United Steelworkers Canada News Feed http://www.uswca.org/news/media-centre/releases/rss United Steelworkers Canada Releases Feed Wed, 09 Oct 2019 12:00:00 -0400 AMPS en hourly 1 Sudbury Airport Security Guards Join Steelworkers https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/sudbury-airport-security-guards-join-steelworkers Wed, 09 Oct 2019 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/sudbury-airport-security-guards-join-steelworkers SUDBURY, Ont. – Employees providing security and customer services at the Greater Sudbury Airport have joined the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The employees of A.S.P. Security Services were certified as a union this week by the Canada Industrial Relations Board, after a majority of workers signed union cards and filed an application with the board.

A.S.P. was awarded the contract to provide security and customer services at the Greater Sudbury Airport in November 2018.

The A.S.P. employees decided to join the USW to address concerns that include being required to pay for their uniforms, for health and safety training and for licensing costs – costs that are commonly covered by employers in unionized workplaces. Next steps for the employees include forming a bargaining committee and pursuing a negotiated collective agreement with their employer.

“We welcome these employees to the United Steelworkers and congratulate them on their determination to form a union to improve their working standards,”  said Marty Warren, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

“We will support our new members as they seek to negotiate a fair collective agreement that reflects their hard work, the professional services they provide to the public and their contributions to their employer’s success,” Warren said.

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Aramark Employees in Labrador City Join United Steelworkers https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/aramark-employees-in-labrador-city-join-united-steelworkers Fri, 04 Oct 2019 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/aramark-employees-in-labrador-city-join-united-steelworkers LABRADOR CITY, N.L. – Labrador City employees of Aramark, the giant U.S.-based food services and facilities provider, have voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union.

The Labrador City workers are employed by Aramark Quebec, which has a contract with mining company IOC to provide services at a local fly-in camp and about 30 residences owned by IOC. The fly-in camp is used by IOC contractors and railway employees, while the residences house IOC executives and guests.

The Aramark employees who have joined the Steelworkers include approximately 60  cooks, cleaners, maintenance and front desk workers.

After a majority of employees signed union cards in order to join the USW, an application to certify the union through an official vote was filed with the Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Relations Board in early March of this year. However, the certification process was prolonged for months as Aramark attempted – unsuccessfully – to have numerous employees excluded from union membership.

The Labour Relations Board finally ordered a vote by employees this week, with a large majority voting to join the USW.

“We are proud to welcome these employees as the newest members of the United Steelworkers in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

“The determination that they displayed by sticking together and standing up for their right to join a union is a powerful demonstration of the meaning of solidarity,” Warren said.

“We will support these workers every step of the way as they move forward and prepare to negotiate a collective agreement that recognizes their vital contributions to the success of their employer.”

Workers decided to join the USW after seeing significant wage cuts and other regressive measures imposed by Aramark after it secured the IOC contract to replace the previous service provider.

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Steelworkers Humanity Fund Contributes $5,000 to Support Victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/shf-support-victims-of-hurricane-dorian-bahamas Tue, 01 Oct 2019 10:16:35 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/shf-support-victims-of-hurricane-dorian-bahamas The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is contributing $5,000 to help survivors of hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

According to the President of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund and National Director of the United Steelworkers, Ken Neumann, "the Bahamas suffered greatly because of this catastrophe, and our hope is that our contribution will help with the reconstruction efforts. As the climate changes on a global scale, we are unfortunately bound to witness an increase in similar instances of extreme weather, and should be ready to respond to support victims here and abroad."

On September 1, Hurricane Dorian landed as a category 5 storm in the Bahamas, with winds up to 295 km/h. It then hovered over the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island, flattening or damaging most structures and leaving thousands of people homeless in its wake.

In order to address some of the urgent humanitarian needs created by this catastrophe, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund's contribution will be channeled through the Canadian Red Cross, providing survivors with basic supplies, shelter and access to clean water.

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization that promotes respect for human rights and contributes to development projects and emergency aid in developing countries, as well as supporting Canadian communities in crisis. United Steelworkers members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases employers make matching contributions.

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Five Fatalities at One Factory is Five Too Many: Steelworkers https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/five-fatalities-at-one-factory-is-five-too-many-steelworkers Fri, 27 Sep 2019 14:07:16 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/five-fatalities-at-one-factory-is-five-too-many-steelworkers TORONTO – Marty Warren, the United Steelworkers’ (USW) Ontario/Atlantic Director, says this week’s fifth gruesome fatality of a temporary agency worker at Fiera Foods Group’s bakery facility in North York is another tragic reason to better enforce 2004 Criminal Code amendments, known as the Westray Law.

