June 7, 2013
Volume 43, No. 22
CAW Mourns the Loss of Ornge Heroes
Canadians awakened on May 31 to tragic news; in the early morning hours, an Ornge air ambulance helicopter went down en route from Moosonee to Attawapiskat.
All four occupants, including Flight Paramedics Dustin Dagenais and Chris Snowball (members of CAW Local 2002) and their colleagues Captain Don Filliter and First Officer Jacques Dupuy lost their lives while trying to save others.
"Today's accident is tragic in every way," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza. "These brave individuals put their lives on the line every day for the well-being of others. The thoughts and prayers of all CAW members are with the Dagenais and Snowball families on this day, as well as with the Filliter and Dupuy families."
CAW Local 2002 Executive Vice President Don Ross said that nothing can prepare the union for this sort of devastating news.
"These people are heroes. They know the risks are high and yet they willingly put themselves in harm's way whenever a call for help comes," Ross said. "Our hearts go out to the families and friends of these workers who gave their lives while trying to save others - they were our family and friends too."
To read the CAW's full statement visit: www.caw.ca/en/12139.htm.
CAW Mourns the Loss of Dr. Henry Morgentaler
"It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Dr. Henry Morgentaler," said CAW President Ken Lewenza, in the wake of Dr. Morgentaler's passing on May 29.
Dr. Morgentaler, a champion for women's rights and a friend to the labour movement, who was instrumental in advancing the cause for a woman's right to choose, changed Canadian law and saved thousands of women's lives.
"Dr. Morgentaler's passing is a loss for Canada,"
Lewenza said. "His determination to challenge unjust anti-abortion laws inspires me to stand up against other injustices in society. It is vitally important for men to speak up for a woman's right to control her own body."
"It took courageous women along with Dr. Morgentaler to change the law that restricted women's access to safe abortions," said Julie White, Director of the CAW Women's Programs. "His lifetime commitment to this struggle will continue to inspire us to fight for reproductive rights for all women."
White said this must include addressing the lack of access for poor women, rural women, low income women, marginalized women and women of colour from accessing abortions.
To read the CAW's full statement, visit: www.caw.ca/en/12138.htm.
CAW Issues Strike Notice at VIA Rail
CAW Via Rail Bargaining Committee and CAW National President Ken Lewenza.
The CAW has issued a 72-hour strike notice to VIA Rail, notifying the company at a meeting this afternoon.
The strike deadline set by the union and VIA Rail is June 14 at 12:01 a.m., ET. The 72-hour notice is required by federal law. CAW members at VIA voted 94 per cent of a strike if necessary, during a series of meetings conducted across the country.
Negotiations have been ongoing since late October.
CAW President Ken Lewenza, along with the entire CAW bargaining committee, met with VIA Rail on June 3.
"The high strike vote reflects the frustrations and insecurities our members feel at VIA," said Lewenza.
"It's a direct result of a drop in federal funding and VIA's so-called "modernization" plan which has seen routes cut, stations closed and de-staffed. This plan is not the path to modernize Canada's passenger railway services."
Lewenza said that the bargaining committees are looking for a fair settlement with VIA Rail, that will recognize their efforts on the job.
The CAW is VIA Rail's largest union, representing approximately 2,000 workers in customer service, on-board service and maintenance.
CAW Members at Loomis Express Vote to Strike if Necessary
CAW members working at Loomis Express delivery service have voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike, during a series of votes over the last two weeks.
The CAW represents 2,000 Loomis workers across the country in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia.
Transforce, owner of Loomis, has imposed a bargaining deadline of June 11, to reach all collective agreements. There are five collective agreements, based on region.
"The conditions at Loomis are constantly being driven down by Transforce's attempts to gut the collective agreements," said CAW Assistant to the National President Bob Orr.
CAW members at Loomis Express deliver small packages in Canada. Negotiations have been ongoing since December 2012.
Women, Power and Political Action Program
Don't miss the opportunity to attend the new CAW PEL Women, Power and Political Action Program!
This exciting course has recently been added to the Port Elgin summer schedule and will run from Sunday, July 14 until Friday, July 19.
This course is offered in connection with the CLC Women's summer school and is an opportunity for CAW sisters to engage with women from coast to coast to coast and from a broad cross-section of sectors and other unions.
The deadline for registration has been extended until June 28 and childcare will be provided. Please contact your local union to see how you can apply. For further information, please contact Julie White, Director of CAW Women's Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course Description: Women, Power & Political Action
If women are to realize true equality it means engaging in political action and challenging power. Women have made many gains over the years - gains won through political action. From the right to reproductive choice to legislative protections around harassment and violence, our gains have been won, not given. But there is still much work to do: women still earn just 71 cents to every dollar earned by men; fear of violence is a reality for far too many women; and politically, women are seriously underrepresented on city councils, provincial legislatures and federally in the House of Commons.
CAW women know that taking political action works and this course aims to equip women with knowledge and tools to continue our struggle for equality, both in the union and in the broader political realm. Pre-requisites for this program are one of the following: Women Activists, Aboriginal, Worker of Colour program or the 4-week PEL.
Leadership Meeting for GTA-West Locals
On Thursday May 30, CAW Local 1285 hosted a leadership meeting for executive members of all locals in the west end of the Greater Toronto Area. Close to 125 delegates participated in the event which included a presentation on the fight to preserve the Rand Formula and the importance of member-to-member outreach initiatives and the Stand Up For Fairness campaign. Participants discussed the history of the Rand Formula as well as recent statistics on the union advantage and how we can engage our membership in fighting to protect our rights.
Locals interested in hosting a similar event should contact Jenny Ahn, CAW Director of Membership Mobilization and Political Action at Jenny.Ahn@caw.ca.
Refer a Colleague Contest April 2013 Winners
CAW Group Insurance Program refer a colleague contest winners for April 2013 are: Ken Cullen -Local 444 and Paul Turudic -Local 27.
Each received a $100 gift card. The contest continues until the end of this year. For more information visit: www.cawinsurance.com/ or call 1-877-229-4677.