Local News Archive

At the CREA PAC media council in Ottawa watching Don Martin, Chantal Hebert and Rob Russo discussing Canadian politics. ‎Always fascinating listening to people who eat, breathe and live politics discuss their open and frank opinions on the current political environment.

UNIFOR Local 848 congratulates the 7 students whom each received a $500.00 Scholarship Award towards their Post-Secondary school costs.

Brodie Bresette son of Arnie Bresette (Operations)
Jessica Buscema daughter of Marc Buscema (Lab)
Karah Buscema daughter of Marc Buscema (Lab)
Caillee McKay daughter of Brian McKay (Lab)
Logan Scott son of Ian Scott (Operations)
Maddie Stewart daughter of Kevin Stewart (Lab)
Emma Wellington daughter of Josh Thomas (Dispatching)

Well done and best wishes in school.

No Board Report Filed with Conciliator, August 18

Brothers and Sisters

Today we filed with the conciliator for a no board report.

We were suppose to meet with the company today, their request, and they cancelled.

Today was suppose to be putting the whole deal together as yesterday I was in Toronto and ratified the National deal.

They have a copy of the National deal and they knew they would have a copy of it last night as soon as it was ratified.

Remember what it is we bring to the table….our labour and our ability to with hold it.

No one, including me wants a labour dispute.

However filing for the no board report is a step in the process, so that if we have to with hold our labour, we are leveraged to do so at the best time possible.

In the mean time….please do not focus on this, keep your focus on your work. Presently there are a lot of activities that you are all involved with right now. We need to all stay safe, concentrate on what you can control and let us continue to deal with this.

We are still negotiating, ( that is why everything is still confidential), and have another date tentatively set for the 27th. Now that the National is settled we are one more step closer.

I have said all along that we will get a deal….I still believe it. It looks like it is going to take a little longer than we anticipated!

In Solidarity,

Mark Mathewson


Unifor, local 848

Shell, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

cell (519)466-1987


A Canadian company that owns twin oil pipelines in the area where Lakes Huron and Michigan converge said Monday it will spend $7 million over the next two years on additional equipment that could be deployed quickly in the event of a spill, while insisting prospects are remote that it ever will be needed there.

Read more

Suncor Energy Inc. is raising $2.5-billion in a share sale as major oil producers tap equity markets and put more assets on the block to fortify balance sheets hit by weak crude prices.

Read more

If you have money invested in the stock market, it is reasonable that you may be of two minds about today’s jobless figures coming out of the United States.
Read more
Inshore fish harvesters and community leaders turned up the heat Thursday, as advisors to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) met to consider cuts to northern shrimp quotas.
Read more
Windsor is not a wasteland. That’s the message some of the nation’s top automotive consultants and industry leaders are hoping to deliver at an upcoming forum that will focus on bolstering Canada’s automotive sector.
Read more
Applications are due no later than April 30, 2016

2016 Scholarship Letter
2016 Scholarship Application


Report on Business

Do rate cuts fuel growth, or just cash hoarding?
7 December 2015

The Globe and Mail

Economist with Unifor and a research associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

After a generation of comparatively high corporate incometax (CIT) rates, Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives initiated a series of reforms in the late 1980s that were deepened by Jean Chrétien’s Liberals, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and numerous provincial governments. The cumulative result has been a drastic reduction in the statutory CIT rate (the combined federal and average provincial), falling from 50 per cent in 1986 to 26 per cent by 2012.

According to many economists who remain beholden to a business-led, “trickle down” vision of development, this was a wise policy. Reducing CIT rates leaves firms with a greater proportion of their profits to plow into growthexpanding industrial projects.

And at a more fundamental level, they say, a reduced rate lowers the cost of capital, which should induce a greater supply of it.

Has the decades-long commitment to rate reductions led to an increase in the level of business investment or a more rapid rate of employment and GDP growth?

I explored this question in a recent report for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, probing the deep history of Canada’s corporate income-tax regime.

Going all the way back to the 1920s, the study examines three corporate income-tax rates: the effective federal rate, the combined federal-provincial rate and the effective rate paid by just the 60 largest Canadian-based firms.

It compares those rates with five key growth metrics: business investment, job creation, GDP per capita, labour compensation and productivity. If there is a strong and inverse relationship between the CIT regime and growth, it should be detectable in this batch of variables.

The study found that, of the dozens of tests of association, roughly three-quarters are not statistically significant in either direction. This is damning in its own right, but more surprising yet is that in the one-quarter of cases where there is a statistically significant result, the direction of the effect was more often positive than negative – the opposite of what mainstream economic theory predicts.

Take business investment in fixed assets, a key determinant of growth, and through which the effects of rate changes are supposed to be most apparent. Business investment not only failed to rise with the onset of CIT reductions, it fell. When we contrast the 25-year period before Mr. Mulroney’s reforms (1964-1988) with the 25 years of the CIT reform era (1988-2012), we find the investment share of GDP having shrunk by one-fifth, and that includes the enormous investment into Alberta energy during the upswing in the commodity supercycle.

A similar story is found with job creation and GDP per-capita growth, which drastically decelerated in the cuts era. It turns out that leaving corporations with more after-tax profit doesn’t generate an investment and jobs boom. To the contrary, Canadians have seen sustained underinvestment, a jobs crisis and the slowest GDP growth since the Depression era. This is not a victory for the “science” of economics.

It gets worse. The study also unearthed evidence indicating that corporate tax cuts actually depressed growth. By reducing rates, Canadian governments contributed to the increased income position of large firms. But rather than investing their enlarged earnings into expansionary industrial projects, Canada’s corporate sector hoarded cash on its balance sheet.

The statistical relationship between the CIT rate and corporate cash hoarding is nearly perfectly and inversely correlated, which means that with every rate reduction, corporate Canada’s cash stockpile increased. This dead money is now approaching an astonishing $700-billion, and is clearly one ingredient in the heightened stagnation of recent times.

If these findings are true, corporate tax cuts will go down as one of the great policy blunders of our time. Far from spawning higher levels of investment, the government fixation with corporate tax cuts fuelled cash hoarding and slower growth.

Times Colonist (Victoria)
Fri Nov 20 2015
Section: Business

One of Canada’s largest private-sector unions wants the federal government to revoke the Jim Pattison Group’s commercial salmon-fishing licences over the closure of its cannery in Prince Rupert.

Unifor western director Joie Warnock said in a statement that the decision by the Pattison-owned Canadian Fishing Company will cost up to 500 jobs and virtually close the community’s largest employer. Warnock said fish caught in northern B.C. waters are a Canadian resource and should be processed locally.

But company spokesman Rob Morley called the union’s job-loss estimate inaccurate and said about 330 people work regularly for the company and most will still process fish.

Morley said only a “tiny amount” of salmon the cannery processed this past summer was caught by company boats and most came from Alaska.

The Jim Pattison Group acquired the company, Canfisco, in 1984. The company sells products in North America, Western Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

The Belleville Intelligencer
Fri Nov 20 2015
Byline: Luke Hendry
Source: The Intelligencer

Quinte Health Care’s leadership proposes cutting 162 positions while creating 78 in its next round of cost-cutting.

President and chief executive officer Mary Clare Egberts said staff will do their best to minimize the effects on patients. “There some changes for the patients in the budget, but hopefully they won’t change the level of quality or caring that the patient’s receiving,” she said in a telephone interview.

“It should not be noticeable to the patient apart from maybe going to a different hospital.” But for staff, however, the changes are sweeping.

“Literally every department is going to be having some impact,” Egberts said. The proposals include staffing changes in every union and the hospitals in Belleville, Trenton and Picton – but not North Hastings Hospital in Bancroft.

Most staff received the news Thursday morning in briefings with their managers.

The corporation must cut $11.5 million from the 2016-2017 operating budget.

Of that figure, $7 million represents a reduction in administration and support departments, with $4.5 million cut from patient-care areas.

Egberts and others have long said the changes are required in order to balance the budget in the wake of reduced provincial funding for hospitals, but also due to QHC’s relative inefficiency compared to similar hospitals. The corporation employs more than 1,500 people.