“The Ontario Attorney General, Doug Downey, must direct police and prosecutors to investigate this company and lay charges,” said Warren. “It is unacceptable to rely simply on the Ministry of Labour to inspect this incident as an ‘accident.’ Five deaths since 1999 is a pattern, not a coincidence.”

News of the Fiera fatality comes at the same time the Ford government and the WSIB are giving yet another massive gift to employers in the form of a 17% premium rate reduction.

Warren said that, outside of Ontario, the USW campaign – Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law -- has made progress in other provinces into the way workplace fatalities are investigated and prosecuted under the Westray Law, which the USW fought to have enacted following the 1992 Westray Coal mine explosion that killed 26 workers.

“We need all governments to do a better job in establishing how law enforcement investigates how, when and why workers are killed,” said Warren. “These are potentially criminal acts and must be examined as such.

“In Ontario, there is little or no coordination between law enforcement and regulators under the Ministry of Labour. This means justice is rarely, if ever, served in Canada’s largest province. It gives too much freedom to employers to get away with fines as a cost of doing business. It has to stop.”

Nationally, the union has been meeting with Federal Department of Justice officials, the RCMP and others to develop online training for all police officers on how to investigate workplace death and injury through a criminal lens.

“Our efforts are bearing fruit,” said Warren. “But, as long as employers continue to evade prosecution and see workers’ lives as expendable, and see fines for their deaths as a cost of doing business, our campaign will continue.”

Fiera Foods markets its products globally, including under private label brands.

Find out more about the USW campaign Stop the Killing, Enforce the Law, at stopthekilling.ca.

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Ken Neumann Statement for October 4, National Day to Commemorate Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/ken-neumann-statement-october-4-mmiwg Fri, 27 Sep 2019 09:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/ken-neumann-statement-october-4-mmiwg

On October 4 we remember the many hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across this country. It should also be a time for us to acknowledge their resilience and their important contributions to all our communities, past, present and future.

The National Inquiry has completed its work and issued a final report. USW’s National Aboriginal Committee will discuss how our union can best support Indigenous women and their organizations to ensure that governments enhance safety and justice. As our beautiful poster says, we honour and value the lives and strength of Indigenous women and girls. (Thank you to the talented artist, Chief Lady Bird, for the art work.)

Please attend an October 4 event in your community. Check with women’s shelters or Indigenous people’s organizations in your home community, or visit the web site of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
National Director 

Artwork by @ChiefLadyBird

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Marty Warren Statement for October 4, the National Day to Commemorate Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/marty-warren-statement-october-4-mmiwg Fri, 27 Sep 2019 08:59:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/marty-warren-statement-october-4-mmiwg Today, we mourn the loss of Indigenous women and girls, especially members of our Steelworker family and their loved ones.

This has been an important year for Indigenous women as the final report from the National Inquiry was released.  The Inquiry found that “persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights, violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls” and declared that this amounted to a genocide.

We need to come together as a union and a nation to be a part of the significant change and work that needs to be done to move towards the decolonization of Canada that the report called for.  We need to hold our elected government officials accountable for making concrete changes in the areas of health, security, justice and culture and to continue to let the stories of the families who testified during the Inquiry guide us in making this important transition.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
Director, District 6

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Steelworkers Support and Applaud Climate Day of Action https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-support-and-applaud-climate-day-of-action Thu, 26 Sep 2019 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-support-and-applaud-climate-day-of-action TORONTO – “The United Steelworkers (USW) stands in solidarity with the youth of the world, Indigenous peoples as well as many in the global south, who are facing the complete destruction of their environment as a result of climate change,” said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

This Friday, Sept. 27, students, First Nations, unions, workers and allies will be mobilizing across Canada in the tens of thousands with a global day of action to coincide with the UN climate summit.

“The United Steelworkers has long recognized the urgent threat posed by climate change.  We stand with the youth of the world who are taking to the streets to urge our leaders to commit to fighting climate change,” emphasized Neumann.

Our union, as a founding partner of Blue Green Canada, has advocated for many years that we cannot be forced to choose between good jobs and a sustainable environment – we will either have both or we will have neither. 

