spring 2011 - Unifor Local 1524
April 2011 Spring Issue
WELCOME TO LOCAL 1524
FEDERAL ELECTION DATE - MAY 2, 2011
IN THIS ISSUE
Corporate Tax Rate Lowest in the World .........................................4
Garry Bell .....................................................BFI
Priority Election Ridings and
Understanding Strategic Voting .......................5
Brian Allen ...................................................Lear
Bonnie Nicol .....................................Lear Office
Canada Pension Plan ......................................6
A Ribeiro .....................................................Lear
Counterpoint: Fury of poor
would erupt without unions
By Ken Lewenza ............................................10
Another Moment in History ............................15
Harry Rueffer - Lear - November 18, 2010
Casino and Wine Tasting Trip ......................18
Attack on Steelworkers Pensions.....................19
Ist Vice-President .............................................4
2nd Vice-President ...........................................4
Hauser Ind ........................................................7
Lear Corp .........................................................8
Ventra Plastics ...............................................13
Retired Workers .............................................16
MODEST AGREEMENTS RATIFIED
FOR DANA AND VENTRA PLASTICS
Welcome Wendell Motors
would like to welcome the 28 members of Wendell Motors that as of
April 2011 are the latest unit to join
our Local. The members previously
belonged to CAW Local 414, which is
the largest Local in the CAW and represents members across the province.
The Bargaining Committee from
Wendell Motors approached the executive from Local 414 in January of this
year and asked to be released so that
they could join a Local in their community. The executive from 414 agreed
because they believe our Local will be
diligent in representing the members.
The move was ultimately sanctioned by
the National Executive Board in late
March as per the constitution.
mandatory weekend overtime several
times per year and a new hire grow in
This agreement was the best agreement I
have been part of negotiating in the auto
parts sector since in office because as
most of you are aware the parts sector
has been under extreme pressure and
members have had to accept wage
freezes and benefit changes just to survive. Many plants did not survive in
spite of our best efforts.
CLIS, Hauser, BFI and Lear all have
agreements set to expire before the end
of the year. I will be contacting the
National Representatives and the
Bargaining Committees to begin preparations
Ventra Plastics ratified a new 3 year collective agreement in December which
included a modest wage increase in the
3rd year, but more importantly a commitment from the corporation on existing
work and future business opportunities
for the plant.
Dana members narrowly ratified a new 3
year collective agreement in February of
this year. The agreement included lump
sum payments in the first 2 years which
represented close to 5% in the first and
3% in the second, along with a traditional 2% wage increase in the 3rd year.
Other items include a new vacation entitlement for the summer months in an
effort to allow more members to take
vacation during premium time, as well
as language allowing members to bypass
We have had the privilege of having our
National President attend several political action meetings held here at the
Local over the last few months on
expanding the Canada Pension Plan and
Election Strategy. Ken is a very impassioned and engaging speaker as I'm sure
all of the Leadership and retirees that
attended can attest to. I personally would
like to thank the leadership for making
sure we have had full attendance at these
Since this will be
the last issue of the
the summer, I
would like to wish
everyone an enjoyable vacation.
CORPORATE TAX RATE - LOWEST IN THE WORLD
s we are heading to the polls
once again to vote in a federal
election, we need to send
Stephen Harper a clear message:
like his policies.
Everyone has heard about the government budget deficits in Canada and the
feds and the provinces have massive
shortfalls because of the global recession
and stimulus funding projects. While
ordinary Canadians are being told there
isn't enough money for transit, education, health care and changes to the CPP,
the wealthiest companies are being
promised tax cuts. Even companies that
send jobs overseas are rewarded with
lower tax rates. Stephen Harper claims
that by cutting the tax rate it will attract
business and jobs to our country, but we
already have one of the lowest corporate
tax rates in the world. So why should
they be in a rush to give corporate tax
cuts, when most Canadians would want
to use this money for vital services. This
only allows more executives to receive
big fat bonuses like we continually hear
about in the news. The federal Liberals
and NDPs have promised to stop the corporate tax cuts and put this money back
into our social programs, as well as
looking to improve our CPP. Retired
workers have been hit especially hard in
this recession and the Conservatives
have made it a habit to turn their backs
on the most vulnerable in our society.
On Monday, May 2, 2011 please go and
vote!! It is our democratic right to vote.
This is how we can make change happen. We need to vote out Stephen
Harper and the Federal Conservatives!
BUSY TIMES FOR THE LOCAL
t has been a busy time at the local
with several rallies that I have
attended, like the anti scab, Pension
and a rally for truth over the land claim
issues with the Six
Nations in Caledonia.
