The next regular meetings of the lodge will be:
Tuesday, October 9 at the Union Center,
#204 – 2750 Quadra street,
Victoria, B.C. V8T 4E8,
We hope to see you there.
Pizza Will Be Served
The Machinists Union recently welcomed more than 2,400 new members, as Local Lodge 1231 was chartered to represent Personal Service Workers in the Toronto area. A group of new leaders took part in the Leadership I program at the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center.
Golf Tournament a Success
The District lodge 250 golf tournament was a success once again this year with approximately $50,000 being raised.
Congratulations to all who participated.
Its that time of year once again. We’re hardly past getting sun tans and building sand castles on the beach and we’re already planning the Lodge Christmas meeting.
The lodge Christmas social will once more at the Trafalgar/Pro Patricia Legion hall at 411 Gorge Road East on December 11 at 5:30 p.m.
Further details to follow as they are required.
Cops for Cancer Ride
The Lodge has elected to support a neighour and friend of one of its members in the annual Cops for Cancer bicycle ride
The executive is obtaining the necessary permission from Canadian Grand Lodge to increase its standard donation amount to support this cause in a worthy manner.
IAM Charters New Local for 2,400 Canadian Healthcare Workers
Four interim executive officers and 23 stewards attending leadership training class this week took part in a historic event by signing the new charter for IAM Local Lodge 1231 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. The newly chartered local is made up of more than 2,400 home healthcare workers employed by Spectrum Healthcare.
IAM International President Bob Martinez, General Secretary Treasurer Dora Cervantes, IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall and IAM Grand Lodge Representatives Ralph Martin and Scott Jackson witnessed the signing.
Martinez also took the opportunity to administer the Oath of Office to the new interim executive officers of Local Lodge 1231 and all of the Stewards attending this week.
“It is a rare occasion to charter a lodge this large, and watch our founding members sign a charter that will be in place forever,” said Martinez. “By joining the IAM you’re taking a big step toward a better life.”
“We are pleased and privileged to have these new members at our training center,” said Pickthall. “They’re here to learn how to do their best to represent their membership and our training center provides the best union education in the world”
Health care workers at Spectrum include more than 2,000 Personal Support Workers and 400 Registered Nurses were organized by the IAM in March of this year. They provide home health care across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
IAM Shows The way Forward to CLAC Members
Burnaby, B.C. – The IAM welcomed 39 new members into the union after a representation vote went in favour of the union. “Spreading the word about how independent trade unions operate and represent their membership was the magic formula,” said Al Cyr, Business Representative for IAM District 250.
AK Draft & Seal workers in Burnaby, B.C., who were previously represented by the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), voted to switch to the IAM.
“Our task was to show them how representation by a union SHOULD be conducted, and that’s what we did,” said Cyr.
The workers at the plant contacted the IAM about 3 weeks ago because they were frustrated with the representation they were receiving from CLAC. Cyr then quickly assigned newly-hired Organiser Roland Sturt-Smith to the file.
“What a better way for the rookie to get into the swim of things – and he performed as expected,” said Cyr. Sturt-Smith stayed in contact with the main 3 workers who spearheaded the drive. He held numerous meetings, provided information and answered their questions and concerns. “Complaints about CLAC were that they seemed more interested in servicing the Company than representing the membership,” said Sturt-Smith. “Explaining how the IAM did things was the really easy part,” he said.
“At the Labour Board hearing yesterday, only the legal counsel for CLAC attended along with the employer. There were no servicing representatives. After the hearing they literally walked out hand in hand and totally ignored us,” added Cyr. “No wonder the workers from AK Draft Seal called us.”
Cyr pointed out that many issues raised from the discussions would have to be addressed as soon as possible. “This means we have to get information about our union to all the workers. Because the contract expires this December, we will serve notice to start collective bargaining, putting out proposals sheets and electing Bargaining Committee representatives,” he said. “From what the workers have told us, this has never happened in the past,” said Cyr.
The IAM is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing more than 500,000 active and retired members, and administers more than 5,000 contracts in transportation, woodworking, aerospace, manufacturing, service, health services and public services workers.
Golf Tournament Winner.
Local news at Last!
Brother Cato Gets 30 Year Pin
This is Bro Cato’s month for news. At the Duncan meeting, Business Agent John Humphries awarded Bro Cato with his 30 year membership pin.
We say that membership does have its rewards and one of them is that the IAM and the Local recognize faithful service.