Our union believes that we cannot address climate change in isolation from other issues facing our economy. Wealth and corporate profits have increase dramatically, but wages have stagnated in Canada for decades, leading to greater economic inequality.  Canadian workers are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, with nearly half of Canadians living within $200 of not being able to pay their bills, while the top 20% of income earners own more than two-thirds of all wealth.

Any plan to address climate change must also address economic inequality, or else climate change will continue to become a more and more divisive issue among Canadians.

As a union with many members whose jobs are directly or indirectly tied to fossil fuels and energy intensive industries, our members are urging governments to come up with a real and ambitious plan to transition to a low-carbon economy that will meet our climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement.

“Our members know better than most that the only way to achieve a successful and lasting transition to environmental sustainability is to ensure that workers are part of the local, industry-wide and national plans,” said Neumann.

Whether you are a coal miner in Alberta, or a pipe and tube worker in Regina or Sault Ste. Marie, our members cannot be left behind by our climate change plans.

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Locked-Out New Brunswick Workers Build Solidarity in Colombia https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/locked-out-new-brunswick-workers-build-solidarity-in-colombia Tue, 24 Sep 2019 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/locked-out-new-brunswick-workers-build-solidarity-in-colombia BELLEDUNE, N.B. – A United Steelworkers (USW) delegation representing locked-out Brunswick Smelter employees will be in Colombia this week to build international labour solidarity in their struggle against attacks on workers’ health and safety by resource giant Glencore.

The USW delegation will be in Valledupar, Colombia, for two days of meetings with workers from Glencore operations in 12 countries. The meetings, which begin Thursday, are organized by the Glencore Global Network of the international labour federation IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers worldwide.

About 280 workers from the Brunswick Smelter in Belledune, members of USW Local 7085, have been locked out of their jobs by Glencore since April 24. The Switzerland-based multinational is demanding concessions that include attacks on the workers’ health and safety standards and union representation.

“Glencore has a history of prioritizing profits over the health and safety of workers at its operations around the world,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

“Glencore workers in New Brunswick are facing the same struggle, as Glencore tries to strip away health and safety standards and union representation,” Warren said.

“It’s clear that Glencore management is specifically targeting New Brunswick workers,” he added. “Our members have been locked out because they simply want to maintain the same working conditions as employees at Glencore’s other Canadian operations.”

Corporate executives from Glencore headquarters are scheduled to appear at the IndustriALL meetings in Colombia this week. The USW delegation intends to press the Glencore executives to end the Brunswick Smelter lockout and negotiate a collective agreement that respects existing health and safety standards and union representation.

“When our members attended Glencore’s shareholders’ meeting in May in Switzerland, corporate representatives stated they were committed to progressive labour relations and a safe workplace at the Brunswick Smelter,” Warren said.

“But those words have yet to translate into any goodwill from Glencore management at the bargaining table. Glencore is still trying to inflict concessions on workers and is prolonging an unnecessary lockout that is bad for families and bad for the community,” he noted.

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On Eve of International Day of Peace, Canadian Organizations Reiterate Support for Peace in Colombia https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/canadian-organizations-reiterate-support-for-peace-in-colombia Fri, 20 Sep 2019 10:01:57 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/canadian-organizations-reiterate-support-for-peace-in-colombia OTTAWA – Over 40 non-governmental, labour and faith-based groups from across Canada denounce the escalating human rights crisis in Colombia, and urge the Canadian government to take strong action to support a continuation of the peace process in the South American country.

In 2016, a historic peace agreement put a formal end to 52 years or armed conflict between the Government of Colombia and the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC), only to be systematically undermined by the government of Iván Duque Márquez.

Colombian and Canadian civil society organizations express great concern over the growing wave of violence against social movements and human rights leaders as well as demobilized insurgents by paramilitary groups following the signing of the accord. With several former commanders and now dissidents of the demobilized FARC announcing their return to arms last month, the fate of this agreement is uncertain.

According to Raul Burbano of Common Frontiers, one of the organizations behind the statement, “President Duque’s systematic undermining of the peace accord is highly problematic. His partisan-driven agenda has brought the executive and judicial branches of the Colombian state into open conflict. This not only strikes at the very foundations of democracy in Colombia but also undermines peace in Colombia and the region”.

“As the world prepares to celebrate the International Day of Peace, it is urgent for the Canadian government to use all its political and economic channels to ensure the peace accord is effectively implemented by its Colombian counterpart. Canada has been a vocal supporter of the process and should live up to its commitment,” said Guillaume Charbonneau of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund.

The full statement is available in English, Español and Français.

