Business Rep Dale Gentile Reports, “After two days of hard bargaining we came to an agreement which was ratified by 85% of the Membership”.
- 4 year agreement – 2%, 2%, 2.5%, 2.5%
- New Harassment language
- Voluntary Overtime for Senior Employees
- The deletion of the Tuesday to Saturday shift
- Option to Join Machinists Union Pension Plan
- Benefits Improvements:
- STD. from $501.00 to a max of $750.00 (60% of regular earnings)
- LTD. from $3500.00 per month to a max of $10,000 per month (65% of regular earnings)
- Direct Pay Drug Card plus % paid was increased to 85% from 80%
- Orthopedic shoes increased to 1-pair from a max $150.00 reimbursement.
- New vision care for the entire family – $150.00 per family member plus eye exams at $75.00
The results of the IAM’s first national face-to-face survey indicate that, no matter where they live in Canada, IAM members share the same views about their union. Over two-thirds of the members surveyed said that they wanted the IAM to go beyond the basics of collective bargaining and membership protection and be active in their communities.
- “In the next 18 months, Canadians will be participating in federal and provincial elections that will be crucial for the futures of Canadian working families, said GVP Ritchie. “In unions, we are facing the fight of our lives. I am greatly encouraged by our members’ support. We will continue our program of active member engagement.”
General Vice President for Canada, Dave Ritchie
Nine out of ten IAM members believe that strong unions are good for Canada. 91% said that members who receive the benefits and protections of a union contract should be required to pay dues (known as the “Rand Formula”).
This survey followed the IAM Canadian Political Action Conference in March, 2013, which called for a return to face-to-face engagement with our members.
IAM Canadian Vice President Dave Ritchie welcomed the response to the survey. “Our members understand that unions are the only force in Canada capable of facing up to corporate greed. That is why unions are under attack by the corporate bosses and their captive politicians.” Ritchie added, “We need to strengthen unions to reverse the growing unfairness and inequality in our society.”
IAM members endorsed the active role taken by the union in a number of public policy proposals that will help IAM members and their families, including:
- A doubling of the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan retirement benefits
- A national insurance scheme to protect earned pensions from employer bankruptcies
- A reversal of the federal Conservatives’ plan to move the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits from age 65 to 67
Labour Law and Labour Standards
- The freedom for workers to organize unions without employer bullying and intimidation, with “card-check” certifications and severe penalties for employer anti-union actions
- An end to one-sided government intervention in collective bargaining on the side of management, through phony “essential services”, strike-busting and the imposition of biased arbitration settlements
- Preservation of the Rand Formula, so that everyone with union benefits and protections pay their fair share
- An end to the attack on union capacities through costly and wasteful reporting requirements, as in the Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-377
- A minimum wage that provides a decent standard of living for all Canadian working families
Health and Safety
- A joint workplace health and safety system, based on the precautionary principle, with a right to refuse unsafe work
- An end to deregulation and privatization of workplace health and safety
- A system that offers all workers across Canada real income security in the face of job loss, after past federal governments have stolen $56 billion of worker and employer contributions the unemployment insurance fund
- A reversal of the unfair and wasteful growth of for-profit medicine
- A national universal public pharmacare program
Other Areas of Direct Concern to IAM Members and their Families: jobs and the economy, air transport and aerospace, public services, the environment
Walter Gerlach – Directing Business Representative
Sisters and Brothers,
I would like to start by saying that every single one us shares something special. What we share is that we all work in a unionized workplace; recent polling tells us that if given the choice a majority of Canadians would prefer to work in a unionized workplace. The biggest hurdle facing the unorganized Canadian worker today is the fear instilled by the employer and the mainstream media, by suggesting a multitude of fictional scenarios, that all end in the employee losing their job or spending their future on Strike, if they are successful in organizing themselves into a Union.
Recent polling also identified that our Union advantage afforded us with another opportunity that the majority of Canadians would also like to be part of if given the chance and that is to be a member of a defined benefit Pension Plan. There are few employers that offer a defined benefit pension plan today, in fact they are all but extinct other than in unionized workplaces. Many of our Collective Agreements in the province of British Columbia contain a defined benefit pension plan and for those without this benefit we have been working diligently at negotiating this benefit into any new contract settlement.
The majority of us inherited the benefits of a collective agreement when we started working at a workplace certified with the Machinists Union. In essence we are walking on a bridge that was built by the sacrifices of those that came before us, this brings me to the question what will we do or can we do to build a bridge for those that will come after us. I believe one of the answers to this question is to organize the unorganized; this accomplishes the goal of helping those Canadians who have the desire to work in a unionized workplace. This also strengthens our existing unionized workplaces by creating a higher rate of union density in a given sector which leads to more bargaining power at the negotiating table.
If given the opportunity, think about taking the time to talk about your unionized workplace and the advantages of working with a Collective Agreement on your side. If you choose to engage those unorganized Canadian workers that you meet and share the values of our union and our advantage, you will find that you are passing it on.
Machinists Union District Lodge 250 offers a warm welcome to our newest Members at Belcor Industries, now part of the Wexxar/Bel brand.
The Wexxar side of the operations has been part of the Machinists Union since 2006. A joint vote was held to extend the Bargaining Unit to include both operations. The result of 70 to 9, in favour of the Machinists, brought the 51 workers at Belcor into our Wexxar bargaining unit.
Business Representatives Paul Pelletreau and Andrew Tricker deserve a lot of credit for the obstacles they overcame to organize this unit. They surmounted a language barrier with the predominantly Cantonese speaking workforce to win their support. The professional and consistent servicing of the Wexxar unit since 2006 showed what being a Member of the Machinists means.
It takes a steady hand plus time to build trust. We Machinists have both.