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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:41 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 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:41 pm EDT)
Unifor members ready to face technological workplace changes
Members from across the country were in Halifax on August 15, 2018, to attend the Automation, New Technology and the Future of Work conference. As the world of work changes rapidly, new technologies are more frequently introduced in the workplace. Conference delegates came together to discuss, learn and develop a strategy for the future of work that puts workers first. “In a system where profits and productivity are paramount, there will always be a desire for corporations to invest in labour-saving technology,” said Jerry Dias National President. “The Future of Work conference brought members together to craft bargaining and political action strategies to deal with automation, artificial intelligence, and the growth of the digital economy.” Angelo Dicaro, acting Unifor Research Director, kicked off the conference with a presentation on the union's  newly minted research paper The Future of Work is Ours: Confronting risks and seizing opportunities.  The research paper makes it clear that automation, artificial intelligence and other forms of new technology are here to stay and will continue to create challenges that workers will face in workplaces and industries around the world.  The  research paper also discusses possible solutions and strategies to  confront technological changes at work. After the introduction to current issues with automation and technology, participants broke into smaller groups organized by sectors so that tangible, specific strategies and ideas could be developed for workplaces and bargaining. During the report back led by facilitators, certain themes emerged. It was noted that there was significant anxiety in most sectors about job security, but there was also a degree of optimism, especially among skilled trades members. The latter sentiment helped focus the discussion on the fight-back: the role of unions in forcing technological change in order to make work safer and  create new jobs. Collective bargaining was identified as a key tool for worker power in both protecting jobs at individual worksites, but also at leveraging transition for workers into new roles. Regionally and nationally, it was emphasized that Unifor must push for an even stronger social safety net that includes employer or government-sponsored training. Participants discussed the potential that green technology holds for green jobs, and resisting the green-washing (especially in the hospitality industry) that merely reduces work hours. The conference’s final session hosted a panel of experts to offer additional analysis and provide several public policy and tax changes that could protect good jobs and help Canada stay competitive into the future. Guests Sunil Johal, Policy Director, Mowat Centre and Christine Saulnier, Director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Nova Scotia had a wide-ranging conversation about areas where Canada’s skilled workforce and value-added is a strength and not a disadvantage. In the evening delegates were treated to a live viewing of the hit CBC Radio show “the debaters” where comics went toe to toe in a battle of laughs debating if work should be replaced by robots. The conference is the first of many steps in Unifor’s development of a long-term plan to put workers’ interests on the forefront of technological changes in our workplaces. Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT

Canadian Linen plant members ratify collective agreement
Workers at the Canadian Linen plant voted to ratified a new three-year collective agreement on August 4, 2018. “Congratulations to the members and the bargaining committee for getting this agreement and for securing a Women's Advocate Program in your workplace,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. “Women are five times more likely to speak to someone they know when they are looking for help.” Unifor Local 1015 represents 49 workers at the Canadian Linen plants in Dartmouth and Moncton. Unifor has bargained Women’s Advocate’s in more than 350 workplaces across Canada to give women an opportunity to seek support and guidance within their workplace when facing harassment or domestic violence. The new contract includes annual wage increases, improvements to violence in the workplace and workplace Harassment Language. “Local 1015 Canadian Linen plant members are predominately made up of women, and they prioritized improving their wages and health and safety in this round of bargaining,” said Paul Ferrall Unifor Local 1015 President. Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT

More workers join Unifor
Unifor’s Organizing Department has brought more than 600 workers into the union in the past month, at workplaces in Ontario and Nova Scotia. “In each of these five workplaces, workers have stood together and said they want to improve their workplaces and build their communities,” said Unifor Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan. “It is an honour to welcome them to Unifor.” The newly organized workplaces include warehousing, trucking, education and manufacturing sectors, reflecting the diversity of sectors represented by Unifor across Canada. In all, 608 workers have joined Unifor since July 23, including warehouse workers in Woodstock, Ontario, workers at two workplaces in Peterborough, Ontario, workers at a trucking firm in Truro, Nova Scotia, and janitors and other support staff at a university. The newly organized workplaces are: McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, with 299 workers in facility services Penske Logistics in Woodstock, Ontario, with 125 warehouse workers Canterbury Gardens in Peterborough, with 100 workers in health care Ritz Plastics in Peterborough, Ontario, with 80 manufacturing workers Agropur in Truro, Nova Scotia, with four workers in trucking Work will now begin to negotiate a first contract at each of these workplaces with Unifor as the bargaining agent. Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT

Tackling racism and Islamophobia in Halifax
In light of the recent rise in hate-based violence, Unifor is proud to host a round-table discussion to address racism and Islamophobia before Canadian Council gets under way in Halifax. A panel of experts, advocates and activists will gather for a frank discussion this evening on how to forge meaningful alliances with communities and organizations, and take effective action against racial and religious intolerance. “We are hoping that activists who are attending find themselves equipped with concrete strategies and tools to address these issues in their workplaces and in their communities,” said Christine Maclin, Unifor Director of Human Rights. “The round-table bears testimony to Unifor’s commitment to equity, social justice, diversity and inclusion.” The roundtable will take place on Thursday, August 16, 6 pm – 8 pm, in Room C1 at the Halifax Convention Centre. The panel includes representatives from a variety of social justice organizations, grassroots advocacy groups, labor activists, academia, and government bodies. The panel includes: Janet Dench, Executive Director, Canadian Council for Refugees Erica Violet Lee, Organizer, Idle No More Nuzhat Jafri, President, Canadian Council of Muslim Women Dr. Lynn Jones,  Chair, Global African Congress – Nova Scotia chapter (panel moderator) Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director, and Robyn Maynard, Author of Policing Black Lives: State violence in Canada from slavery to the present The round-table invokes a timely discussion about racism and anti-immigrant hostility. In recent years, Canada has borne witness to vandalism at mosques, and tragic deaths of Muslim Canadians and Indigenous youth as a result of racially motivated violence. In addition to this, white supremacist rallies have been helped and  immigrants and refugees are targeted at the border. Anti -black racism, police violence, and racial profiling of youth and people of colour is still going on. The current climate in Canada and beyond requires labour activists to reflect and act when the system too often fails to bring justice to victims, their families and communities. This round-table offers a platform to strengthen a unified front against those that seek to divide and actively threaten Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, Muslims, migrants and refugees. Tonight is an opportunity to foster conversations and make commitments to strengthen the diversity that is integral to Canada.   Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT

Unifor opposes Nav Canada bylaw changes
Unifor has called on the Minister of Transportation to veto bylaw changes at Nav Canada that would open the organization’s management to non-Canadians. “It’s a very suspicious move. No rationale was provided as to why Nav Canada must seek management from outside the Canadian talent pool,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Canadian priorities and accountability should be guiding the management at Nav Canada.” Nav Canada is the not-for-profit Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) in Canada. On August 7, Nav Canada’s members amended the bylaws to cancel the long-standing requirement that 100% of its board of directors be Canadian citizens. If the Minister approves the changes, up to one-third of the board may be non-Canadian. Unlike past bylaw amendments, which drew from a thorough consultation with industry and labour partners, this major revision of Nav Canada’s corporate oversight was done without any such collaboration. All eight trade unions represented by the Nav Canada Bargaining Agents Association are vehemently opposed to ending the all-Canadian board of directors. The change leaves workers in the industry wondering if the bylaw amendments are an attempt by the directors of Nav Canada’s subsidiary, U.S.-based Aireon, to assume management of Nav Canada. There is already considerable overlap of the two boards, and removing the Canadian citizenship requirement for Nav Canada’s board could threaten the independence of Canada’s ANSP. Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT

Get more out of Canadian Council with the mobile app
For the third consecutive year, Unifor has published a mobile app to aid delegates in getting the most out of Canadian Council. Available in both languages, the app is designed to help delegates connect with each other, follow the agenda, access Council documents, navigate the convention centre, learn more about speakers, and find social media channels. It is accessible from all devices with an Internet browser: smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. English app links Android iOS Web browser version Delegates should log in to the app using the email address with which they registered for Council. If you don’t know what address was used or if you have any questions, a help desk will be located near the registration table throughout Council. Presentations and keynote speakers, including Jerry Dias, Unifor National President will all be broadcast on a Livestream feed from Unifor’s website. The feed can be accessed beginning on August 17 at unifor.org/canadiancouncil As always, social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will help connect the events at Council to Unifor members and allies across the country. The social media hashtag for Council is #UniforCC18   Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT

Unifor Health & Safety and Workers' Compensation Conference
On the weekend of June 8-10, approximately 100 Unifor delegates and guests came together at our Family Education Centre in Port Elgin. At the conference, they shared experiences and participated in discussions to advance our work on health, safety and workers’ compensation. The theme of this year’s conference was the “Continuum of Injury – Injury Recognition, Recovery, Prevention - Saving Lives.” It was fitting that our conference opened with a traditional “smudging ceremony” as we recognize the indigenous lands of the Saugeen Ojibway nations. This was followed by an engaging panel discussion on how representatives can implement the Occupational Hazards Identification Tools in daily work to identify occupational disease. Over the course of the conference, we covered topics ranging compensation i.e. “Workers’ Compensation 101”, always a favourite - to workshops about the “Possibilities for Prevention”, “Lab Analysis 101”, “Creating A Mentally-Healthy Workplace” as well as an Introduction of our new one week Workers’ Compensation Board Paid Education Leave course on medical orientation. The conference provided excellent networking opportunities for our members as we explored the world of Optimum Health Kinesiology with our guest Dr. Rashida Naraharasetti, MBBS (India), Specialized energy kinesiology practitioner. The day then came to an end with an enjoyable fire at the gazebo with our comrades. Our weekend concluded with a casual panel discussion between recently retired activists, Joel Carr, Unifor Health & Safety Department, and Alec Farquhar., Director, Ontario Office of Worker Advisor, sharing stories of why “Fighting Back Makes a Difference.” Our next national conference will be on issues of the environment, to be held in the spring of 2019 – stay tuned! Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT

Report from the BC Regional Health & Safety/Environment Committee
Topic: BC Health & Safety Forum – April 19-20, 2018   “Action Plans, Plans to Action” Greetings Sisters and Brothers, On April 19 – 20, the BC Regional Health & Safety/Environment Committee hosted an educational forum at the Unifor office in New Westminster, with support and assistance from the Unifor National Health & Safety department. This event was the first of its kind hosted by the BC Committee, and was deemed a great success as indicated by those who participated in the two-day event. To begin with, the first day started with greetings from Jenny Ahn, Assistant to the Financial Secretary and Sari Sairanen, Director of the Health & Safety Department. Following this, a return to work segment gave a good sense of how to prepare and what to expect when workers come back to the workforce after an injury or illness. An information sheet showing the stages of returning to work, workers’ rights and factors to consider proved valuable as a quick reference guide. Next, a panel of members from various locals discussed how health & safety committees could be more effective. The discussion shared some of the highs and lows that committees face, and strategies that can help them overcome some common pitfalls. Cannabis at work was the next panel discussion, which drew a number of questions about what to expect from companies once it is legalized. A lack of testing to detect the level of impairment means employers will likely be heavy handed if an employee does not indicate that they have medical authorization to use cannabis, after an incident of usage arises. Consumption will not be tolerated while a worker is on duty, regardless of it being legalized. In summary, laws are yet to be created even though legalization is just around the corner. This begs the question - what are we to expect?   A segment on the “Action Plans, Plans to Action” theme kicked off the second day. Here we discussed accident investigation, toxic substances, ergonomics, and health and safety for women. All of these topics touched on ways to better utilize the information available, to further raise awareness about these important workplace issues.  By implementing an action plan to address various workplace hazards, we can better understand how to deal with incidences and enhance practices and procedures. Health and safety policies and regulations must be updated regularly to ensure workplaces prioritize injury prevention and worker protection. The “Workplace Trends and Areas for Change” segment, led by the Workers’ Advisory Office, focused on bad habits that workers get used to, possibly not realizing the dangers these habits pose. Reflecting on my own experience of working the floor in a freight warehouse in the 1970s, this segment highlighted how the conditions of the warehouse, dangerous goods, and operation of heavy equipment would not be even remotely acceptable now. Back then, improvements came slowly as attitudes changed and the awareness for the need of a safer workplace environment was building. This was partly in response to the tragedy of too many workers being injured and killed because of the neglect and ignorance of companies that would not create safe guards, or provide protective equipment and education to keep workers out of harm’s way. Today is not much different; as leaders in health and safety, we must continue to make improvements by remembering the past and the continuous effort it has taken to get where we are today, and that much remains to be done. Workplace technologies change and health and safety standards must also change to meet the new demands that are put on the workers and the workplace environment. The final presentation was hosted by Terry Small, an international expert on how the brain works. Terry shared the primary function of the brain, ways of boosting brain power, and the foods that best support healthy brain function. Matched with an excellent slide deck and video clips that captured the room’s attention, Terry demonstrated how the way we see things is not always the way they are. He then related this to accidents that can happen on the job, detailing how the relationship between the mind and the body can get disconnected or confused under certain conditions. This was a very interactive session as attendees took part in activities that truly challenged the brain. Terry’s information videos come highly recommended; one of which is an in-depth presentation about the session he led, titled “Brain Boosting Secrets”. This concludes the report from the BC Regional Health and Safety/Environment Committee on the two-day forum held in Vancouver B.C. April 19-20, 2018. Gord McGrath, Chairperson BC Regional Occupational Health and Safety/Environment Committee Thursday, August 16, 2018 11:11 pm EDT


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