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News from the union point of view...
 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
( Last updated Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:18 am EST)
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

28th Annual Western Pulp, Paper & Forest Products Safety & Health Conference You Are Too Strict - You Are Too Lazy: Different Generations in the Workplace
. 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 Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:18 am EST)
Will Canada sever economic growth from carbon emissions?

Since the dawn of the industrial revolution some 250 years ago, economic growth has been dependent upon the growth of fossil fuel emissions. The historically unprecedented economic growth that is the product of industrial development has drastically improved the quality of human life. People with higher incomes live longer, healthier, more secure and altogether happier lives. However, as we’ve learned in the past half century, the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the prime cause of runaway climate change, which poses a threat to civilization itself.

The challenge, then, is to ‘decouple’ economic growth from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Historically, for an economy to increase its national income it would also have to combust more fossil fuel. The relationship between GDP growth and GHG emissions must be broken, and a combination of technological and policy factors are making it possible (for the first time in history) to increase GDP while decreasing greenhouse gases.

Some societies have already begun this decoupling (see the chart below). Since 2005, the United States has managed to add 21 percent to its GDP while shrinking its carbon emissions by 13 percent. A variety of technological and policy factors appear to be at play, including vehicle emissions standards, a reduced reliance on coal-powered electricity, the shale revolution and the explosion of renewable energies like wind and solar. The European Union, too, has severed growth from emissions, having increased its GDP by 16 percent since 2005 while lowering its carbon footprint by 11 percent.

In Canada, the Liberal Government’s carbon tax plan will commence in 2019 and the hope is that it will decouple GDP growth from greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Climate Accord mandates a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gases from 2005 levels by 2030. Canada has become more efficient with the use of carbon, to be sure, having added just three percent to its emissions since 2005 while adding 23 percent to its GDP, but it has still not severed the link between the two. The hope is that the continued growth in renewable energies in combination with smart climate policy will decouple GDP growth from GHG emissions.

Contributor: Jordan Brennan

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 10:30 am EST

Ontario Regional Council delegates commit to continued advocacy

Delegates to the 2018 Ontario Regional Council made it clear that they represent a bold movement to defend workers’ rights in the province.

“We are going to move forward to implement a working peoples’ agenda in this province and stop Ford in his tracks,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “If it’s not our role to lead and give hope, to fight and fix a wrong, then why are we here?”

Operating in opposition to a Conservative government that already rolled back hard-won rights, Unifor leadership and speakers at the Council emphasized the strength of members to organize and win. In a moving show of solidarity and commitment to action, members unanimously passed a resolution to strengthen mobilization efforts in support of Local 222 members and all workers affected by GM’s threat to close the Oshawa facility.

Fight for Workers’ Rights

In response to the conservative rollback of workers’ rights and minimum wage through Bill 47, delegates adopted a provincial bargaining strategy to bargain for decent work.

As a result of the bargaining directive a $15 minimum wage, fair scheduling, paid personal emergency leave and equal pay for equal work will be presented at every Unifor bargaining table.

To mark the passing of the recommendation, the more than 900 ORC delegates marched to the Minster of Labour’s office to announce the new program.

Watch a video of the media conference here.

“We are giving notice to employers– that you may have hid behind this government and pushed for lower standards for your workers, but we will bargain back those labour standards,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director.

Support from Solidarity Partners

Delegates heard messages of support and struggle from an impressive roster of speakers.  

Andrea Horwath, Ontario New Democratic Party Leader, Tracey Ramsey, MP for Essex (NDP) and Unifor Local 200 member and Jennifer French, MPP for Oshawa (NDP) all shared solidarity with the Oshawa community, with Ramsay encouraging Unifor members to become directly involved in electoral politics.

An exciting partnership with OPSEU was revealed by Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, and Jerry Dias. 

Diversity and Community

The two-day Council was preceded by a provincial President’s Meeting, industry council meetings and ORC standing committee meetings, all coming together to reflect and plan for the year ahead.

At the Presidents’ Meeting, ORC Chairperson Scott McIlmoyle led an exciting discussion about current issues and upcoming challenges for local unions, saying, “the year ahead presents a challenge for Unifor members from every corner of this province. But looking around this room I know that together we will win.”

A Young Workers’ Conference also welcomed more than 50 young activists for the day before Council. During the council, members also had the opportunity to attend a round-table discussion on human rights, racism and Islamophobia in Ontario. Over caucuses, delegates were able to learn more about the work of Unifor’s five equity committees. Following council adjournment, an allies caucus brought together activists working in this various realms.

A Strong Leadership Team

Elections were held for ten positions at the Ontario Regional Council and the following members joined the ORC executive and standing committees:

  • Stephanie Haskell (Local 938), Vice Chairperson
  • Carly Finch (Local 87-M), Member at Large
  • Jamie Martinez (Local 1090), Member at Large
  • Jim Fling (Local 34-O), Member at Large
  • Sandy Knight (Local 584), Health & Safety Committee
  • Dharshan Rajasinham (Local 6006), Young Workers Committee
  • Kelly Janes (Local 1120), EI/CPP Committee
  • Dan Cushenan (Local 504), EI/CPP Committee
  • Kathleen Brooks (Local 8300), Workers’ Compensation Committee
  • Jessica Ridgwell (Local 1285), Employee and Family Assistance Committee
Monday, December 10, 2018 10:30 am EST

Bargaining Update – MWF Local 1 ABCO Inc.

Members at MWF Local 1 ratified an agreement with ABCO Inc. on November 26. The 4-year contract includes wage increases, increased boot allowance, stronger health and safety language and a boost to their pension.