There will be 84 fewer positions at QHC if the board implements all of the proposals, senior communications director Susan Rowe said.

Thirty-eight of the 162 jobs at stake are vacant, while 48 further staff could be reassigned to new positions.

The remaining 30 new jobs could involve other reassignments or job postings, Rowe said.

Belleville General Hospital will see the most change of the four hospitals.

It faces the loss of 117 positions, 33 of them vacant, and the addition of 68, for a net loss of 49, compared to 38 at Trenton Memorial and six at Prince Edward County Memorial.

Changes are to take effect starting April 1, the first day of the next fiscal year.

“These changes are extremely difficult for everyone at QHC and we are focused on supporting our staff through this stressful process,” Egberts said in a press release.

The proposals have not been approved by the board and are subject to counter-proposals by the hospital corporation’s four unions. Management met this week with union officials.

“It was clear that everyone wants to work to minimize the involuntary job loss,” Egberts said.

Representatives of the Service Employees International Union and Ontario Nurses’ Association did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.

Unifor Local 8300 president Jake Gibson said he was surprised by the degree of the cuts to his membership.

“Members are devastated,” Gibson said, adding QHC offered counselling to workers.

While QHC has pledged to offer severance packages, he said, “We’re still losing jobs.”
Unifor’s membership includes QHC’s registered practical nurses, maintenance workers, food service workers and more.

Gibson said he’ll meet with QHC in early December and try to help his workers, but continues to press the corporation about the relatively few cuts to management. Five management and five nonunion jobs are proposed for removal, though a total of seven are vacant and one is to be added. “We have less management staff for our number of staff than 75 per cent of Ontario hospitals,” Egberts said.

Egberts said there are, on average, 57 staff reporting to one QHC manager but the Ontario average is less than 25.

Rowe said QHC has reduced the number of directors – the management level below vice-president – by attrition and reviews management jobs during each restructuring.

One Belleville nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear for her job, said QHC is downplaying the effects upon patients. “These cuts do affect patient care, they do affect wait times,” the nurse said.

“They will also affect that 99.9 per cent accreditation rating they are so proud of.”

Egberts has referred often to QHC’s top approval rating this year of 99.9 per cent from Accreditation Canada as proof QHC can maintain quality of care amid its restructuring.

“Staff are tired of and frustrated about the front-line workers being cut,” the nurse said.

“Regardless of the pretty picture top brass are trying to paint, staff morale is at an all-time low. Staff rarely get their breaks and are already working short-staffed,” added the nurse.

A cleaner at BGH said several cleaning jobs will be lost, increasing the workload on remaining staff in a “huge” way.

“There are public bathrooms that aren’t being cleaned as often. There are patient bathrooms that aren’t being cleaned as often … because of the cuts,” she said.

The cleaner charged Unifor is complicit in the cuts, saying the union does not “go to bat for us.”
Unifor‘s Gibson said the union has had limited success in amending QHC proposals. In the last round of cuts, he said, the union secured a full-time position when QHC proposed part-time hours.

If the changes are implemented as proposed, QHC will have cut about $36.5 million in operating spending in four years.

Board chairwoman Tricia Anderson, of Quinte West, said citizens told QHC it should prioritize 24-hour emergency rooms, inpatient beds and basic diagnostic services at all hospitals. Anderson said each hospital will keep those services.

A board meeting Tuesday is expected to result in approval of the proposals in principal, with final approval in January.

Public concerns remain, especially those about lost services or decreased access to care.

Opposition to restructuring has been loudest in the Quinte West-Brighton area, with an estimated 600 people rallying in Trenton Nov. 13 to protest QHC’s proposals and hospital cuts in general. The proposals include support for a concept that could include Trenton’s hospital in a larger health centre in that city, combining it with related services.

London Free Press
Fri Nov 20 2015
Byline: Glen Woodcock
Source: London Free Press

The United auto Workers’ leadership has approved a new contract with Ford motor Co. in the U.S. that in exchange for more money and job guarantees would see almost all of the company’s passenger car production move to Mexico.

As part of the deal, yet to be ratified by Ford’s 53,000 UAW members, upgrades will be made to those plants losing passenger car production.

The Michigan assembly Plant outside Detroit will lose Focus and C-max, but will get a $700 million refit in anticipation of a new product in 2018, widely believed to be a new ranger pickup. Some sources say the ranger-based bronco SUV also will make a comeback, in 2020.

The Chicago assembly plant that now produces the Explorer SUV and Taurus sedan will get $900 million in upgrades, but the future of Taurus is unclear. Some reports suggest production could be moved to China. but the UAW says all it knows is that Taurus “will continue through its product life cycle.”

The union also says Ford’s Ohio assembly plant in Avon Lake will get $250 million in upgrades to make it ready for an unspecified new product.

The deal, if approved, would move all production of the midsize Fusion to Mexico, where it is now assembled as well as in Flat Rock, Mich. That would make mustang the only Ford passenger car produced in the U.S. until it is joined at Flat rock by the new Lincoln Continental next year.

Most Ford workers will get an $8,500 signing bonus and $1,750 in additional bonuses once the contract is ratified. as well, the company will gradually do away with the two-tier salaries instituted during the financial crisis of 2008 and lift the $12,000 cap on profit sharing – if the company records an annual North American profit of more than $12 billion. The best year on record was 2013, when North American operations earned $8.8 billion.

None of this affects unionized workers at Ford of Canada’s assembly plant in Oakville, ON., represented by Unifor, where they make the Ford Edge and Flex and Lincoln MKX and MKT SUVs.

November 5, 2015

Toronto – With the release of the full text of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal today, Unifor is calling on the federal government to thoroughly consult with Canadians on the agreement’s impact on this country and to revise the provisions that will damage key Canadian industries.

“The former Conservative government was is a rush to reach a deal before the national election. We now have a chance to see what concessions they made so that could happen,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

“The new government needs to commit to fixing whatever mistakes lurk in the TPP text because the former Conservative government was in such a rush.”

Going through the entire document must not be rushed before the federal government decides on whether to support it, Dias said, adding Unifor will also being going through the deal to see what was negotiated. It will take weeks of review of the TPP itself, the numerous technical annexes, and the various bilateral side-deals to identify specific provisions of the deal that were not publicized prior to the election.

“The big question is, what the Conservative give up to reach this deal in a hurry,” Dias said.

“Based just on what we know already, there are real concerns with the auto provisions, manufacturing, patent laws as they relate to publishing and prescription drugs, and the impact on dairy farmers and supply management.”

Unifor Economist Jim Stanford previously calculated that weakened regional content rules in the TPP will ultimately threaten 20,000 well-paying jobs in Canada’s auto sector alone.

The agreement will eliminate Canada’s 6.1 percent tariff on vehicle imports from Asia over just five years (much faster than auto tariffs are removed in other TPP countries), and dramatically weakens regional content rules for both autos and parts.

“Under the TPP, vehicles and parts mostly made in China and other non-TPP countries would have free access to North American markets,” Stanford said.

The current NAFTA trade deal is superseded by TPP, because it rewrites the rules of trade in North America.
“We’re not at all sure the former Conservative government thought that one through,” Dias said. “The new government must now take an honest, evidence-based look at the deal, with full input from Canadians, to determine if it helps or hurts our economy.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including 40,000 in the auto sector. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.

Downlaoad the PDF document

October 27, 2015

Toronto – Unifor is proposing sweeping changes to Ontario employment standards and labour laws to better reflect the reality of modern work in an era of precarious, low-paying part-time jobs, and to give more Ontario workers a fair chance to form a union.

“Work today is becoming increasingly precarious. For more and more Ontarians, particularly young workers, the prospect of a job with regular hours – or even enough hours to support a family – seems out of reach,” Unifor Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier said.

Unifor is releasing its submission to the Ontario government’s Changing Workplace Review publicly today, the opening day of the annual Ontario Economic Summit in Niagara on the Lake. Fortier and Economist Jim Stanford will be at the Summit. Stanford will participate in a panel discussion Wednesday at 11am on The Changing Nature of Work, where he will discuss the union’s recommendations.

