With the end of the year approaching hastily, we would like to thank our Members for the opportunities given to us. With the world as a whole adapting to the challenges faced due to COVID-19, we as well have pushed forward and continue to improve on what we do best – providing you with labour representation that you can rely on, in the true and trusted Teamster fashion. By making the changes needed to keep everyone safe, with your help, new paths have been forged to continue to represent: adapting how we hold grievance meetings, labour management meetings, negotiations, and organizing new Members.
Even though many bargaining dates were postponed, the Local Union picked up where we left off in the early spring, and continued with negotiations for many of the companies that employ our Members. Bargaining committees worked diligently throughout the year utilizing online platforms to take proposals, meeting with company officials to actively bargain, and likewise to present Members with the bargaining results for a vote. From proposals to ratifications, 32 rounds of successfully negotiations took place by various Union Bargaining Committees in 2020.
As negotiations were delayed in the early spring, Shop Steward training seminars scheduled for March were also postponed. The Shop Steward training seminars were rescheduled and took place throughout the months of September and October. With six separate training seminars taking place in Fort McMurray, Edmonton, and Calgary, approximately 80 Shop Stewards gained further knowledge to assist them in representing their fellow sisters and brothers. Looking ahead to 2021, the Local Union will be facilitating even more training, by incorporating advanced courses to further prepare Shop Stewards for any issues they may face in their workplaces.
Throughout 2020, Local 362 bargained and ratified 4 first agreements, welcoming almost 300 new Members. We also made applications for a further 8 new groups looking to become Teamsters, 2 of which have now received certification from the Labour Board.
As COVID-19 abruptly shook up the world and how we navigated as communities, other crucial events took place in 2020, such as the catastrophic flooding that occurred in the Fort McMurray Area. With much of the transportation industry heavily taxed due to COVID-19, and with the Wood Buffalo Food Bank underwater, there was a need for emergency necessities to be delivered to the area. Starting in April and ending in October, over 20 trips from various Food Banks in the Province of Alberta were delivered to the Wood Buffalo Food Bank. During this time frame approximately 7 loads, or 100 metric tons, of much needed supplies were delivered with the help of Local 362’s Kenworth and our Organizer, Stacy Tulp. Donations were also made by Teamsters Canada.
2020 has been a rollercoaster of unexpected change and challenge both locally and globally. Local 362 has faced a year of tremendous change as well, with an election of an entirely new Executive Board, the retirements of Business Agents Tony Atkins and Rick Prouty. As well, Local 362 congratulated our long serving Dispatcher for Construction and Pipeline divisions, Wanda Brown, on her retirement. We wish the retirees all the best in their next adventures in life! These retirements provided the opportunity for us to reevaluate our organization and adapt to the current situation to Member needs. Looking and moving forward into 2021, we would like to welcome Ryan McDonald coming on board in the Edmonton office, to ensure we can fill our quest to offer top notch representation to our Members.
With that, we are looking forward to new experiences and further building relationships with our Membership in 2021. All of us at Local 362 would like to wish our Members and their loved ones a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year. As well, we would like to thank our Membership for their continued support, determination and trust they provide to Local 362.
Happy New Year!