The Union Advantage -what CAW members are saying


Retail Wholesale

"Personally speaking, as a single mother of two children, having a union has allowed me the opportunity to have my family covered for childcare, dental, optical, and prescriptions.  My wages and pension contributions have continued to increase every year.  My collective agreement protects my right to speak up without fear of my employer." - Chistine

"With a union, I can be more up front with my boss.  Before, I had fear but now I don't have that any more." - Etrice

 

Automotive Parts & Manufacturing

"I can't count how many jobs have passed me by because I am a woman.  Joining the CAW and barganing a contract takes away all the favourtism.  We now get our jobs by our seniority, along with the ability to bargain wages, benefits, vacations, and special interests that effect our workplace.  You'll never make a huge corporation respect you, but you can make them answer to you.  Anything is worth fighting for.  Why fight alone?" - Paula

"We have a wonderful education program.  We have several courses that we run in the spring and in the fall. We have several weekend courses that we also run.  There's everything from collective bargaining, union steward training to grievance handling, compensation, human rights, anti-harassment, you name it." - Lenox

"As a member of the CAW I have witnessed first hand the work and support the union shows us.  Around three years ago we ratified one of the best contracts and with the help of our union representative we were able to avoid what could have been a lengthy strike.  We made gains in all sections of our plant including gaining 140 new full-time positions" - Kerry

"The CAW has an extremely great cross section, right from one end of the country to the other.  Whether it be the fisheries, automotive, trucking, hospitality, hotel, nurses, even to the point that the clergy is looking at the CAW as their union of choice, because we're progressive and we stand up for the rights of our members and we don't back down.  We don't negotiate collective agreements that go backwards, we negotiate forward and that's what you have to look at." - Bob

 

Healthcare

"Strong, principled, respected, dignity, these are just some of the words that come to my mind when I reflect on how the CAW has changed the way healthcare workers are looked at by management and the public.  Strong bargaining has achieved a measure of respect in the workplace.  Standing strong on our principal of; "an injury to one is an injury to all" has taught members that we do have the right to stand with dignity and not hat in hand.  I have learned that the conflicts in the workplace are not just my problem; they are the problem of every healthcare worker.  We have worked on many campaigns in our efforts to speak out on behalf of the residents and patients that we care for every day.  The education programs offered by the CAW are second to none.  The expertise of our elected officers and national representatives has given management pause in their campaigns of abuse and neglect of the staff concerns especially in the smaller workplaces.  In the past, I felt alone in my workplace in dealing with the issues of the day, but now I stand confident in the knowledge that solidarity reigns strong in the CAW." - Shawn

"I have been a healthcare worker for 25 years working in a long-term care facility.  We have experienced many changes in our "universal health care system."  The care that our residents need has increased, but government funding has decreased.  So, our workload has doubled.  I strongly believe women should join a union because an organized workplace ensures fairness, dignity and respect for the workers.  The CAW gives all women an opportunity through education and support to become active leaders in our locals and communities.  We decide our own future!" - Anne Marie

"Nothing can stop management from wanting to make drastic changes that could affect their staff in very negative ways.  A union can help to fight tooth and nail to stop these changes from taking place or at least minimize the effects.  A union is also there to protect the rights of the workers.  They have the ability to protect staff in ways that even Employment Standards can't.  Unions can help you get the extra things you deserve." - Jess

"The CAW makes me feel more comfortable because they give us a voice in the union.  We can speak on anything that we want.  We have our own caucus which is where we come together and discuss anything that we want and we do feel a lot of power and our presence is known in the CAW." - Tony

 

Gaming

"Since joining the CAW, our employer takes us and our union representatives seriously.  The atmosphere in the workplace has improved - less fear, more hope.  Gaming is big business with big employers.  Gaming workers need a strong union to help them protect their jobs and get fair wages and working conditions." - Brian

 

Post Secondary

"We felt that being 100% Canadian was important.  We did not want to see our money going across the border to an international union, and I feel wonderful that we are a 100% Canadian union." - Kim

"I joined the CAW because I know that CAW makes a difference not only in your workplace, but in the community where your workplace is, and for me that is very important because I feel very strongly that as we improve our working lives we should work to improve the working lives of those who live in the community around us."  - Matthew

"I personally joined the CAW because it is a social union.  I have alway been a social activist and I was very happy to see the different programs that CAW offers in education, politics and the women's committee, it was all something that I wanted to be part of." - Karen

"As a skilled trades worker in the post secondary sector, I can tell you that belonging to the CAW means a lot.  My union advocates for its members at the bargaining table and through lobbying efforts.  The CAW has made progress in eliminating wage disparity for skilled trades workers and to ensure proper appreniceship guidelines are followed and funding for apprenticeships is improved." - Frank

 

Retired Workers

"Join the union!  Do it for your children, grandchildren, your spouse, yourself, your friends and your neighbours.  all of whom will benefit because the CAW stands up for a great deal of important causes such as the environment and social issues like employment, underemployment, homelessness and equal rights.  I could go on and on, but look at things from your own eyes, and you will see the difference this all makes in the lives of Canadians, and others around the world. - Gary

 

Aerospace

It's very difficult for new immigrants, at least for the first year of immigrtants to join a union because they face a lot of barriers, including the language barrier.  For the ones who are approached, or approach the CAW, it is a wonderful union to affiliate with for the simple reason that we embrace diversity and it is a union where the talents of all the members can be put to good use." - Maria

 


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