In its 156-page submission to the Review, Unifor makes a total of 43 specific recommendations. Unifor’s submission reflects input from Unifor locals across Ontario, many of which appeared before the advisors in public consultation meetings over the summer and fall.

Unifor’s full submission includes several proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act, to provide better protection for workers facing precarious and irregular jobs. Unifor’s proposals include: rules for shift scheduling that provide workers with more stability in scheduling and more opportunity for full-time work, making employers jointly responsible for the actions of temp agencies, access to prorated employment benefits (such as health and insurance protections) for part-time workers, and a more pro-active and independent approach to the enforcement of employment standards (including greater scope for independent third-party investigations of ESA violations).

Proposed changes to the Labour Relations Act aim to modernize the process of union certification and first contract negotiation, including innovative proposals for the use of electronic union voting, holding certification votes in neutral locations, and expanded arbitration systems to help establish first contracts in newly-unionized workplaces. Unifor is also proposing the maintenance of union security and provisions when contracted services are flipped.

Unifor’s submission also includes two very innovative proposals to attain a better balance between employers and workers in the era of precarious, unstable work. Unifor proposes that workers in non-union workplaces be given explicit legal protection to engage in collective action in pursuit of their economic objectives (mirroring similar protections that exist in U.S. law). The union has also developed a far-reaching proposal to establish sector-wide employment standards and contract provisions, covering both unionized and non-union workers, that would establish better employment practices in specific sectors facing especially unfavourable or insecure conditions (such as fast food workers or freelance workers) .

“Too many workers today face a future of one bad, insecure job after another, often holding down more than one job at any one time as they try to make enough money. They are so dependent on those jobs that they are hesitant to speak out, as is their right, for fear they’ll lose what work they have,” Fortier said.

“The barriers to joining with co-workers to form a union thwart far too many workers. And a race to the bottom across whole sectors of our economy makes getting ahead all the more difficult,” Fortier said.

Unifor’s full submission is available at www.unifor.org/WorkplaceChanges.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.


For more information, please contact Unifor National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.

Congratulations to the following 9 students who each received a $500 scholarship from UNIFOR Local 848 towards their post-secondary education.

  1. Mitch Bresette – son of Arnie Bresette (Operations-Isomax)
  2. Duncan Gibson-Lockhart – stepson of George Brown (Utilities/Steam Plant)
  3. TJ Kennedy – son of Mike Kennedy (Operations – Chemical Plant)
  4. Allison Bergenhus – daughter of Rob Bergenhus (Utilities/Steam Plant)
  5. Kassandra Roache – daughter of Lyle Roache (Maintenance – Electrical Department)
  6. Paz Fortier – daughter of Francie Fortier (Operations – Cat Cracker)
  7. Kelliann Drury – daughter of Ann Drury (Maintenance – Instrument Department)
  8. Brett Corrigan – stepson of Scott VanGaver (Operations – Chemical Plant)
  9. Sarah Corrigan – stepdaughter of Scott VanGaver (Operations – Chemical Plant)

Best of luck in school this year to all.

Al Gates
UNIFOR Local 848 Treasurer

Our members have voted unanimously in favour of enforcing both the National Bargaining Program and the Supplementary Fund. We would also like to thank Jeff Paxton and Rob Bergenhus who ran for Trustee. The votes tallied in favour of Rob, congratulations! We would also like to thank all the members who participated, and came out to vote both in person and online.

‎Mark speaking to the 1000 delegates at the Unifor Canadian Council about the need for us, Unifor’s unionized workers to step up to take the lead on a Canadian Energy Policy that protects our members, our jobs, our communities as well as our environment!

Already, thousands of Canadians have turned out to meet Tom in places long-considered Conservative strongholds. It’s a sure sign that Canadians are ready for change. //


Hi Mike – my name is Jesse.

I’m the Deputy Director of Tom Mulcair’s tour this election.

Everywhere Tom goes, the support we’re seeing is unprecedented. From Strathroy to Kingston, a growing number of Ontarians are turning to Tom to bring change to Ottawa.

On Tuesday, Tom Mulcair will be in Sarnia as part of the most important election campaign in a generation. Can you make it?

Rally for Change in Sarnia
Tuesday, August 25th at 6:30 pm
Holiday Inn, Sarnia Point Edward
1498 Venetian Blvd., Sarnia


Already, thousands of Canadians have turned out to meet Tom in places long-considered Conservative strongholds. It’s a sure sign that Canadians are ready for change.

Show your support and meet others working to put Canada on track. RSVP for Tuesday’s rally in Sarnia:


Admission to this event is free and everyone is welcome.



Jesse Calvert
Deputy Director, Leader’s Tour
Canada’s New Democrats


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New Democratic Party of Canada
300-279 Laurier West, Ottawa ON K1P 5J9

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Dear Ted,
On Wednesday, August 5th I will be hosting a town hall meetingto discuss Kathleen Wynne’s proposed sell-off of Hydro One and how this wrong decision will impact you and your family.
Please join me for a very special event.
Date: Wednesday, August 5th
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Clearwater Arena, 1400 Wellington St, Sarnia, ON N7S 5R5
Contact: outreach@ndp.on.ca
Click HERE for a map.
Please RSVP to our invite to confirm your attendance and share the invitation on Facebook.
Privatizing Hydro will make rates skyrocket and will remove public oversight and accountability. This decision will leave Ontario families, small businesses and future generations paying the price, with higher rates and less reliable revenue for infrastructure, schools and hospitals.
Ontarians are telling us that they don’t support the sell-off. That is why tens of thousands of people have signed our petition at youpaytheprice.ca to say NO to the Liberal sell-off of Hydro One.
Now it’s time for you to have your say!
Join us on August 5th for a community town hall so we can shine a light on what this plan will really cost Ontario families. Let’s tell Kathleen Wynne to keep our hydro system public.
I hope to see you on August 5th.

– Andrea

Andrea Horwath
Leader of Ontario’s New Democrats

Ontario NDP · Canada
This email was sent to tedhext@hotmail.com.

Art Vandermeer at his retirement party

‎Big Art with the Prez getting his retirement cheque

SWC and Unifor Local 848 listen to the sounds of 848’s own Andrew Brorody and his band Gorgeous George on the summer cruise. The weather cooperated, the tunes were awesome and a great time was had by all!

This Thursday marks a critical moment in the fight against the sale of Hydro One. As we have been reviewing in recent Keep Hydro Public daily updates, Ontario cannot afford the risk of privatizing Hydro One. Consider, the sale of Hydro One means:

  • a loss of accountability and public oversight
  • a loss of $338 million in annual provincial government revenue needed for schools and hospitals
  • a loss of millions of dollars more for municipal governments through privatization of local electricity companies
  • a loss of public control and an ability to influence environmental initiatives
  • a loss for consumers – North American experience shows service goes down and prices go up when public utilities are privatized

Join us this Thursday, May 28, at 12:30 at Queen’s Park. Confirm your participation through our Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1420251534964053/.

Share with your friends!

Please forward this email to friends and share your support for the campaign over social media. Use the hashtag: #KeepHydroPublic, along with you own messages, photos, and videos that sum up how you feel about the Ontario Government’s decision to privatize Ontario Hydro.

Upcoming events

  • Thursday, May 28 – Keep Hydro Public rally at Queen’s Park | Flyer

Article: Oshawa residents rally against Hydro One privatization at town hall meeting 

NDP leader Andrea Horwath urges residents to oppose proposed sale of 60 per cent of Hydro One.
Click here to read more.

Article: Ontarians will pay the price for Hydro One sell off 

Whether you know it or not, you’re an owner of Hydro One. But if Kathleen Wynne has her way, you won’t be for long.
Click here to read more.

Unifor local unions are encouraged to participate in a Queens Park Rally on Thursday May 28th from 12:30pm till 1:30pm.

This rally is supported by the “Keep Hydro Public” coalition. Unifor, along with AMAPCEO, OPSEU, NUPGE, CUPE ACORN, OCAP, Raise the Rates, TTC Riders, OSSTF, OECTA, ETFO and CFS are partners in this growing coalition and encourage full participation. Our joint statement is attached as well as a flyer for the rally.