I'd like to welcome
Wendell Motors to our
We have had Ken
Lewenza, President of
the CAW, at our Local
twice this year. Once
to talk about CPP and secondly to discuss the election strategy for the coming
election. I would like to remind every-
one how important it is to get out to vote
and to make sure we don't have another
Harper term because I believe after
another 4 years of this government, we
will not recognize the
Canada we all love.
We were fortunate to send all
our delegates to Council in
December and we will be
sending them all to Port
Elgin at the end of April.
I just want to remind you
that the General Membership
meetings are the third Tuesday of every
month, except July and August at 7.30
pm and I hope to see you all there.
PRIORITY ELECTION RIDINGS
AND UNDERSTANDING STRATEGIC VOTING
Make no mistake, the Federal Election to be held on
May 2, 2011 will be the most important election to
date for working men and women of this country. The
Conservatives under Stephen Harper are positioned to
gain a majority. Recent polls indicate that they hold
the balance of power in 153 ridings. That leaves them
only 2 seats short of forming a majority government.
They are currently campaigning hard in priority ridings. Should they be successful in gaining a majority,
they will have the power to implement their full arsenal of right wing policies. Those policies include the
stripping of the bargaining rights of unionized workers through legislation, much like what is happening
in Wisconsin south of the border, privatizing our
Healthcare, continued abandonment of the manufacturing sector in favour of a natural resource based
economy, expanded trade deals and moving closer to
The CAW election policy is one of strategic voting in
priority ridings. Strategic voting in a nutshell means
that a voter casts their ballot for a candidate in a party
other than their preferred party, in order to prevent an
undesirable outcome in the election as a whole.
Traditionally, the CAW has had close ties to the NDP
party as they promote policies that are in the best
interests of our members, and we continue to do so in
ridings where the NDP candidate has a good chance
of winning the seat. However, there are some priority
ridings where the NDP, Green party or any other candidate will not have any chance of winning and the
seat will be won either by a Liberal or a
Conservative. Therefore a vote cast for either the
NDP, Green party or an independent will merely split
the vote and allow the Conservative candidate to win
The CAW has identified 50 priority ridings across the
country and the full list is available on the CAW website. In our area there are 4 priority ridings and we are
suggesting supporting the following Liberal candidates, Lloyd St. Amand in Brantford, Frank Valeriote
in Guelph, Andrew Telegdi in Kitchener-Waterloo and
Karen Redman in Kitchener Center. With the excepSPRING 2011
tion of Frank Valeriote who currently holds the seat,
the other three have a real possibility of winning if
they are supported.
I understand that many of you will have concerns
with the Liberal party and Michael Ignatieff coupled
with the allure of less spending with no tax increases
promised by the Conservatives. On paper those items
of the Conservative platform can be attractive as we
all want more disposable income, but in reality it will
just allow the Conservatives to justify the cutting our
social programs like Employment Insurance and
Healthcare because they will need to find the money
for mega prisons and fighter jets. It means you and I
will be paying out of pocket for the services that are
cut, just like in the United States.
I encourage all of you to consider voting strategically
and I want to highlight the track record of Stephen
Harper and the Conservatives over the last 5 years.
Shut down parliament twice because they did not
want deal with controversial issues, charged with contempt of parliament by the speaker of the house for
failing to provide financial information on prison
reform and the cost of purchasing fighter jets, the first
time anyone has been charged in Canadian history I
might add. They spent 1 Billion dollars in a weekend
hosting the G8/G20 summit under the pretence of
having to be a world player, yet somehow fumbled
away a seat on the United Nations Security council.
They have allowed good paying manufacturing jobs
to leave our country by the tens of thousands only to
be partially replaced with part time and minimum
wage jobs in the service industry, all the while claiming they are in the job creation business.
All of this and more they have accomplished with a
minority government. Imagine what they will do if
given a majority.
Please choose wisely on election day.
President, Tim Mitchell
EXPANDING THE CANADA PENSION PLAN
he federal elections are under way. There are a number of key points that I
would like to share on how we got to this point. Harper’s failure to compromise on the budget and the contempt of parliament brought him before the
governor general on March 26, 2011 to make a recommendation to dissolve parliament. The failure to compromise on the budget, stems from the changes that the
NDP requested on the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). Our Union along with the
Canadian Labour Congress, have lobbied and campaigned to have gradual changes
to increase contributions and payments of CPP in order for Canadians to retiree with
Most Canadians can not afford the luxury of investing money into an RRSP, especially low income earners. CPP is guaranteed money. RRSP's are subjected to the
fluctuation of the financial markets and we all know what happened to the financial
institutions and their funds when the global financial crisis hit. The funds plummeted
and many financial institutions went bankrupt. This left less money for the people
and the most vulnerable were the retired workers. How many countless horror stories did we hear from the United States. Retired workers having to return to the
workforce or workers close to retirement were made to work longer because their
nest egg had now vanished. This is why it is so important to improve CPP. It's for
all working Canadians.
