USW Local 2020

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Vale OTP Group – Unit 6600

 

March 27/13… Tentative agreement reached… Vale Negotiation News… go to Units & Chairs and choose Vale – Unit 6600 for member updates and info.

Selkirk Negotiations

 

The members at USW 2020-51 Selkirk Canada Corp. are in their last week of negotiation before a looming strike deadline February 28 at midnight. The plant is located in Nobel in the district of Parry Sound. Selkirk is a manufacturer of stovepipe and has recently been purchased by another foreign owner Tompkins Group out of the U.K.

 

Other Selkirk plants have recently had 2 tier wages and benefits forced upon them and they are using the same tactics here. The company is threatening to shut down the plant if the workers do not swallow this crap proving again corporations have no loyalty to anyone but the bottom line. This plant is profitable but if the company can make 2% more somewhere else they will no matter what, leaving a well-trained workforce behind and doing great damage to the community it is leaving, and here I thought extortion was illegal.

 

The membership here last night voted 97% in favour of strike action giving their negotiation team the mandate to call a strike. On top of creating future inequities when a person doing the same job will be paid 40% less for the same work but will also have zero benefits for their family, the company is pushing for a three year wage freeze. I don’t know about you but have you seen your utility bill or the price of gas or your taxes lately, all have climbed dramatically. Can they bully this group into submission also? Stay tuned…

 

The next day the crew’s attire was very well coordinated

 

Unfortunately labour laws in this province and country are so lax that companies have no road blocs to this type of scare tactic or corporate bullying. The manufacturing sector in Ontario is being decimated in the race to the bottom with plants packing up and moving where they can exploit another workforce while they take advantage of concessions from local municipalities and other government programs in or out of the country (thanks to the Liberal and Conservative free trade deals). This shell game has to stop.

 

On Tuesday while NDP federal leader Jack Layton spent some time at the CIBC picket line the executive member Mark Appleby from Selkirk and Gary Quig president Local 2020 spent some time bringing Jack up to speed on this negotiation and Jack promised to bring these issues to the floor of the House of Commons. Jack and the NDP have always been clear on this point that companies must have to provide compelling reasons to leave a workforce behind or pay substantial penalties and severance and forfeit any future government incentives.

 

The Final offer was presented to the membership on Feb 28 at 2 pm for the afternoon shift and 4:30 pm for the day shift at the Parry Sound Legion. The package was presented and the company threats of pulling up stakes were discussed. No one has a crystal ball but closing the only profitable plant in the chain seems a bit ridiculous for this company. Accepting all these concessions as a thank you for their dedication and hard work would also seem ridiculous. The committee to a man recommended rejection believing there was more to achieve.

 

Always following the democratic principle of “one person one vote” the 71 members in attendance cast their ballots. The final votes were counted after the second meeting and at a count of 57 to 54 the strike would begin at 12:01 am. The afternoon shift would leave early.

 

The next morning by 7 am 45 to 50 people were at the plant and picket signs were distributed. Most were appropriately dressed for –22 and soon the strike captains were making the team lists for strike coverage the next week. An innovative schedule had been set up so that members would only need to travel 3 days for picket duty. Car pools were set up and the focus shifted to clearing some snow and building the shelter and ordering the port-a-potty.

 

The first win for the crew happened shortly after when a transport truck turned up Woods Road. Spotters alerted the members who turned on mass and walked to block the entrance. The trucker stopped way back down the road at this sight and waited…he must have made a few calls to find out what was happening. To his credit he waited five minutes and instead of testing the line he took the ring road and left. After this excitement a crew was formed to get coffee and others began to clear the snow when the blower arrived.

 

After a few calls and discussions with the committee we pushed the company to drop the major concession on the COLA and then include the seasonal employees in the payout. For good measure the members were to loose no wages for the day. The call went out inform the members about another membership meeting. No sooner was the shelter up and port-a-potty delivered that word of the new memorandum arrived.

 

This package was still concessionary and the USW could not endorse it but we also new that it addressed a high percentage of the complaints from the first offer that were communicated to the plant bargaining team. That being said the members were given the opportunity to voice their opinions and have a secret ballot vote on the new Final offer.

