Unifor leader says it’s time to ‘stop playing defence’

Description: Jerry Dias, the new leader of Unifor, says it is time for unions to go on the offensive. He promises to spend 10 per cent of the newly merged union’s revenues on organizing and increasing membership.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 08/31/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/newly-elected-unifor-leader-says-he-is-taking-labour-movement-on-the-offensive/article14063604/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What did Dias say about young people and those who traditionally have not belonged to unions?
  • Do you agree that “young people today are crying for a union”?
  • Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Have you ever belonged to a union?
  • If so, describe briefly the pros and cons of the experience.

Steelworkers, TWU to merge

Description: The United Steelworkers union, which represents 225,000 Canadian workers, and the Telecommunications Workers Union, which represents 13,000, have tentatively agreed to merge – the second large private-sector union merger of the year.

Source: CBC

Date: 08/30/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/08/30/steelworkers-telecommunications-union-merger.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:What sort of workers does the Steelworkers union represent?

  • What sort of workers does the Telecommunications Workers union represent?
  • What reasons do the unions give for wanting to merge?
  • What is the next step in this process?
  • Why do you think the TWU is supporting Canada’s Big Three telecommunications companies on the issue of Verizon’s possible entry into this country?

Unions merge in hopes of reversing decline

Description: With organized labour on the defensive across the country, the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada are merging to create a 300,000-member union called Unifor.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 08/08/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/unions-political-calculus-with-numbers-come-power/article13678660/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Who is the new head of Unifor?
  • What has happened to union membership in Canada in recent years?
  • What benefits do the CAW and CEP expect from this merger?
  • Can you think of any possible negative effects of this merger?
  • If you were a member of the CAW or CEP would you support the merger? Discuss.

 

Union calls Target hiring practices unfair

Description: The United Food and Commercial Workers of Canada says Target’s  practice of guaranteeing interviews – but not jobs – to Zellers employees in Thunder Bay is unfair.

Source: CBC

Date: 03/12/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/story/2013/03/12/tby-targer-hiring-thunder-bay-store.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is the union critical of Target?
  • What is Target’s response?
  • Which arguments do you think are the strongest?
  • The Zellers workers in Thunder Bay do not belong to the UFCW. Why do you think the union is making this complaint?
  • Would Target have to act differently if the Zellers workers had a collective agreement? Explain.

TWU to hold merger vote with Steelworkers

Description: Leaders of the Telecommunications Workers Union have voted to begin a merger process with the Steelworkers union.

Source: Canadian Labour Reporter

Date: 11/28/2012

Link: http://www.labour-reporter.com/articleview/16808-twu-members-to-vote-on-potential-merger-with-united-steelworkers

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult the Related Links above: Who does the TWU represent?
  • Who does the USW represent?
  • What are the next steps in the merger process?
  • Consult your text: What are the pros and cons of such a merger?
  • Why do you think the TWU is taking this step at this time?
  • If you were a TWU member, how do you think you would vote?

CEP votes to join CAW

Description: Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union members have voted at their annual convention to merge with the Canadian Auto Workers union, forming Canada’s largest private-sector union.

Source: Canadian Labour Reporter

Date: 10/15/2012

Link: http://www.labour-reporter.com/articleview/16458-cep-votes-in-favour-of-super-union-with-caw

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • How many workers will the new union represent?
  • Why does the CEP president believe this move is a “step forward for progressive people” in Canada?
  • What are the next steps in the process of creating the new “super union”?
  • What are the advantages of this merger from the members’ point of view?
  • What could be the disadvantages?

BC licensed practical nurses switch unions

Description: B.C.’s licensed practical nurses have voted to leave the Hospital Employees’ Union for the B.C. Nurses’ Union.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

Date: 10/05/2012

Linkhttp://www.vancouversun.com/health/After+bitter+battle+LPNs+join+Nurses+Union/7352263/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What do licensed practical nurses do?
  • What reasons does this story give for LPNs wanting to leave the HEU for the Nurses’ Union?
  • What do you think will be the advantages for LPNs related to this move? The disadvantages?
  • What does your textbook say about union “raiding”? Why is it controversial?
  • Do you think this situation fits the definition of “raiding”?

Autoworkers vote to merge with CEP

Description: Members of the Canadian Auto Workers have voted to merge with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. The resulting union, if approved by CEP members in October, will represent 325,000 workers.

Source: CBC

Date: 08/22/2012

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2012/08/22/wdr-caw-merger.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why are these two unions merging?
  • What kinds of workers will the new union represent?
  • What arguments can you think of in favour of this merger? Against it?
  • If you were a member of one of these unions, how would you vote? What questions would you ask your leaders?
  • Can you think of other ways unions might respond to current conditions?

Ontario Zellers workers ratify contract

Description: Unionized workers at Ontario Zellers stores have ratified a three-year contract that provides increased severance pay as the company’s stores are sold to non-union retailers from the U.S.

Source: CBC

Date: 02/20/2012

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/02/20/toronto-ontario-zellers-workers-union.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is severance pay an important part of this contract?
  • What is successorship? (Consult your textbook.)
  • Does it apply in this case?
  • Why or why not?
  • What do you think will likely happen to the workers at Zellers’ Canadian stores?

‘A moment of truth for Canadian labour’

Description: As two of Canada’s largest unions explore a merger, a confidential union report says that labour must become more relevant to Canadians.

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 01/26/2012

Link: http://www.thestar.com/article/1121505–unions-must-change-quickly-to-survive-says-secret-report-by-cep-caw

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why do you think these two unions are thinking about merging?
  • What do you think would be the advantages of such a merger?
  • What do you think would be the disadvantages of such a merger?
  • If you were a member of one of these unions, how would you vote on a merger proposal?
  • The confidential report referred to in the Toronto Star story recommends creating a “brand” and “visibility for a new kind of national Canadian industrial unionism.” What do you think about this advice?

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