At the present time, contributions are paid by the workers and their employers, dollar for dollar. It is ministered by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. They
charge .5% to look after the monies received. Financial Institutions charge anywhere from 1% up to as high as 3%. See the chart below on investments made by
CPPIB and regular financial institutions. CPPIB is the best option. It keeps the
majority of the money where it is, belonging to the Canadian working class.
$10,000 investment at 5%
Annual compounded rate of return
after 5 years
after 10 years
after 20 years
after 25 years
after 30 years
after 40 years
after 45 years
after 45 years
Net value with a management fee of
A contempt of Parliament motion, was to be made in the House of Commons before
it was dissolved. Contempt of Parliament is the offence of obstructing the parliament in the carrying out of its functions or of hindering any member of parliament
in the performance of his or her duties. Actions which can constitute a contempt of
parliament typically includes such things as:
- Deliberately misleading a House of Parliament
- Refusing to testify before or to provide documents to a House or committee
Expanding the Canada Pension Plan continued ................
-Attempting to influence a member of parliament, for example bribery or threats.
In the case of Bev Oda, she lied before the parliament regarding that she was not the one that gave orders to
stop funding to a religious organization. Ultimately she did give the order but now she is paying the price and
her credibility is in question or gone!
In all policy and programs set forth by the government there is a dollar amount to be set and submitted along
with the policy and programs itself. When the official oposition party requested information regarding the
super prisons and the fighter jets and the cost, the government side stepped the issue. This is the reason for a
motion of contempt of parliament. Also don't forget that twice this former Government has prorogued parliament in effort to dodge defeat because Harper could not get support for his policies or programs from the
opposition. Mr Harper has ran this government like he had a majority and arrogance of this former government should be defeated with another minority again or better yet become the opposition. If they succeed, it's
going to be a very different Canada.
SLOW TIMES AT HAUSER
ell my friends, here is our
Hauser update. I wish I could
say that things are looking better for the future but unfortunately I cannot.
I'm sure that the employees of Hauser
are wondering what in the world is happening with our sales personal and
attracting customers. It seems like new
contract orders are just not happening.
Perhaps as Hauser employees, we should
not only produce patio furniture, but also
have customer service skills and get out
there to sell it as well.
Since October 2010, we have had several
Hauser employees on lay off. The
Christmas holiday season was stressful
due to the fact that almost all employees
were off for five to six weeks. We were
hoping for better news for the beginning
of the year, but it seems that we are
going backwards. All employees with the
exception of our upholstery department
are working 7 hour days instead of 8½
hour days. I think we are spending more
time at home than we are at work.
It is hard times for some of us, as we
face gas prices at all time highs, grocery
prices rising, hydro and other bills rising
as well. We all try to make the best of it
and we will all be glad to see a change in
the weather that will hopefully bring a
change to Hauser.
This year is a negotiating year for us so
we will be heading to the table to negotiate a new bigger and better contract for
Hauser employees. A contract to improve
our benefits, our wages, pensions and
job security. In the up coming months
we will be setting up meetings to discuss
together what needs to be done. We the
committee will need your support to
reach our goals. It is very important to
attend all meetings to stay informed and
voice any concerns or questions that you
may have. We the committee are here for
the employees of Hauser.
As you all know one of our union Health
and Safety representatives has resigned
from the committee for personal reasons.
Jamie Cisneros has agreed to step in and
fill in for this position. We wish Jamie
good luck as Health and Safety Rep and
a special thanks to him as well. Jamie
works hard as a union rep for Hauser
employees and will work hard at his new
HEALTH & SAFETY
position as well.
In closing my report I would like to
remind Hauser employees, the monthly
General Membership meetings are held
at our local hall every third Tuesday at
7:30 pm. I suggest to everyone that it is
very important to attend these meetings,
to share your opinions and concerns and
to show your ongoing support for all
CAW Local 1524 members.
UNCHARTED WATERS AHEAD
he high valuation of the Canadian
dollar is a very disturbing fact that
we are faced with today.
Economists predict that the dollar will
remain at this level for quite some time.
When our Canadian dollar was at $0.80
cents, this plant was making money. The
reason the dollar is valued so high is the
fact that the American economy is still
struggling to get back on its feet. When a
majority of our product is shipped to the
states at a $1.02, Canadian plants struggle to be competitive.
