Tim Hortons

Ontario coffee drinkers are rightfully dismayed that the owners of some Tim Hortons franchises have chosen to cut back on their workers’ benefits, paid breaks and even tips in response to the minimum wage increase to $14 an hour.

Ontario workers are right to be concerned that there is nothing illegal about the behaviour of Tim Hortons franchisees in reducing benefits and paid breaks. That’s because Tim Hortons employees do not have the benefit of an enforceable collective agreement — they largely work at the mercy of their employer.

If Tim’s workers did have a union, these cutbacks would, of course, be in violation of their union contract and the union would ensure Tim’s was prevented from making such miserly and unilateral cuts.

The reason Tim’s employees and so many other workers don’t have the benefit of a union contract is that Ontario’s labour laws make it virtually impossible for workers in franchise operations to join unions.

The recent package of labour law changes passed by the Wynne Liberals did some good things for Ontario workers — most notably it included a long overdue increase to the minimum wage. But it is unfortunate that the government did virtually nothing to provide service sector workers, like the thousands of Tim’s employees, with real access to unionization and collective bargaining.

Our current system of labour relations was designed in the 1930s and ’40s when workplaces were very different — and it is profoundly ill-suited to accommodate collective bargaining at thousands of retail franchises across the province. It is very difficult to generate any real bargaining power by trying to unionize one Tim’s store at a time — let alone trying to negotiate at one, or even five, Tim’s stores among the hundreds spread across Ontario.

As a result, the overwhelming majority of retail franchise workers in Ontario are not unionized. And it is not for a lack of trying, both by unions and workers. Many unions have organized Tim Hortons, McDonald’s and Starbucks franchises, for example. But those efforts have ultimately failed to create any real union density in the sector because labour laws remain stacked against Ontario’s most vulnerable workers.

The Ontario government promised its labour law reforms would address the challenges created by growing precarious employment in small workplaces. In reality, it has left vulnerable workers exposed to precisely the unfair treatment we are seeing today.

The government took no action even though its own task force — the Changing Workplaces Review — received numerous submissions from unions and other organizations calling for legislation to allow broader sectoral bargaining in Ontario, similar to laws found in some sectors in Quebec and across much of Europe.

The government’s own task force also concluded that the current system of bargaining with a single franchisee is “unlikely to be viable.” The task force recommended a small change that would have allowed bargaining with multiple franchisees of the same franchisor. Sadly, the government rejected even this modest proposal.

Finally, the Wynne government also rejected a proposal from the entire labour movement that workers in all sectors should have the opportunity to join a union without employer interference, by simply signing a union membership card. The government’s rejection of this proposal virtually assures Tim’s workers who want to join a union that they can expect to be subjected to a legal campaign of anti-union coercion and harassment by their employer.

Premier Wynne claims to have modernized labour laws to protect Ontario workers and grow the middle class. But simply increasing the minimum wage will not stem growing inequality.

History demonstrates that unionization and collective bargaining are the most important factors in reducing inequality and growing the middle class. On that score, the Ontario government has given retail workers less than half a cup of coffee.

Marty Warren is the Ontario Director of the United Steelworkers

 

 

USW Potash Locals United Like Never Before Following Strategic Meetings

 

SASAKTOON, Sask., 12 January 2018 – The United Steelworkers Potash Locals have concluded two days of successful and productive meetings in Saskatoon, Sask., where local unions came together to discuss a number of issues important to Steelworkers who work in potash mines in the province.

 

USW Locals 189, 7458, 7689, 7656, 7552 and 7916 were joined by District 3 Director Stephen Hunt, Assistant to the Director Scott Lunny, Staff Representatives Mike Pulak, Phil Hayden and MC Breadner to take part in the strategic discussions.

 

The meeting follows on the heels of the merger between employers Agrium and Potash Corp. The new employer is Nutrien and the USW sees the merger as an opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between all potash locals.

