May 31, 2013
Volume 43, No.21
New Union Name and Logo Unveiled
The new Canadian union being formed by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union (CEP) and the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) will be named Unifor. The name and logo were unveiled May 30 at a packed press conference of 200 local leaders, members, community supporters and allies, in Toronto.
"Today, we are proud to introduce our new union as Unifor, a union that will fight for working people in every sector of the economy and in every community in Canada," said CEP National President Dave Coles. "Unifor will be a union for young workers, those struggling to piece together part-time work and contract jobs, and other precarious working conditions. It will be a union for everyone."
"All together, Unifor will be: 800 local unions, 3,000 bargaining units, in more than 20 different sectors, and we're here to show that we will be a strong voice and a positive force for change for working people across this nation," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza.
Unifor Canada was chosen as a name that is expressive, dynamic, and symbolizes the two unions' aspirations as a new organization: to be united, strong, modern and forward-looking. The name was picked after a process that spanned several months and involved members, union leadership, communications advisers and community allies.
"We have a new union with a new name, and today we will begin to build the next chapter in the future of the labour movement in Canada," said CEP Secretary-Treasurer Gaétan Ménard. "This new union identity -the name and logo - expresses our aspirations for all Canadians, at work and in our communities. This new union will take our movement forward, to a new era of engagement and action."
"This is an historic moment for our two unions, and the Canadian labour movement, another concrete step in the direction of creating Canada's largest private sector union," said CAW Secretary-Treasurer Peter Kennedy. "Collectively, we will represent over 300,000 members and plan to grow to represent many more."
The two unions worked with national communications firm Strategic Communications and Pivot Design Group, in developing the name, logo and new union identity. More information and graphics on Unifor and the new design are available at: www.newunionconvention.ca .
The Founding Convention of Unifor will take place over Labour Day weekend in Toronto (August 31- September 1). At that time, CEP and CAW delegates will vote to create Unifor as an entity, and then will hold individual vote to merge with the new union.
CAW Members Ratify New Deal at Autrans Canada
CAW Local 2163 members have ratified a new four-year collective agreement with GM-supplier Autrans Canada that includes wage, benefit and vacation entitlement improvements, among other significant contract gains.
Members will receive a $1.50 increase in base wages over the life of the agreement, in addition to a signing bonus of $750 paid in two installments before the end of 2013.
The new agreement also includes an increase in the safety shoe as well as hearing aid allowances, improvements to vision care benefit levels (now including optometry), adds a new statutory holiday to the list of recognized days-off (Friday of the Labour Day weekend) and eliminates a year-long lag between a members' anniversary year and when they receive additional vacation weeks.
Bill Perry, the union's Bargaining Committee Chairperson, said this new agreement includes important, and long-overdue, gains for members.
"We've taken a big step forward in our efforts to improve the standard of living for workers in our facility," Perry said.
"The membership was committed to this process, they were supportive of our committee, and that helped us negotiate this strong deal."
Beyond the wage and benefit gains, this new deal also improves funding to the CAW Paid Education Leave (PEL) program as well as funding to the CAW Social Justice Fund, said CAW National Representative Luis Domingues.
"This new agreement goes beyond pocket-book issues, and helps us continue to support membership development as well as social justice initiatives at home, and around the world," Domingues said.
CAW Local 2163 members voted 79 per cent in favour of the new deal at a ratification meeting held at the Ingersoll District Memorial Arena in Ingersoll, Ontario on May 26.
Investment Canada Act's Ad-Hoc Nature Will Continue
Last week, CAW Economist Jim Stanford presented to the House of Commons Industry Committee regarding Bill C-60, this year's omnibus budget bill which includes proposed amendments to the Investment Canada Act.
The proposed changes only target takeovers by state-owned corporations and in no way address the failure of the existing framework to regulate foreign takeovers or consider the impacts to Canadian jobs or the economy.
"Not all the effects of foreign investment are positive," said Stanford. "There are inherent risks and costs with any foreign takeover, including the loss of decision-making control to non-residents; the long-run payout of interest, profits, and dividends to foreign owners; and the risk that foreign investment will qualitatively shape Canada's economy in ways that are sub-optimal."
Stanford reaffirmed 5 key changes to the ICA that CAW president Ken Lewenza presented to the Industry Minister last year: Improved transparency, stakeholder input, tightening up loopholes, defining and measuring Canadian costs and benefits, and imposing and enforcing commitments and conditions.
For more information, check out Stanford's latest Facts from the Fringe: http://www.caw.ca/en/12134.htm
Call for Nominations: Twelve Canadians Series
"Now and then - in the heart of a city, in a community hall, on a factory floor, on a plot of land, out in the woods, on the edge of a precious body of water -- someone devotes their life to their community or the natural world around them. To something they think is right. Slowly but surely, they change the world."
Does this sound like someone you know? The CAW Social Justice Fund is supporting the Twelve Canadians series that will consist of a dozen multimedia profiles on Canadians who are making a difference in their communities and around the world.
Each story will focus on a dedicated and courageous Canadian, the background to their struggle, and how this person transformed a small part of Canada and the planet.
A documentary feature called "A Hundred Canadians" that will profile briefer profiles of activists from coast to coast will also be produced.
If you would like to nominate Canadians whose pursuit of social, economic, or environmental justice, or the healthy development of their community has made Canada a better place to live - send a message through the project Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Twelve-Canadians-Building-a-Better-World-From-the-Inside-Out/583119621700154?ref=ts&fref=ts
For more information on the project, visit: www.indiegogo.com/projects/twelve-canadians
CAW Employee & Family Assistance Conference
The biennial CAW Substance Abuse/Employee & Family Assistance Program Conference will be held at the CAW Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario on September 6-8, 2013.
Please encourage your EFAP/Substance Abuse Representatives or Peer Referral Agents, local union leadership, human rights, women's advocate and equity representatives to participate in this conference.
The registration deadline is August 9.
For more information as well as application forms visit: http://www.caw.ca/assets/images/EAP_Conference_call_letter_2013.pdf