The ballots were counted 50 to 18… the strike was over.  See pictures in Photo Gallery…Selkirk

A New Temporary Home for Local 2020

 

October 16, 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are pleased to announce that 2020 has set up a new temporary home at 128 Pine Street, Suite 301 (next to the Evans Building Centre parking lot) just a stones throw away from our old site in full view of the historic Steelworkers Hall.  We have occupied the building for two weeks now and much work has been done to make the location workable.  Renovations are still required but the basics such as desks and phones are in.  Our first membership meeting was held there on Tuesday evening.  Computer systems are in the process of being installed but e-mail is still retrievable as discussed in our first post fire communication.

The phones numbers are the same as before 675-2461 and follow the prompts (see Contact Us page).

We can say that servicing the membership has been our first concern throughout this ordeal and that with your support it has been achieved.

Fraternally,

Roger Morin
President

Blaze Destroys Steelworker’s Hall

 

September 20, 2008

 

To the Membership of  Local 2020

 

It is with the my deepest regrets that I must inform you that the Steelworker’s Hall on Frood Rd. in Sudbury was destroyed by a fire on September 19, 2008. The Hall was owned and operated by USW Local 6500 for the past 43 years. The Steel Hall was the place of business for Local 6500, Local 2020 and some of the International Staff Representatives for District 6. Unfortunately the fire consumed all files and records for all three groups. Early information suggests that little is recoverable.

 

Local 2020 is in the process of coordinating with Local 6500 and the International to relocate operations temporarily to another location to continue servicing the membership. For the interim I would ask that all Local 2020 Unit chairs attempt to perform the Unions business in house till further notice. The Local will attempt to maintain all our commitments as best we can. This Internet site will be our primary source of communication with our membership for the time being. I would asked that all members pass on this internet site to other members so they can begin monitoring the Local’s progress as we deal this emergency. The Local has scheduled consultation meetings with the other affected groups on Monday September 22, 2008 to further discuss our options.

 

At this time temporary operations have been established out of the homes of key personnel of the Local 2020 Executive. These individuals include Dan Serre – Unit Chair of the OTP VALE INCO, Marc Ayotte – Unit Chair of the OCT XSTRATA NICKEL, Bob Gagnon – Financial Secretary of Local 2020, Judy Searson – Assistant to the president and my self Roger Morin – USW Local 2020 President.

 

The Local can be contacted by phone through Judy Searson @ 705-673-8073 or myself @ 705-690-3376

 

Further information will follow.

 

In solidarity,

 

Roger Morin, President

USW Local 2020

www.uswlocal2020.ca

CIBC Strike

 

Our sisters and brothers of CIBC are entering their 40th week in their struggle against this corporate giant.  This is an abreviated history of the path to a fair deal… hope springs eternal.

The strike began January 14 after a very substandard offer was narrowly defeated.  The bank never believed these women would have the chops to vote NO and be willing to face a very uncertain futur, I guess sometimes enough is enough.  We are proud of them for the fortitude they have shown on the lines, in face of the cold and inclement weather.

Unfortunately some of the lines are without the benefit of a burn barel to keep themselves warm……The girls on the line at the Cedar branch downtown did have a barrel during the first week of their strike….BUT…..somebody complained and the city made the girls douse the fire and they are no longer allowed the barrel.

The only site that has a fire barrel is the Val Caron branch. They are going through a lot of wood. If you have some good firewood and you would like to donate some to the strikers please feel free to drop some off. Please ensure you leave just enough for a few days of burning, a half cord or so.   Please feel free to stop and chat on the line. We appreciate your support. We will share the heat.

 

In week three we had our first rally at the New Sudbury Centre branch entrance. A call went out to the Sudbury & District Labour Council and all the affiliated unions. We had a good crowd on had including France Gelinas NDP MPP for Nickel Belt , other Local 2020 members and a big contigent from USW Local 6500.  France Gelinas and Jim Kmit (staff rep) spoke to the media about the determination of the membership to achieve a fair deal. The crowd marched around and through the mall singing Solidarity Forever…twice…

 

In week four the Women of Steel class at the Steel Hall took a march to the downtown CIBC branch. This was a nice surprise for the picketers. They sang Solidarity Forever and We shall not be moved. Very appropriate…

 

In week five SOAR (Steelworkers Organisation of Active Retirees) provided a beans and franks hot lunch at the New Sudbury branch. Later many people participated in the march through the mall. The singing of “We ain’t gonna take it, anymore” rang through the mall, we stopped in front of the branch to give an encore performance. Donations were also made by Mine Mill and OPSEU.