Further will be sent to all Ontario Local Unions and Retiree’s chapters on how we can participate in this debate, asking the provincial government to stop the sale of Hydro One and engage in public consultations. Please visit the website www.keephydropublic.ca

If you have any questions, please let me know.

In solidarity,



This is an urgent request to all Southwestern Ontario locals to attend an important information picket.

Thursday, May 21
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Metcalfe Gardens Retirement Home
45 Metcalfe Street
St. Thomas, Ontario

These members of Local 302 are experiencing difficulty with this employer getting respect and a fair and equitable agreement at the bargaining table.

I am requesting that all Southwestern Ontario locals ensure maximum participation. Thank you for your immediate attention.

Unifor Economist Jim Stanford leads debate at the Holiday Inn, in Sarnia, on whether our government should step up to the table and by using “carrots and sticks,” enable the building of a new refinery in the Sarnia area. The Executive of Unifor 848 attending to help learn about the process.

Master of Ceremonies John Millholland represents Unifor Local 848 once again at the Sarnia Day of Mourning event. The National Day of Mourning is a day to remember and honour all of the lives lost and workers injured due to workplace related accidents or illness. Unifor Local 848 stands behind the fight for workplace safety and works hard to ensure that every worker returns home safely after each day of work.

Unifor Local 848 has donated $848.00 to the local “Pretty in Pink Cruise” once again this year. The proceeds of the Duc D’orleans Boat Cruise up and down the St. Clair River go to assist the Canadian Cancer Society’s Transportation Program with 100% of the monies raised staying locally.

The Transportation Program is made up of volunteers to assist patients with the necessary rides to/from their treatment programs, which can a daunting task for family and caregivers when treatments are out of town. For more information on the transportation program, please contact the Canadian Cancer Society. www.cancer.ca or +1 888-939-3333.

The cruise itself is set to take place on Thursday, June 18th, with a pre-party commencing at 5:30pm and the boat leaving at 6:30pm. This is a women’s only event with themed costumes, band and door prizes. Tickets will be made available through the Canadian Cancer Society on May 1st. Information is also available on their Facebook page, “Pretty in Pink Cruise- Sarnia 2015.”

Pictured are Lisa Bone, Unifor Local 848 and Bev Boone, Pretty in Pink Cruise Co-Chair.


Bill 53, the Protecting Passenger Safety Act, 2014 was introduced by Ottawa MPP John Fraser in December 2014 and is scheduled for second reading very soon in the Ontario Legislature. Our union is supporting the speedy passing of this Bill. The Bill, strengthens the enforcement mechanisms to protect the safety and security of the public from illegal and potentially dangerous situations.

Unifor representatives, including the presidents of two of our taxi locals in Ottawa, met with Fraser just before his Bill was introduced. In fact, they met with representatives of all three parties at Queen’s Park to stress the importance of this legislation.

The response was great, but we need to help ensure this important Bill gets the support it needs in the Legislature.

That is why I am encouraging all Locals in Ontario to email of phone your local MPP, whatever party they are from, and urge them to vote in favour of this Bill and ensure its speedy passage.

Canada’s taxi rules can be complex, but are necessary. Drivers must take mandatory training courses (along with other work-related necessities) before getting behind the wheel. There are long-established rules on where taxis can pick up and drop off riders; the type of insurance needed; how many licensees can operate in a city; safety mechanisms to protect both driver and passen­ger; and many other safety measures.

These rules have evolved over time, as solutions to real problems. They ensure a standard of safety and accountability between passenger and driver, and a level playing field for taxi operators.

But black-market (or “bandit”) taxis such as UberX think these rules don’t apply to them. They provide rides for money, often without a valid taxi license, proper insurance, without paying government taxes, without having gone through the proper training or using unmarked vehicles that are not properly equipped with standard safety mechanisms.

Online and mobile technologies provide new opportunities for the taxi industry. More efficiently connecting drivers with passengers can mean greater take-home pay for workers, and online payments can speed up trips.

But some of these new technologies are being used by companies to skirt existing taxi licensing laws and undermine public and passenger safety rules.

In solidarity,

Jerry Dias
National President
Président national

Brothers and Sisters,

I just wanted to take a few minutes of your time to inform you of a few things we are facing as a Local.

Steam Plant: here is a situation that is very unpleasant for us. Previous management has not staffed this department properly. They now are panicking as they have more work than people to run safely. The current management are seriously worried about their liability if they do nothing. So what they are going to do is to move our hourly workers back to their regular shifts covering the board, and replace these people with staff. This is not something we agree with. This is not something we are bargaining with the company with. This is not something we are letting them do. The fact is, legally, we as a Union only have the right to grieve this process. We do not have any other levers to pull. We can’t get an injunction to stop this.
So let’s be perfectly clear, we are not at fault here, but this is our problem.

Both individuals in the department as well as the Executive have tried to stop them with no results.

So what do we do? Well the answer to that is a little different for each of us. Individuals who have been put back to shift, if they are not still getting their coordinator rates, we grieve.

For individuals who might have been eligible to post for the Trainer and the Day Assistant roles, if the company does not post and pay someone for each of these roles, we grieve this.

For individuals who have their name on the Forward schedule and lose OT by those being put back to shift, we grieve this.

As for the Executive, we need to continue to talk to the company. We need to try to ensure the CA is being followed and most importantly we need to ensure this is a one-time, non-precedent setting, knee-jerk reaction because of their poor managing.

We are also continuing to talk to them to ensure they have a clear documented plan for future staffing for this department.

From what we heard at Dialogue yesterday, they plan on executing their actions for the first of next week. We have not seen the final document yet. We do not know all the details as of yet. What we do know is that they are going to put staff in some of our roles.

Please remember that Shell has rules and policies on respectful workplaces. These staff that are coming back to take your jobs are not your enemies. They did not ask to come back. They are being told to do so by the same management that has thought of this idea. Even those managers, they are also not your enemy. This is a really bad situation caused in the past by other managers.

The Union Executive has spent lots of time on this. We are with you. We will be ready to assist you as this unfolds and as always will be available to listen to you.

Electricians: as with the Steam Plant issue, we have had lots of chats with individuals on this particular issue as well. In a nutshell, this problem boils down to what exactly your role is and what can be expected by you and the company while you are in this role. The company has put a proposal to us that would allow a person to work in their past department, with all the rights they had then. This means, if they could work OT there, than they could go back and work OT as a last resort there again. If they were eligible to work up as their progression allowed, they could go back to their old department and continue to do so.

The Executive had a chat with you, the membership, at the GM, and with the company at Dialogue. We informed the groups of our position, which is that at this point in time we do not agree with this process. There are several reasons, but the main one is that with management regime, we feel it is prudent that we give nothing now, as we anticipate a tough round of bargaining and we need all the items we have to trade still available for us to work with.

Management has now retracted this proposal.

Cap and Trade: this system was announced by the Ontario Government on Monday. What this system will do is to penalize polluters. We are considered a polluter. As yet, all the details have not been released but the system is designed to use the proceeds from polluters to try to lessen total emissions to the environment. For example, this can be done by switching public transit from hydro carbon burning to electricity. Especially if you have a wind and solar network.

The purpose of this program is to force companies to become less of a burden on the environment by using a trade or credit system that will reward improvements in your Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. So in our case, if we replaced burners and our GHG went down, so would our penalty.

We have previously discussed this with the company, and although they were not very chatty about it, they did say they were aware of this and were prepared to deal with this.

Big Shot Visit: I get that the Big Shot announcing that we were not going to get the expansion was disappointing at the very least. However, what management has not been very good at communicating was the positives of the visit. I think we all got so caught up with being disappointed once again that we missed the positives. We got a visit from someone that high up in the organization. Why? Well, because we are not Siberia anymore! We are making “boat loads” of money. We have managers now that want to put on their resumes that they worked here. He came to see one of his “cash cows.” Sure he lorded over us minions. Sure he looked down his nose at our kit and its size, but he smiles when he sees our profits.