The United Auto Workers have introduced a two tier hiring structure to allow
new employees to come in at half the
wage structure of current workers. This
has created quite a bit of animosity
between workers. Just because of this
fact, our National Union has said "no" to
two tier structures.
Since I have been your Plant Chair I
have watched a substantial amount of
plants close, through our Local Union, in
our region, in our province and also
Canada wide. It makes you sick to your
Plant Profile Lear Kitchener
GMX 211 MANUAL TRACKS & ADJUSTERS - END OF 2012
J 61 MANUAL/POWER TRACKS & ADJUSTERS – Q-3 OF 2013
S 197 MANUAL/POWER TRACKS & ADJUSTERS – Q-3 OF 2014
GMT 900 MANUAL TRACKS – Q-4 OF 2013
STAMPINGS – TRACK INNER/OUTERS – Q-3 2014
STAMPINGS – GMT 900 COMPONENTS – Q-4 2013
STAMPINGS – FRAME BACKS – Q-2 2013
TUBE FORMING AND PIERCING – Q-2 2013
FRAMES – GMT 900 CREW/EXTENDED CAB – Q-4 2013
FRAMES – CD/J61/S197 WELDED ASSEMBLY – END OF 2014
FRAMES – LX/LC/LD – END OF 2015
EN/FN RECLINERS – SEPTEMBER OF 2011
EN 114 FRONT AND SECOND ROW SEPTEMBER OF 2011
FRAMES FN 145 FRONT AND SECOND ROW SEPTEMBER OF 2011
FRAMES ND FRONT AND SECOND ROW AUGUST OF 2011
With all the challenges ahead, this is
why we as your Bargaining Committee
have been taking one day a week to prepare for the upcoming bargaining at the
end of this year. There has not been a
request to go into bargaining early, we
just want to be prepared.
I must take this opportunity to remind
the workforce that buying a North
American built vehicle provides about
seven jobs in the community while
imports and North American transplants
provide far less. North American such as
GM, FORD AND CHRYSLER use
about 85% North American content compared to 30% for the others.
We have weathered the storm reasonably
well as most of the products we supply
have maintained decent sales volumes.
Compared to other plants in Ontario, we
have been hit with very few lay-offs.
Ford- EN/FN recliners/EN114/FN145 =19 JOBS
ND FRAMES = 8 JOBS
stomach to watch good hard working
Union families lose there jobs. I believe
that it is so very important to keep good
paying jobs like ours.
These are the jobs building out this year. No other
jobs leave until the end of 2012.
With the expiry of our collective agreement at the
end of this year, our focus as your bargaining committee will be on future jobs.
Summer Shut Down
At this present time GM is forecasting being down
the weeks of July 04/11 - July 17/11. Ford, July
04/11- July 10/11 and Chrysler seems to be running
straight through. Of course all of this is subject to
change. I would like to wish you and your families
a very safe and happy summer vacation.
PLANT TOUR AT LEAR CORP
NATIONAL PRESIDENT, KEN LEWENZA
ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, JERRY DIAS
AREA DIRECTOR, BILL GIBSON
Counterpoint: Fury of poor would
erupt without unions
We’ll all lose if this crucial channel for their frustrations is closed off
Financial Post Comment by Ken Lewenza
There’s no doubt where the global financial crisis of
2008, and the resulting worldwide recession, started.
It was in the private sector. First in finance, then it
spread to the “real” economy. We can argue about the
precise causes of the crisis, and about whether subsequent policy responses were appropriate or not. But
there can be no argument about where the whole
problem started: squarely with business.
This makes it incredibly ironic that as Canada and the
rest of the world are still crawling out of the recessionary muck, we face a torrent of vitriol aimed
against trade unions that’s more aggressive than anything since FDR and the New Deal.
The stripping of collective bargaining rights from
public-sector workers in Wisconsin has captured
headlines. But the same crusade is underway in many
other jurisdictions. Dozens of U.S. states are pondering measures to limit or prohibit union rights, across
increasingly far-flung swaths of the economy. Never
mind that most of the world (including Canada, since
the historic Supreme Court Health Services decision
in 2007) considers collective bargaining to be a fundamental human right, and hence many of these new
U.S. laws would be immediately struck down. (The
United States, in contrast, never ratified most United
Nations conventions on labour rights, and its constitutional protections for union rights are weak.)
Yet the politics of this anti-union tide, if not its precise policies, are certainly bubbling up here in
Canada, too. Several mayors (such as Toronto’s Rob
Ford) have declared outright war on unions.