 

“The importance of standing together, shoulder to shoulder, was recognized by the leadership of all USW locals. We know that by co-ordinating our efforts like never before we can ensure Steelworkers are treated with the respect and fairness they deserve,” says Darrin Kruger, President of USW Local 7552.

 

As USW members employed by Nutrien and Mosaic prepare to go into bargaining, the meeting was an opportunity to build power and create even greater synergy among potash workers. USW locals at Nutrien let the Mosaic locals know in no uncertain terms that they have their backs and vice-versa.

 

That unwavering, mutual support will help all locals achieve good things for members over the coming years, says Kim Wehner, President of USW Local 7689.

“When we stand united, we can achieve tremendous things for our members.”

 

A key discussion during the meetings was the rise in potash prices and the positive outlook for the industry.

 

USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt congratulated the locals on their commitment to working together and says it’s how workers will continue to make progress at the bargaining table.

 

“From stem to stern, in every one of our potash locals and in every facet of our union, there is a strong commitment to speak with one voice and to stand united and together. I’m very proud that the leaders of all of our potash locals are working in solidarity to co-ordinate their efforts. It means good things ahead for our members,” says Hunt.

 

The USW Potash locals represent 2,500 potash workers in Saskatchewan.

 

Korean Steel Treated Like Doormat

Hard Time
Korean Steel Treated Like Doormat

Major steel importing countries such as Canada, India and Japan are joining the US in bashing Korean steel.
Seoul, Korea
26 December 2017 – 10:00am
Michael Herh
While the United States is highly likely to mount its pressure on outh Korea by way of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, major steel importing countries such as Canada, India and Japan are joining the US in bashing Korea. Korea’s steel export environment is also expected to get tougher next year as China reduced export tariffs.
According to the steel industry on December 25, Canada imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 88.1% on Korean carbon and alloy steel pipes, which will hold until 2022. Therefore, additional tariffs of 52.5%, 27.5% and 12.9% were levied on products of Hyundai Steel, SeAH Steel and Nexsteel, respectively.
Of note is an attitude of the Canadian government that is following the United States’s lead. The Canadian company which filed the lawsuit claimed a dumping margin of 58.2% of Korean products but the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) imposed an anti-dumping duty rate of 88%, saying that some Korean companies were not cooperating in handing in information to the CBSA. This is similar to a US case that imposed an anti-dumping duty of more than 60% by using the “adverse facts available (AFA)” provision, saying that POSCO did not submit data requested by the US last August. Canada recently tightened regulations on steel trade, including the final decision to impose an anti-dumping duty of up to 45.8 percent on Korea’s industrial steel structures in April.
It is not only Canada that imposed an anti-dumping duty on Korean steel products. On November 19, Japan made its preliminary determination of up to 74% of anti-dumping duties on 19 Korean steel pipe fittings. In April, India imposed anti-dumping duties of US$ 478 to US$ 561 per ton on hot rolled steel plates from Korea by 2021. Of the total 193 cases where export control measures were imposed on Korean products by countries around the world, 87 cases or 45% are involving steel and metal products. The United States is the largest country with 20 cases, followed by Canada (9 cases), India (8 cases) and Australia (8 cases). To top it off, Korean steel products are highly likely to become a common target all over the world if the US believes that Korean steel products will affect its security at the beginning of next year using Section 232.
To make matters worse, China, which had been the main culprit behind steel product oversupply in the world, decided to lower its export tariffs on its steel products starting next year. The Chinese government imposed 15% export tariffs on semi-finished products from 2007 as China’s steel exports rose but the tariffs were reduced to 5% to 10% by products. A recent recovery in Korea’s steel exports was largely attributed to Chinese authorities’ restraint on a flood of low-priced Chinese steel products as the Chinese government initiated a restructuring of the Chinese steel industry. If China’s steel products flood again, countries’ protectionism for steel products may become even stronger. “All major steelmakers are based on their domestic markets,” an industry official said. “If the steel industry becomes sluggish, nations will have no choice but to choose protective trade.”
Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce will submit a steel industry survey report to US President Donald Trump in mid-January of next year in accordance with Section 232 and Trump will finally determine whether or not the US will impose sanctions against Korean steel products by April 16 of 2018. When Section 232 is triggered, Korea will lose a market amounting to 3 trillion to 4 trillion won a year. Thus, the Korean government is planning to file a lawsuit against the US AFA provision at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has been reportedly working to institute a lawsuit at the WTO after America’s application of the AFA provision to POSCO’s hot rolled steel plates in August of last year. Korea has refrained from bringing this case before the court of the WTO to reduce unnecessary friction with the United States in terms of diplomatic and security cooperation with the US and a renegotiation over the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). However, as when the United States triggers Section 232 on Korean steel products, other countries including those of the European Union will follow suit and launch investigations into Korean steel products. Thus, the Korean government is clarifying its position to appeal to the WTO to cut off the vicious cycle.

