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Toronto, ON M5V 2E9
Toll Free: 1-866-841-4446
BellMedia Unit Proposal Ratification
This is to notify members of meetings to vote on ratification of a proposals package to go into negotiations with Bellmedia.
The meetings will be held as follows:
Thursday, March, 5, 2014
At these meetings we will present the proposals package that we recommend bringing to the bargaining table.
If the package is accepted by the members, it goes to the table to begin negotiations. If the package is not accepted, the committee will need to revise it.
We will provide food at the meetings.
If you can’t attend one of the meetings you can drop by the office between the meeting times and we will give you a very brief overview of the package for you to vote on. The drop in times are from 10:00am to 11:30am, 2:30pm to 5:00pm, 7:00pm to 8:00pm.
For confidentiality reasons, the package will be presented on our projection screen only. Proxy or advance voting is not permitted.
Changes to the Canadian Labour Code
The lives of almost one million Canadian workers will be placed in danger as a result of cynical amendments that the Conservative government is making to the Canada Labour Code. Buried deep in the government’s latest budget bill tabled on October 22 are amendments to the health and safety provisions of the Code that have nothing to do with balancing the budget, and everything to do with putting workers’ lives at risk.
The government wants to water down the right to refuse dangerous work, end the role of federal Health and Safety Officers in the investigation process and give employers the power to discipline workers when they invoke the right to refuse dangerous work. All together, these changes would make the Canada Labour Code provisions on the right to refuse dangerous work the weakest in the country, and put workers’ lives at risk. These proposals have no business being put in a budget bill.
Recently, some of you answered the call to action by sending an email to your MP and Ministers Leitch youtube videoand Kellie, thank you. Help us to put a stop to these proposed dangerous changes by sending this action to a friend.
We’ve also made an educational video to share that explains the changes simply and effectively, you can see this on youtube and share it with as many people as you can.
Welcome to Unifor
Unifor strives to protect the economic rights of our members and every member of the workforce (employed or unemployed). We are committed to building the strongest and most effective union to bargain on behalf of our members, working with our members to improve their rights in the workplace, and extending the benefits of unions to non-unionized workers and other interested Canadians.
Unifor was officially formed on August 31, 2013, at a Founding Convention in Toronto, Ontario. It marked the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) – two of Canada’s largest and most influential labour unions.
The birth of Unifor represented a sign of hope for the Canadian labour movement, and working people more generally.
For decades, union membership (as a share of total employment) had been in steady decline – particularly in the private sector. Running parallel to this decline in union density had been a sharp rise in income inequality, growing threats to retirement security, chronic unemployment and underemployment (particularly for young people) and a noticeable rise in insecure, precarious forms of work, especially among newcomers. The decline of union influence coincided with the rise of grossly imbalanced business-friendly policies, starting in the 1980s, that included tax cuts, labour market deregulation and corporate-led free trade deals.
Unifor was a bold answer to the question: "How do Canadian unions respond to the changing economy and these challenging times?"
Its large and diverse membership (that includes nearly every sector of the economy), makes it one of the most representative voices of our national economy. Its representative organizational structure and innovative forms of membership means it can better address regional economic and political matters on behalf of working people. Its core mandate – to be an effective union that is built by its members and deeply rooted in community – brings Unifor’s work into the day-to-day lives of Canadian families.
The Unifor project began as a discussion about union renewal in the fall of 2011 between former CAW President Ken Lewenza and former CEP President Dave Coles. Informal discussions led to formal talks among union leadership and staff. A formal discussion paper was prepared, which lead to a comprehensive, open and inclusive union revitalization project, spanning 20-months. Members were invited to follow developments of the New Union Project through regularly published reports, a frequently updated website, and were also asked to participate in telephone town hall meetings and online polls.
From its inception, Unifor has become a source of optimism and inspiration that a fairer, more secure future can be won for working people, that unions can adapt to changing times and remain a relevant voice for workplace and social justice.
