Right now, across our provinces, the biggest buzz on the street is that our solidarity is stronger than ever. Our local unions are taking courageous positions with big demands at bargaining tables, with strong backing from members and have been winning. Contract negotiations across our district continue to make significant gains for our members – that’s what solidarity looks like.
USW Local 7135’s 1,475 members in Hamilton, hit the picket lines for six weeks when the company wouldn’t budge on health and safety protections and solid wages. Together they stood strong and won the strike, where they got more than what they initially asked for across the board.
Local 1998’s Staff Appointed Unit with 5,800 members at the University of Toronto hit the bargaining table with a clear mandate from the membership. As part of the bargaining process, a strike vote took place and garnered a 95.4% vote in favour of a strike. This strong backing from the membership sent a powerful message to the employer, leading to major victories in the new contract.
Locals 5795 and 6731, two mining locals at IOC Rio Tinto in Labrador City, N.L., won a big boost for 1,500 members in wages and cost-of-living allowances in the midst of soaring inflation. These very strong agreements will now set the mining pattern across District 6.
These are just some examples of the successes in contract negotiations that our local unions continue to churn out. I want to encourage all our local unions to continue engaging with their members; and urge our members to increase their involvement in their respective local unions. Continuing to build our grassroots is essential for our union’s ongoing success . Our member-to-member education system is helping to keep our local unions active with engaged members.
Finally, I’d like to share that the District 6 Conference is happening July 8 to 12, 2024, in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. I am hoping to see you there! It will be a week filled with activities, learning, networking and much more. Registration details will be released soon so please look out for it on the USW website, in your local union mailing and social media.
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USW District 6 Director