 

In week six the temperature is still bitterly cold, a testament to the resolve of these workers. On Tuesday morning the downtown branch was visited by the leader of the federal NDP Jack Layton, France Gelinas MPP Nickel Belt and Claude Gravelle who ran for the NDP in the last federal election in Sudbury East. They listened very intently and promised to bring this to the floor of the House of Commons. The executive of local 2020 took a break from their scheduled meeting and joined them on the line also.

Paula Dumont unit chair of local 2020 TD Canada Trust employees presented the strike fund with a cheque. The members at the Sudbury branches took up a collection for the strikers.  They put out a challenge for other groups to do the same to help these people stand up to a corporate bully.

Also on Tuesday approximately 28 strikers drove to North Bay for picket duty. They set up an information picket outside the Main Street branch. This created a lot of buzz. Especially when the Brinks truck security waited for permission to cross the line and the bank security got all hyper. Solidarity Rocks.

The week ended with a rally downtown where donations were made to the strikers(names to follow) and a lunch and meeting at the Steel hall.  Lunch was donated by an unnamed person.  The catered meal was enjoyed by all as well as the cake and homemade cupcakes.

Week seven began with a lot of optimism.  The bank was returning to the table.  That was short lived when it was obvious they were still trying to nickel and dime their employees.  They were hopping to sway a few people from the original 27/25 vote to strike.  The new package was rejected 48/3…I guess when the bank says its compensation is conpetitive in the industry it is a good indication why all the employees in the banking industry should be calling us today so that they can be brought into the 21st century for employee relations and wages/benefits.  These women and men are pionneers forging a new brighter future.  Their Sudbury TD counterparts started the ball rolling last summer.  With time this whole industry can become a vibrant part of the labour movement.  Once the snow balls starts down the hill it will be unstoppable.  Call our organizing department today.

Week eight began with even more resolve than week one.  The week saw a slight improvement in the weather.  The week ended on Friday with a morning rally at the downtown branch.  Steelworkers from all over North-Eastern Ontario attending a council meeting at the Steel hall joined the striking CIBC workers to provide moral and financial support.  Spirits continue to run high after last week’s solid rejection vote.

Week nine was uneventful.  The weather continues to improve but very slowly…

It is the tenth week and the strikers on the line would like to thank again the wonderful people and groups who are showing their support with good wishes and monetery donations to their strike fund.  Your ongoing support has allowed strike pay to increase significantly and we can not over emphasize the positive impact this has on picket line moral.

In week eleven the strikers decided to shake things up a bit with a couple of road trips on Friday Mar 28th.  One crew of sixteen headed up to Elliot Lake while the second crew of sixteen drove down to Parry Sound to setup imformation pickets.  Both groups reported lots of support and people were wearing the “I support  CIBC strikers” buttons being handed out to receptive CIBC clients.  The strikers are still upbeat and you know the weather is always improving…

In week twelve the USW District office has decided to escalate the work action and begin a corporate campaign that will see action nationally.  The strikers are now taking the opportunity to escort the scabs oops replacement workers when they leave the bank at night…

In week thirteen on Thursday the 23 students of the Steward in Action Level 1 & 2 course are visiting the New Sudbury site to lend their support.  The moral is good on the line and the members are amazed at how fast the bank knows everything that is getting planned.  The Rally in the Valley tomorrow will see a lunch provided for all who attend, Please join us!  A surprise visit by Ken Georgetti, President of the CLC and Carol Hughes CLC area rep for North-Eastern Ontario.  Ken addressed the crowd and the media.

In week fourteen the weather continues to improve.  Spirits are boyed by a special Strike account extra payment that should help alleviate bill payment stress.

In week fifteen the strike pay has increased again thanks to a strong support at the USW 2020 Xstrata plant gate collection.  The strike is high on the radar of the Canadian Labour Congress convention coming up in Toronto in May and events are planned.

In week sixteen the women got more creative in their picketing strategy following the CIBC scabs to their meal location.  I don’t think they enjoyed their prime rib as much.

In week seventeen good weather and Happy Mother’s Day!

This is week eighteen and the ladies are prepairing for a special event, stay tuned.

Week nineteen and the weather is fair and all things have been finalized for next week’s major event.

