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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST)
Safety Survey Results
. 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 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST)
Unifor members give $135,000 to foodbanks
Unifor locals across Canada have made donations to 48 food banks, totalling $135,000 this month. “I am very proud of our members across the country who dig deep and give generously to make sure their neighbours don’t go hungry this holiday season,” said Jerry Dias, National President. Cheques ranging from $1,000 to $7,000 have been presented at various community events, from Souris, P.E.I. to Surrey British Columbia, from the union and the Unifor Social Justice Fund. “The wonderful folks from Unifor delivered a $3,500 cheque to the London Food Bank today. They’ve been helping each year for the last 31 years,” said a tweet from the organization. Unifor and its predecessor unions have a long history of supporting food banks. In addition to cash donations, Unifor members also collect food at various events. Just one example is Local 1859 in Tillsonburg, Ontario, collected four truckloads of non-perishable food. “I am very proud of our members, given two of our units are only working part time hours and two facilities are closing next year, but still they gave,” said Loraine Sinclair, President of Local 1859 which represents 900 automotive and refrigeration workers. 800,000 Canadians use food banks every month, and a third of those users are children according to Food Banks Canada. Unifor encourages all members and all Canadians to give generously this holiday season. See the Facebook album of Unifor members presenting donations here. Send more photos to communications@unifor.org Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST

Retail workers protest new holiday shopping bylaw in York Region
Local members working in the retail sector demonstrated outside the York Regional Council meeting on December 14, protesting the November council vote to allow area grocery stores to open on statutory holidays.  Approximately 60 retail workers and supporters then gathered inside the regional council gallery to witness deputations on the issue and urge councillors to re-open the discussion on the holiday shopping bylaw. While the group was successful in pushing for a vote, it was lost by two. “This fight is only beginning,” said Local 414 President Gord Currie. “Losing stat holidays is an erosion of our jobs and quality of living. We have been working hard to win improvements and tackle precarious work through collective bargaining and we are not going backwards.” The bylaw change effectively takes away eight out of nine statutory holidays for retail workers, including New Year’s Day and Family Day. The only exception is Christmas, where stores will be closed.   “This is an issue that touches tens of thousands of workers across the region,” said Deb Henry, a member organizer for Local 414, working on the campaign. “The whole reason the province introduced Family Day was to ensure that low-wage and precarious workers have another day off to spend with their families – this sudden change is unjustified and we will work hard to have it reversed.” Unifor Local 414 has joined the Toronto York Region Labour Council campaign, along with the United Food and Commercial Workers union, calling on York Regional Councillors to reverse their decision, reopen the debate and undertake a region-wide consultation process. No public consultations took place prior to the change, and no retail workers were consulted.  Union members have also been active in gathering petitions among local residents, opposing the change and calling for a reversal.  Find out more about the campaign at yorkregionspeaksout.ca.  Unifor represents 20,000 retail workers. Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST

Progress made with Bell Aliant as talks continue into January
The Unifor ACL bargaining committee made progress on several issues this week and both sides have agreed to extend discussions into January. “We have accomplished long awaited results this week in signing off on multiple issues, including paid domestic violence leave for members, agreements on performance management and the formation of a joint committee on mental health,” said Bobby MacDonald, Chair of Unifor ACL. The paid domestic leave provision in the tentative agreement ensures that absences which were not covered by sick leave or disability insurance and result from domestic violence will be granted as a paid absence. For more information on this provision, click here.   When the committee goes back to the table on January 18, 2018, the focus will shift to core issues such as job creation, pensions and wages. After seven sessions of bargaining, the committee has given the employer a deadline of midnight, January 19, 2018 to reach a tentative agreement. The bargaining committee would like to thank members for their continued support. Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST

WANTED: Unifor elves, please share your stories
Every year Unifor members give generously in their communities during the holidays. From toy and food drives, to turkey dinners and shelter collections, our union gives back at this time of year. If your local or unit is doing something charitable to assist those in need, we want to hear about it so we can share it with others. Take photos and send them along with details about your local and the donation to Unifor’s Communications Department, email communications@unifor.org. With your help, we can spread Unifor’s seasonal good deeds on the website, Twitter and Facebook to inspire others. Giving feels great! Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST

Cross border solidarity helps locked-out Unifor workers
Union members in the United States delivered a message to a Kansas State company that has locked out 32 workers at D-J Composites in a small Canadian town. A delegation from the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE) delivered flyers last week to the headquarters of D-J Composites, which owns the Newfoundland facility where aerospace workers were forced out of work and locked out a year ago, on December 19, 2017. Most people in Augusta, Kansas were not aware that the U.S based company, D-J Engineering, is ruining a second Christmas for 32 families in the small town of Gander. “We are thankful to our union brothers and sisters at UE for their solidarity expressed thousands of kilometers away, showing this American employer that worker unity knows no borders,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director.  UE and Unifor have a formal solidarity agreement to work together to change and renew the North American labor movement and build solidarity across borders. Members of the UE were unable to speak to company owner Rezaul Chowdhury, but they did tell Ray Tuschhoff, Vice President of D-J Engineering to return to the bargaining table and get Canadian workers back to work. The company then called police to remove UE members, even though they were just handing out flyers to raise awareness of the fact that D-J Composites had been convicted of bad faith bargaining by the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Board, which is a violation of provincial employment law. The locked out workers, members of Unifor Local 597, were delighted to hear that union members across the border were standing up for them, 4500 kilometers away. From the beginning of this lockout the employer had one goal in mind - to break the union, Unifor, and stop resistance to concessionary and two-tier bargaining that divides workers, but with the support of UE members and strength of Unifor that will not happen.  To learn more about the lock-out please visit unifor.org/supportlocal597 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST

Kansas aerospace firm set to ruin another Christmas for locked out workers in Canada
The owner of D-J Composites will spend the holidays in his Kansas State Mansion, where the temperature rarely dips below freezing, while 32 Canadian workers are about to spend a second Christmas outside on a frigid picket line. Just days before Christmas, in December of 2016, Rezaul Chowdhury’s U.S. based company locked out its unionized workers at an aerospace manufacturing facility he owns in the small community of Gander, Newfoundland. D-J Composites locked the workers out of their jobs after the union refused to agree to a terrible contract that would have frozen some wages until 2020. This proposed freeze is on top of the fact that the workers  have not received  a pay increase since 2014. Gander is the same small town made famous for opening its hearts and homes to 7,000 American and international travelers stranded after the September 11, 2001 terror attack. The people of Gander and nearby communities, are celebrated nightly in a Tony award winning Broadway show, “Come from Away.” The 32 locked out workers are among those who did their part to help stranded travelers. The show depicts their town’s warmth and hospitality -- in stark contrast to their employer’s shrewd coldness. After Chowdhury’s U.S based parent company, D-J Engineering, bought the Gander operation in 2012, the company’s relationship with its employees grew more and more disrespectful. This is despite the fact that the employees, members of Unifor local 597, gave the employer many concessions to help it succeed and build an aerospace footprint in their small town. But over time, it has become clear from Chowdhury’s  actions that he has one objective: bust the union and starve workers. In March, D-J Composites returned to bargaining looking for even more concessions. This time, instead of wage freezes, Chowdhury’s company demanded a pay cut and proposed to end seniority protections. The wages at the aerospace facility are already modest at best. The demand to gut seniority was a direct attack on the union in the workplace. D-J Composites has since been found guilty of bargaining in bad faith by the provincial labour board, which is a violation of provincial employment law. This U.S. based employer continues to behave as though it’s exempt from local labour laws. Mediation ordered by the Newfoundland Minister of Labour subsequently failed to get the company to budge on its unreasonable demands. Now these workers are facing another harsh Canadian winter in a region hit hard by snowstorms, ice storms and raging winds. These workers will not be broken or bullied into accepting impossible demands. Their union, and its 315 thousand members stand behind them in their fight for a reasonable and fair collective agreement. In Canada, our labour laws require respectful and fair collective bargaining, which is usually a genuine give-and-take where employees have a democratic say in their working conditions. DJ Composites has not honoured this. And while Chowdhury, the company’s owner is tucked snuggled away in his Kansas state mansion on a golf course, Unifor members stand 4,500 kilometers away on a picket line seeking respect from their employer. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON HOW YOU CAN HELP Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST

Alberta boosting right to refuse unsafe work
An overhaul of Alberta’s workplace health and safety provisions and workers' compensation by the province’s New Democratic government will give workers the right to refuse dangerous work and more control over compensation claims. “This is a positive step forward that will ensure fewer workers are hurt or killed on the job and improve the compensation system when something does happen,” said Western Regional Director Joie Warnock. “It is a basic right for workers to be able to refuse dangerous work.” Labour Minister Christina Gray announced the changes November 25 following a lengthy review of workplace rules. Workers' compensation had not been reviewed for 15 years, while health and safety provisions had not been looked at since 1976. Under Bill 30, a worker who refuses dangerous work would continue to be paid while that refusal is investigated. Besides reporting any workplace injuries, employers would now also be required to report any “near miss” incidents that could have caused injury. The bill would provide workers greater say on the health and safety of their workplace and more rights on how claims are handled should they be injured. All workplaces with 20 or more employees would be required to set up a health and safety committees to inspect sites for hazards, and to help resolve disputes and workplace health and safety concerns. For more information, please visit: Alberta occupational health and safety changes Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST

Members ratify contract with Tembec, winning forestry pattern
Members at Locals 89 and 256 have ratified a new four-year collective agreement with Tembec located in Kapuskasing in northern Ontario. The new contract meets the pattern established in Unifor’s forestry sector and includes a $1,000 signing bonus, a two per cent wage increase in each year of the agreement, improvements to the salary progression scale, health care and dental benefits as well as bereavement leave. Significantly, language around contracting out and job security have been strengthened through letters of understanding added to the collective agreement. An important addition to the agreement is funds, for the first time, will be allocated for the union’s Paid Education Leave (PEL). “The local unions worked hard to win these gains,” said national representative Ritchie Mihalick. “Going forward we are looking at lining up bargaining with the rest of the eastern forestry group.” The 230 Local 89 members work in the paper and sawmill, while the 80 members of Local 256 are papermakers, running the paper machines. The deal was approved by 82 per cent. Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:46 pm EST


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