Health Spending Account Deadline

Please take a look at the below article and make sure any receipts you have are sub-mitted before Jan 1.

 

Article 17.10 Health Spending Account
The Employer established an individual health spending
account on March 31, 2012. For all employees active on the
seniority list who have completed at least 750 hours of work
in the previous calendar year, the Employer will contribute
$100 to the employees individual Health Spending Account
by January 1 of each calendar year. Canada Revenue Agency
rules governing Health Spending Accounts will apply. The
parties agree that this will satisfy the Company’s obligation
regarding EI rebates.

Union Education

On January 18th the GERRAND,RATH and JOHNSON law firm will be holding it’s 5th annual Labour Law conference in Regina. Topics will be Drug Recognition Expert, Labour Relations Board Update and Arbitration update. The membership has approved up to 6 people to attend. Shop stewards wishing to attend please contact the office at 306-569-9663 or email m.day@usw5890.com.

Korean Imports

 

Seoul, Korea

11 December 2017 – 10:15am

Jung Min-hee

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) decided to impose anti-dumping duties of 4.1% to 88.1% on carbon and alloy steel pipes imported from South Korea, according to the industry source on December 10. The tariffs are effective until 2022 and the rates can be adjusted once a year during the period. The implementation of the tariffs is initiated on January 4, 2018.

Specifically, Husteel’s products are subject to a tariff of 4.1%. It is 47.8% for those of Hyundai Steel, 27.5% for those of Seah Steel, and 12.9% for those of Nexteel.

Carbon and alloy steel pipes are mostly used as pipes in various drainage facilities, gas pipes, and pipes in petrochemical plants. These days, Canada is importing an increasing amount of carbon and alloy steel pipes for infrastructure expansion. For the first 10 months of this year, Canada imported carbon and alloy steel pipes worth US$234.52 million in total, up 27.9% from a year earlier, and South Korean products accounted for 20.1% of the total imports.

In spite of the increase in local demand for the item, the South Korean companies’ export of the item to Canada is likely to be negatively affected by the anti-dumping duties. Canada has applied preliminary anti-dumping duties to the item since September this year and the companies’ exports have declined since that month.

Locker Replacement

Brother’s and Sister’s

Starting November 20th to the 23rd, the company has plans to do locker replacements over these 3 days. As mentioned before the Union is not participating in this. We will not participate or ask any Union representative to participate in anything that violates OH&S regulations. The company’s communication that they have put out states if lockers are not cleaned out by 7:30am they will be opened by Security with a Union Representative and Management Representative present. This information is false. As stated, this executive will not ask any member to violate OH&S and participate in this.

Your union asked 2 months ago what was going on with the change rooms and parking lot with the large amount of new hires, all to be ignored up until the last week when they wanted the “Unions Assistance”. Well they have been informed that we will not be assisting.

In Solidarity.