Source: 45 Canadian organizations concerned about the Colombian peace process

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United Steelworkers Ratify New Contract with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-ratify-new-contract-with-canadian-nuclear-laboratories Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:23:35 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-ratify-new-contract-with-canadian-nuclear-laboratories CHALK RIVER, Ont. – Marty Warren, Ontario/Atlantic Director of the United Steelworkers union (USW), announced Wednesday that technicians and technologists at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories have ratified a new collective agreement that includes wage increases, a new salary grid allowing for more progressive career development and several improvements in working conditions.

“This is an agreement that recognizes the unique skills of these 530 workers,” said Warren. “Not only will it mean better retention of existing employees, but the value of a good union contract also means attracting new talent in the future.”

The Chalk River facility, about 150 kilometres northwest of Ottawa, was owned and operated by the crown corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. It is still government-owned but, since 2014, it has been operated by a consortium of private companies under the banner Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

Members of USW Local 1568 approved the settlement, reached with the involvement of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Details of the new contract include salary increases of 7.52 per cent over 39 months, a $1,000 signing bonus, increases in shift premiums and other improvements.

“CNL is one of the most important industries in the area,” said Warren. “A good contract improves stability and is good news for the entire community.”

The United Steelworkers union represents more than 225,000 men and women working in every sector of Canada’s economy.

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United Steelworkers Responds to B.C. Government Forest Worker Announcement https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/usw-responds-to-bc-government-forest-worker-announcement Tue, 17 Sep 2019 14:41:20 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/usw-responds-to-bc-government-forest-worker-announcement BURNABY, BC, Sept. 17, 2019 - The United Steelworkers (USW) is responding to the British Columbia government's announcement for forest workers impacted by mill closures and curtailments in the B.C. Interior.

"Any move to provide assistance to workers who are bearing the brunt of the crisis in the forest industry is welcomed, but permanent solutions for workers, families and communities throughout the entire province are needed," says Stephen Hunt, USW Director for Western Canada. 

"A jobs protection commissioner would also go a long way to assisting mills, workers and communities facing closures all around the province," Hunt says.

"From the Coast to the Interior, every community in British Columbia is being impacted by mill closures and job losses and unless there are significant changes to forest policy the crisis will continue," says Jeff Bromley, USW Wood Council Chair.

"The forest industry is critical to the economic well-being of thousands of workers, hundreds of communities and our entire province. This announcement helps right now, but we cannot give up on the industry in the future," adds Bromley.

The USW is calling for the B.C. government to restore the bond between our public forest resources and employment opportunities and benefits for British Columbians. A social contract tying logs to jobs and communities was a long-standing provincial policy that existed for decades through governments of different political stripes until the first term of the B.C. Liberal government terminated it.

The USW will strongly advocate for forest policy that ensures our forests are to be utilized in a way that maximizes B.C. jobs and local benefits. For too long industry has been able to take advantage, point fingers and play politics. It worked with the B.C. Liberals to create the policies that it is now taking advantage of, while leaving its workforce in the cold.

"The USW is strongly encouraging and will fully support the current government to renew the social licence and reverse the trajectory of mill closures and job losses," says Bromley. "The forest sector can and should have a bright future in B.C. In this time of change in the industry, forest workers want to see the provincial government take bold steps to hold corporations accountable for their access to our public resource."

The USW will continue working with the B.C. government on the future of our industry and forest policies that are in the interests of forest workers and our communities and that put B.C. first. For too long the forest companies had their way, and that has brought us to where we are today. 

The United Steelworkers represents over 12,000 forest workers in British Columbia.

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Trudeau’s Broken Promises to Indigenous Canadians Theme of Steelworkers New Election Ads https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/trudeau-broken-promises-to-indigenous-canadians-theme-of-steelworkers-new-election-ads Fri, 06 Sep 2019 11:50:16 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/trudeau-broken-promises-to-indigenous-canadians-theme-of-steelworkers-new-election-ads Liberal broken promises particularly impactful in Indigenous communities – many Steelworkers are members of these communities and work in these areas.

TORONTO – The United Steelworkers will start running ads pointing out the many broken promises Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party have broken, and how they’ve particularly let down Indigenous communities.

The ads were written and produced by an Indigenous firm using Indigenous ACTRA voices.

In both radio and TV ads, the theme of disrespect and inaction are highlighted.

In the last election, Justin Trudeau was the “candidate of promises,” no more so than to Indigenous communities.