Congratulations for the second time Brother Cato
Editor’s note: This article may be a long one but if the tenets expressed in it come to fruition, it may prove to be a seminal moment in a renewed labour movement.
Why Young People Are Joining Unions Again
Young people are at a tipping point. They are frustrated by a system whose cracks were etched into place by preceding generations, but have only fully metastasized for theirs. They experience suffocating levels of student debt alongside declining wages and income equality while watching companies monopolize entire industries, and sometimes even nationwide elections. Representation—actual representation—feels more like theory than reality.
People are, finally, beginning to take notice of young people’s activism to fix that system. However, many are mistaking the new wave of media coverage dedicated to young people’s political activism for young people’s newfound political activism. It’s not that young people were ever politically dormant; it’s just that their activism has existed in places where older generations aren’t used to looking: on college campuses, like the Know Your IX movement and tuition equity campaigns for undocumented students, and inside activist movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #ByeAnita and #Occupy.
Young people’s activism has existed in places where older generations aren’t used to looking and now, increasingly, unions.
For the first time in decades, union membership is on the rise among young people. Historically, younger people have not been unionized, and their rates of union membership trail older adults by wide margins. But, just like the gun laws that are already being amended, that too is beginning to change.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), in 2017, there were 262,000 new union members in the United States. Seventy-five percent of this increase came from young people (which EPI considers those aged 34 and under, but for the purposes of this article, broadly refers to the older subset of Generation Z and most Millennials, ages 16 to 35). Young people also hold the most favorable attitudes towards labor of any generation, and their support for political parties skews heavily towards those that support pro-worker policies (like standing against “right-to-work” laws), including the Democrats and, increasingly, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
But for some reason, unlike previous generations, young people’s workplace organizing isn’t seen as an integral part of their organizing, writ large. While plenty of people are documenting the rise of young people’s union membership and plenty more describing young people’s leadership in activist spaces, what’s missing is the idea that these two phenomena are actually one: Young people are turning to outside outlets that allow them to exercise their politics in the wake of a political system that, by and large, does not.
In a piece for Jacobin Magazine, Micah Uetricht sketches out the ebbing relationship between democracy inside and outside the workplace, and, relatedly, the relationship between economic and political democracy. To Uetricht—a sociology graduate student who focuses on labor, member of the DSA, and associate editor at Jacobin—activism is activism, whether it takes place at the workplace or outside of it. “It’s a relatively recent development that we think of what happens at work as some kind of separate sphere of our lives in general,” he says. He adds: “Young people understand that and don’t like living in a dictatorship in the place where they spend 8 or 10 hours of their day.”
Uetricht experienced something similar at his first job out of college, when he worked as a cashier at an airport making minimum wage. He says he and his co-workers were treated as less than human on a daily basis, and they eventually decided to unionize, granting him a newfound sense of agency: “I had never felt as powerless as I did when I was a cashier making minimum wage. Conversely, I had never felt as powerful as I did when I joined with my co-workers, confronted my boss, and won.”
That fact—that unionization campaigns often center around not simply better wages or benefits, but a sense that your voice will be heard—often goes misunderstood by those who are not connected to the labor movement. But for Uetricht, who went on to become a union organizer, the idea of worker voice, even if it’s to voice complaints about stagnant pay or subpar health benefits, is not simply one benefit of unions; it is the benefit. “The thing that you learn immediately as an organizer,” he tells me, “is that even in low-wage workplaces, the number one issue people have with their workplaces is not their low wages but a lack of respect.”
A lack of respect is also primarily driving young people’s frustration with the political system. When Kasky, the 17-year-old Parkland survivor, spoke at the March for Our Lives, he said “our voices are powerful, and our votes matter.” He said that in contrast to the status quo, in which young people’s voices are not seen as powerful, nor their votes. And, looking at recent history, it’s not hard to understand why that might be Kasky’s understanding of the status quo. Young people’s votes were spurned by an electoral college that favors rural, sparse areas, disproportionately discounting the large numbers of young people who lived in cities in 2016. Their ideas of stronger restrictions on guns, reigning in big banks, and support for the rights of LGBTQ people, immigrants, people of color, and people of varying religious views have been continually overpowered by older generations and special interests.
Seen through that lens, it’s no wonder young people have found working inside the U.S. political system ineffective, and, quite frankly, not worth their time. Instead, young people have redirected their activism toward different kinds of outlets, where their efforts may actually bring about tangible results. Outlets like unions.
