Welcome to the

USW Local 1-1937 Organizing Centre

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We hope this page will help answer your questions about how our Union works and how it can assist you and your co-workers get the help you need in forming a Union in your workplace.

First of all; what is a Union?  A union is a group of workers who join together to achieve better wages, better benefits, respect on the job, an end to favouritism and a stronger voice in workplace decisions. With the help of a union, workers negotiate a contract with their employer to ensure these issues are addressed.

Without a union, employers have 100% control over its employees and complete authority to make all decisions. Through unions employees take some of this control to make their workplace better. A union’s major goal is to give workers a voice on the job for respect, safety, security, better pay and benefits, and other improvements to working conditions.

in the Organizing Centre you will find out how you can come together with your co-workers to make work a better place for everyone.


IN THE ORGANIZING CENTRE:


If you want improvements in your workplace, organizing is the most important way to raise the working and living standards of workers.

Union workers earn 30% more money than non-union workers and 44% more when you include the total compensation of health and welfare benefits.

The union advantage is clear. Organizing more workers will strengthen our union, our contracts and our communities with good jobs.  Over 1 in 3 workers in Canada belongs to a Union. United, we are a powerful voice for justice at work. Together, we can protect the good jobs that workers and their families need to achieve their potential at work as well as life after work.


UNION BENEFITS

View the latest reports released by the Center for Economic Policy Research that Shows the Benefits of Union Representation for:


Why Union?

Unions have always made a positive difference.  With most of the economic benefits of our economy going to corporations, working people are using the power of collective action to get their fair share.

There is a clear reason that Unions work.  Individual workers may ask for a raise from time to time but it is proven in the old adage that says “United we stand divided we fall” that workers do far better when they join together and act as one.  If you’re a sports fan you only have to look at the NHL as an example. For decades players toiled for low wages and in poor conditions until they formed a Union (NHLPA) that has seen their decision to unionize turn them into millionaires who have a say in their workplace.  That is an extreme example (wage wise) but the same holds true for all kinds of jobs where working together to form a Union in your workplace will give you and your co-workers a real say in the terms and conditions of your work.    The future of working families depends on a united voice that can stand up to powerful interests.

The working men and women of the USW are that voice. 

The USW is the product of many mergers with other unions and members work in numerous different industries in the Canada the USA but the largest number of members is in the forest industry.

Unions are making a difference. 

With most of the economic benefits of our economy going to corporations, working people are using the power of collective action to get their fair share.

Every worker deserves living wages, safe working conditions, equal opportunity, health and welfare benefits, a secure pension and a voice in the workplace.

The USW is working to make sure workers get their fair share. USW members enjoy the security of a union contract and the strength of 750,000 members behind them.


WORKERS NEVER GOT ANYTHING WITHOUT UNITING

When workers stick together as a union, they have bargaining power and a collective voice that they simply do not have when they are not unionized.  Being a member of a union not only gives you a better position to get better wages, benefits and working conditions, you also get job security. 


THE ITEMS BELOW ARE SOME OF WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED BY BEING UNITED

Just think of what you and your co-workers may be able to win if you had a union contract!

Non-union workers have limited rights and can be fired “at-will”, for no reason.  Just because your boss is having a bad day and decides he/she doesn’t want you around anymore. Non-union workers also find that the rules can change at the whim of the employer. 

With a union contract, everything is spelled out in black and white, as decided upon between the workers’ negotiating committee and the employer during bargaining, and the rules don’t change until workers renegotiate.  For instance, raises are guaranteed, holidays, vacations, hours, etc. can all be defined by the contract.

In addition, discipline and firing isn’t at the whim of the employer for union members.  There are certain rules the boss has to go through, a series of steps, to show that they have just cause for discipline or firing you.  Throughout this time, a union representative will be working on your behalf to represent you and make sure you get a fair deal and your rights are protected through a grievance procedure.

Just think of what you and your co-workers may be able to win if you had a union contract.


WHERE WE WORK

USW INDUSTRIES

WHO IS THE UNION?

YOU ARE THE UNION

 

 HOW DO WE UNIONIZE OUR WORKPLACE?  

IMPORTANT FIRST STEPS


ANY CONTACT YOU HAVE WITH A USW LOCAL UNION  REPRESENTATIVE IS COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL 





FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS?

Who organizes the Union?


What are the legal requirements to certification?


Can I help my co-workers in joining the Union?


Do you lose anything when you join the Union?


Can my employer take any action against me for joining a Union?


Does the employer ever find out who supported the Union?


What happens if an employer violates workers’ rights during an organizing drive?


Can management staff belong to the Union?


What is the function of the Union in our workplace?


What is a collective agreement?


Who negotiates the contract?


Will I have to pay dues?