Sask Taxi Workers

Steelworkers’ Taxi Workers Council Will Provide Strong Voice for Taxi Workers in Western Canada

SASKATOON, Oct. 25, 2017  – The United Steelworkers (USW) commitment to providing a strong voice for taxi workers has taken a significant step forward today with the creation of the District 3 Taxi Workers Council, which will represent taxi drivers and dispatchers across Western Canada.

The Council brings together representatives from USW local unions to work together on the specific issues faced by taxi drivers and dispatchers, to provide leadership that will ensure that USW taxi workers are at the forefront of building a safe and fair taxi industry.

The Chair of the newly created District 3 Taxi Workers Council says taxi drivers and dispatchers are standing together to fight for their rights as workers.

“The establishment of the District 3 Taxi Workers Council demonstrates the USW’s commitment to ensuring that every taxi worker in every province is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve,” says Malik Umar Draz of USW Local 2014 in Saskatoon.

Over two days of meetings, USW members employed in the taxi industry strategized about how to bring forward solutions to the many issues faced by taxi drivers and dispatchers; and how to grow their membership and ensure that more taxi workers benefit from the strength and voice that comes with belonging to the Steelworkers.

“As Canada’s most diverse union, we are proud of our record of fighting for workers in many different industries and sectors of the economy. I’m proud that we are building on our work representing taxi drivers and dispatchers by creating the District 3 Taxi Workers Council,” says USW District 3 Director Stephen Hunt.

“Together, we will make progress for taxi workers and ensure they have a seat at the table.”

From a growing number of incidents of workplace violence, to challenging working conditions and issues like Uber, Lyft and others, taxi workers face many daunting matters. The District 3 Taxi Workers Council will provide the forum and leadership to address these issues and pursue respect, fairness and dignity.

 

C.B.A

Brother’s and Sister’s

Please be advised that the bereavement language, new transition rates, night shift premiums, rates and cola  are now in affect.

Retro for night shift premium for Sept 13 to 16 will be paid on October 6th

Sept 17 the new cola rates went into affect and retro for Cola will also be paid on October 6th. Those dates are Aug 1, 2016 to Sept 16,2017.

As of October 1,2017 your new job class rates will be in affect. Retro for Aug 1st, 2017 to Sept 30, 2017 will be paid on October 20th, 2017.

Lump Sum to be paid on October 20th,2017. Which can be put into a DPSP account through Great West Life. That account info must be put in by October 6th,2017

Company Preparation

Your bargaining committee has been informed that Wednesday the company maybe starting the process of shutting down the furnaces. This is in preparation of the possible strike if we are not able to come to a deal this week. If the company goes down this road we have been told that it’s not a lockout but members maybe sent home and that will be with pay.

As the week progresses we will get our members the most information we can. Either through the mass texts, facebook pages, strike captains or this web site.

In Solidarity

Bargaining Update

Sisters & Brothers

USW Local 5890 held two membership meeting on Monday the 21st which were well attended. The bargaining committee announced that the union will be meeting again with the company for further negotiations  on September 5,6,7 2017 with the hopes of reaching an agreement. We also went over where things stood in terms of what we were asking for and what the company was asking. Below is an overview of what was discussed and where it stood at the end of mediation.

 

Evraz’s Proposal to USW 

4 year term

Pension

$0.50 increase 2018 for “future service” & $0.50 increase in 2019 for past service

O&T pension increase in 2018 move from 1.36% to 1.38% …… 0.02% increase

Wages        

Aug. 2016….0% + cola

Aug. 2017….0% + cola

Aug. 2018….1% + cola

Aug. 2019….1% + cola

$1,500 Lump Sum at ratification

New Hire Transition Wages

Starting at 70% of current rates going up 10% each year over a 3 year period

Excluding skilled Trade New Hires. The company went from years to hours on the “transition rates” but still starting at 70%.