Provincial politicians like Ontario’s Conservative
leader Tim Hudak (who has already painted labour
arbitrators as Public Enemy No. 1) aim to fan the
anti-union fires, for maximum electoral gain. If the
Harper Conservatives should win a majority in the
current election, I fully expect a similar tone to infect
labour policymaking at the federal level.
How is it, then, that in the wake of the most spectacular failure of private enterprise in 80 years, the most
pointed focus of populist animosity has been the very
organizations that were formed to protect common
working people against the excesses of private enterprise?
Why wouldn’t populist jealousy be directed against
bankers or CEOs, whose gluttony dwarfs the salaries
and perks of any unionized workers? After all,
Canada’s big six banks alone paid out a record $9-billion in bonuses last year, while other Canadians struggled to make ends meet. Strangely instead, it’s the
humble garbage-collector on the receiving end of the
Don’t accept for a moment that this is because
bankers’ bonuses and CEO fortunes are determined
by the “market,” while union wages reflect some kind
of “distortion.” There’s no bigger distortion than
someone — anyone — who takes in eight or even
nine figures in a single year, and whose behaviour is
perverted by the all-encompassing drive to boost the
share price, at any cost. More likely, the misdirection
of modern populism reflects the business-friendly
power of media and think-tanks, which glorify highly
paid executives while demeaning those who perform
the more humble tasks that really make our economy
All this finger pointing against unions is misplaced
and dangerous. It’s misplaced: unions did not cause
Article by Ken Lewenza continued...........
the financial crisis or the recession, unions did not
cause deficits, unions did not cause $1.25 per litre
gasoline. Corporations did all those things. The finger
pointing is dangerous: an orchestrated effort to vilify
and scapegoat any identifiable group of people, and to
take away their rights, justified by economic tough
times. This fundamentally undermines democracy; it
paves the way to the marginalization and repression
of other vulnerable groups.
Unions play a constructive and valuable economic
role. That role is just as important during times of crisis as during times of vibrant growth. We limit the
erosion of wages during times of mass unemployment, thus stopping deflation. We negotiate innovative provisions, like work-sharing and early retirements, which share the pain and preserve needed jobs
until the recovery comes. We boost productivity by
reducing turnover, facilitating lifelong learning, and
forcing employers to treat labour as a valuable
resource (rather than a cheap, just-in-time, throwaway
Above all, we push both employers and governments
to act with a measure of fairness in the labour market,
promoting equality, inclusion and hope. No society
without free and vibrant unions is truly democratic.
And no economy without widespread collective bargaining has ever attained truly mass prosperity.
Imagine if the Scott Walkers of the world had their
way, and unions were somehow banned altogether.
The non-union workers at the local fast food outlet
would still be making minimum wage, with no benefits, no security, and no pension. But a crucial, constructive channel through which their hopes and frustrations could be directed, has now have been closed
off. Who knows where and how the simmering fury
of exploited, poor people would then bubble up?
Thoughtful opinion leaders in Canada’s business
community, therefore, should think twice before
throwing in their lot with this anti-union bandwagon.
We can work together to build prosperity, fairness and
innovation. Or we can expend all our energy and creativity in a fight to the end, over whether unions are
even allowed to exist. Even if business was to eventually win that fight, it’s our whole society that would
Ken Lewenza is national president of the Canadian
Auto Workers union. This commentary is excerpted
from remarks delivered March 29 to a policy roundtable at the C.D. Howe Institute in Toronto.
NEW BUSINESS IS HOPEFUL
t Dana Mount Forest business
remains steady. We've had some
plant visitors, both corporate and
prospective customers and hopefully this
will translate into some new business for
the company and work for our members.
Currently my entire Unit's members are
working with no one on lay off. We are
running a day, afternoon and partial midnight shift with limited overtime.
We are also now operating under our
second collective bargaining agreement
which was negotiated in January and ratified in early February just before the
expiration of our first agreement. There
were some language modifications, lump
sum payments in year 1 and 2 and a general wage increase in year 3. On average
these increases amount to 4.9%, 3.5%
and 2% respectively over the life of this
agreement. Also some improvements
were gained in dental and vision care
benefits. I wish to thank my bargaining
committee for their preparations and
hard work, plus also the members that
contributed to this challenging round of
negotiations. I only wish I could say that
this was a smooth and stress free process
but it certainly wasn't. The current conditions, recent history and
business/industry pressures we faced at
the table caused some tough decisions to
be made which factored into the tentative agreement that we brought back to
our members to vote on. Dana
Corporation has also recently finished
bargaining in the United States with the
UAW and USW. The information passed
along to me indicates lump sums and
some two tier modifications were negotiated and ratified at twenty plants represented by their respective Unions for
approximately 4,000 unionized employees.