He is continuing to smile because what our site management showed him was the next ten-year plan. A plan that involves tens of millions of dollars a year just so we can continue to run. Patch-and-fix money, if you will. And he likes it. He agrees we have a ten year future! Look, nothing in life is for certain, but I will tell you, this is the most job security I have ever felt for this site in the entire 25 years I have been here – a ten year plan that one of the most senior managers in the Shell world agrees with. I know it is hard, but that is what we should be focusing on from his visit – the positive, not the negative!

Thanks for your time. I hope you found this update helpful. By no means is it 100% representative of all the things we are dealing with, but it does touch on some of the highlights.

As always, I am available for questions, comments or concerns.

In Solidarity,

Mark Mathewson

Attention all members!

Unifor Local 848 will be at the Sarnia District Labour Council Day of Mourning Event at the East Street Fire Hall on April 28th at 6pm. Our hourly safety coach, John Millholland, will be the MC again this year. We hope to see you there!

Le texte en français suit celui en anglais.

Unifor welcomes appointment of Industrial Inquiry Commission regarding dispute at Crown Holdings

March 13, 2015

(Toronto) – Unifor welcomes the news that the Ontario government has appointed an Industrial Inquiry Commission to examine the ongoing dispute at Crown Holdings.

For more than 18 months, 120 members of USW Local 9176 have been on strike.

“Unifor is pleased to have been able to work with the USW and the Ontario government to get things headed in a direction that we are hopeful will lead to the return of negotiations,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

“This strike is about the USW members’ struggle for fairness and security – and it’s about the right of all unionized workers to fair and reasonable negotiations with their employers,” said Dias. “The 120 members of USW Local 9176 have the full support of the entire labour movement.”

“I applaud Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn for exercising the leadership required to move this dispute towards a solution,” said Dias.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.


For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Director Sarah Blackstock at sarah.blackstock@unifor.org or (416) 949-1072.

Unifor salue la nomination d’une commission d’enquête industrielle concernant le conflit chez Crown Holdings

Le 13 mars 2015

(Toronto) – Unifor se réjouit de la nouvelle annonçant que le gouvernement de l’Ontario a nommé une commission d’enquête industrielle pour examiner le conflit en cours chez Crown Holdings.

Depuis plus de 18 mois, 120 membres de la section locale 9176 des Métallos sont en grève.

« Unifor est heureux d’avoir pu travailler avec le syndicat des Métallos et le gouvernement de l’Ontario pour orienter les choses dans une direction qui, nous l’espérons, pourra permettre la reprise des négociations », a déclaré Jerry Dias, président national d’Unifor.

« Cette grève soulève toute la question du combat des membres des Métallos pour l’équité et la sécurité, et touche au droit de tous les travailleurs syndiqués de négocier équitablement et raisonnablement avec leurs employeurs », a affirmé Jerry Dias. « Les 120 membres de la section locale 9176 des Métallos ont le plein appui de tout le mouvement syndical. »

« Je félicite le ministre du Travail, Kevin Flynn, d’avoir exercé le leadership nécessaire pour faire avancer ce conflit vers une solution », a ajouté Jerry Dias.

Représentant plus de 305 000 travailleurs, Unifor est le plus grand syndicat du secteur privé au Canada. Fondé pendant la fin de semaine de la fête du Travail en 2013, il est issu de la fusion des Travailleurs canadiens de l’automobile et du Syndicat canadien des communications, de l’énergie et du papier.


Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, veuillez contacter la directrice des communications d’Unifor, Sarah Blackstock, à l’adresse sarah.blackstock@unifor.org ou au (416) 949-1072.

Please join us for a Day of Action, Saturday, March 14 at MP Pat Davidson’s Constituency Office, 1000 Finch Drive (corner of Wellington & Finch, beside Brownstones Restaurant) at 10:00 am. Please feel free to bring signs and banners. This is part of a Canada-wide Day of Action, and is a family friendly event, so children are welcome.

Experts have pointed out, that, if passed, Bill C-51 will, among other things:

1. Create a secret police force with little oversight or accountability,

2. Facilitate government spying and information sharing on innocent Canadians,

3. Open the door to a variety of violations of our Charter Rights.

For more information, and to sign up for the Day of Action, you can visit:

Facebook page: Bill C-51 Day of Action – Sarnia

Web: Sarnia Day of Action Against Bill C-51

In Solidarity,
Ted Hext
President, Sarnia and District Labour Council
President, Sarnia Area Chapter CURC

What You Should Know About Bill C-51

More than 5,000 United Steelworkers union members are striking at refineries across the nation. Several hundred of them are on strike here in Texas City.

One of the biggest deal-breakers in the negotiations was the refusal of the refineries to include contract language protecting the right to a safe work environment. The Steelworkers want the contractual right to stop working in an unsafe workplace. The union wants to limit overtime hours to combat the safety challenges caused by worker fatigue.

These companies invest in chamber of commerce activities and advertising dollars to prove their support of their neighboring communities. They send representatives to chamber and charity events to show they care. Talent, resources and dollars are spent promoting their corporate good will and good citizen images.

Yet they refuse to spend money maintaining refinery machinery in decent enough condition to prevent their workers from being killed. The refineries refuse to consider these demands.

Why would a company refuse to guarantee workers the right to a safe workplace? Because the lives and safety of their workers do not matter enough to cut into profits. Because the people that do the work generating those profits do not matter.

Why are the union members not backing down? Overtime dollars pay a lot of bills and then some. Striking means bills go unpaid. Why not take the money and take their chances?

Because they cannot forget the cost of working in dangerous conditions.

In Anacortes, Washington, seven workers were killed in a plant explosion five years ago and six more in an explosion in 1998. Two workers died in a refinery explosion in Beaumont in 2103. Other deaths occurred in fires, explosions, and toxic releases at plants across the country. The causes can be traced to dangerous workplace conditions and worker fatigue.

Here in Texas City on March 23, 2005 the BP plant exploded in one of the worst refinery accidents in United States history. Fifteen workers died and more than 180 were injured. Some of the injured were burned beyond recognition.

I know because I presided as trial judge over all 4,016 legal claims arising from that explosion. I had to meet the families of those killed who had surviving children and some of those burned and one who had been comatose. I remember one man’s skin was burned so badly that you could not discern his original skin color or race. I saw court staff fight back tears listening to the stories of the survivors and the surviving family members.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board issued findings of the causes of the Texas City BP catastrophe. BP commissioned former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker to study the explosion. Both released reports of their findings in 2007. Both revealed a culture of complacency toward worker safety at that refinery contributed to the disaster. Worker fatigue resulting from excessive overtime hours was another problem cited.

Why are the USW members on strike? Because their workers do matter.

Susan Criss, a former district court judge and attorney, and Neil Baron, an attorney and former League City Councilman, are writing columns from a progressive perspective.

February 22, 2015

Ottawa – Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services convened a meeting in Ottawa today between CN Rail and Unifor in an effort to find a path forward towards a negotiated settlement.

This afternoon there were high level discussions between Unifor National President Jerry Dias and CN President and CEO Claude Mongeau, who had meaningful dialogue in an effort to move the talks forward.

Unifor bargaining committees are currently on route to Ottawa to restart talks with CN late tomorrow.

Unifor has committed to federal mediators that if CN does lock out Unifor members, the union will not disrupt the Montreal ‎commuter service.

“If the lock-out occurs, CN has made a conscious decision to shut down customer service,” said Dias.

Unifor has six collective agreements with CN Rail, which cover mechanics, clerical workers, excavator operators, locomotive engineers (Savage Rail) and truck drivers. Unifor Local 100 represents skilled trades in mechanical shops and Unifor Council 4000 represents intermodal, clerical, mechanics and owner operators. Unifor is the largest union at CN with more than 4,800 members.

Unifor represents 9,000 railway workers and 305,000 members across the country in every sector of the economy.


For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Shannon Devine 416-302-1699 shannon.devine@unifor.org

The oil industry needs to take action to protect the lives of its workers and the health of our community.

