity groups recognized by the Canadian Labour Congress. These committees will help address many forms of discrimination in the workplace and in the community.

Unions have fought hard against all forms of discrimination in the workplace, including Islamophobia. No matter your race, religion or gender, you always deserve rights at your place of work and shouldn’t have to worry about losing your job.

 


Teamsters 362 Highlights Sep 22

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

Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur took part in bargaining with Lafarge Edmonton this week and also had Shop Steward training seminar prep.

Business Agent Ryan Adams will be finalizing the Wolverine Transports and Rebel Transports Memorandum of Agreements.

IMPORTANT NEWS

President Wayne Garner and Vice-President Jordan Madarash were at the 2017 National Industrial Relations Conference

President Wayne Garner attended the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Women's Conference in San Antonio with Stewards Sarah Ashmore MacDonald from Ft. McKay in Fort Mcmurray and Pei Vanden Brink from the Edmonton airport as well as our Recording Secretary Yvonne Bruyere from Grimshaw Trucking.

Secretary - Treasurer & Principal Officer Al Porter was at the Building Trades of Alberta annual convention in Jasper with Business Agents Ken Krawchenko, Bernie Haggarty and Rick Prouty and two of our industrial construction and members Chance Hrycun and Gord McCabe. The convention is where the BTA plans their next year's agenda. He also listened to presentations on the new Alberta labour code reports from legal council and attended an organizers panel describing how to work within the new Labour code.


Want a Better Wage? Join a Union.

It is a fact that union members earn more than non-union, but what is not talked about as much is that unions raise the wage for non-union workers as well.

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute in the United States found that the typical full-time private-sector worker, union or non-union, would be making thousands of dollars more a year now if unions were as popular as they were a few decades ago.

Canada is much the same way. When unions fight for higher wages for their members, that sets the bar high. This wage standard means that employers have to meet that in order to compete with what unions offer. Beyond wages this also includes benefits and working conditions.

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The study found that unions raise wages of unionized workers in the U.S. by 20 per cent and reduce wage inequality overall because they raise wages more for low- and middle-wage workers than for higher-wage workers.

Union workers in Canada have a wage advantage as well with union members earning $5.28 per hour more than non-union, putting an extra $43.2 billion into the local economy according to the Canadian Labour Congress.

The findings from the EPI study pointed to the conclusion that union decline has also lead to greater income inequality overall. In Canada, this inequality is especially concentrated in our cities, where more than 80 per cent of us live.

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Unions built the middle class and guarantee their members good wages, collective bargaining and health care benefits. By having strong unions in Canada, we have people looking out for fair labour laws and equality in our country.


Alberta Has A Higher Tolerance For Work Stress, But Is That A Good Thing?

Stress – no matter who you are, at one point or another, you have felt it. One of the places that Canadians can feel it the most is at work.

Whether you are a waitress serving a full section, a school bus driver with a bus full of yelling kids or a just trying to make a deadline – all jobs come with stress.

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A new study has found that stress is why one in four Canadians actually quit their jobs. The outlier happens to be Alberta – our province seems to have a higher tolerance than others for stress.

The study by Monster Canada found that Albertans are the least likely to leave a job due to work stress and the least likely to feel overworked.

But that doesn’t mean we have the best work-life balance.

Only 61 per cent of Albertans said that their employer supports work-life balance and this is the lowest in the entire country.

Many may hold this as a badge of pride, but the reality is that a poor work-life balance is actually bad for your health.

In a study done by researchers at Stanford and Harvard found that stressful workplace shorten life spans and the amount of life lost to stress ‘varies significantly for people of different races, educational levels and genders, and ranges up to nearly three years of life lost for some groups.’

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The Monster Canada study found that millennials are more likely to feel overworked and quit over stress. Also Canadians earning a salary less than $40,000 were one of the most likely to leave a job due to stress.

One way to combat this is with union membership.

Healthier workplaces tend to include job security, health care benefits and pensions – things that a union provides. Having someone to stand behind you when you are paid less than you should be or when an abusive boss or coworker is making the workplace unbearable is so important in creating a healthy work environment.