Canadians demand CRTC hearing on cuts to OMNI TV
A broad range of Canada's multicultural communities has backed a call to the CRTC to hold public hearings on OMNI TV's cuts to multicultural programming. "The multicultural protections guaranteed by the Broadcasting Act oblige the CRTC to act. Rogers' cuts to its five OMNI stations have affected news programs and others in Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Tamil, Ukrainian, Cantonese, Mandarin and Punjabi," says Peter Murdoch, Vice-President Media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Canada's Media Union.
"That so many organizations representing millions of Canadians have intervened sends a clear message to the CRTC that the cuts have been devastating. Canada's broadcast industry cannot simply give up on accommodating diversity and it is up the CRTC to assure that it doesn't."
"Rogers lobbied hard to get the OMNI licences and promised to serve multicultural communities with original local news in different languages. It now wants to renege."
"Rogers has admitted that it cut multicultural programs because the English-language programs it runs as ‘bookends’ for its multicultural programs are not as successful as they hoped. It beggars belief that multicultural communities should lose their local news in their languages to support less lucrative US sitcoms," said Murdoch.
The organizations that have supported CEP's request to the CRTC to hold a public hearing include the Urban Diversity Forum led by former CRTC Commissioner Andrew Cardozzo, the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, The National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada along with national organizations representing Canadians with Chinese, Italian, Polish, Southeast Asian and Tamil backgrounds.
"These Canadians need to know that the CRTC is there in their interest and not simply a commission dedicated to protecting the interests of large media corporations like Rogers." The union expects the CRTC may make a decision within a month.
For More Information: Peter Murdoch, 905-516-5720
Another salvo in Conservative government's war against working people: Bill C-525
The Conservatives have launched another salvo in their war against working people.
Conservative backbencher Blaine Calkins unveiled a private members bill (C-525) that will make it far harder to form a new union and much easier to decertify an existing one.
The legislation will eliminate so-called automatic card check in the federally-regulated sector (telecommunications, banking, transportation etc.). For decades, union certification under the Canada Labour Code has operated this way: a majority (50 per cent +1) of the members of a workforce are required to sign membership cards and pay $5 to certify the union. Bill C-525 proposes to eliminate this model for federally-regulated sectors.
In its place, the union certification process would require 45 per cent of the members of a bargaining unit to sign cards and once this is reached the Labour Board would call a secret-ballot vote.
There are good reasons why the card-check model has been practiced in federally-regulated sectors. For one, it can be difficult to organize votes for bargaining units spread across the country and transport sector employees are regularly in different places. More importantly, the card-check process protects workers from intimidation. It's widely understood -- confirmed by many academic studies -- that secret-ballot workplace votes reduce union certification as they give employers an opportunity to intimidate employees through compulsory anti-union meetings and implicit threats of job loss.
Not only would C-525 lead to greater employer intimidation, it heavily slants certification votes against unions. In a reversal of long-standing voting traditions, Bill C-525 would require unions receive more than 50 percent of members votes of the proposed bargaining unit rather than 50 per cent of votes cast. This means that those who don't vote (maybe because they were on vacation or the employer dissuaded them) are effectively deemed to have voted against unionization. No provincial labour code has this type of provision.
As the president of the Canadian Auto Workers Ken Lewenza pointed out, "If this same distorted standard of democracy were applied to federal MPs, there would not be a single Conservative member sitting in the House of Commons today. There is no MP in Canada who was elected by over 50 per cent of the voting-age adults in their riding. Why on earth should this test apply to unions, but not MPs?"
The same anti-union bias is at play during a decertification vote. Over 50 per cent of the bargaining unit would have to cast a ballot -- regardless of turnout -- in favor of the union to prevent decertification. This will allow a decertification without majority support.
The Conservatives' hostility to organized workers is so strong that they've launched this latest attack even before the Senate has voted on another one of their anti-union private members bills. Currently before the upper chamber, Bill C-377 (An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (labour organizations)) would require every trade union and labour trust to file a public information return with the Canada Revenue Agency on all expenditures over $5,000. It also mandates that labour organizations detail the percentage of time they dedicate to political and lobbying activities.
