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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 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

The U.S. International Trade Commission Report
The U.S. International Trade Commission Report Last week, the U.S. Thursday, May 26, 2016 4:42 pm EDT

More to follow
AWPPW Local 69 is getting with the times and working on a website. Standby, more to follow. Friday, May 20, 2016 6:47 pm EDT

( Last updated Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT)
Collective agreements ratified with MDA
Unifor locals 112 and 673 have ratified new collective agreements with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. after pushing back against employer demands for concessions. The new collective agreements include improved vacation eligibility, an increase in dental, wage increases each year of the agreement, cost of living retained and progressive retirement language. As well, a Women’s Advocate program and a domestic violence leave program were set up. The December 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women will be marked with a moment of silence. Social Justice Fund contributions will begin in the third year of the collective agreement. Local 112 also negotiated improved apprentice language. The previous collective agreements with MDA expired August 4, 2017 but were extended while a new contract was negotiated.  Negotiations between the Union and the employer began September 11, with a tentative agreement being reached on October 16 after a conciliator was brought in. Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT

Montrealers march 15km in support of a $15 minimum wage
Unifor members in Montreal participated in the 15 kilometre march in support of a $15 minimum wage on October 15. Trade unionists joined students, the unemployed and underemployed, coalition partners and many others making their way across town in a colourful and boisterous demonstration. Marchers called on the Quebec government to become the third province to commit to raising the minimum wage to $15. The minimum wage in Quebec is currently $11.25.  The march started on the lower west side of the city at Lionel-Groulx metro station and extended all the way to the east end, wrapping up at Parc Jarry.  The march was sponsored by the broad-based coalition in support of a $15 minimum wage, the Fédération de travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), various local unions, neighbourhood associations, student groups and NGOs. Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT

Aerospace locals reach tentative agreements
Unifor local 112 and 673 have negotiated tentative agreements with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. after a month of bargaining. The previous collective agreements with MDA expired August 4, 2017 but were extended while a new contract was negotiated.  Negotiations between the Union and the employer began September 11, with a tentative agreement being reached on October 16 after a conciliator was brought in. No details of the tentative agreement will be released until after members have voted and ratified to accept.  A vote of the membership will be held on October 18. Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT

Ban on mandatory high heels at work helps tackle sexist, gendered dress codes, says Unifor
Unifor is supporting a new private member’s bill which would ban employers from requiring inappropriate shoes at work, such as high heels. The bill, ‘Putting your Best Foot Forward’ Act would update the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure that women workers are not being put at risk of injury or being fired over sexist expectations that characterize uniform rules for many female employees. The proposed legislation, introduced by Toronto MPP Cristina Martins today, would particularly help women in the restaurant and hospitality industries. “The sexist expectations of business owners should never outweigh a worker’s right to safety on the job – I’m pleased to see this bill going forward,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “The Occupational Health and Safety Act needs to be updated to account for the reality of work for women workers who are not just employed in industrial sectors – but in restaurants, bars and hotels where unsafe footwear makes the job dangerous and can cause injuries.” The new bill follows similar legislation in British Columbia passed last year. The Ontario Human Rights Commission also issued a policy paper in 2016 on gender-specific dress codes, indicating that women who work in restaurants and bars should not be forced to wear certain attire such as high heels, short skirts or low-cut tops. Rizvi said she would like to see the legislation also take into account other problematic areas of uniform requirements and see an outright ban on gendered dress codes, which rely on sexist, discriminatory and deeply binary expectations of how women and men should look. Approximately one third of Unifor’s 315,000 members are female. Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT

New agreement with Silicium Québec
Ratification votes held over two membership meetings on October 16 and 17, Unifor Local 184 members at Silicium Québec came out 80% in favour of the new agreement. The new three-year agreement includes an option for a one-year extension subject to investments totalling $6.8 million and provides for the following increases: A wage increase of four percent retroactive to May 1st, 2017;  For subsequent years, wage increases of 2.3 per cent, 2.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent in the last year, conditional upon the investment. Additional gains include the establishment of Paid Education Leave (PEL), higher bonuses, an increase in annual vacation time, improvements to floating holidays, an increase in the bonus related to production, and several other notable improvements. “Because of the lock-out imposed by the employer in 2013 and the subsequent periods during which wages were frozen, our members’ expectations were high, particularly in terms of catch-up wage increases. While this agreement does not totally make up for lost time, it will allow us to continue our battle to further improve our working conditions,” said Jean Simoneau, Unifor Local 184 President. The union leader added, “I’d like to salute the patience and support shown by our members throughout the bargaining process. This was a team effort assisted by our national representative Luc Deschênes.” Local 184 represents nearly 140 members working at the silicon plant in Bécancour. Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT

NS workers rally against anti-labour Liberals
October 15, 2017 Unifor members joined workers from several Nova Scotia unions Saturday at a march to send a message to premier Stephen McNeil and his anti-labour Liberals. “Life in Nova Scotia with Stephen McNeil and the Liberals is no picnic and he’s not just anti-worker, he is anti-women,” said Jessica Dauphinee, an LPN who works in long term care and is a member at large on Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Council.  McNeil's anti-worker legislation, including Bill 148, the Public Services Sustainability Act, targets women workers most and many of them earn between $15 and $17 an hour.  Dauphinee and many others chanted “Steve McNeil has got to go” outside the Liberal party’s annual general meeting at the Westin Hotel in Halifax where Liberal party insiders enjoyed a catered lunch. “Can you hear us Steve?” shouted workers on a loud speaker, reminding the premier that he has a slim majority and workers are not going to tolerate what has been a constant attack on their rights since the Liberals took office in 2013.  Unifor has joined other unions in fighting several pieces of anti-worker legislation. McNeil’s government is freezing wages of working people in a province where 120,000 Nova Scotians do not have a family doctor, students can’t afford post-secondary education, emergency rooms are closing, and classrooms are overcrowded. While nursing home residents are fed lower food quality and have seen massive cuts to long term care, McNeil will be speaking at a $300 dollar a plate dinner Saturday evening followed by a “back to back majority party.” ”McNeil and the Liberals congratulate themselves and wine and dine their wealthy donors, while our hard working members are treated like second class citizens,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “Enjoy your dinner Stephen!“ shouted workers who believe the premier is out of touch with most hard working Nova Scotians. McNeil’s weekend agenda also includes  a “cash for access” reception open only to supporters who pay $750 dollars to meet McNeil and his cabinet. Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT

Health care talks break down, head to conciliation
October 12, 2017 After 22 days of negotiations, multiple pieces of Liberal legislation attacking workers’ rights, and employers who are attempting to take away key benefits from healthcare workers in Nova Scotia, bargaining talks have finally broken down between the Nova Scotia Council of Healthcare Unions, the NSHA and IWK. As a result the NSHA and IWK have filed for the help of a conciliator from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. In Nova Scotia when a union and an employer reach an impasse in bargaining, one or both parties can apply to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education to have a conciliator assist in resolving the stalemate. Although a conciliator cannot compel a union and an employer to reach an agreement, the impartial third party works with both sides to negotiate a settlement and to avoid labour disruption/ job action. The Nova Scotia Council of Healthcare Unions, made up of bargaining committee members from the NSGEU, CUPE and Unifor, have been attempted to negotiate a new collective agreement since October 2016 in the face of multiple challenges. Liberal Government legislation requires that the Council negotiate a single collective agreement to replace the multiple agreements that were in place in each of the former District Health Authorities. Additional Liberal legislation requiring a detailed and complicated essential services plan before the Council of Unions could engage in job action, has had a severe impact on negotiations.  Without a concluded essential services plan, there is no threat of job action and therefore no pressure to cause the employers to compromise in order to reach an agreement on important benefits that will make up the new collective agreement. The work of the Councils became even more complicated when the Liberal Government enacted more legislation on August 22, 2017, which froze wages for two years, provided minimal increases after that, and fixed the retirement allowance retroactive to April 1, 2015. This legislation was proclaimed by the Provincial Liberal Government without warning and strips 75,000 people of benefits they previously had and relied on. The unions are currently challenging this legislation in the courts. With little accomplished at the table, the employers requested the assistance of a conciliator from the Department of Labour to assist the parties. The Health Council agrees that the appointment of a conciliator is needed. It is expected conciliation will begin sometime in the next two months and is likely to last for many weeks due to the complexity of the task. In the meantime, the Council of Unions' negotiators continue to attempt to establish an essential services agreement to enable unionized workers to be in a position to begin job action. The employers' essential services negotiators walked away from the table in the summer and have so far refused to continue discussions. The Council negotiators continue to finalize their essential services proposal in the hopes of re-starting discussions in the coming weeks. This round of bargaining has been a long and at times a frustrating process for Nova Scotia health care members. The McNeil Liberals have used their majority government unlike any other provincial government in Canada to invoke multiple pieces of anti-union legislation. Employer negotiators have shown no interest in bargaining in good faith and still refuse to table their proposed changes to sick leave benefits for health care workers. As a result there is nothing more that can be accomplished at the table without the aid of a conciliator. In spite of these barriers the Bargaining Committee has fought hard during these negotiations to protect key benefits that unions have negotiated over the past four decades. For example, employer negotiators continue to make clear they want complete control of health and dental benefits plans.  If the Council of Healthcare Unions were to give up this control, the employers could make unilateral changes to benefits without the agreement of the unions. The Health Care Council of Unions bargaining committee is made up of six members from NSGEU, three from CUPE and one from Unifor. The Nova Scotia Nurses Union (NSNU) is also part of the Health Care Council. Health Care Bargaining Council is the lead table in this round of healthcare negotiations. For more information, please contact Unifor bargaining committee members: Susan Gill  National Representative  susan.gill@unifor.org Jamie Pollock President Local 4600 unifor4600@bellaliant.com Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT

GM heartless in response to CAMI workers
Unifor stands behind the members of Local 88 in Ingersoll in the face of coldhearted indifference shown by General Motors as it threatens to ramp up production of the Equinox in Mexico, Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.  “This is a callous and heartless attitude for General Motors to take toward a community that has worked so hard to build its top-selling vehicles,” Dias said. “GM is turning its back on the entire community.” GM has rejected a Unifor proposal to name CAMI as the lead producer of the Equinox, saying it can meet production needs for the vehicle at its Mexican facilities. The Equinox is now the only vehicle now made at CAMI. In July, production of the Terrain was moved from Ingersoll to Mexico. “CAMI is the poster child for what is wrong with North American Free Trade Agreement,” Dias said. “You can make a best-selling vehicle, win shelves full of awards along the way, work three shifts a day, and still the company sends work to Mexico and refuses to discuss showing some loyalty to workers or the community that supported it.” Friday, October 20, 2017 1:46 pm EDT


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