There are 30 workers at the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia facility that manufactures aluminum boats, industrial and food service equipment.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 7:30 am EST

Bargaining Update – EDEN VALLEY POULTRY

On Sunday, November 18, Local 2216 ratified a new collective agreement with their employer, Eden Valley Poultry. Unifor represents 345 workers at the poultry processing plant in Berwick, Nova Scotia.

The three-year contract sees annual wage increases of 2 per cent, an additional sick day, overtime after eight hours’ work as well as other language changes.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 7:30 am EST

Unifor ratifies collective agreement with Nutrien

LANIGAN—Unifor Local 992 members will enjoy solid wage gains and pension benefits under a new collective agreement ratified on November 21.

“Unifor members make a significant contribution to the mining sector in Saskatchewan,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “This contract makes progress towards sharing the gains in this sector with workers.”

The three-year contract includes wage increases of 2.5 per cent in year one and 2.25 per cent in years two and three. Local 922 also achieved a pension plan enhancement and increases to several wage premiums.

“We couldn’t have done this without the support of the membership,” said Shawn Wolfe, Local 922 President. “Unifor members keep Nutrien working, and this contract recognizes our important role.”

Monday, November 26, 2018 9:45 am EST

Globe and Mail workers ratify new collective agreement

Unifor members at the Globe and Mail have ratified a new two-year collective agreement. 

Local 87-M represents 320 reporters, editors, plus staff in circulation, operations and advertising sales across Canada.

The agreement was reached after members voted in favour of strike action two weeks earlier. 

The main issues were pension security and a perceived gender pay gap. 

The new contract contains a commitment from the employer to make its “best effort” to address a wage gap between men and women.

It also includes a commitment to investigate a more secure, multi-employer, defined benefit pension plan leading up to the next round of bargaining starting in about 15 months.


Sunday, November 25, 2018 9:45 am EST

Delegates mark B.C. Council with a push for progress

Unifor members in British Columbia are not slowing down.

At the British Columbia Regional Council meeting held in Vancouver during November 20 and 21, delegates discussed shared workplace challenges and adopted plans to escalate Unifor’s social justice work.

National President Jerry Dias and Western Regional Director Joie Warnock welcomed delegates on the opening day and laid out the challenges ahead for workers in B.C.

“We’re upping our activism,” said Dias. “It would be easy to sit back and criticise outcomes from the side-lines—but that’s not Unifor. We have the ability to shape social change and we do that at every turn.”

Warnock recognized the continuing activism of B.C. members. “It’s been such a great year. We’re exceeding expectations and it’s because of your hard work.”

She pledged to continue the push for justice for all members, including those whose livelihoods are under threat from Trump’s tariffs, “Our fight back mobilization is going to be strong and successful.”

Delegates were presented with honest and raw experiences from keynote speakers Max FineDay and Kevin Chief. They talked about the intergenerational trauma of colonialism in Canada, and challenged all delegates to directly engage in reconciliation in all aspects of their lives.

Throughout the course of the Council, delegates debated resolutions about lobbying the government for decent work and addressing workplace challenges ranging from pay equity to mental health supports. The Council is the first in the country to adopt a resolution pledging to pressure governments to end the practice of carding and racial profiling in policing.

A full list of adopted resolutions and recommendations will be posted on the B.C. Regional Council page.

The imminent deadline of the province’s Proportional Representation referendum was discussed throughout the meeting. Simka Marshall, an organizer with the Vote PR BC coalition, delivered a presentation and asked delegates to make a final push to encourage friends and family to vote for a more representative electoral system.

The two days before the Council were jam-packed with organizing and leadership development. A one-day Aboriginal and Workers of Colour conference welcomed nearly 50 delegates, many of them at their first union event. On the following day, young workers from across the province met to strategize on building power in their local unions.

In the weeks and months ahead, the plans made at the B.C. Regional council will be put into action by Unifor locals, committees and activists in every region the province.

Thursday, November 22, 2018 4:45 am EST

Members participate in largest child care lobby to date

Unifor members were on Parliament Hill on Monday, lobbying for universal, affordable, inclusive and high quality child care.

“Everyone relies on someone who relies on child care, and Canada’s child care system is in crisis,” said Lisa Kelly, Unifor Director of Women’s Department. “We know that investing in child care is an important economic driver and it strengthens our local communities.”

Advocates spoke with MPs and Senators and highlighted the ways in which accessible child care enables parents to work or get the education and training they need to secure good jobs. In particular, members focused on how accessible, high-quality child care opens up opportunities for families, improves women’s equality, helps reduce poverty and benefits everyone involved.

On the other side of the equation, child care workers also shed light on the low wages, and precarious, stressful working conditions that increase the likelihood of burn-out and high turnover in this female-dominated sector.

“As residents and citizens of Canada, we have a right to make our voices heard and it is critical that we use this voice to make a difference in our communities,” said Erin Howell Sharpe, Women’s Advocate, Local 506. “This is how we can ensure issues that greatly impact our lives are on decision-makers’ minds. It’s how we can set the agenda and call for action by elected officials.”

Activists called for the child care that is:

  • Universal, because every family in Canada deserves access to child care no matter where they live, regardless of a parent’s employment status or a child’s spoken language.
  • Affordable, as cost should not be a barrier for any family to access child care. 
  • Inclusive, in that it is flexible and has the resources to accommodate the needs of all children, including those with physical or mental disabilities.
  • High quality, where children are engaged in stimulating activities in a safe environment, with highly-skilled and appropriately compensated staff.

The lobby day was held in partnership with Child Care Now, a non-profit, membership based organization that advocates for a publicly funded, inclusive, quality, non-profit child care system.

Show your support for universal child care - send a message to your MPP and sign this petition to the Office of the Prime Minister

Thursday, November 22, 2018 11:15 am EST


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