Another important element of a healthy work environment is mental health support for dealing with stress. While there are physical health requirement in workplaces, currently there are no mandatory mental health resources available – something Teamsters 362 and Teamsters Canada have been working towards changing.

Alberta is known as a strong province, but if we are not taking care of our workers, we won’t be anymore.


Teamsters 362 Weekly Highlights Sep 15

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

Business Agent Ken Jarvis ratified the Anixter agreement with a 100 per cent yes vote last weekend. It’s a five year agreement and wages increase 7 and a half over the term, with an increase in boot allowance sick days that are paid at 100 per cent at time of use instead of 75 per cent of pay.

ASIG Edmonton was also successfully ratified with a new 5 year deal by 100 per cent.

IMPORTANT NEWS

Business Agent Shaun Quaghebeur had grievance meeting with Jack Cooper Edmonton. He also had a meeting with MacCosham (P&D division) about signatures for the CBA.

Shaun was successful in settling a termination prior to arbitration with DTL Edmonton, with the member being reinstated with seniority in tact and the termination was replaced with a minimal suspension on file. The member was also awarded with a monetary sum for lost wages due to the unjustified termination.

Vice-President Jordan Madarash will be participating in the Breaking the Silence walk Saturday with his family to try and end the stigma and help youth with mental health support.

Business Agent Lukas Eichel-Fominov and Richard Brown attended a grievance meeting with production El Chicano and later in the afternoon had a separate meeting with the Production Manager and other Unions and Guilds to discuss Safety on Set. Lukas also had a Health and Safety Committee at Garda YYC preboard to attend the health and safety meeting.

President Wayne Garner presented a retirement award to Roy Thomas who is retiring from Clarke Transport after 29 years of service. Roy was a long time steward whom Wayne had the pleasure of being his Business Agent with when he first started my career at Local 362.

Wayne also had a Diversified Oilsands members meeting in Fort McMurray. He also met with Fort McKay steward to discuss workplace issues. He will also be traveling with Stewards Yvonne Bruyere (Grimshaw Trucking) and Sarah MacDonald (Fort McKay Group) and Pei Vanden Brink (Edmonton Airport) to the IBT Women’s conference in San Antonio Texas.


NAFTA Talks Important For All Workers

NAFTA has been a hot topic in the news ever since Donald Trump was elected President this year. Some see it as just another acronym thrown around in politics, but the truth is NAFTA is an intricate part of our economy in Canada and we should be paying attention to what is happening to it.

NAFTA stands for the North American Free Trade Agreement and was created in 1994 as an expanded version of the 1988 Canada-U.S. free trade agreement. Essentially, it removed ‘barriers to the flow of goods and labour between Canada, the United States and Mexico.’

According to the Globe and Mail, Trump has a list of around 100 demands surrounding NAFTA renegotiations including using “Buy American” provisions to bar Canadian or Mexican firms from seeking U.S. government contracts and also opening up more Canadian or Mexican government contracts to U.S. companies.

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The President has threatened to pull out of NAFTA if these demands are not met.

Some of the most contentious trade issues regarding Canada are dairy supply management and softwood lumber.

Trudeau told a group of labour members last month that we're going to land an agreement that union members and all people across the country can be proud of.

"The bottom line is, after years of neglect, organized labour finally has a strong partner in Ottawa, and we will not let you down," said Trudeau.

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and Teamsters Canada President François Laporte released a join statement this month in response to the second round of negotiations of NAFTA in Mexico City.

They acknowledged that the Canadian proposals could do more to protect workers rights in North America than any previous trade agreement and that crafting a chapter that protects workers rights is ‘central to the success to the renegotiation.’

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“On labour, we agree that the substantive protections should be grounded in the ILO conventions, and that violations should be enforceable by trade sanctions. We also agree that U.S. state ‘right to work’ laws depress wages and thereby arguably constitute an export subsidy to U.S. exporters who move production to those jurisdictions,” they said in their joint statement.

Uncertainty surrounding NAFTA has already had effects on our dollar and the energy sector. It is clear that a fair deal is needed soon to protect workers and all Canadians. We will all be watching as talks return to the United States in October.