 

USW’s Proposal to Evraz

3 year term

Pension

At the end of the term of this contract we want the Basic Pension to be $70 per year of service. This would get the pension to $100 with the bridge. O&T increase equivalent to the P&M increase.

Pension Earn back/Pickup factor re-date to Dec. 31, 2015

Pensioner Benefit Bonus $1,000 and Surviving Spouse $600 re-date/re-sign

Wages

Aug. 2016….3% on JC 2 and all classifications + cola and retro

Aug. 2017….3% on JC 2 and all classifications + cola and retro

Aug. 2018….3.5% on JC 2 and all classifications + cola

Re-date and Re-sign Cola

Shift Premiums

Increase the second or afternoon shift to $0.75/hour

Increase the third or night shift to $1.00/hour

Increase Saturdays to $1.25/hour

Increase Sundays to $1.50/hour

Other Items

Increase Vision to $500

Increase Prescription Drugs to unlimited

Increase Bereavement to shifts worked (8hr, 10hr, 12hr shifts will be paid those hours x amount of days)

Weekly Indemnity re-date/re-sign and supply pay stubs to members

Safety Rep selection and pay rate

Re-sign/Re-date all Letters of Understanding

On September 5, 2017 USW Local 6673 & 5890 will be commencing these days of negotiations by serving the company strike notice. In the unfortunate event no agreement can be reached within the 3 days of negotiations both locals will be on strike the morning of September 8, 2017

If you have any questions please contact a member of the bargaining committee

Solidarity Forever

Bargaining Update

USW Seeks Mediation as Evraz Negotiations Reach Impasse

Calgary, Alberta – Two Local Unions of United Steelworkers at Evraz steel facilities in Calgary and Regina have reached impasse in negotiations with their employer over the company’s outrageous concessionary demands. The union will be seeking the assistance of a mediator through the Saskatchewan Minister of Labour to advance negotiations, with the prospect of a labour dispute if mediation is unsuccessful.

Both USW 6673, representing 300 workers at Evraz Calgary, and USW 5890, representing 900 workers at Evraz Regina, have secured strike mandates, with votes of 100% and 99.3%, respectively. Evraz Calgary is a critical supplier to the North American energy market, specializing in oil and gas well casing, tubing, heat treating and EVRlock connections. Evraz Regina produces steel plate and coil, small and large diameter pipe, and oil and gas well tubing for the energy sector.

“Evraz management needs to wake up and realize that, as a profitable company, with a productive, hard-working workforce, they don’t need to attack benefits and working conditions,” says USW western Canada Director Stephen Hunt. “It’s despicable that the company is trying to squeeze out even more profits by going after benefits of young workers, retirees and surviving spouses.”

The two locals met jointly with Evraz negotiators in Calgary this week in the hopes of advancing towards a fair renewal of their Collective Agreements. Talks broke off on Tuesday morning with the company continuing to insist that concessions on the existing contract be part of the discussions and ultimately form part of any settlement. The Union has adamantly rejected rolling back benefits and terms of their existing Collective Agreements.

“Whether it’s in Calgary or Regina, Steelworkers do the hard work that makes Evraz profitable and all they are looking for in return is a fair deal that respects their work,” says Keith Turcotte, USW Staff Representative. “Rolling back benefits and conditions is not fair and the membership has said they will not accept it.”

“Evraz management needs to re-think their strategy,” adds Hunt. “We will not betray young workers and roll-back wages and benefits for new hires.”

-30-

Contact:

Stephen Hunt, USW Director, 604-816-2554
Keith Turcotte, USW Staff Representative, 403-999-616

 

Bargaining update

Day 2 bargaining with Evraz began with the company refusing to remove any of their concessions.  The Union told the company that we are now at an impasse and bargaining has ended for this week. Under the labour code USW 5890 is required to contact the labour Minister and then apply for mediation. We have started the process, and will continue to prepare for Strike/Lockout. 6673 in Calgary has already moved thru this process and stands in solidarity with Regina