This is week 20 and on May 28 the striking workers went on a special road trip to Toronto where they were the guests of the Canadian Labour Congress at the bi-annual conference.  The strikers entered the convention where they were warmly greeted by the delegates and by Ken Georgetti president of the CLC.  The delegates from across Canada were made aware of the situation and will be bringing the info back to all their Local Unions.  Then over 600 of the delegates accompanied the strikers to the CIBC “Ivory Tower” on Bay Street for a rally.  Ken Neumann USW National Director, Wayne Fraser USW District 6 Director, Wayne Samuelson President of the Ontario Federation of Labour and Lynn Williams Past International President of the USW and of Soar (Steelworker Organization of Active Retirees) all addressed  the crowd.  The CIBC were also asked to speak but no one showed.  Good press was generated with interviews on CBC The National and on Business News among others.
On Thursday the folks from the Northern Ontario Newspaper Guild joined the pickets at the downtown branch over lunch and Denis St-Pierre made a strike donation presentation.

In week 21 a plant gate collection is scheduled at the Vale Inco sites sponsored by local 6500 on Thursday June 5.  The strikers would like to thank all the Inco workers for their support both moral and financial.
The schedule…Smelter gate – 5-8am, CCNR – 6-8am, CCCR – 6-8am, Frood/Stobie Mine – 5:30-7am, Garson Mine 6:30-…am, North Mine 6:30-…am, Coleman Mine – 6:10-7:30am, Creighton Mine 6:15-…am, Clarabelle Mill 6:30-7:30am and South Mine 6-8am.

The strike goes on this summer with this courageous group of individuals quietly carrying on their struggle against a corporation whose management philosophy has always been “performance” driven which is so subjective that it allows supervisory individuals to literally hold others hostage to willy nilly or inaccessible expectations.  This type of working environment is not healthy and these workers want to see a change or at least a move in the right direction.

In week 27 the Women of Steel committee hosted a Rally/BBQ at the Steel hall Frood Road 5 to 7pm.  SOAR (Steelworker Organisation of Active Retirees) provided the BBQ dogs and burgers while the Women of Steel singing group provided uplifting songs of encouragement.  The proceedings moved indoors for the coffee and guest speakers Marie Clark-Walker V.P. of the CLC and France Gelinas MPP Nickel Belt, who spoke forcefully on important gender equality issues.  Linda Boyd and Terri Nugent then led a brainstorming session for ideas to motivate the bank to return to the table and negotiate a just settlement.

In week 29 USW Local 6500 president John Fera with a group of 6500 activists attended the New Sudbury picket line bringing lunch and a morale boost on Friday.   They handed out litterature to mall patrons and spent time getting to know our people on the line.  The food was great and the company even better.  This event prompted a few patrons to ask what the issues were when they attended the branch.  When they returned and spoke with the strikers their appreciation of their struggle was much clearer and wished them perseverance and good luck.  One individual made the comparison to Scrooge and he wished it won’t take till Christmas for them to have a change of heart.

In week 32the Sudbury & District Labour Council sponsored a Back to School donation to the striking workers with children.  They supplied Back Pacs filled with school supplies for the primary to secondary school students.  Thanks for your thoughtful gifts.

WEEK 34 will start with the Labour Day Parade… We invite every one to join us as we lead this years parade.  The parade will mashall next to the Memorial Park at 10:30 and leave at 11:00 am for a short walk to be followed at the Mine-Mill park on Richard Lake with familly activities and food.  The week ended on Sunday with a family fun day held at the Sudbury Secondary field with Inflatables, games and food.  We appreciate the Steelworker crew from Sault Ste. Marie who brought the inflatables for the kids.  Great fun was had by those who attended.  Thanks to all the volunteers who made the day a success.

In week 36 the Strikers set up a  info picket trip on Friday to Elliot Lake, North Bay and Parry Sound.  I’m sure that caught all those branches by surprise.  As in the past the strikers made a favorable impression with the local CIBC clients.  Two solitary picketers at the New Sudbury Branch were joined at lunch time by Local 2020 President Roger Morin and other 2020 members.  A group of CAW pensioners joined us on the line and made another welcomed donation.  Members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario Rainbow Teacher Local also spent some time and also made another donation to our strikers.  The Women of Steel Committee who had to relocate their meeting in Sudbury came out in large numbers to leaflet the various mall entrances… all this courageous support and commitment even while the Steelworker hall was in flames.  Heavy hearts and fear for the worst did not divert their promise to help at the line.