From promising to “safeguard natural resources and territories,” to “establishing meaningful nation-to-nation reconciliation,” to “improving post-secondary education opportunities,” to “finally ensuring clean water,” the Liberals have turned out to be the party of broken promises.

“Particularly painful was the treatment of Jody Wilson-Raybould by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Firing the first Indigenous Attorney General for doing her job and then kicking her out of the Liberal caucus was inexcusable. Refusing to apologize once the Liberal-appointed Ethics Commissioner found Trudeau broke the law on this matter, was a show of true disrespect,” said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

The TV ads say, “The Liberal Party told us they’d do things differently. They’d deliver on education, clean water, reconciliation.“

The radio ads say, “The Liberal Party tells us they’ll invest in education, clean water and reconciliation. But when they’re elected, we wait years and only hear more promises … It’s time to elect a new party that will stand behind its word. The New Democratic Party has a real plan for working and Indigenous peoples.”

The ads will run on the APTN network and related stations. APTN reaches many Indigenous communities, particularly those in the North. The ads will air until the day before election day.

The United Steelworkers (USW) represents 225,000 Canadians in all provinces and territories and in all sectors of the economy. USW has an active National Aboriginal Committee and has called for the full implementation of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

View the USW ads

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Another Devastating Sawmill Closure Reinforces Urgent Need for Changes to B.C. Forestry Policy: Steelworkers https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/sawmill-closure-reinforces-urgent-need-for-changes-to-bc-forestry-policy Thu, 05 Sep 2019 20:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/sawmill-closure-reinforces-urgent-need-for-changes-to-bc-forestry-policy MAPLE RIDGE, BC, Sept. 5, 2019 - The announcement of the closure of Hammond Cedar in Maple Ridge is the latest in a series of devastating sawmill closures in British Columbia that requires immediate and robust changes to forestry policy, says the United Steelworkers (USW) union. 

In the last 18 years, B.C. has lost hundreds of sawmills and tens of thousands of jobs, while raw log exports remain at record high levels.

In the first term of the then-B.C. Liberal government, sweeping changes were made to decades of B.C. forest policy and any notion of a social contract that tied logs to communities was decimated. B.C.'s forests were no longer viewed as a resource belonging to the people of this province that should be harvested in a way that maximizes employment opportunities and benefits for British Columbians.

This radical change was a departure from long-standing provincial policy, which existed through governments of different political stripes.

Since then we have witnessed the steady decline of an industry that was once synonymous with British Columbia. Fewer companies are controlling more of the harvest of public timber in B.C. and taking their profits out of the province to fuel expansion, particularly in the U.S. South where labour is cheap. In the case of Interfor, despite a long list of mill closures, the company still holds a major TFL on the coast. With the closure of Hammond Cedar, Interfor operates only one coastal sawmill, continues to export raw logs and owns 13 mills in the United States.

Our province, our people and our communities are paying a heavy price for this approach.

In the instance of Hammond Cedar and other unionized sawmills that have closed, the United Steelworkers has collective agreements to protect our members and we fight to ensure they are treated with the fairness, dignity and respect they deserve. We are able to negotiate robust packages, assist with retraining, job placement and hiring preference for displaced workers. Non-unionized workers are left with none of this support.

British Columbia still has a forest industry, but it will continue on the current trajectory unless forest policy again reflects B.C. forests as a public resource to be utilized in a way that maximizes domestic jobs and local benefits. The USW will continue to strongly advocate that the provincial government and industry move in that direction.

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Following Labour Day Protest of Trudeau, Steelworkers Launch Election Ads https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-launch-election-ads Wed, 04 Sep 2019 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-launch-election-ads Steelworkers run ads in key battleground areas criticizing Liberals for broken promises and failure to make life more affordable.

TORONTO – This week the United Steelworkers starts running ads reminding everyday Canadians that the Liberal government has broken its promises and failed to make life affordable. This follows Monday’s protest of Justin Trudeau at the Hamilton Labour Day event by Steelworkers and others.

Steelworkers are disappointed with the Liberal government and believe better is possible. When it comes to protecting retirement security during bankruptcies, indexing OAS and GIS, rejecting bad trade deals, EI breaks for young people or electoral reform, Steelworkers are tired of broken promises.

“Life is getting harder, working Canadians are falling further and further behind. Going back-and-forth between Liberals and Conservatives has only made things worse,” said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

“Jagmeet Singh and the NDP understand what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. Only the NDP has our backs. Only the NDP will always side with working people over the interests of powerful corporations and rich elites,” said Neumann.

