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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST)
Safety Survey Results
The AWPPW staffed a booth at the annual safety conference and asked folks to fill out an anonymous survey about safety where they work.  There were 142 people who participated in the survey and the totals are listed under each category of the questions asked. Friday, December 8, 2017 2:33 pm EST

AWPPW Local 675 Members 94% Rejection of WestRock Labor Offer
. Wednesday, October 25, 2017 3:56 pm EDT

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) formally begins this August 16 - RSVP to the Portland Town Hall
. Monday, August 7, 2017 6:36 pm EDT

An inside look at how Koch Industries does business

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 4:59 pm EDT

Japan's Nippon Paper to buy US beverage container operation
June 16, 2016 2:00 am JST Japan's Nippon Paper to buy US beverage container operation src=http://asia.nikkei. Wednesday, June 15, 2016 6:26 pm EDT

( Last updated Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST)
Get ready for Pink Shirt Day
Pink Shirt Day, celebrated annually on the last Wednesday in February, to support the important commitment to a safe, harassment-free environment at work and school. “Homophobia, transphobia and harassment at work isn’t just an LGBTQ issue, it’s a human rights issue and up to all workers to address,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “On February 28, I’ll be wearing pink to show that I stand against bullying and am in solidarity with LGBTQ workers.” All members are encouraged to participate in Pink Shirt Day, which happens on Wednesday, February 28 this year. Wearing a pink shirt on that day is both an important statement for the union, and it is a promise to act.  By wearing a pink shirt, and sharing a message or the Unifor image online, you can help to show that the union is speaking out against homophobic bullying and harassment. Download this poster and shareable to promote Pink Shirt Day. Unifor recognizes Pink Shirt Day to support the trailblazing work of youth who took collective action against bullying. Pink Shirt Day began in Berwick, Nova Scotia in 2007 when David Shepherd, Travis Price and a large group of students decided to defend their peer who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In a show of solidarity, they, and many students turned up to school the next day wearing pink shirts. Help to organize your workplace to participate in Pink Shirt Day this year, but don’t let it end there. Make a promise to act, speak out against bullying and offer kindness every day. If you have a Pink Shirt Day story or photo, share it! Email communications@unifor.org and post online tagging Facebook.com/UniforCanada or @UnifortheUnion on Twitter. Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST

Ontario members provide input on CLC disaffiliation
Ontario members are engaging in a series of information sessions on Unifor’s decision to disaffiliate from the Canadian Labour Congress, taking place across the province in February. The union’s Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi has been leading the meetings to provide background on the events that led to the decision to disaffiliate and to host an open conversation with members to address any questions or concerns. “As a union we don’t shy away from making difficult decisions or from holding frank discussion on those choices,” said Rizvi. “Our stand on the CLC has led to public attacks on Unifor so I appreciate the opportunity to refute the outrageous claims and reiterate the principles of our union which led to this decision.” Member feedback at the meetings has made it clear that the priority is to ensure that the grassroots activist work in communities continues. “Unifor has ceased affiliation to the CLC, but we will not be disengaging from our responsibilities or from the real work at collective and political bargaining tables and in the streets,” said National President Jerry Dias in a recent letter. You can find all related letters, documents and resources along with the most recent updates at: unifor.org/fixtheclc. Member sessions have been held in Belleville, Brampton, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Oshawa, Peterborough and Windsor with meetings scheduled in St. Catharines on February 22 and Toronto on February 23. “The participation and input from members has been invaluable,” said Rizvi. “There is no doubt that the strength of our solidarity will see us through this and help to build a stronger and healthier Canadian labour movement going forward.” Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST

Bargaining preparation for Nova Scotia long-term care
Unifor negotiating committees in long-term care and supportive living in Nova Scotia recently gathered in Halifax and Sydney to prepare for bargaining with their employers. “These workers have been without a contract, without a pay increase for years because of the Stephen McNeil government’s attacks on collective bargaining and wage freezes. We share their frustration and are inspired by their resolve to achieve fair contracts for the members they represent,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. Most health care and community service workers in the province have been without a contract since October 31, 2014. The government has legislated wage freezes and retirement concessions for tens of thousands of public sector workers, including about 4,500 Unifor members who work in a number of health and community-related sectors such as long-term care. In addition to getting to the bargaining table for the long-term care and community sector members, Unifor, the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and Nova Scotia Nurses Union are part of the Nova Scotia Council of Unions tasked with negotiating four collective agreements for four groups of acute care workers (nursing, health care, service and clerical). Historically, acute care agreements were reached first and agreements in long-term care followed with similar wage patterns, but because of the recent interference by the provincial government in collective bargaining, interference that gave additional power to health care employers, negotiations have progressed very slowly. Employers are seeking more concessions from the unions than even what Premier McNeil had legislated. “People assume that if you are in the public sector that you are well-paid. What needs repeating is that thousands of workers in hospitals and long-term care homes earn modest wages, many are employed in part-time and casual work and most of them are women. Let’s be clear, McNeil’s wage freezes have a gender lens,” said Shauna Wilcox, health care sector representative on the National Executive Board, after a pre-bargaining meeting Sydney last week. Local leaders have decided to start to prepare for bargaining for its more than 2,000 members in long-term care and the community sector, on account of the slow pace of progress in acute care negotiations. “It just didn’t make sense to wait on a new agreement for acute care workers,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President. “Our bargaining committees have made a lot of progress already and I know everyone is looking forward to rolling up their sleeves and getting to the table.” Members in Halifax also shared stories about their growing workloads, higher acuity of patients and how staff to patient ratios are pushing the health care system to the limit. “There are set limits for workers in daycares for children yet when it comes to seniors there are no standards,” said one long-term care worker. Many expressed the sentiment about how unfair this was to residents and seniors. Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST

Canada’s labour market: It’s stronger than you think
By Kaylie Tiessen, Unifor Research Department In early February, Canada’s jobs report led with some attention grabbing numbers. A deep dive into the data shows that while the headline numbers might be alarming, the overall picture is one of strength. Canada’s labour market is performing well and has been for the past year – there is so much more worth paying attention to than the headlines are designed to portray. Monthly data are volatile It is important to keep in mind that the labour force survey, the survey that collects the jobs report data, produces fairly volatile results on a monthly basis.  And while the numbers are indicators of what may be happening in the labour market, one month of data does not make a trend. January numbers reported that Canada lost 88,000 jobs in one month, but the year-over-year data show that January job growth was higher than any month in 2014, 2015 or 2016. What’s more pertinent than the monthly numbers is a look at what has happened in the labour market in the last 12 months. Employment gains strongest in higher minimum wage provinces Year-over-year, Canada saw a 1.6 per cent increase in employment, including a 3.5 per cent reduction in part-time work and a 2.8 per cent increase in full-time work.  Eight out of 10 provinces (B.C. and P.E.I. being the exceptions) showed a similar trend. Alberta, the province with the highest 2017 minimum wage, saw the largest decline in part-time work (-9.7 per cent) and the largest increase in full-time work (five per cent). Average hours worked is on a strong upward trajectory Not only are there more jobs since January 2017, but average hours worked is growing as well. Year-over-year average hours worked increased by 0.8 per cent in January 2018. As workers move from part-time jobs to full-time jobs this number tends to move accordingly. Average wage growth showing strong year-over-year gains Average hourly pay grew by 3.3 per cent between January 2017 and 2018.  This measure takes into account workers in all industries and all employee types from new entrants to managers.  The strong upswing in the last eight months does not reverse the weak wage growth Canadian workers have seen over the last decade, but does suggest the possibility that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Trend to watch: median wages in low wage sectors Generally, median wages tend to grow at a slightly slower rate than average wages. In January two low-wage industries, agriculture and accommodation and food services, bucked that trend.  Year-over-year the median wage in accommodation and food services grew by 14 per cent to $14 an hour.  The median wage in agriculture grew by nine per cent reaching $18/ hour in the same time period. This is a trend to keep an eye on as minimum wage increases continue to roll out across the country. Strong, positive trends in Canada’s labour market Canada’s labour market has been on a strong, positive trend for the past 12 months.  Last week’s jobs numbers, through certainly alarming on the surface, do not provide enough information to say whether or not the trend has changed or if the monthly numbers are a continuation of the same volatility that is always present in the labour force survey. A longer version of this article can be accessed at behindthenumbers.ca. Kaylie Tiessen is a national representative in Unifor’s Research Department. Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST

Unifor is committed to the quest for social justice
On February 20 we mark the World Day of Social Justice with this year’s particularly relevant theme of “Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice.”  The United Nations chose the theme to recognize that most migrants are seeking employment to feed and support themselves and their families and to draw attention to the desperate conditions that this search can often lead them to.   As a union, Unifor is committed to alleviating the dire conditions of migrants through its Social Justice Fund. “The Social Justice Fund works to provide aid and promote the rights of those who are marginalized,” said Mohamad Alsadi, Director, Human Rights and International Department. In 2017, the fund donated more than one million dollars for disaster relief to aid Rohingya refugees, famine victims in the Sudan, hurricane survivors in the Caribbean, and closer to home to aid the recovery following ice storms in New Brunswick and Quebec and raging forest fires in British Columbia. The Social Justice Fund is a registered charity, solely maintained by contributions from Unifor employers negotiated during collective bargaining. The Fund supports work to strengthen democracy, promote equitable development, provide disaster relief, and contribute to poverty reduction, social justice, and education reform.  “The projects that receive support are fighting to advocate for people who face discrimination because of gender, race, sexuality, religion, culture or disability,” said Alsadi. The Social Justice Fund supports more than 100 projects, with the goal to improve the lives of workers, their families, and their communities both internationally and in Canada. Across the country donations have been made to support Aboriginal educational initiatives, mental health services, fund women’s shelters, and provide donations to food banks. For more information visit unifor.org/sjf Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST

Christina Ashe, activism is in her blood
For Christina Ashe (centre), a Unifor member with Local 4606, activism is in her blood. Her uncle Senator Calvin Ruck was a pioneering anti-racism activist in Nova Scotia that taught her the importance of change. For the past 26 years, Christina has worked at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, N.S. She currently works in the Medical Device Reclaiming department and is a shop steward representing members at the Health Centre. As Co-chair of the Atlantic Regional AWOC standing committee Christina is a committed activist and understands that being socially and politically engaged means being part of a larger collective of voices. When important labour or social justice rallies are held, it is often Christina who takes the lead to organize Unifor members from the area to attend and support. Her commitment and involvement within Local 4606 has been extensive; she has served in almost every executive capacity including Trustee, Sergeant-at-Arms and Vice President.  As an ally of Nova Scotia’s Indigenous community, Christina has participated in numerous rallies advocating for equity and fair of treatment of Aboriginal women and girls. Always one to support her union family, Christina has walked many picket lines in solidarity with striking Unifor members and even in support of other unionized workers on their picket lines. To describe her activism, Christina said this, “I’ve always known that it is important for our union to be involved and visible in all our communities, I’ve tried to make that happen whenever possible.” Her message to all members is to find the time to get involved and know that we can make a difference. History has proven that. Never take for granted what we have, because somebody at some point had to fight for us to have it. It is that sense of passion for activism that Christina brings and shares with her Local. Her uncle Calvin would be proud. For information on the activism of Calvin Ruck in Nova Scotia: http://www.blackincanada.com/2011/04/12/calvin-ruck/ (please note this is an English only site) Week 1: Shereta Bowers (local 1106) Kitchener, ON Week 2: Two B.C. activists explain change through political action Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST

Members at GM Oshawa celebrate new truck launch
Local 222 members were celebrated today at a GM Employee Recognition event to mark the successful launch of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra truck lines. The Oshawa Assembly plant has just completed a $500 million transformation making it the only plant in North America that is capable of building both cars and trucks. “We have 500 million reasons to celebrate today, but there wouldn’t be one cent made without your sweat and your commitment,” National President Jerry Dias told hundreds of members at the event.  “You stood up for your plant, you stood up for each other and you stood up for your community.” Dias also credited Local 222 President Colin James and Chairperson Greg Moffatt for their work in winning a new future for the plant. The line formerly manufactured the Chevy Equinox, but following the half billion dollar retrofit is now home to the Silverado and Sierra. “You made the impossible possible, in six months less a day you brought pickup trucks back to Oshawa,” said GM Canada President Steve Carlisle. “This plant epitomizes transformation both of a plant and a culture.”  National Secretary-Treasurer Bob Orr, Assistant to the National President Shane Wark and Auto Director Dino Chiodo also attended to extend congratulations to Unifor members at GM.  The plant’s future had been in question prior to the last round of contract negotiations in 2016 when Unifor initiated its “Invest in Canada” campaign which resulted in the multi-million dollar investment in Oshawa. The investment gains became tangible as the first truck for sale rolled off the line on January 7, 2018 with GM projecting a strong market. To view a photo gallery of the GM Employee Recognition event, please visit: Facebook.com/JerryPDias Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST

Preliminary acoustic results are encouraging, says Unifor
Unifor has published online the results of ongoing acoustic measurements of its wind turbine in Port Elgin, Ontario. The turbine is on the grounds of the union’s Family Education Centre (FEC) in Port Elgin, and has been in operation since 2012. Unifor’s wind turbine generates the equivalent of 50 –60 per cent of the FEC's energy needs from a clean, renewable resource. Results to-date suggest that, with some exceptions, the turbine’s acoustic performance is within Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) guidelines. “Unifor has been committed to reducing our union’s reliance on fossil fuels,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “As a long-term member of the Port Elgin community, Unifor is also committed to meeting or exceeding the MOECC guidelines for our wind turbine’s operation.” Testing conducted in 2017 showed that, under certain wind conditions, sound levels from the turbine can increase slightly above the normal accepted range. With MOECC consultation, Unifor responded with curtailment measures that reduced the turbine’s operations during the periods when higher sound levels could be expected. The results of this curtailment are currently being assessed and preliminary acoustic testing shows the measures are effective in meeting the MOECC guidelines. For more information: http://www.unifor.org/en/education/wind-turbine-project http://www.unifor.org/en/unifor-wind-turbine-immission-report Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:11 pm EST


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