40 is the charm, week 40 and there is a ray of hope, the bank was contacted and they were receptive to talk.  The process progressed quickly and within days an upgraded package was on the table and presented to the membership.  The agreement was ratified by secret ballot vote.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 17 OCTOBER 2008

 

NINE-MONTH STRIKE AT CIBC OVER

 

SUDBURY, ON – A long strike in Sudbury has come to a close. Since January 14, 2008, sixty-two employees of the five branches of CIBC in the City of Greater Sudbury have been on strike.

 

A tentative agreement was reached late Thursday, October 16 and it was ratified by the membership at a special ratification meeting held today at 1:00 pm.

 

“These workers deserve an incredible amount of respect for fighting the nine-month-plus battle they fought,” said Myles Sullivan, staff representative for the United Steelworkers (USW).

 

“The goals we were seeking were achieved and we are now looking forward to returning to work, reopening the branches, and serving our customers. We thank everyone who supported our cause and due to the non-stop assistance and encouragement, we have come out ahead.”

 

Contract highlights are a guaranteed across-the-board wage increase of 7.5%. They receive 4.5% immediately and 3% on February 1, 2009.

 

An additional 1.5% performance-based increase will kick in on November 1, 2009.

 

A special bonus will also be paid to every striker: $1,650 full-time and $1,250 part-time.

 

– 30 –

 

CONTACT:     

 

Myles Sullivan           Office (705) 675-2461, ext. 224

                                                Cell     (705) 365-0942

 

Thanks to all the people responsible for the donations to the strike account. This money went directly to the strikers to supplement their strike pay.

 

Andre Rheaume
Lise & Wilfred Groulx
Adrian De Kok

Member collection USW 2020 TD Canada Trust employees
USW 2020 Plant Gate collection Xstrata work sites
Mine Mill 598-CAW office collection
NDP – Northern Council Conference delegate collection
USW 6500 Plant Gate collection Vale Inco work sites

RWDSU

OPSEU Local 656

Laurentian University Faculty Association

Canadian Media Guild Sudbury CBC unit

OPSEU Local 623

CUPE Local 4705

OPSEU Local 671

OSSTF Rainbow Dist.3

OPSEU Local 630
Sudbury & District Labour Council
OPSEU Local 626
CAW Mine-Mill Local 598
United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 800
OPSEU Local 628
OPSEU Local 629
SEFPO 672 College Boreal
OPSEU Local 655
USW North Eastern Ontario Area Council
OPSEU Local 676
OPSEU Local 668
USW Local 6166 Thompson, Manitoba
AIL America Income Life
COPE Local 26
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
USW Local 6571 Oshawa, ON
USW Local 6500
CEP 725-M
PSAC-UTE 42
USW Local 4120 University of Guelf
USW Local 2004 CN Rail Workers
Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario – Rainbow Board Local
USW Local 9316 Arnolds Cove, Newfoundland
USW Local 1998, Cecil Street, Toronto
CUPE  4207
USW Local 5328 Hamilton, ON
Northern Ontario Newspaper Guild
Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association
USW 13173, Port Hope
USW 5328, Hamiltom
USW 6946, Renfrew

Thanks again, many of you have provided multiple cheques and ongoing support.  The people on the picket lines are very appreciative.

Membership Meetings NEW Location

 

Please note Membership meetings in Sudbury will be held in our new home at 66 Brady Street.

 

Emergency Response Team Study

 

Please consult the PDF below:

USW Emergency Response Team Study

 

Election Results Unit 6600

 

Dan,

 

On January 13/2012, the Local conducted elections to select a Negotiating Committee for your Unit for the purpose of renewing the current collective Agreement that expires March 31 of this year. The balloting took place at the Local 2020 Union office under the scrutiny of the Local Union Office staff. Marc Ayotte the Vice President of the Local and myself counted the ballots this morning and I am pleased to inform you that the following individuals have been elected by your membership to represent them at upcoming negotiations. The successful candidates are, Sherri Stuckless, Bob Gagnon, Brian Ludgate and Amanda Lowen-Hill. Congratulations and thank you to all who participated in this election. The official balloting results will be shared with your membership at your next Local Unit meeting on February 2nd and also at our regular Local 2020 Membership meetings on February 9-11th.

 

Please pass this information on to your members.

 

Roger Morin, President

USW Local 2020

 

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