February 15, 2013

Volume 43, No. 6

CAW Announces Tentative Agreement for Sunwing Pilots

The CAW reached its first tentative agreement with Sunwing Airlines, on February 8. CAW Local 7378 represents over 150 professional airline pilots at Sunwing.
"We negotiated through a number of very difficult issues at the bargaining table and were able to reach an agreement that we feel meets the needs of our membership," said Captain Dave Matkovich, president of CAW Local 7378. "It was the strength and support of our members, and the tireless work of our bargaining committee that made this tentative agreement possible."
"We will be taking the tentative agreement to our membership for a ratification vote in a series of meetings across the country during the last week of February," stated Matkovich.
Details of the three-year agreement will be released upon ratification.
"The airline sector is incredibly challenging and we've proven many times over that having the backing of a strong union makes a big difference for airline staff, regardless of their profession or job," said Ron Smith, CAW Transportation Director.
Sunwing pilots joined the CAW in January 2012. The CAW represents 11,600 members in the air transportation sector including pilots of Morningstar Air Express, PropAir, Sunwing Airlines, and CargoJet.

New Agreement at Nyrstar Myra Falls Mine in British Columbia

After four months of negotiations, the 240 members of CAW Local 3019 have ratified a new collective agreement that resists concessions and provides wage increases and other gains.
CAW Local 3019 represents mine workers at Nyrstar Myra Falls outside of Campbell River, B.C. Workers voted 69% in favour of the new contract.
Wage improvements were 12 per cent over the four-year term, retroactive to the expiry of the collective agreement on October 1, 2012. Many other improvements were made including an increase in the pension, unlimited lifetime maximum for extended health, better defined training and job posting language and a recognition of the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Mining for all training.
Bill Garton, President of Local 3019 and chairperson of the negotiating committee said he's pleased with the outcome after a tough round of bargaining.
"There are wage increases and a modest increase in the pension. Just as importantly, the company was not able to establish a defined contribution plan for new hires nor establish a casual classification at the mine," Garton said. 

New Union Convention Preparations Underway

The project to form a new Canadian union is off to a very busy start in 2013. 
The clock is ticking: The new union's founding convention will be held August 30 to September 1 in Toronto - just in time for members to march under their new banner in the 2013 Labour Day events right across Canada.
But before delegates arrive at the convention (to approve the union's constitution and plan of action, and elect its first leaders), a tremendous amount of work must be completed. The leaders of the CAW and CEP have established six specialized working groups, to talk through the details of forming a new union, and develop recommendations on many of the specific issues.
These working groups were mandated in the final report of the New Union Proposal Committee (this report was overwhelmingly adopted at both the CAW and CEP conventions last year). Each working group is co-chaired by one CAW and one CEP leader. The working groups are addressing the following areas:
Constitution: Draft a formal constitution and other founding documents and policies. This working group will also take responsibility for ensuring the
smooth maintenance of bargaining rights.
Communications: Undertake research, consultation, and testing work associated with selecting a name and logo for the new union, and prepare an ambitious communications strategy for the new union's launch.
Organizing: Draft an ambitious organizing strategy, including a "wave" of organizing initiatives to be launched when the new union is formed. This group will also design and implement the Proposal Committee's vision for new non-traditional forms of membership.
Implementation: Develop an implementation and transition plan for consolidating the two unions (including the integration of offices, information systems, national departments, and other operational matters).
Staff Relations: A leadership team from both unions will initiate discussions with the various staff unions at both the CAW and CEP to ensure a fair, secure transition for the unions' employees (including non-represented employees). The two unions have already committed that no union employees will be laid-off as a result of the creation of the new union.
Convention: Oversee organization and logistics associated with the founding convention of the new union.
For more information on the working groups or the new union, please visit: http://www.newunionproject.ca/new-union-update-and-timeline/
Information on booking accommodations is also now available online. To find out about how to book your accommodations, please visit: http://www.wetravel.net/CAW_CEP_2013/

Mexico Days of Action: February 18 to 24

The IndustriAll Global Union, representing 50 million workers in 140 countries, is urging trade union affiliates around the globe to take part in Days of Action from February 18-24 to advocate for free and fair trade union rights in Mexico.
The date marks the Pasta De Conchos mine accident in 2006 that killed 65 miners in Mexico.
"The refusal of the Mexican government and employer Grupo Mexico to recover the bodies of 63 miners who remain entombed is widely known to be an effort to cover up the real causes of the disaster and the inadequacy of rescue efforts," an IndustriAll  news release states.
"The systematic violation of workers' rights occurs across all industrial sectors and regions of Mexico," the IndustriAll release states. "The international trade union movement mobilizes each February to inform members and policymakers in their home countries of the need for change."
Affiliates are urged to visit the Mexican Ambassador in their country to push for action on: 

  • The outstanding International Labour Organization (ILO) complaint no. 2694 on Protection Contracts;
  • Pasta De Conchos justice;
  • Rejecting the recent regressive labour law reforms.

In addition, IndustriAll is calling on affiliates to push for positive change by lobbying the new Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
For more information and to download campaign materials visit http://www.industriall-union.org/. The CAW is an affiliate union of IndustriAll.

CLC Political Action Conference: March 22-24

The Canadian Labour Congress is holding a Political Action Conference March 22 to 24 for labour activists determined to make change and connect with a diverse range of community groups and other Canadians seeking the same goal.
The CLC is urging campaigners, organizers, and leaders to attend this conference. "The goal is to have the conference serve as the launching pad for a focused motivational campaign to elevate and advance labour's issues as vote determining issues, as well as building the next generation of successful union campaigns," the CLC states.
 The conference will be held at Toronto's Sheraton Centre Hotel. It will offer hands-on workshops as well as guest speakers. It will expose activists to the latest tools, tactics, and strategies for effective campaigning.
For more information or to register please visit http://www.canadianlabour.ca/news-room/events/political-action-conference   

London & Middlesex Labour Appreciation Dinner

Local labour leaders and activists joined together for the London & Middlesex United Way Labour Appreciation awards dinner on Jan 17.  Pictured here are the award winners with chair Bill Tucker, co-chair and CAW Local 27 Recording Secretary Jim Kennedy and London Middlesex United Way CEO Andrew Lockie.

CAW Welcomes New Members

  • Toromont CAT, Thunder Bay, ON, 60 members.
  • Omni Facility Services Canada Ltd,  Oshawa/Whitby, 71 members.

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