We recently held a by-election at our
plant to fill two open Committee person
positions. On our afternoon shift, Steve
Douthwright was acclaimed and on the
midnight shift, Tracey Walsh was elected. I wish to congratulate them and also
thank those that stood nominated. We
now have a full Committee and I'll be
working closely with them and hopefully
get them into our paid educational leave
program to get them the same training
that I received at our Family Education
Center in Port Elgin. I plan on returning
there soon for a Legal course that will
provide further helpful knowledge that
will enable me to better represent members at Arbitration hearings, The final
stage of the grievance procedure, if
I attended a CPP leadership meeting at
our Local Hall on March 3. This was a
well attended and informative event that
was held in conjunction with the
Canadian Labour Congress to expand the
Canadian Pension Plan. I cannot stress
how important this campaign is for the
future to protect our pensions. If you
haven't all ready, please take a look at
this issue and help out if you can. More
information is available at: www.canadianlabour.ca and/or www.facebook.com
(search for: "retirement security for
everyone”) For the upcoming elections
please look at all the facts before you
cast your vote.
NEW CONTRACT SECURES CURRENT AND FUTURE WORK
lthough the economy has somewhat recovered, to bargain gains
remains difficult. We struggled
to hold on to what we had.
Unfortunately, the company is under
pressure competing globally and a high
Canadian dollar. We are also competing
within our own corporation. As a result,
this has had a large impact on us. Our
plant has little say as to where the work
is distributed. This is a corporate decision. Corporations are always looking
for where they can manufacture their
product for the least cost and the most
profit. This resulted in us focusing on a
way to secure current work and to
receive a guarantee for future business.
We used the negotiation process to do
this. We have attained a letter from the
company that secures the current jobs we
have and gives us the opportunity to
receive any new or comparable work
that the company is awarded. This was a
positive achievement for us. It allows
time for the economy to further recover
and ensure that we're in a better position
to make further gains in the next round
of bargaining. This was a challenging set
of negotiations. I will speak on behalf of
the bargaining committee when I say
this. "We were pleased with how our
membership was understanding and supportive of this agreement."
I recently had the opportunity to attend a
demonstration on March 25 /11 and
stand along side of a group of health
care workers from local 1106 at A.R.
Goudie Eventide Home. They have been
without a contract for 11 months. Their
employer had told the committee that
there was nothing to discuss because the
employer is not willing to table any suitable resolutions. This is very unfortunate
for these workers. I'm pleased that
members from our local were available
to go out and lend support to their members during this difficult time. I have
since learned that this owner has
announced that it will be withdrawing
from operations at the facility. This
leaves the staff and residents uncertain
of what will happen. At this point they
can only hope that another provider
would purchase the facility. I wish for
the best possible outcome for these
POSSIBLE NEW LINE OF PRODUCT FOR MTD
e are very busy in finished
goods at the moment with a
lot of product going out, especially to Canadian Tire and Sears. It has
been a struggle to get enough tow motor
drivers this year, so I would encourage
when the company offers some training
that anyone interested will take it and
hopefully that will turn into the chance
to work longer. The service department
has been a bit slow but we are seeing
some spikes in the orders, so hopefully it
will get really busy soon.
We also have a new line of product coming, that is supposed to start shipping out
by fall. This is a line of aftermarket parts
from Rotary. The relationship between
the company and the union remains good
at this time, although there was quite a
strain put on it just before Christmas
when they decided they where going to
lay off some people right before the holidays. But after a few days we had those
We have one grievance in the system
which may end up in arbitration.
REPORT ON THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR
reetings, I was asked by Brother Tim Mitchell to write an article on healthcare and healthcare workers for the newsletter of Local 1524. CAW represents 27,000 healthcare workers, which is one of the fastest growing sectors
in the Union. Our Local has a membership of 2,700 members, one hundred percent
healthcare workers. In the CAW, we have our own Healthcare Council, which meets
three times a year to discuss issues and campaigns brought forward by the locals that
represent healthcare workers. We also have a newsletter "The Pulse" with contributions from all locals, that represent healthcare workers.
There are many ongoing campaigns specific to healthcare. Keeping Canada's publicly
funded healthcare system out of the hands of those wishing a private, for profit,
healthcare system. Tommy Douglas fought for a system that gave everyone access to
medical care, not just those that could afford to pay for it. There is the Dignity
Campaign demanding care standards for those in Long Term Care. We require 3.5
hours of nursing and personal care for each resident to be the minimum standard.