What does this mean for the labor movement? A workplace is, at the most fundamental level, a microcosm of the political system. There are those who hold power, the bosses, and those who don’t, the workers. Over time, the balance of power ebbs and flows; when unions are strong, the balance shifts more heavily to the workers, and when unions are weak, the balance favors the bosses. When unions are powerful, workers have something akin to a voice in the direction of their workplace. And when unions are at their most powerful, workers have something akin to a voice in the direction of their country, a counterbalance to special interest groups like ALECor the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Julia Ackerly is working to build unions up to that level. Now 27, she’s worked on Democratic campaigns for most of her adult life: She worked as a field organizer and regional field director for the Bernie Sanders campaign in the 2016 primary elections, and then for Larry Krasner’s bid to be Philadelphia’s District Attorney (DA), a race that drew national attention for how Krasner sought to use the DA position to enact a progressive vision for the criminal justice system. Ackerly has always worked on campaigns that worked closely with organized labor. But she had never been in a union herself.
That changed when the Campaign Workers’ Guild (CWG) formed. The idea behind the CWG is pretty simple: It hopes to unionize campaign staffers, who experience harsh working conditions where poor pay and benefits and long hours run rampant, justified by managers as sacrifices for an important cause. CWG is currently organizing campaigns one-by-one: Its first successful organizing campaign was that of Randy Bryce, the candidate hoping to win House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Congressional seat, and it’s organized 10 more campaigns since, for a total of 11 as of March 2018. But it ultimately hopes to organize entire parties’ campaign staffs at once in the future.
“Everyone needs an outlet for activism.”
Ackerly, who helps organize campaign staffs and is now a dues-paying member of CWG herself, says that having a collective ability to be heard and respected in the workplace is a “very motivating factor towards unionization campaigns.” She singles out creating protocol and reporting structures for sexual harassment and discrimination as one of the biggest motivations staff members have for organizing. Which, tellingly, is also the one of the biggest activist movements dominating living room and water cooler conversations across the country as the #MeToo movement continues.
Young people dominate the junior staffs on campaigns and have also made up a significant portion of the driving force behind recently organized campaign staffs, according to Ackerly. Jake Johnston, the Vice President of Organizing for the Non-Profit Professional Employees Union (NPEU) (which includes some members of the TalkPoverty staff), has similarly seen young people take the lead at the organizations that have recently organized under NPEU, and at NPEU itself.
For Johnston, collective action has implicit ties to activism, writ large. “The reality is that our political system really has cut out a significant part of this country. I think there’s clearly a rejection of the status quo, and yet there are so few avenues to try and change that,” he says. “Whether it’s joining the DSA, joining a union, joining an advocacy campaign, or joining an electoral campaign, people are trying to change that. Everyone needs an outlet for activism.”
That’s true for young people in particular. For far too long, they’ve been on the receiving end of an economic and political system that does not work for them, while being denied the opportunity to change that system.
Whether it’s students like Cameron Kasky shouting about the NRA into a microphone that reverberates from the Capitol to the White House, young people like Julia Ackerly organizing an industry that has never been unionized before, or activists like Micah Uetricht organizing his own workplace, young people are refusing to take part in a political system that has consistently and methodically drowned out their voice. Instead, they’ve taken their voices elsewhere, to outlets like unions and activist movements where—finally—their voices are being heard.
Machinists Expand Membership in B.C. Auto Sector
Victoria, B.C. – IAM District Lodge 250 has expanded its automotive membership with an organizing victory at BMW Victoria, part of the Gain Auto Group.
“This employer ran a very significant anti-union campaign and these workers refused to swallow it,” explained IAM District Lodge 250 Directing Business Representative Walter Gerlach. “I admire these people for standing up for change in their workplace rather than leave and go somewhere else. This organizing campaign was also a great opportunity to mentor IAM District Lodge 250 Business Representative John Humphrey in the art of automotive organizing.”
The 20 new members of IAM Local Lodge 456 consist of mechanics, parts personnel and service writers. IAM District Lodge 250 represents workers at over thirty automotive dealerships in British Columbia including more than a dozen on Vancouver Island. Across Canada, the IAM represents more than 1600 workers in auto dealerships in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
Unifor Opts Out of the CLC
Unifor, a union that represents automotive and transportation workers has left the C.L.C. this is an unfortunate development as the labour force is always stronger the more it sticks together. It also opens the labour movement up to unions trying to feed off each other by raiding for memberships.