“Trudeau showed his true colours when he sided with the Liberal-connected powerful SNC-Lavalin corporation and fired the first Indigenous Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould for doing her job and then kicked her out of his caucus,” added Neumann.

The USW ads show that Justin’s ‘sunny ways’ and ‘progressive promises’ have been broken, and that the Liberals have failed at making life more affordable for working Canadians.

The TV ads show a red-ribboned “Sunny Ways” package arrive on a couple’s door. But when they open it, the box of promises is empty. The couple commit not to be fooled again.

The radio ads state that Justin hasn’t made our lives easier because “he’s isn’t choosing us.” “He sides with drug companies, while we pay more for the medicine we need. He cozies up to big phone and internet companies – while we’re gouged for services. He breaks the rules for big companies like SNC-Lavalin and cuts corporate taxes – while our health care gets cut.
Why would we choose Justin Trudeau when he doesn't choose us?
There’s only one party that puts working people first: Jagmeet Singh and the NDP.”

USW (United Steelworkers) represents 225,000 Canadians in all sectors of the economy.

View the USW ads

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Labour Day 2019: Stand With Steelworkers! https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/labour-day-2019-stand-with-steelworkers Fri, 30 Aug 2019 16:02:09 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/labour-day-2019-stand-with-steelworkers Labour Day is not only a time to enjoy the last long weekend with family and friends, it’s also an important opportunity to reflect upon the achievements of union members to build a country where our hard work is respected and valued. From weekends to pensions, health and safety and fair wages, everything we rightfully expect today was once just a dream. We must never forget that these basic rights, including the right to form a union and collectively bargain, weren’t just given to us. People fought for them, people bled for them, and sometimes, people even died for them. It’s our job to carry forward the vision and legacy of the labour movement for the next generation of workers.

The fight for fairness and respect isn’t over. It’s not something for the history books. It continues today – and the United Steelworkers are leading that fight.

Right now, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, over 2600 members of USW Local 1-1937 employed by Western Forest Products(WFP) are on strike to defend their pensions, seniority rights and long-term disability from being cut and rollbacked by the company.

1-1937-Strike

According to WFP's 2017 and 2018 financial reports, the company made over $1 billion in sales and made a net profit of $74.4 million and $69.2 million respectively. In addition, the salaries of the CEO and Vice-President have steadily increased from $1.5 million in 2015 to $2 million in 2017 for the CEO, and from $500,000 in 2015 to $1.2 million in 2017 for the Vice-President.  

Despite this reality, WFP has decided to attack its own workers with attempts to introduce a two-tier pay system for new employees, elimination of the current pension plan and demands to roll back a number of other clauses of the collective agreement that were bargained and agreed to over decades.

Since July 1, these Steelworkers have bravely stood up and fought back. They are fighting for a fair collective agreement that ensures workers are treated with respect, share in the success of the company and ensure that benefits that have been successfully achieved in previous bargaining are protected.

When workers stand up and fight, they are fighting for all of us. They’re fighting to honour our past, they’re fighting to defend our present, and they are fighting to advance our future.

This labour day, we all stand with the members of United Steelworkers Local 1-1937.

 

Stephen Hunt, Director                                              Brian Butler, President
United Steelworkers District 3                                  United Steelworkers Local 1-1937

 

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Solidarity Works – A Labour Day Message from Marty Warren https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/labour-day-message-marty-warren Fri, 30 Aug 2019 13:42:41 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/labour-day-message-marty-warren Labour Day’s roots are in the struggle for workers’ rights – for union recognition, for the eight-hour day, for dignity and a voice at work, for health and safety and more.

Labour Day is a celebration – a holiday to spend with family and with our labour family.

In 2019, it is also a renewal of our resolve to fight back against unfairness.

In Ontario, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government is attacking workers and our society on all fronts. It’s mean-spirited and shortsighted.

On Labour Day, Steelworkers stand in solidarity with teachers, public servants, health care workers. We stand with parents and children with autism who have been under direct attack by this heartless government. Solidarity works.

Thanks to public outcry and steady resistance from Andrea Horwath and the Official Opposition NDP, Ford and his crew have started backing down and reversing course.

From the new sex-ed curriculum that’s similar to the previous curriculum, to ending cronyism appointments with personal links to Ford and his inner circle, Horwath’s opposition is having an effect and holding this government to account.

We have more work to do. But these reversals show the power of what we can achieve when we work together.