There used to be minimum standards in Ontario, but Mike Harris removed them in
1995 and we have been fighting that battle ever since.
We are advocates for the elderly residents in Long Term Care and Nursing Homes. If
we can improve the conditions for them, the working conditions will also improve for
our members who work in those homes. Hospital cutbacks, because of budget deficits
are also issues that concern the community as well as the Union. We join with other
organizations such as, the Ontario Health Coalition, Retirees Union and the Labour Councils to help with fight
back campaigns and town hall meetings.
Although these issues are different from the issues faced by industrial locals and transportation locals, I
believe we have much more in common. We all want to improve the working conditions of our members
through collective bargaining. We want to be paid fairly with wage increases for the work we do. We want a
healthy, safe environment for our members so that they can do their jobs. We want the employers to respect
our workplace committees and our Union. We are committed to bringing about change to improve the working
lives of our members and the unorganized workers in our community.
Since sharing the hall and offices with Local 1524, we have learned a lot from each other. Our goal was to
work together on National and Local Union campaigns and provide support for each other when issues come
up. Recently, we have both attended meetings and demonstrations with the Six Nations Solidarity Network in
Caledonia and Brantford. We shared the costs associated with the Hamilton Day of Action supporting the
United Steel Workers and their fight against concessions with U.S. Steel. We also attended the G20 in Toronto.
Our hall was filled to capacity for a joint Labour Council presentation on the CLC plan for pension reform,
getting ready for the upcoming election.
With the addition of Brother Rick Lonergan from Local 4304, who has also moved his office to Wabanaki Dr,
we now have three CAW locals calling the Bud Hall home. None of this would have been possible without the
leadership and foresight of the former CAW Area Director Brother Steve Farkas and the cooperation of the
president of Local 1451 Brother Mike Devine. Although we are from three different sectors, I believe that
working together, we will be better informed and a much stronger presence in this community.
CAW Local 1106
ANOTHER MOMENT IN HISTORY
ELECTION ISSUE - IMPROVING THE CPP
arper's attack ads on the Liberal
leader makes me sick. How
many famous people do you
know have visited and made a name for
themselves outside this country. Think of
Wayne Gresky, Anne Murray and Brian
Adams. Michael Ignatiff went to Havard
and wrote a book, should we think any
less of him because he did this in the
U.S. It doesn't make him any less
Canadian. That is just one of my beefs
with Harper. He dangled a few carrots
and expected everyone would fall for his
charade. Without the leadership of Jack
Layton, our seniors would have been left
out in the cold by Harper again.
The budget also failed to improve the
CPP All parties wanted improvements
to the CPP The best protection we can
have for our own private pension plans
is to improve the CPP All the premiers
were working together until the Prime
Minister caved in to the banks and financial instituations coming up with the new
federal plan which will cost more and
offer no guarantees. Pooled Registered
Retirement Plans: super-sized versions
of group RRSPs. And we all know what
happens to those kind of savings during
an economic downturn. PRPP'‘s benefit
employers because of lower premiums
but it will cost more to manage. Money
that would have normally gone into the
CPP coffers would now result in management fees (cost about 2% even if
your plan is loosing money) PRPPs will
have to spend money to sell to employers, advertising, packaging and sales
staff. They must also deliver profits to
the banks who control them. The CPP is
a defined benefit, workers can't opt out,
there is a cost sharing between workers
and employers, it's portable and moves
from job to job, low overhead cost, inflation protected and guaranteed for life.
Can we say the same for PRPP's?
The answer is NO!
Please take the time to go on line and
read the 100 reason not to vote conservative.
All retired workers and their spouses
to the annual
Retired Workers Picnic
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
at 1:00 p.m.
Desserts are welcomed.
Sign Up! Be a part of the Labour Day Parade in Port Elgin. We'll have a sign-up sheet at the
retired workers picnic in June. A bus will take us to Port Elgin in the morning. Rides on wagons at the parade are available for those who don't walk very well. We then go back to the
centre for a wonderful lunch, hear a few words from our leaders, tour the centre and spend
some time at the delegates accommodation.
YOU VERSUS YOUR BOSS
WHEN YOU take a long time completing
an assignment, you’re slow. When your
boss takes a long time, he’s thorough.
When you don’t get something done, you’re
lazy. When your boss doesn’t get something
done, she’s busy.
When you do it your own way, you don’t
do what you were told to do. When your
boss does it, he’s showing creativity.
When you do it on your own, you’re overstepping your bounds. When your boss does
it, she’s demonstrating initiative.
