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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT)
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 Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT)
Unifor urges paid leave for domestic violence leave in Atlantic
Unifor is urging the governments New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to make domestic violence leave paid after both provinces introduced protected leave legislation this spring. “We know that worrying about your next paycheck is a major barrier to escaping violence,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. “Having paid leave is critical to making the legislation as effective as possible.” According to Statistics Canada, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her male intimate partner and a 2013 Report found that economic security is often the primary factor that influences a woman’s decision to leave an abuser. In Unifor’s written submission regarding New Brunswick’s Bill 44, the domestic violence leave bill, the union argues that a crucial component of any safety plan must include supports for the economic security of women, especially in New Brunswick where the highest reported number of intimate partner violence has been documented. Unifor supports 10 paid days of domestic violence leave that can be taken intermittently and an additional 17 unpaid weeks if needed. The union says this is required so that no worker has to choose between safety and their job. Domestic violence leave will be open to all genders, although the union emphasizes women in its call to action as women are disproportionately hospitalized and murdered and it is women who experience greater economic insecurity. The union has also written a letter to Nova Scotia’s law amendments committee on Bill 107, calling on legislators to make this leave paid. While Unifor is lobbying for this legislative change it also says that more must be done to address the root causes of violence. “We urge the government to take an approach that supports victims of violence, and actually disrupts the violence and breaks down the economic barriers that keep victims in danger,” said Lisa Kelly, Unifor Women’s Director. To assist union members in workplaces across the country, Unifor has been bargaining paid domestic violence leave and the Women’s Advocate program, which trains workplace representative to assist other women with concerns such as workplace harassment, intimate violence and abuse, as a provision in collective agreements. Paid domestic violence leave is already available in Manitoba, Ontario, and for federal workers. Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT

Ontario hospital workers win new provincial contract
Intense weekend bargaining for 75,000 Ontario hospital workers, whose three unions formed a unique alliance in provincial negotiations, resulted in a tentative master contract with hospital employers. “The hospitals had offered inferior wages and were looking to take away hard-earned rights,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the Unifor National President. “To achieve a contract without any takeaways from the employer was only possible because hospital workers showed visible solidarity with all three unions and the bargaining teams.” The tentative settlement was reached after weeks of hospital workers mobilizing, rallying and conducting visible workplace solidarity actions under the banner of Together For Respect. The joint union bargaining campaign spanned across more than 100 hospitals across Ontario where members of Unifor, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and SEIU Healthcare were employed. Just last week, on April 18 members of the three unions held workplace rallies across the province. Initially the hospitals had tabled a long list of concessions and had refused to extend the wage increases that were voluntarily agreed to with other employees. When each union reached an impasse during its respective negotiations, CUPE, SEIU and Unifor formed the first-ever, tri-union bargaining alliance at the end of March. “Frequently, hospital workers are activists for quality patient care and services in communities across Ontario,” said SEIU President Sharleen Stewart. “It is with much humility that they came forward to advocate for their own working conditions and respect in the workplace. Together, our three unions were able to accomplish something that, on our own, we would not have been able to do.” One of the central issues in negotiations was workplace violence. A CUPE poll released last year found that 68 per cent of hospital staff offering direct care had experienced violence in the last year. In addition to new language on workplace violence, the tentative deal provides for a wage increase and there were no concessions accepted by the unions. “We have achieved new violence language which includes agreement by the hospitals that a workplace free of violence is a shared goal. We are committed to work to stop the violence that our members experience at work. For that reason, the battle for respect will continue,” says Michael Hurley, President of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE). Unifor acknowledged the historic importance of Ontario’s largest unions working together to centralize a bargaining table and expressed that the determination and solidarity between SEIU, CUPE and Unifor members made a difference. Members of the three unions will attend membership meetings and vote on the tentative agreement over the next few weeks in to May. Results of the negotiations will not be released publicly until members have been informed about the terms of the deal. The agreement covers Unifor members who participate in Northern Hospital Master Bargaining group.  Bargaining for hospitals in other areas of Ontario are ongoing, including Windsor, London, Kitchener and Bellville. Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT

Rally for striking casino workers keeps pressure on
On Sunday, April 22, close to a thousand people from the Windsor community gathered outside the Caesars Windsor casino for a solidarity rally in support of the 2,300 hospitality workers who have been on strike since April 6. The striking members of Unifor Local 444 were joined at the rally by Unifor National President, Jerry Dias; the National Secretary-Treasurer Bob Orr; and Assistant to the National President, Deb Tveit. “I want to recognize all of you who have worked here each and every day and who are walking the picket lines,” said Dias during his rally speech. “There wouldn’t be one penny of profit if it wasn’t for our brains, our sweat, and our commitment.” In an effort to reach a new tentative agreement the negotiations resumed on April 18 but failed to lead to any progress. The energy on the picket line has been high throughout the course of the legal strike action. Sunday’s solidarity rally was called by Unifor’s leadership to make it clear that the hospitality workers were not alone on the line and had the support of the union. “We’re rallying to show the company we’re all in this together and we have full support from the union,” said Dana Dunphy, Local 444 Caesars Windsor Unit Chairperson. “From the national to other locals all across Ontario we’re standing together.” In addition to Unifor leaders, and representatives from various Unifor locals, local politicians came out in support of the striking workers and included: Essex Member of Parliament, Tracey Ramsey; Windsor West Member of Parliament, Brian Masse; Windsor-Tecumseh Member of Parliament Cheryl Hardcastle; Windsor West Member of Provincial Parliament, Lisa Gretzky; and Windsor-Tecumseh Member of Provincial Parliament, Percy Hatfield. With the well-attended and high-energy solidarity event sending a clear sign that the community is behind the striking workers, it’s now time to get back to the table. National Secretary-Treasurer Bob Orr who also spoke at the event told the crowd, “There are thousands of families in this community who aren’t receiving their pay cheque and in turn they’re not spending money so it hurts everyone in the community.” “It’s time for this company to find a real solution. This has to be settled through direct negotiations and it’s about fairness for the workers” said Orr. Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT

Hospitality Summit sets stage for growth
Unifor can lead the way to building better jobs in the hospitality sector across Canada by standing together and setting a common course for the future, Unifor’s first-ever Hospitality Summit heard. “We are the biggest hospitality union in Canada, and we have the best collective agreements in the sector,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said. Dias said hotel workers face many challenges in the workplace, including workloads, precarious work, fair scheduling issues, decent pensions and wages. “The mechanism for fixing all of this is collective bargaining,” Dias said. Unifor has set the standard for sector-wide bargaining in such industries as pulp and paper and auto, and can bring that strategy to hospitality, Dias said. The hospitality summit was the first step toward that goal. “This sector is going to get stronger and we are going to keep holding summits like this,” said sector chair James Griffin, a cook at the Hotel Empress in Victoria. The April 20-21 summit was held at the Hyatt Regency in Toronto, one of the hotels that came to Unifor from the American UNITE HERE in January. Panel discussions looked at organizing strategies and bargaining wins. The Hotel Vancouver, for instance, was able to negotiate an RRSP plan to supplement the existing company pension, a transit subsidy and a Women’s Advocate position at the hotel. The summit also included workshops on housekeeping, gratuities, non-contract issues such as transit and housing, and workloads. Housekeeping workloads are a concern at many hotels, with room attendants often struggling to get all their assigned rooms cleaned on time while their co-workers are being told not to come to work. Paying workers by the hour, not room quotas, is the best way to address this. “If you can’t finish, you punch out at 4:30, go home and get paid,” said Lis Pimentel, who led the disaffiliation of five Toronto Hotels from UNITE HERE earlier this year. “It protects ourselves, it protects our bodies, it protects our workloads and it protects our co-workers who are at home waiting to be called in.” The second day of the summit was dedicated to Fairmont hotels, giving workers at the Royal York a chance to meet Unifor members from Fairmonts across Canada. Unifor is the top union for Fairmont hotels in Canada, and workers at the Royal York are signing Unifor membership cards to disaffiliate from UNITE HERE. Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT

Ontario government launches review of auto worker leave
The Ontario government has launched a review of personal emergency leave (PEL) regulation 502/06 for auto workers after Ontario Labour Minister Kevin Flynn and Transportation Minister Kathryn McGarry met with a Unifor led delegation of unionized and non-unionized auto workers. “We had a frank discussion on how regulation 502/06 creates a lesser standard of personal emergency leave for auto sector workers. It is unfair and is hurting workers and their families,” said National President Jerry Dias. “Auto workers have the same need for personal emergency leave as everyone else, they incur injuries, their kids get sick and when they lose someone they need bereavement leave.  The lesser standard must be fixed.” The provincial government appointed independent reviewers Buzz Hargrove, former National President of the Canadian Auto Workers, and Stacey Allerton, former Vice President of Human Resources for Ford Canada, to evaluate the impact of the personal emergency leave exemption and provide recommendations to the government. Ontario’s Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act allows workers 10 days of personal emergency leave with the first two days being paid leave.  However, under the exemption, auto workers are only entitled to seven days for personal or family illness or emergencies and three days for bereavement, with none of the leave being paid. “It’s not fair to treat auto workers as second hand citizens,” said Toyota Worker Representative Cindy Venier.  “I do not abuse my time. I take pride in my job.” “In addition to lobbying the government, Unifor has the ability to address this unfair regulation through collective bargaining,” said Dias. “However, thousands of auto sector workers are not covered by collective agreements so it’s important their voice is represented.”  Local union reps from GM Local 222 (GM), Local 444 (Fiat Chrysler) and Local 200 (Ford) were joined at the meeting by workers from Honda and Toyota which are non-union auto parts. “Working at a large, profitable auto parts company it’s problematic that we’re not held to the same standard as the mom and pop restaurant down the street,” said F & P Manufacturing Worker Representative David Webster.    At the end of December when the exemption was confirmed by the government Unifor launched a campaign to advocate for fairness. To date, the Union has collected more than 7,000 signatures on a petition calling on the Ontario government to eliminate the personal emergency leave exemption for auto workers.  To view the petition click here “Employment standards should be fairly applied to all workers - full stop,” said Dias. “If it’s right for workers then it’s the right thing to do.” Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT

Reservations agents at Montreal’s Le Centre Sheraton join Unifor
Reservations agents at downtown Montreal’s Le Centre Sheraton Hotel are now part of Unifor, following a recent decision by Quebec’s Administrative Labor Tribunal to grant certification. “We warmly welcome them into our ranks,” said Unifor Organizer François Beaudoin. The decision by the tribunal on April 12 paves the way for the agents to join Unifor Local 2609 as an add-on department to the existing bargaining unit, which represents about 400 members workers in various departments of Le Centre Sheraton. The local signed a four-year collective agreement last year that included three per cent wage increases each year, improved vacation and sick day provisions, and improvements to bonus and scheduling provisions. Unifor is Canada’s leading hospitality union, with 19,000 workers in hotels and gaming across Canada. Besides the workers at Le Sheraton, more than 900 hospitality workers in Toronto and Mississauga have joined Unifor so far this year. Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT

Election an opportunity to push for equity
The push to eliminate systemic barriers for all workers is part of Unifor’s work as a social justice union and the upcoming Ontario election will be no different. On April 16-17, representatives from the Ontario equity standing committees met with Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, and members of the political action department  to plan how to connect with members on the issues that matter most to their communities. “Every issue at stake in this election will impact workers and there is a great risk for workers from equity-seeking communities,” said Rizvi. “The threats from the Progressive Conservatives to stop the rollout of the $15 minimum wage will have the greatest impact on women, on workers of colour, and immigrant workers. Election issues are equity issues.” Together, the representatives from the Aboriginal and workers of colour, LGBTQ, workers with disABILITY, women, and young worker committees plotted a map to engage with Unifor members in the coming weeks. Members of the equity committees will be canvassing and knocking on members’ doors to talk about why voting in the June 7 election is crucial. Upcoming events will be posted on uniforvotes.ca at the beginning of May and all members are encouraged to get involved. “The equity committees show the vital reasons why our union engages in electoral politics,” said Roland Kiehne, Director of Member Mobilization and Political Action. “From sky-high child care fees to the chronic underfunding of our health care system, the issues that matter to Ontarians affect traditionally marginalized workers more acutely, and it is these workers that will take a leading role in Unifor’s member-to-member outreach.” Unifor is engaging in a province-wide campaign to mobilize members to vote and participate in the provincial election, continuing to push for progressive investments and expanded public services. The outcome of this election will affect every Unifor member and the union's work will kick in to high gear starting in May.  To see what the campaign is all about and how to make your vote count, visit uniforvotes.ca. Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT

Solidarity needed for 65 Unifor sisters on strike
In Thunder Bay, Ontario there are 65 Unifor sisters walking the picket line and holding strong since Monday, April 9. The striking workers are represented by Unifor Local 229 and work at the Port Arthur Health Centre. These workers put in long hours to support the health clinic as medical aides, medical recorders, medical secretaries and medical billing clerks. Despite the valuable role provided to the clinic, or the range in extensive years of service, the employer continues to show them disrespect and is choosing to profit off the workers. The overall feeling from Local 229 is that enough was enough! A majority of the 65 members in the bargaining unit, 43 workers, have been employed as casual employees despite working full-time hours for up to 15 years; a majority do not have health benefits or job security and the wages are just over the minimum wage. On top of the precarious working conditions every day of the strike there have been replacement workers - scabs -crossing the picket line to work for the doctors at the clinic. The workers have had enough of disrespect and a lack of recognition of the value and quality of their work. Local 229 President talks about the issues in this short CBC radio interview: www.cbc.ca/player/play/1208299075507/ To hold the strike line and send the employer a clear message about decent work, equal pay and to end long-term precarious contract jobs Local 229 needs our help. There are three things you can do to show solidarity. Email and contact the employer to demand fairness - email jmarrello@paclinic.com, call 807-346-6217 There is no respect from the management team for the work these women do. The management team at the Center has taken advantage of this tiny, but mighty group of women. The employer continues to bully and intimidate these workers but we can’t let that stand. These Unifor sisters need solidarity and support. Here are three things you can do. Tell the employer to get back to the table and negotiate! Since the strike the employer refuses to talk. It’s time to give these women a fair agreement. Email jmarrello@paclinic.com, call 807-346-6217 or send a fax to 807-346-6251. Send a solidarity message today! Email Kari Jefford, President Local 229 at kari@unifor229.com, or in the Thunder Bay area – join the picket line, Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on the weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Make a donation to the strike fund, purchase gift cards for Metro grocery stores or gas cards. Send all financial donations to Local 229 101-106 North Cumberland Street, Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4M2     Tuesday, April 24, 2018 6:57 pm EDT


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