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Vancouver’s container truckers open negotiations

Unifor -

Unifor has begun a new round of collective bargaining with several employers servicing Port Metro Vancouver.

“Unifor constantly pushes for fair treatment of container truckers. Our efforts have led to drivers receiving millions of dollars in compensation illegally withheld by unscrupulous company owners,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor B.C. Area Director.

As the largest union in Metro Vancouver’s container trucking industry, Unifor has a very successful record. Container truckers shut down Port Metro Vancouver for nearly four weeks in March 2014 as a result of wage undercutting by trucking companies and long wait times at the Port.

Despite facing back to work legislation, Unifor members refused to back down and truckers only went back to work after a plan was negotiated between the truckers, the Port, the B.C. government, and the federal government.

Unifor was also responsible for a trucker-friendly Container Trucking Act (2014) that has created a Container Trucking Commissioner who investigates companies for wage theft and issues heavy fines for non-compliance with the new law and rates.

Since 2014, Unifor has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars owed to drivers. The Commissioner has levied fines and awarded over $2.3 million in wages to drivers.

With the election of the NDP government in B.C., Unifor successfully fought for further gains including 4.6 per cent hauling rate increases over the past two years and more resources for the Office of Container Truck Commissioner for enforcement and auditing.

 

 

MAHCP – Better vacation language

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

 

The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is the best vote for Professional, Technical, Paramedical experts in Manitoba!

There’s a major difference between MAHCP and our competitors when it comes to vacation language: MAHCP has bargained language in days, not blocks. You earn your vacation in days, you take them in days.

Plus, as an MAHCP member, you keep every dime of your wages after regular dues are paid, even if you are deemed “essential services” during a strike. At our main competitor union, if their members are deemed essential in a strike, they have to give 30% of their wages to the strike fund – that’s not fair.

Here’s an example of another major difference: since MAHCP has a direct-service model, you don’t need to deal with a resource centre that will simply re-direct your calls. In fact, this begs the question, if our competitors have so many resources, why does it take them two to four years to resolve grievances?

This is the last couple days of site visits before the two-week voting period starts on August 8. MAHCP representatives will be at the following locations. Please stop by if you can!

 

Tuesday, August 6

– Nine Circles Community Health Centre, Boardroom 2, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre Ellice, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Portage District General Hospital, PDGH Classroom, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Arborg & District Health Centre, Boardroom, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Kin Place Primary Health Centre – Oak Bank, Multipurpose Room, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– EMS Portage, EMS Station, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
– Johnson Memorial Hospital in Gimli, Hospital Multipurpose Room A, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Wednesday, August 7

– Access Transcona, Meeting Room 163, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

-Rehabilitation Centre for Children, Boardroom Second Floor, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Stonewall & District Health Centre, Multipurpose Room A, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Flin Flon General Hospital, Boardroom (4 Flr), 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Primary Care Flin Flon (including EMS), Conference Room, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Cranberry EMS, Meeting Room, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
– Selkirk Regional Health Centre, Public Meeting RM 1, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Jerry Dias stresses international solidarity in battle for workers’ rights

Unifor -

Unifor National President Jerry Dias stressed a message of international solidarity in the battle for workers’ rights as he addressed the Constitutional Convention of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA).

Founded in 1940, the UWUA represents 50,000 members across the American energy sector, including the electric, gas, steam and nuclear industries. UWUA members gathered July 24-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada to set the direction of the union for the next four years while acknowledging the past with a theme of “Protecting our Legacy”.

“Protecting our legacy means building a modern labour movement, moving forward and evolving while never forgetting the struggles of the past,” said Dias. “In many ways unions on both sides of the border are being forced to re-fight for the same rights won nearly one hundred years ago.”

Dias spoke of the common struggle in a gig-economy to secure decent jobs, living wages, benefits and retirement security, and the fight to oppose anti-worker trade deals and legislation.

So-called ‘Right to Work’ (for less) laws in many U.S. states make it difficult for unions to organize while undercutting their financial stability, resulting in worker exploitation and lower wages. Just a few months ago, 200 Unifor members working at Tandus Carpets saw their 46-year old plant close and ship work to Georgia, a RTW state.

In light of the migration of jobs to Right to Work states from other across the U.S. and Canada, Unifor actively opposed ‘Right to Work’ laws as a trade-distorting practice during the renegotiation of NAFTA.

“This is your struggle but this is our struggle too. Canadian workers can’t wall themselves off from the bad practices of global employers,” Dias said. “When our American sisters and brothers are hurt, Canadian workers are hurt too. We stand together.”

Dias pointed out that workers are currently facing a Right to Work threat in Alberta, the heartland of Canada’s oil and gas industry and the heartland of Canada’s conservative movement.

Today, Canada’s energy workers are struggling and the Jason Kenney government is looking for scapegoats. The United Conservative Party unfairly blame the one-term New Democratic Party government, environmentalists and unions.

“The Kenney government is looking to bust the door down, introducing “agency fees” – to stop unions from doing the political work that needs to be done,” Dias said. “This is our battleground and this fight is underway. We look to unions like the UWUA for support and solidarity.”

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