When you take a stand, you’re being bullheaded. When your boss takes a stand, he’s
When someone else does your work, you’re
passing the buck. When someone else does
her work, she’s assigning responsibility.
When you call in sick, you’re going golfing. When your boss calls in sick, he must
When you’re seen shopping during work
hours, you’re a slacker. When your boss is
doing the same, she’s picking up supplies.
KITTLING RIDGE WINE TOUR
SIGN UP NOW!!!!
(at the Union Office)
When: Saturday, May 28, 2011
Price: $8.50 per person to be paid upon sign up.
We need 40 people to be guaranteed this price.
Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Pick Up Place: Lear Employee parking lot at rear
1 hour visit at Kittling Ridge
for wine tasting
5 hours at the casino
$10.00 voucher for the
This is a GREAT DEAL!!!!!
ATTACK ON U.S. STEELWORKERS PENSIONS
he CAW joined thousands of U.S.
Steel workers at their Hamilton
Day of Action Rally on January
29th. Since U.S. Steel took over Stelco
Inc in 2007, they have failed to keep
their promises to the workers. They
agreed to keep its 3,300 workers
employed and by the end of 2008, there
were only 900 employees left. Now
they want the 9,000 retirees to give up
the indexing of their pensions and block
all new hirees from pension security.
U.S. Steel has locked out its remaining
900 employees since November 2010.
Solidarity of the labour movement was
showen as more than 10,000 people
marched downtown Hamilton. The federal government has failed to tighten the
laws on Foreign take overs, to enforce
their commitments and to protect the
benefits of Canadian workers.
National President, Ken Lewenza stated
“As working people, we must not tolerate companies’ attempts to remove our
ability to retire in dignity, particularly
after many decades on the job. This
lock-out by U.S. Steel is an affront to us
The Steelworkers announced that they
plan to take their message to Ottawa on
May 1st with a demonstration to raise
awareness on Parliament Hill.
RECREATION - WHATS NEW?
I have received a great interest in holding another Casino/Wine Tasting Trip. A
bus has been booked for May 28, 2011. Full details are on the previous page.
Don’t miss out on this great deal!!!!
Also, I will soon be planning our 2nd Annual Baseball Tournament. For those
of you who missed out last year, I hope to see you there. Information will follow
600 Wabanaki Dr
The Amalgamated is an official publication of CAW Local 1524.
All opinions expressed here-in are those of the author only. We
encourage discussions of any nature, but reserve the right to
refuse those letters that we judge abusive, sexist or racist. All
submissions must be signed. Please include your phone number
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SUGGESTIONS OR COMMENTS
VISIT OUR WEB PAGE AT
President - Tim Mitchell
1st Vice President - Paul Roeder
2nd Vice President - Mike Camblin
Financial Secretary - Rob Pyne
Recording Secretary - Kelly Sieling
Trustee Chairperson - John Hawkins
Trustee - Tod Spiegelberg
Trustee - Mike Kempinski
Sergeant-At-Arms - Karl De Forest
Guide - Don Robins
Retirees Chairperson - Janis Turenne
Election Chairperson - Sharon Graf
LOCAL UNION SOCIAL SERVICES
AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE COMMITTEE
If you need help, call:
Wayne Zettler - MTD - Cell - 519-503-1210
Rob Pyne - CAW Office - 519-893-7484
Colleen Soehner - Lear - 519-895-1600 Ext 3505
Lisa Gunn - Dana - 519-323-9494
HEALTH & SAFETY CHAIR
Mike Costello - Lear - 519-895-1600
Ext - 3287
Lear Corporation - Brian Little
MTD Products - Mike Camblin
Bluewater Thermal - Darryl Micall
Ventra Plastics - Dayle Steadman
Lear (Office) - Brian Schneider
PJ Wallbank - Bruce Winter
Ornamental Moulding - Shayne White
BFI - Terry Swiech
Hauser Industries - Costas Patsiaouros
Jackson Skate - No One
CLIS - Mary Ellen Dance
Dana - Randy Parsons
AGS Automotive - Leo Dineen
Bennett Chevrolet - Julio Gomez
Metokote - Paul Butcher
Brinks - Bryan Holst
Wendell Motors - Blake Leulo
Constitution & Bi-Laws - Rob Pyne
Environment - Dayle Steadman
Education - John Hawkins
Recreation - Kelly Sieling
Goodwill & Welfare - Kelly Sieling
Human Rights - Tod Spiegelberg
Social Services - Paul Roeder
Editor - Kelly Sieling
Organizing - Karl De Forest
Women’s - Mary Ellen Dance
Health & Safety - Mike Costello
Skilled Trades - Don Robins
Youth - Ray Souto