While they've justified this burdensome bill on the grounds that union dues are tax-deductible, the Conservatives are not requiring other professional associations with the same tax status, such as the Canadian Medical Association or Law Societies, to follow the terms of Bill C-377.
In another front in their open war on organized workers, since gaining a majority the Conservatives have repeatedly intervened in labour negotiations on behalf of employers. Harper's Conservatives have used back-to-work legislation to end labour disputes five times in two years (Air Canada in June 2011, September 2011 and March 2012, Canada Post in June 2011 and Canadian Pacific in May 2012). Last month the government's move to restrict Canada Post workers' right to strike was condemned by the International Labour Organization.
In what would be an even more radical attack on collective bargaining, the forthcoming Conservative party convention will debate a series of resolutions that would effectively eliminate unions' financial security and the so-called Rand formula. One proposal explicitly calls for a U.S. style right to work legislation to allow optional union membership.
Beyond organized labour, the Conservatives have tried to suppress Canadian workers' wages and conditions by expanding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, driving down public-sector work conditions and curtailing Employment Insurance benefits.
Bill C-525 needs to be seen in the context of the government's low-wage strategy. It's the latest step in the Conservatives' bid to reduce workers' power to the benefit of the business class.
Dave Coles article in the Huffington Post
CLC One Minute Message
The Canadian Labour Congress is pleased to announce that Michael Rouse is the first place winner (Solidarity Video) of this year's One Minute Message Video contest.
The objective was to come up with the best message and best video in just under a minute about how unions stand up for fairness, how unions deliver good jobs and better lives, how unions fight for a better deal for everyone. What does the “Union Advantage” mean for you, your family and your community?
Workers' Rights ALERT
Harper and Hudak are promoting changes to labour law that would drive down wages and harm Canadian society
Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak has announced that he will weaken unions by making major changes to labour laws – if he wins the next Ontario election.
Prime Minister Harper has already pushed through Bill 377. This legislation was designed to disrupt unions by requiring extraordinary financial reporting. Harper may soon try to silence labour’s progressive political voice.
Read more about how the conservatives are trying to silence unions here.
Support Our TVO / Notre TFO
Dear CEP members and allies,
I am writing to invite you to join "Our TVO / Notre TFO" – a campaign coalition of families, educators, artists, and employees of TVO and TFO who, as citizens of Ontario, value public educational broadcast media and want a greater voice in shaping the future of TVO and TFO.
Please visit www.OurTVO.ca or www.notreTFO.ca and sign the letter to Ontario's premier, Kathleen Wynne, right away.
These are challenging times for the people of Ontario. We are dealing with a struggling economy, acrimonious public policy debates, and rapidly changing technology. At these moments we seek agencies that we can trust, that can unite us, and that can serve as a resource for information and enlightenment. For more than 40 years in Ontario, TVO and TFO have been such institutions.
However, this is a period of great uncertainty for public educational media in Ontario. Both TVO and TFO are doing more with less funding in real dollars than in years past. In the last Ontario Budget, the provincial government warned that TVO must "reduce its reliance on government funding." What exactly this means is unclear, although TVO announced the cancellation of three signature shows on November 13: Big Ideas, Allan Gregg In Conversation, and Saturday Night at the Movies. Many of our members also lost their jobs.
TVO and TFO belong to all of us. We all have a voice in shaping their future. This campaign is intended to help people and organizations like ours to raise our voices.
I sincerely hope you will accept my invitation to join the "Our TVO / Notre TFO" campaign.
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
Bell Code of Conduct
After receiving questions from many local members, the union has sought legal advice on the “Bell Code of Conduct”. On advice from council, the union is now drafting a letter to the employer stating that the collective agreement governs the relationship between our members and the company and not any unilaterally imposed document.