Once unionized how do we get a contract?


Will I have to go on strike?


Strikes are uncommon.  


RECENT ORGANIZING CAMPAIGNS

 

YOUR RIGHTS - UNDER THE LAW
Excerpt taken directly from the BC Labour Relations Code:

Part 2 — Rights, Duties and Unfair Labour Practices

Rights of employers and employees

4  (1) Every employee is free to be a member of a trade union and to participate in its lawful activities.

(2) Every employer is free to be a member of an employers' organization and to participate in its lawful activities.

Prohibition against dismissals, etc., for exercising employee rights

5  (1) A person must not

(a) refuse to employ or refuse to continue to employ a person,

(b) threaten dismissal of or otherwise threaten a person,

(c) discriminate against or threaten to discriminate against a person with respect to employment or a term or condition of employment or membership in a trade union, or

(d) intimidate or coerce or impose a pecuniary or other penalty on a person,

because of a belief that the person may testify in a proceeding under this Code or because the person has made or is about to make a disclosure that may be required of the person in a proceeding under this Code or because the person has made an application, filed a complaint or otherwise exercised a right conferred under this Code or because the person has participated or is about to participate in a proceeding under this Code.

(2) If no collective agreement respecting a unit is in force and a complaint is filed with the board alleging that an employee in that unit has been discharged, suspended, transferred or laid off from employment or otherwise disciplined in contravention of this Code, the board must forthwith inquire into the matter and, if the complaint is not settled or withdrawn, the board must

(a) commence a hearing on the complaint within 3 days of its filing,

(b) promptly proceed with the hearing without interruption, except for any necessary adjournments, and

(c) render a decision on the complaint within 2 days of the completion of the hearing.

Unfair labour practices

6  (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 8, an employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer must not participate in or interfere with the formation, selection or administration of a trade union or contribute financial or other support to it.

(2) Despite this section, an employer may permit an employee or representative of a trade union to confer with the employer during working hours or to attend to the trade union's business during working hours without deducting time so occupied in computing the time worked for the employer and without deducting wages for that time.

(3) An employer or a person acting on behalf of an employer must not

(a) discharge, suspend, transfer, lay off or otherwise discipline an employee, refuse to employ or to continue to employ a person or discriminate against a person in regard to employment or a condition of employment because the person

(i)  is or proposes to become or seeks to induce another person to become a member or officer of a trade union, or

(ii)  participates in the promotion, formation or administration of a trade union,

(b) discharge, suspend, transfer, lay off or otherwise discipline an employee except for proper cause when a trade union is in the process of conducting a certification campaign for employees of that employer,

(c) impose in a contract of employment a condition that seeks to restrain an employee from exercising his or her rights under this Code,

(d) seek by intimidation, by dismissal, by threat of dismissal or by any other kind of threat, or by the imposition of a penalty, or by a promise, or by a wage increase, or by altering any other terms or conditions of employment, to compel or to induce an employee to refrain from becoming or continuing to be a member or officer or representative of a trade union,

(e) use or authorize or permit the use of the services of a person in contravention of section 68, or

(f) refuse to agree with a trade union, certified under this Code as the bargaining agent for his or her employees who have been engaged in collective bargaining to conclude their first collective agreement, that all employees in the unit, whether or not members of the trade union, but excluding those exempted under section 17, will pay union dues from time to time to the trade union.

(4) Despite subsection (3), except as expressly provided, this Code must not be interpreted to limit or otherwise affect the right of the employer to

(a) discharge, suspend, transfer, lay off or otherwise discipline an employee for proper cause, or
(b) make a change in the operation of the employer's business reasonably necessary for the proper conduct of that business.


ADVANTAGES OF USW MEMBERSHIP


                          EMPLOYEE CONCERNS














CONTACT US

To join our union or get more information contact us here fill out the form and e-mail it to us or contact one of the offices listed.
An organizer will contact you within the next few days on a completely confidential basis.

Or just call us at: 1-866-746-6121 or 1-800-663-5594


UNION

NON UNION

Dignity, Rights, and Respect. Must be given at all times

 Only given if they like you.

Wages and Other Compensation. Spelled out in the Contract

 SECRET - privately negotiated by management.

Raises. Will be bargained for everyone and everyone votes

 Favouritism can determine individual raises.

Discipline/Dismissal. The Union will defend you with Legal Assistance and a Grievance Process.

Good luck, you're on your own.

Problems on the Job. Your VOICE is heard. You have a Grievance Process.

Their way or the highway.

Seniority Rights. Union Contracts give recognition to time of service for numerous applications.

No seniority rights apply

Policies. Remain Consistent.

Forever Changing.

A Voice in the Political Arena.Work for laws to protect employees and their families.

 No Voice.