  • In the past five years, 27 workers have been killed and hundreds more seriously injured.
  • In the past eight years, there have been 349 reported fires, many of which could have resulted in massive explosions or chemical releases into the surrounding community.

Dangers Need To Be Addressed

  • The refining process involves toxic and reactive chemicals, explosive materials, extreme temperatures and high pressure. Mistakes can be catastrophic.
  • Many refineries are understaffed, forcing workers into exhausting and brutal schedules that cause fatigue and the greater risk of accident.
  • Too many outside contractors, with less training and familiarity with refinery work, are being called to handle critical maintenance work.

Forced Out On Strike

The oil industry’s refusal to bargain in good faith over safety and staffing issues has so far forced 5,200 workers at 11 refineries out on unfair labor practice strikes. Workers are protesting undue delays in the company providing information and its threats to workers if they join the strike.

You Can Help

Please join us in calling on the oil industry to make workplaces and communities safer. Go to www.usw.org/act/oilsafety and tell Big Oil to negotiate fair contracts with its workers.

Thank you!

Unifor Local 848 President Mark Mathewson presents Krista Dochstader the 2014 President’s Award.

The award is given to the person who, in the minds of the Union Executive, has demonstrated exceptional participation throughout the year.

Congratulations Krista!

Unifor Local 848 President Mark Mathewson pictured with Dieutin Tran, winner of the website registration draw.

President Mark Mathewson Mark presents Gary Snauwaert with his retirement cheque.
Best of luck Gary!

Attention Unifor Local 848 Members,

Our Shell counterparts in the States are on strike, and here’s why you should be in the know!

Shell is not meeting demands of the union, and in fact, is hardly willing to negotiate.

Some major issues that are being fought for are:

Fatigue Management: the union wants Shell to cooperate and honestly protect the workers. There should be no exceptions to fatigue and Shell should be very serious about working extended hours. Hard and fast rules must be developed at a national level so that no company can make excuses.

Contracting and safety: in Canada we are blessed with high-skilled, unionized labour that supplements our work force, whereas Right to Work states are non-union and non-trade. The union wants to ensure that the company ups the level of education and development of all the contractors that come on site to ensure the safety of every worker and the site itself.

Wages: rumours that our counterparts are asking for ridiculous amounts of money are false. Bargaining last round right after the recession, they were forced to take lower wages than the profits of recent should have given them. They are trying to recoup the losses from last round and in light of low oil and profits. It’s a starting point to say that we demand fair share of profits earned on our labour.

Why is this important to us? We must keep in mind that when we bargain next year, we will see the same kinds of issues arise. We need to give them our support, and ask the question of why our counterparts are not being treated fairly.

Strategizing on this strike is affecting 10 percent of US refining capacity. Other sites are on rotating contract extension and there is a possibility for more strikes.

At this time, Shell is reluctant to come to the table and talk openly and honestly about safety.

If you have any more questions, please contact your executive board directly. We will keep you posted with updates as they come.

In Solidarity,

Mark Mathewson, President Unifor Local 848

The vote for LOCAL 848 hiring for 2015 past Bice 66%.
Thank you to all that came out and participated.
Have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Mark Mathewson

Brothers and Sisters; Here is the December 2014 Grievance Report. We are trying to number our Grievances now. You will see a number that looks similar to this (M-2014-03). That means Maintenance the year, and the 3rd grievance that year in that area. This should help us keep track of grievances better. Merry Christmas to you all and your families and a Happy New Year.

Cory Sommise

Brothers and Sisters,

I am sorry to bother you all this close to Christmas, but it is imperative that you to come out and vote.

As you may have heard, the company would like to hire 36 people in 2015: 24 the first round and 12 in the late summer.

This is absolutely necessary for our site.

The problem the company is facing is how to back fill all the internal transfers that may happen with the posting of these vacancies. We told them there probably would not be that many; however, they were going to put a ban on certain areas from being able to post for these vacancies. We also told them that this is absolutely not on, as we are all about equal opportunities for everyone. So we told them they had to post all the vacancies and honour all the right full postings.

They said fine we will only hire a few people then.This was a no win scenario.

The Executive worked very hard to negotiate an alternative that we believe to be a win-win for both us and the company.

Because this potentially alters the CA, we need your approval to do the deal.

So, to finalize this deal, we need you to come out and vote on this letter which will then become a temporary adjustment to the CA for 2015.

We will have all the details of the deal at the hall for your perusal and will be glad to answer all of your questions.

The vote will be held at the Devine Street Hall, in our office, between 3pm and 7pm, on Monday December 22, 2014.

Even if you do not think this affects you, I ask you to please come out and vote. This is your Local and voting is your right!

See you all there!

In Solidarity

Mark Mathewson
President of Unifor local 848
Shell Canada Limited
150 St-Clair Parkway, Corunna, Ontario N0N 1G0, Canada

Tel: +1 519 466-1987
Email: mark@mathewson.co
Internet: http://www.shell.ca

UNIFOR Local 848 is a Union Local that cares. We support our members, we support our members’ children with scholarship money, we give to our retirees, and we support local, provincial, national, and international charities.

In 2013 UNIFOR Local 848 gave out retirement gifts of $2,000 and currently sits at $10,000 in 2014 with less than a month to go in the year (although there are no further retirements are expected in 2014 at this time).

In 2013, charitable donations totaled $14,987.40, and this year’s charitable donations currently sit at $5,569.68 with a month to go (December usually sees a large donation or two to local charities, which means this total will likely be higher by year end).

In solidarity,
Al Gates
UNIFOR Local 848 Treasurer

UNIFOR Local 848 has upgraded our previous CEP Local 848 Scholarship Program. Previously, there were two $500 scholarships available each year to member’s post-secondary children attending College, University, or Trade School.
Two winners were chosen by a random draw of all whom entered.

The enhanced program which was motioned and voted in at the General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 now gives a one time $500 Scholarship to any member’s child attending a post-secondary educational program and meeting the criteria established by the Scholarship Committee.

Congratulations to this year’s 4 entrants whom each received a $500 cheque.
Amy Rawlings
Brooke Rawlings
Ryan Charteris
Stephanie Charteris

At the UNIFOR Local 848 General Membership Meeting held on Wednesday September 11, 2014, nominations for the 6 Executive positions, the Joint Health and Safety Co-Chair, and 2 of the 3 Trustee positions were held.

A vote of confidence was given to all 6 members of the Executive as all were acclaimed to their presently held positions.
Bill Picard was nominated and acclaimed as the Joint Health and Safety Co-Chair after having filled this role on a temporary basis since January 1, 2014.
Rob Bergenhus was nominated and acclaimed to a 1 year position as Trustee to finish off the 3 year term of retiree Ron Daye. Rob’s term will run until 2015 at which point this position will be up for election for the 3 year term of 2015-2018
Chad Shymko was nominated and acclaimed to the 3 year Trustee position running from 2014 until 2017.
All of the above terms are effective in November 2014.

With the aforementioned positions, the following is a list of each position and the term of the position in accordance with Local 848 bylaws.
Effective November 2014 the following people will be sworn into their positions.

President – Mark Mathewson: 2 year term until 2016
Vice-President – Rick Harris: 2 year term until 2016
Chief Steward – Cory Sommise: 2 year term until 2016
Deputy Chief Steward – Doug Coleman: 2 year term until 2016
Treasurer – Al Gates: 2 year term until 2016
Recording Secretary – Ryan McRae: 2 year term until 2016
JHSC Co-Chair – Bill Picard: 2 year term until 2016

Trustee – Rob Bergenhus – 1 year term to complete in 2015 following retirement of Ron Daye – position will be up for election in 2015 for a 3 year term ending in 2018
Trustee – Chad Shymko: 3 year term until 2017
Trustee – Krista Dochstader: Currently in position until 2016

(Source: The Lambton Shield, Sarnia. Article by JD Booth.)
I watched him walk into the coffee shop and sit down in the booth across from me. He looked younger than I imagined. He had dark hair, slightly receding, a big man with a definite aura of confidence. He had a strong handshake and a smile that lit up not only his whole face but made you feel like you too had to smile.