An email was sent out by the company at the end of November stating that all employees must complete the Code of Business Conduct training course by December 31, 2012. At the completion of the course and during an end of year review, employees will also be required to sign a document indicating that they will comply with the Code of Conduct. The union’s lawyer has recommended that we add a line to this document stating: “I am signing this document under protest; a Collective Agreement governs our relationship”.
A copy of the revised document that you may be required to sign is available here.
If you have any further questions, please contact the local union office.
Local Holiday Party
Click to see Photobooth pictures!. Individual pictures will be posted soon.
CEP 2012 Scholarship Winner!
Adrianna Sustar (daughter of Danny Sustar - City TV) has won a 2012 CEP scholarship!
Each year, CEP awards 12 scholarships worth $2,000 each to members and children of members pursuing full time post-secondary education at a recognized institution such as university, college, CEGEP, technical or other schools.
Adrianna is enrolled in the Communications Program at the University of Ottawa and is working towards a Honours Bachelor of Arts.
CRTC Decision Jeopardizes Local News
OTTAWA - In terminating the Local Programming Improvement Fund (LPIF) the CRTC has cravenly caved to Canada's largest media barons and jeopardized Canadians' access to high-quality local news and information, says Canada's largest media union. In a policy statement a majority of the CRTC's non-elected commissioners voted to terminate the LPIF in August 2014.
"In ending the LPIF the CRTC ignored not only the Fund's critical role in sustaining and strengthening local news across the country but also large broadcasters' threat to close more TV stations," said Peter Murdoch, Vice-President, Media of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. In April Bell and Shaw told the Commission that seventeen of their TV stations were unprofitable without the LPIF. "Since the CRTC has ignored repeated requests to mandate local news on TV, this decision will lead to job losses and ongoing threats of TV station closures," added Murdoch.
CEP notes that the only evidence that the CRTC used to support this decision was from Canada's largest cable or satellite companies, not the citizens the CRTC was created to serve. Over 1300 individuals, unions, associations and companies filed submissions about the LPIF - largely to support the Fund and local news - but the CRTC's policy quotes Rogers, Bell and Shaw fifteen times.
"Stephen Harper's no-regulation obsession means that billion dollar cable companies have once again trumped the interests of Canadians, who overwhelmingly offered their support for local TV news," said Murdoch. The CRTC's decision to ignore Canadians in favour of large corporate interests demands an independent public inquiry into whether the CRTC is serving Canadians and their communities.
Recognition of Prior Service as Seniority
In the last three years our Local Union has grown substantially. Along with CTV’s sale of Citytv to Rogers, our National Union organized OMNI-TV operations and engineering employees who are now solidly part of our local. In addition, employees of Etalk are now part of our local, and so are operations and engineering employees of BNN. However, we have not been consistent in the way that we have treated these new members in terms of seniority; if they were organized or came into our bargaining units by agreement all of their prior service was credited for seniority. If they were transferred into the bargaining unit by the employer or applied for a position from another division their prior service with the Company was not credited as seniority.
The employers we deal with now; Rogers and Bell Media, have different views about service and seniority than did CHUM Limited. As a result it was necessary to review and to update our policies about service and seniority in order to treat all of our members fairly and equitably. Therefore, here is a motion passed by your local executive board. The objective of the motion is to recognize the service that many of our new members have brought with them from other divisions of the same company. We will also recognize service that our long term members brought with them from other divisions of CHUM Limited. In this way we feel we will correct the inconsistency in our treatment of members’ seniority.
We are requesting that members who have come from other divisions of Rogers, CTV, or CHUM and who may not have received credit for “uninterrupted service” as seniority to contact us with the details.
Click Here for a copy of the motion.
There will be office hours from 10:30am to 7:00pm on the indicated days:
Rogers OMNI Production Agreement Ratified
Members of the Unifor Local 723M OMNI Production Unit have ratified a new Collective Agreement with Rogers.
With a majority of bargaining unit members participating, over 90% percent voted in favour of the memorandum of agreement.
The memorandum of agreement will now become the first collective agreement for this group.
Stay up to date with what is happening on a national level with your union.
Follow this link for more details: www.unifor.org