This Labour Day, Steelworkers can demonstrate solidarity and fight back against unfairness by taking action for our members in Sudbury, Ont., and Belledune, N.B.

  • Take action for members of USW Local 7085 who have been unfairly locked out by Glencore at its Brunswick Smelter in Belledune, N.B., after the local took a strong stand for health and safety. Send solidarity and tell Glencore International to get back to the table: www.usw.ca/glencorelockout

While we celebrate and enjoy labour’s day, take a moment to share your solidarity with our members on the picket lines.

Let’s not take our rights for granted. Let’s take time to appreciate all we’ve achieved for workers. And commit to continue the fight for fairness and justice for all working people.

In solidarity,

Marty Warren
USW District 6 Director

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Labour Day Solidarity – Message from USW National Director Ken Neumann https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/labour-day-solidarity Fri, 30 Aug 2019 12:32:28 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/labour-day-solidarity Labour Day is a time to come together and celebrate our achievements, our friendships and our solidarity.

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, a historic moment in our Canadian history when workers and broader society took action for better treatment and workers’ rights.

The struggle brought labour movements together and crossed ethnic divides through common cause.

It ignited a movement for collective workers’ rights and motivated labour activists to run for office so workers’ voices would be heard in Parliament and our legislatures advocating directly for better laws and policies for the working class.

Workers and unions have always been at the forefront of the struggles for progressive change that built our middle class, that reduced inequality and created a more prosperous Canada.

The labour movement was on the front lines of battles for public health care and stronger social programs, for jobs with better wages and working conditions, for workers’ rights and human rights laws, for better pensions and retirement security, for safer and healthier workplaces.

We accomplished great things because our struggles reflected the values and the dreams of Canadians for a fair, more equal society with opportunity for all.

These achievements have been under attack for many years now. Our governments have too often bent to the demands of the wealthy and powerful, to an agenda that does not reflect the values and principles of most Canadians.

The result has been an erosion of the middle class, growing inequality, our cherished social programs under constant threat and forecasts that younger generations today will end up worse off than their parents.

Steelworkers and the entire labour movement recognize these daunting challenges.

As we gather with our labour family and celebrate our solidarity, let’s renew our struggle for good jobs, justice and fairness for all. Enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

In solidarity,

Ken Neumann
USW National Director

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Steelworkers Enhance Community Fund for Wabush Retirees https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-enhance-community-fund-for-wabush-retirees Thu, 29 Aug 2019 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/steelworkers-enhance-community-fund-for-wabush-retirees WABUSH, N.L. – The United Steelworkers (USW) today announced a significant enhancement of a Community Fund created by the union to provide crucial health benefits to Scully Mine retirees.

“This infusion of funding is an important step in building the critical mass needed for the new Community Fund to provide meaningful support to retirees who lost their health benefits,” said Marty Warren, USW Director for Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

Scully Mine retirees saw their health and welfare benefits eliminated when Cliffs Natural Resources idled its Canadian operations and subsequently filed for creditor protection in 2015.

“Our union has worked tirelessly over the last four years to do everything we can to find a new owner for Scully Mine, to ensure the mine would employ unionized workers with a good collective agreement and to help the most-vulnerable people affected during this process – the retirees,” Warren said.

“Retirees have faced tremendous hardship as a result of the loss of their benefits and the actions of the former mine operator. We are making good on our commitment to ease the anxiety and suffering of these pensioners.”

The Community Fund for Scully Mine retirees was created as a result of recent negotiations between the USW and the mine’s new owner, Tacora Resources. Tacora, which recently restarted the Scully Mine, has committed to making quarterly contributions to the fund during the life of the collective agreement with the USW.

The USW today announced that the union also will be making a significant investment into the Community Fund. The investment will come from a USW Local 6285 fund.

After the Scully Mine was idled during the insolvency proceedings, USW Local 6285 had no members remaining, requiring the USW international union to appoint an administrator to oversee the local’s affairs. During the administration period, which continues, it was determined that a Local 6285 union fund would be invested in the new Community Fund to assist retirees in desperate need of benefit coverage.

“These investments will help to ensure the Community Fund can provide badly needed benefits as well as dignity to retirees who have been victimized by the developments of the last few years,” Warren said.