We engaged in small talk. He had been married for a long time and described his wife as his “number one supporter” and “best friend.” He would be what I describe as just another “Joe Canadian” with a normal family life.

I asked him if he wanted a coffee, which he declined and we moved right into our conversation.

I asked him how long he had been a Union Boss. He looked at me quizzically, like he was trying to access my intention, and then answered.

“I am no one’s boss. Heck I am not even the boss at home. That title officially goes to my wife!”

He continued: “I represent over 150,000 people in all types of work across this province. They work in health care, the oil industry, and grocery clerks to people who sell you your hot water tanks.” He paused for effect then continued. “People who build automobiles, trains, airplanes and trucks, to people who drive those trucks both provincially and internationally. We represent just about every industry that is crucial to the day to day life of everyone here in Ontario, but in every one of those sites, I am not the boss of any of them.”

My new friend then told me how the term “Union Boss” came to be. ”It was derived to paint an ugly picture of those of us who dedicate our lives to the betterment of dignity, rights and well being of those we represent. We are pictured this way by the media to try to influence the general population of this country that those people who brought you the 40-hour work week, the weekend, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, vacation, parental leave, not to mention an average of $5 an hour more than those working in comparative industries who are not Unionized, well, that somehow we are evil.”

I interjected. “But why would they do this?”

“It is all about absolute control,” he replied. “The people who run this country really do not want anybody disrupting their plan for continued exploitation of the 99%. They have successfully lulled the general population into submission by controlling the media so what you read, what you watch, what you hear on the radio has all been crafted and carefully planned to deliver to you the message the power people want you to believe. This message is designed to influence how you think, what you buy, and what your beliefs on life should be.”

He then paused and looked directly at me.

“If you have a master plan and a compliant, complacent population to insert this plan into, what or who would you want to control or eliminate to assure there are no disruptions to this plan? You would want to control those groups or individuals who can and will defy you! The organizations that want something better than to be wage slaves to those who already insatiably have too much. Collectives, who by virtue of their numbers and beliefs, have a chance to sway other people’s beliefs.”

Unions, he said, are one of those groups.

“They work to better and enhance people’s lives, and that my Brother, is most definitely contrary to the agenda of the other side. That is why they are actively trying to attack us in both the zeitgeist of our population and the legislatures of our country. And they are winning. Today’s society has a stigmatism for the word Union. Unionized density, despite all the proven economic and social benefits, is on the decline. People are buying the media’s concocted Union Boss perception, and because people are hurting and angry and want someone to blame, the Unions and the good they do for our society suffers.”

I sat back in my chair, sipped my coffee and tried to digest what I had just heard. I understood what he was saying; in fact, now that he answered me the way he did, well, I actually think I believed him.

It seemed so dark and bleak though. If it really was that hopeless, if there really was no chance to change this belief, then why was this guy doing this work daily? Why was he volunteering his life to this cause if it was a dead end? There had to more to it.

So I asked him: “This sounds bad, so bad in fact I am having trouble understanding why you are committed to this. Why do you do this every day if they are winning? They are big and powerful, have lots of money and own the media. How do expect to win?”

He just smiled, took a sip of his OJ and said to me, “That my Brother is easy. I am a Trade Unionist.”

He sat back in his seat and you could feel the passion in his voice as he continued.

“We are used to being the underdog. We have always been pushing the boulder up hill. The companies and governments have always believed they have had all the money and all the power. The reality of it though is the companies have all the money because we the people buy their goods. We give them the money just as we give the governments their power by voting them into office.

“People have the true power! All they need is to work together. You know the Canadian Labour Congress, the governing body for all of Labour for Canada, has a slogan of ‘Together Fairness Works.’ Together fairness works! It is so simple yet so profoundly true. People for the most part really do want to be fair. They really do want for their friends, family and neighbours to have a fair shake in life. They want people to be able to live safely together and be able to afford to live a decent lifestyle.

“They are not afraid to work hard to get ahead financially in life, but most people will not do this at the expense of others. This is why I help. It is because people just need a cause to unite. They need someone to help them remember that being good, fair and just is fundamental to being human. They need trade Unions and those who dedicate their lives to them so they can be reminded that the rat race is not what is most important in life. That dignity, respect and the betterment of our society for all . . . that is what really important!”

His phone vibrated, he looked at it and sighed. As he got up to leave he thanked me for my time and said, “One more thing. You asked how do we win. It is simple. We win by more people like you. People who will take the time, for whatever the reason, to ask the questions, to learn more about what we are all involved in and then, to repeat what they have learned. That, my Brother, is how we have learned for centuries: wise people helping those around them to become wise themselves.”

With that he keyed in a number into his phone and talked as he left.

Imagine that, I am just doing my job, and he volunteers hours every day and he thanks me. Huh, maybe he’s right; maybe with more like him who spend their days helping others, maybe we will win after all! – See more at: http://www.lambtonshield.com/the-story-of-a-trade-unionist-and-how-making-a-difference-is-part-of-the-job/#sthash.cN5iMva0.dpuf

This year local 848 sent 7 people, (if you include trustee for the OEC Rick Harris, and President of the OEC Mark Mathewson), to the conference. Various class’s were attended, from Lobbying to Arbitration Prep. Everyone was energized, educated and ready to go back and better serve the membership. 4 of the people attending were people who were thinking about becoming more active in the local, when asked after the conference what they thought, they all agreed that having some develop.
Well this year’s OEC conference dates have been set! The conference will be back at the Quality Parkway hotel center, in St Catherines, May 7th through to May 11th.
Three of the educational programs will start on the 8th. Course #1 is Lobbying and Social Media. Course#2 is Basic Stewards. Course #3 is Facing Management. These 3 Courses are two full day classes.
Course #4, Arbitration prep / Accommodation will be on the 9th. This will be a one day only course.
The OEC conference itself will start on the 10th and conclude on the 11th.
All registrations need to be made before April 6th, 2012. Registration cost for the conference is $10.00 per person. Registration for Course #2 and Course #3 will be $35.00 per person. Registration costs for Course #1 and Course #4 may apply, more details to follow.
Please e-mail Rob Gardner at optoman@rogers.com , or call Mark Mathewson at (519)466-1987 for information.
The Executive of local 848 wishes each and everyone of you a safe and Happy Holiday season.

Today Pat Davidson admitted she was aware of the trade deal..CETA. Bob Bailey said he had heard of it but felt it was mostly to do with the Feds. I spent time with them explaining why we were against it. Told them we were not afraid of trade, but any trade deal can not include the chapter 11 rules.
Pat assured me that there would be no way our government would include the chapter 11 rules in the deal, and if they did she personally would be voting against the deal.
Her office is going to send the hand outs I gave her to the trade office and ask for them to respond on all 10 points that we feel are bad for Canada. When she gets the answers she is going to contact me and let me know what she has found out.

In a recent interview National President Coles says this is not a merger but a start to a brand new Union.

“What we’re trying to do here is create a new union. It’s not one joining the other, or merging together, it’s actually starting from the ground up, and building a new union,” he says. “It starts from the bottom up and it will require a significant amount of grassroots involvement. We’ll attempt to design something that doesn’t reflect either union but respects the histories of our unions … [and] our fundamental beliefs.”
CAW President Ken Lewenza echoed this sentiment.
“It wouldn’t be a takeover of CAW or vice versa. It would really be re-defining the labour movement based on best practices of our members, and trying to form a culture of providing the best of both organizations,” said Lewenza. “It wouldn’t be a merger. It would really be a couple of unions — even more, I think, are going to fall into some of the conversations over the next few months — [discussing] how we strengthen our desire to have more influence at the bargaining table, more influence in the public policy initiatives.”

What are your thoughts on the possible merger between the CAW and the CEP?
Comment back on this topic: we should start to talk about it so we are more aware if it comes to be.
Come up with a name and a logo, maybe there will even be a prize for the best one!
My idea for the new name would be the Canadian Workers Union, CWU. Yes there is already a CWU, but they are in England and they are the Communication Workers Union. Ours would have a Canadian flag as part of the logo so it would be very distinct.