Some unions in Ontario have already reported attempts by Unifor to raid their memberships. This happens both ways and sooner or later Unifor may find out what it is like to be raided.
Wonderful Opportunities for the Members
The lodge has positions to fill on the Executive and for those of you who wish to take a more active role in the union lodge of which you are a member, there here are the available jobs to be filled.
With the advancement of Sister Heather to the presidency the lodge must fill in behind her with a new Vice-President. The position of the Vice-President is to act on behalf of the President for the Lodge upon the Presidents absence or incapacity. The Vice-President will also act as adviser and assistant to the President in formulating policy and decisions affecting the Lodge and the Union as a whole.
The Trustees main function is to oversee the audits of the Lodges finances and make the report to Grand Lodge on the outcome of the audit. The audits are carried out semi-annually. We have to elect a third trustee to complete the committee.
The lodge will eventually be electing its delegates to the Dockyard Trades and Labour Council and the membership from the Esquimalt Dockyard should be mindful that these positions will need to be filled in the future.
President Elect Sworn In
At the January meeting the president elect, Heather Hunter was sworn in as the first female president in its history..
The Lodge gives her its best wishes for the task ahead and sends its thanks to Stan Dzbik for his years of faithful and meritorious service.
Airbus-Bombardier and guaranteed jobs until 2041
Montréal, QC – “The finest aircraft to be have been developed in the past 30 years is now affiliated with a major global aircraft manufacturer,” said IAM Québec Coordinator David Chartrand. He was reacting to news late yesterday that Bombardier had sold a majority stake in its C-Series passenger jet program to European aerospace giant Airbus for no cost.
“A major player has now entered Québec’s aerospace cluster, and we intend to do our part to make sure that it benefits the whole of Québec’s workforce and economy,” said Chartrand. The move comes after heavy duties were imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department against Bombardier, charging the Canadian aerospace giant was selling its C Series planes in the U.S. below cost while receiving government subsidies. The C-Series headquarters, Research & Development and production will remain in Montréal but a second assembly line for the 100-150 seat aircraft will be set up at Airbus’s facility in Mobile, Alabama. This move may circumvent the duties imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department.
“It’s clear that our members were feeling the pressure with the uncertainty hanging over the program,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “We now have a strategic alliance with a major global manufacturer that guarantees the jobs of our members in Québec until 2041.”
“Bombardier has tried over the past few years to achieve a strategic partnership,” explained Chartrand. “They were unsuccessful in the past because the aircraft didn’t have certification then, now it’s in production and has won praise from customers, so the partnership was acceptable. We will benefit greatly from access to Airbus’s supply network where we can purchase materials for less than we can now, and it gives Airbus the best product in the world in its class to offer to its airline customers. The partnership with Airbus makes us strong enough to weather the protectionist storms of the American market, keep a number of jobs in Québec and maintain the cohesion of our aerospace cluster.”
The IAM represents more than six thousand employees at Bombardier.
Editor’s note. Perhaps Boeing will not have to keep up their ad campaign about how much they love Canada
IAM Joins Rally to Protest Boeing Court Battle with Bombardier
Montréal, QC – More than 150 IAM members joined other unionized workers in a rally and March through the streets of Montréal to the US consulate to protest Boeing Aircraft’s court battle with Bombardier.
Boeing has filed trade tribunal complaints and taken court action against Bombardier over the sale of 75 C-Series 100 commercial airliners to Delta Airlines. Boeing accuses Bombardier of being heavily subsidized by the Canadian and Québec governments which allowed the Québec-based aircraft manufacturer to dump the planes on the market at bargain rates. “Boeing’s claim make no sense,” explained IAM Québec Coordinator David Chartrand. ‘Boeing doesn’t make an aircraft in this category and it didn’t make a bid for the Delta contract so their claim is groundless.”
“If Boeing wins this case, the tariffs imposed on the C-Series would amount to 160 per cent and double the cost of the aircraft,” Chartrand told demonstrators. “The C-Series is the most technologically advanced aircraft in its class and this court action would not only impact Canadian jobs but American workers too. The C-Series is flight tested at Bombardier facilities in Kansas and components for the aircraft are also manufactured there. This is nothing short of an attack on the Canadian aerospace industry and we will defend the jobs of our members. We must convince the US government that this is wrong and that’s why we’re outside their consulate today.”
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