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Liberals Approve Exporting Good Canadian Steel Jobs to China https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/liberals-approve-exporting-good-canadian-steel-jobs-to-china Tue, 20 Aug 2019 12:00:00 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/liberals-approve-exporting-good-canadian-steel-jobs-to-china OTTAWA – The United Steelworkers (USW) is denouncing the federal Liberal government for giving away thousands of Canadian jobs and billions in economic activity by allowing duty-free imports of illegally dumped Chinese and Korean steel products to build two of Canada’s largest-ever energy projects.

“There is no justification for the Government of Canada to hand over the largest construction project in our country’s history to Chinese steel producers who engage in unfair trade practices,” said USW National Director Ken Neumann.

“As Canada’s steel construction industry has stated, this scandalous decision by the Trudeau government could cost a massive loss of Canadian jobs,” Neumann noted.

Neumann was referring to the Liberal government’s decision to withdraw tariffs and duties from illegally dumped Chinese and Korean steel products for the construction of liquid natural gas (LNG) projects in British Columbia, valued at $42 billion.

“The Canadian International Trade Tribunal imposed duties on these foreign producers because they engage in unfair trade and illegal dumping that harm Canadian workers and companies,” Neumann noted.

“The Liberal government is undermining its own trade remedy system and betraying Canadians, to submit to the illegitimate demands of multinational corporations that will profit from these LNG projects,” he said.

The USW and the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) categorically reject the contention of the multinational consortiums LNG Canada and Woodfibre LNG  that they must use unfairly traded, duty-free, foreign steel products to ensure their projects’ viability.

The multinationals behind these projects also plan to rely on foreign producers to build and assemble modular sections of their massive projects, with all the equipment and components already pre-installed and then shipped to Canada for installation. The process could eliminate the need for thousands of Canadian jobs.

“These products can be made in Canada, using Canadian workers and fairly traded, market-priced steel, without jeopardizing the projects’ viability,” Neumann said, citing an analysis from the CISC.

“These multinational corporations want to use unfairly traded foreign steel to maximize their profits. And they now have the green light from the Liberal government to do so, at the expense of tens of thousands of jobs that would have been created across Canada,” he said.

“Last fall the federal government provided $375 million to LNG Canada to support the project. If the Liberal government is going to spend taxpayers’ dollars to support these energy projects, it should surely be defending Canadian workers and companies by insisting that these projects are built with Canadian steel,” Neumann added.

“Unless this government changes course, it will be responsible for a historic betrayal of Canadian workers, companies and communities.”

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700 Workers Have Voted to Join the United Steelworkers https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/700-workers-have-voted-to-join-the-united-steelworkers Mon, 22 Jul 2019 18:46:15 -0500 https://www.usw.ca/news/media-centre/releases/2019/700-workers-have-voted-to-join-the-united-steelworkers 700 workers have voted to join the United Steelworkers in the past month in several major successful organizing campaigns in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
    
At the Red Chris mine near Dease Lake, British Columbia over 330 workers are joining the USW. As Canada’s mining union, the Steelworkers are leading the way to ensure that miners make gains at the bargaining table and have the strongest health and safety protection possible.
    
“Mining is an incredibly important industry and economic driver of our country. And it’s miners who make it all happen. We’re proud to grow our ranks and will be working with workers at other non-union mines to provide them the opportunity to join the Steelworkers and improve their working lives,” says District 3 Director Stephen Hunt. 

USW Local 2009 has also won certifications at Terrapure Environmental sites in North Vancouver, North Delta and Prince George, B.C. 

Another effort in Kamloops, B.C. was secured by USW Local 1-417. Over 100 workers at Active Care, a community care centre, voted to join the United Steelworkers earlier this month.

Over in Prince George, B.C., 30 workers working at the Northwest Wood Treaters were verified last month and now join USW Local 1-2017.

“These organizing victories speak to the strength that our local unions have. Together, they want to build better working lives for people living and working in their communities. They are helping in growing our diverse union that fights for all workers,” says Hunt.

In Saskatchewan, the USW continues to be the union of choice for taxi workers seeking fair treatment, safe working conditions and a better future.

175 taxi workers at the ride hailing app RIIDE in Saskatoon are the newest members of the Steelworkers. Despite employer attempts to say that RIIDE drivers are not employees, the union was successful in this groundbreaking organizing campaign. They join drivers at Comfort Cabs and United/Blue Line as members of USW Local 2014. 

“As times change and technology changes our working lives, more and more workers find themselves in vulnerable positions where their rights as workers are regularly violated and their work is not respected. The answer to these challenges is to organize, unionize and bargain collectively. USW is leading the way in this area,” Hunt concluded.    

 

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