To learn a little more about the possible merger listen to our National President talk on Wed night at 10:30pm on @RutherfordShow

Today Brothers and Sisters is a day to stand up and be counted. It is a day to stand up against violence towards women. Today marks the 14th anniversary of the massacre in Montreal. Former Governor General Michelle Jean had this to say at a speech on Parliamentary Hill, “Women’s rights are not special rights; women’s rights are human rights,” Ms. Jean said. “To me denying more than half of the world’s population the most basic human rights, including the right to live in security, is the most flagrant form of subjugation and one of the worst scandals of our time.”
Take time to think about the day….let us all value each other equally!

Mark Mathewson was acclaimed to the post of President of the Ontario Energy Council on Thursday June 2, 2011.
Please join me in congratulating Mark on his new role.
Al Gates

A minute of silence observed in honour of Remembrance Day

Minutes from October 14, 2009 meeting read and 1 correction made

Treasurer’s Report read

10 Grievances in system discussed

Health and Safety Items Discussed
1. Poor participation from company resulted in worker reps presenting 3 X 21 day recommendations
2. Links to Life banquet to be held
3. John to teach course for national plus will be updating his accreditation

Discussion regarding raiding CEP members by another union

Shell Workers Council report from US given

Report from dialogue and regarding upcoming negotiations

Discussion regarding 848 members giving back to our community

Discussion regarding change in insurance coverage

Congratulations to Christine Lunn (daughter of Richard) and Charlene Brown (daughter of George) for their $500.00 scholarship awards from Local 848

Trustees report was given

New members at meeting welcomed

Steam ticket qualification discussed

Minutes from September 9, 2009 meeting and Treasurer’s Reports were both read

9 Grievances in the system were discussed

Health and Safety Report issues discussed:
1. CBT’s not being marked
2. Dispatching not having issues dealt with in timely manner
3. Not enough trained individuals to drive firetruck
4. Addition of TASC cards to Health and Safety Manual
5. Trial of different safety gloves and safety glasses
6. Corporate Health not abiding by Ontario law

National Issues discussed:
Dues for Supplementary Defence Fund will be deducted starting in November
Drug and Alcohol testing being done at valley companies
National Bargaining to begin in December

New Business discussion:
Approved to send 2 members of executive to SWC in New Orleans
Approved to send 2 members of executive to SWC meeting out west
Life Saving Rules infraction
Approved to donate $500 to Shell Hockey team
Approved to sponsor 2 tables at Links to Life dinner

5 grievances in system discussed including the ongoing Drug and Alcohol Policy grievance plus 3 resolved grievances were discussed.

Joint Health and Safety Committee report discussed the 5 Noise Induced Hearing Loss claims, RDS Lockout/Tagout system, WHMIS Quizzes, and the MOL Order.

A Trustees Report was given

Congratulations to Pat Shortt’s daughter for her winning essay which awarded her the CEP National Scholarship

Congratulations to members of 848 for winning the Labour Day Parade Trophy recognizing the best percentage representation of its members

Montreal East Refinery discussed

Update on the Fitness to Work Program

Motion to send 4 people to the OFL Convention in Toronto in November was accepted

Motion to participate in the Supplementary Defence Fund was accepted after lengthy discussion

Discussion about what the company asked for from the local this summer for it’s “Feed the Pig” program

Discussion about the Schedule Change

Reminder was given to send in Local issues for bargaining to the Executive

7 grievances in system discussed including the ongoing Drug and Alcohol Policy grievance.

Joint Health and Safety Committee report discussed new RDS Lockout/Tagout Procedure which will be implemented by June 30, 2009.

National Report given including:
Reminder about the Drive to Work Campaign Rally here in Sarnia on June 18, 2009.
Loss of Canadian jobs in Forestry sector
Supplementary Defence Fund wrapped up for last round of bargaining

Vote Results were tabulated and read:
Participation in National Bargaining Program – 100% voted in favour
Local 848 Constitutional Changes – 96% voted in favour

Adding new hires to the Local 848 email list was discussed

$300 donation to the Maintenance Golf Tournament was approved

Labour Day Parade was discussed – Let’s have a big showing from 848

$100.00 donation to sponsor a hole in the Margaret Krumholtz Memorial Golf Tournament was approved

$100.00 donation to the Trevor Daye Memorial Golf Tournament was approved

Items from the Local 848 clothing locker were given to members whom attended the meeting tonight after approval of a motion

New hires???

Overtime on a vacation day was discussed

5 grievances in system discussed including the ongoing Drug and Alcohol Policy grievance.

Joint Health and Safety Committee report discussed Hygiene Testing and the Ministry of Labour visit.

Day of Mourning was discussed

Shell Workers’ Council discussed

Ontario Council discussed

National Bargaining – Pattern to be negotiated was presented and discussed with a vote to be held on June 10, 2009.

Local 848 Constitutional Changes were presented and discussed with a vote on the changes to be held on June 10, 2009.

National Report given including a discussion about the Drive to Work Campaign
$500 donation given to support the Sarnia Rally for the Drive to Work Campaign

New Business included discussions around Coop students, Meal Chits for the Chemical Plant, Trainers for Maintenance and Chemical Plant, Chemical Plant merger approved by CEP and Ministry of Labour, and Successor Planning for the Chemical Plant

Local 848 would like to congratulate Riley Anne Shortt, ( daughter of Pat Shortt ) for winning the 2009 CEP scholarship program for the Ontario Region.

For outstanding service to Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 848.
Given for exemplifying leadership, integrity and solidarity within our local union.
Robert Bergenhus receives the 2008 Presidents Award from Mark Mathewson

Ray Matheson received the 2007 Presidents Award
Rick Jennings receives the 2006 Presidents Award from Steve Rumbold

Ron Daye receives the 2005 Presidents Award from Steve Rumbold

Lynda West received the 2004 Presidents Award
Dan Simon receives the 2003 Presidents Award

Rick Harris receives the 2003 Presidents Award

Steve Rumbold, (right) congratulates Larry Parker the winner of the 2001 Presidents Award

The Ontario Council is accepting applications for the Al McLeod Scholarship fund. Scholarships are available to CEP Ontario Council Local Union Members and their immediate families. and are “awarded to persons seeking higher levels education to assume a career or advance the social fabric of Canada and working people”
Any interested CEP member should ask his or her Local Union President or Unit Chairperson for a copy of the brochure describing the scholarship fund in detail and an application form.
More info at www.cep-oc.ca/al-mcleod/
Completed application forms must be received no later than September 30, by:
Rob Gardiner,
Secretary Treasurer,
Ontario Council – CEP
1755 Steeles Ave. West
North York, Ontario
M2R 3T4
For copies of the brochure and the application form contact
Dan Hennaert
519-845-3653 at home
481-1251 or 481-1242 at work

Al McLeod Scholarship – History

The scholarship was founded in memory of Al McLeod, former President of
Local 001 of the Energy and Chemical Workers Union (now CEP Local 975).

In October 1982 the members of Local 001 went on strike against their employer, Consumers Gas. Three days into the strike, Brother McLeod agreed to do a television news interview with a well known news reporter. The interview did not go well. Although they provided him with prepared questions, they were not used. In fact, as soon as the camera was turned on, the reporter unexpectedly started into a bitter attack on Brother McLeod, accusing him of taking 700 people on strike for nothing, while there were people in the city without jobs.

When the interview was shown that evening on the news, not only did they show the reporters verbal attack on Brother McLeod, they also edited his responses to make the interview seem worse.
Brother McLeod was terribly upset with the interview. It embarrassed him, not only on television, but in front of the company and his members, many of whom did not realize how he had been set up.

On the day after the interview, Brother McLeod addressed the Ontario Council delegates of the Energy and Chemical Workers Union, and explained the strike and asked for their support. A day later, Brother McLeod died of massive heart attack as he was leaving home to meet with his strike committee.

Most people feel that it was the pressure of the strike and the vicious nature of the interview that caused the heart attack.

The Ontario Council subsequently set up the Al McLeod Scholarship in his memory and in recognition of his dedication to the Union and his members. It has been awarded every year since.