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.

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.

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

Canadian Forestry Workers Tell U.S. Officials: A Fair Softwood Agreement Is a Negotiated One

WASHINGTON – A delegation of Canadian members of the United Steelworkers (USW) from the wood products industry are telling U.S. politicians today that workers on both sides of the border will benefit from a negotiated settlement on lumber and the termination of unfair countervailing and anti-dumping duties imposed by the United States.

“The only way forward is together,” said Bob Matters, USW Canadian Wood Council Chair and leader of the delegation of nine Canadian forestry sector workers. “Canadians and Americans have a long history of working together and we are here this week to advocate for a fair deal that will benefit both Americans and Canadians.” Continue reading Canadian Forestry Workers Tell U.S. Officials: A Fair Softwood Agreement Is a Negotiated One

April Bargaining update

 Local 5890/6673

CHAIN BARGAINING UPDATE

 On April 24th to 28th your bargaining committees from USW 5890 &6673 met with the company to conclude common non-monetary proposals. Your union was prepared to exchange monetary proposals but unfortunately the company was not prepared so the exchange will be delayed. Although some progress was made with non-monetary language, the week didn’t go as anticipated. The company was not prepared to exchange monetary proposals because of the changes in management. That should be concerning considering there was more representation from the Camrose plant then our own Steel division.

We have a confirmed date to meet with the company on May 17th, 2017 to exchange monetary proposals. If you will remember we exchanged non-monetary proposals with the company on May 19th, 2016.

As always collective bargaining is an important process for all of our members and their families. Your bargaining committee is committed to getting a fair deal for all of our members.

Your solidarity is important in everything we do. We would like to remind the membership that these bargaining updates come directly from your bargaining committees.

 

 

Vacation Pay

It has come to the Union’s attention that for anyone that has put in to receive their vacation pay at the start of May it won’t be paid out until May 19th, 2017. The Union believes this should be paid out on the May 5th pay, if it has been requested. The union intends on submitting a grievance on this matter.

Spring 2017 Safetalk

Attached is the spring safetalk from USW District 3. Please take a look and since it is now 25 years since the Westray Mine explosion there has been a book put out called Hell’s History about the Westray explosion. If anyone would like a copy please come down to the office or email m.day@usw5890.com.

 

Safetalk – Spring 2017

29th Annual SFL Summer Camp

The 29th annual SFL summer camp is slated for August 27th to September 1st. It’s a 6 day camp for kids aged 13-16 focusong on issues for young people including social injustice and equality. For more information please check the link below. If you are interested in submiting your childs name please call the office at 569-9663 or email m.day@usw5890.com

SFL summer camp

House of Commons meeting on Chinese Steel dumping.

The president of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce will be raising concerns about Canada’s competition with the Chinese steel industry before a House of Commons committee Tuesday.

The chamber’s Matt Marchand said China dumping steel into Canada has been a significant issue for the country and the Windsor area.

The problem, according to Marchand, is Chinese companies do not follow the same labour and environmental regulations as Canadians and they have a surplus of steel which they are selling to other countries at much lower costs.

“They’re not a market economy and asking our entrepreneurs and business community to compete against China is something that I don’t think we should be asking them to do in the current context,” he said.

The federal standing committee on international trade is working on a report on the ability of Canada’s steel industry to compete internationally. Marchand said Canada is at a disadvantage because Chinese steel companies are essentially owned by their government.

“With all the power they have, they don’t respond to market forces, they’re not interested in profits or losses,” said Marchand. “Basically, it’s a government department that’s manufacturing steel.”

Locally, the Harrow community in Essex is home to home to steel producer Atlas Tube. According to Marchand, they employ over 200 people, have exports of $250 million per year and generate $1 million in taxes for the town.

“Why should we have one set of rules for Atlas Tube and then another set of rules for Chinese companies that don’t play by those rules?” he asked.

The chamber has previously brought this issue up with its counterparts in Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie. They have sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and received national support at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting in September.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey, the vice-chair of the trade committee, helped set up the meeting for the chamber. She made the motion at the committee level to begin this study, which she expects to be completed in late spring.

“We are not the only country to be a target of this, but other countries have improved their trade remedy systems so they can address this in a better way and we are looking for Canada to do the same,” said the NDP’s trade critic.

Canada has become an “easy target” for the Chinese steel industry, said Ramsey, and the government should catch up to what Australia and the U.S. have done to limit the effects of dumping.

“Across all party lines, there has been a serious understanding of how important this is to the Canadian steel industry,” she said. “For myself, I just continue to highlight the importance of jobs that exist in my riding of Essex.”

Michael Cautillo, president and CEO of the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority, said in November 2015 all 22,000 tonnes of steel for the upcoming Gordie Howe International Bridge will come from the U.S. and Canada.

Ramsey said it’s important for the federal government to lead by example on all of its infrastructure projects in this context.

Marchand said he is also concerned the federal government is entertaining the idea of giving marketing economy status to China through the World Trade Organization. That would “give them even more access in terms of trade,” he said.

Governments of both the U.S. and China are taking “a very aggressive stance with their business community,” and Canada needs to think about how it will compete, said Marchand.

“I guess we’re going to be asking the question to the Canadian government: ‘To what extent are we going to aggressively defend Canadian businesses in the context of China dumping steel?'”

by Tom Morrison

Tom Morrison is a Windsor-based journalist. @TomMorrison12 on Twitter

Steel layoff notice

On Friday March 17th, the Union given notification of the upcoming layoff in the Steel division. This will take effect April 3rd and will roughly effect 100 employee’s. The information we were provided with Friday was that this would roughly be a 7 to 10 day outage. Please keep an eye on your schedule and if you have any concerns contact your supervisor or the Human resources department.

Steel Trade with U.S

Brothers and Sisters,

On March 16th  members from your executive along with District 3 director Steve Hunt and Staff Representative Leslie McNabb met with the Honorable Ralph Goodale to discuss the impact  Steel trade with the U.S has on Steelworkers in Western Canada.

Much of our discussion was about the impact a “buy american” policy in the U.S would affect our members and Evraz as a whole. Mr. Goodale was very receptive to the talks and we left him with a few things to take back to the cabinet and the Prime Minister. We made the point that like our American counterparts, Canada’s steel industry has suffered from global overcapacity and the dumping of steel products primarily by China, Japan, Korea and Turkey. Without maintaining fair trade, and fair access to markets the Canadian government must be as vigorous as our American counterparts in defending Canadian workers. In the U.S unions have the direct ability to file trade complaints and in Canada we can not. An issue we would like to see changed.

Recent discussions in the U.S regarding the Keystone Pipeline have often incorrectly referred to Canadian made pipe from Regina as “Russian” pipe. The discussions  ignore that a significant portion of the pipeline will also traverse within Canada. They also ignore that there is no comparable pipeline manufacturer within the U.S that can produce the volume and quality that we can.

 

We will continue to fight for our jobs!

In Solidarity