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Community Based Organizing

An Open Letter to Dalton McGuinty

Funding for hospital redevelopment in Ontario should give the best value for citizens’ tax dollars. Hospitals should be under democratic governance and operated according to the principles of the Canada Health Act. Full Story

Announcement

I am pleased to announce that Natalie Mehar, President of the Ontario Health Coalition, will be in town to meet with health care workers and concerned citizens on Monday December 19, 2005 at 7 p.m., in the lower hall at the Navy League (Old Mine Mill Hall) at 19 Regent Street South. Full Story

Walmart - Always Lower Standards

On Saturday May 7, 2005 Mine Mill 598/CAW members along with other unions and advocates participated in a peaceful demonstration outside of the Wal-Mart store in our community.  Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union had their transport truck as part of the regular traffic entering and exiting the parking lot.  Store management offered to demonstrators coffee and water and werepolitely asked to bring the refreshments back into the store and offer them to the Wal-Mart workers. Full Story

Mine Mill 598/CAW Organizing Report

Mine Mill 598/CAW and our National Union recognize that in this climate we must make organizing a priority. Full Story

 

On a Friday evening the workers at Finlandia Nursing Home Limited  received our pay stub and inside was a memo from the company indicating that our share of the premiums for our benefit package was going to increase.  We knew the only way to prevent this from happening and to protect our rights as workers was to join a union.  A committee of workers began "shopping" for a union and we concluded that the union that was going to be able to best serve our needs was Mine Mill 598/CAW.  We began an organizing drive and had 95% of the cards signed in 32 hours.  In October 2001, Mine Mill 598/CAW was certified as our bargaining agent.

In 2003 the workers of Finlandia Care Services decided to try an organizing campaign.  These workers saw the benefits that members of Finlandia Nursing Home had achieved thought the bargaining process.  With the help of Finlandia Nursing Home Limited's bargaining committee, this group of workers got the cards signed and a majority of the workers voted in favour of a union.  They joined the rank and file of Mine Mill 598/CAW and ratified and signed their first collective agreement in March 2004.

 The University of Sudbury workers began "shopping" for a union and in June of 2004 there was a certification vote held at their workplace and Mine Mill 598/CAW became their bargaining agent.  They had their first set of negotiations early October and have more dates scheduled for early November.  They have informed us that the process is moving smoothly and are very pleased with the expertise and assistance from our CAW National Representative, Tom Dattilo.

On October 6, 2004 there was a certification vote held at St. Joseph's Villa.  On the ballot the workers had three choices.  CAW/TCA Canada, OFHCW/LIUNA and no union.  The majority of the workers voted CAW/TCA Canada to become their bargaining agent.  There are 133 workers who have joined the rank and file of Mine Mill 598/CAW.  We want to sincerely welcome everyone and there are two meeting scheduled on Thursday October 28, 2004 at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at 19 Regent Street.

CAW/TCA Canada is the largest private sector union in Canada and is one of the most progressive unions.  In April 2004 delegates from our local attended and participated in our quarterly council meeting held at our Family Education Center in Port Elgin.  A motion from the Council was voted on regarding community based organizing.  Our National Union would share the costs with Local Unions who wanted to participate in this initiative.  Mine Mill 598/CAW, under the leadership of Rick Grylls and the Executive Board jumped at this opportunity and for three months I was asked to work as our community based organizer.  I gladly accepted this proposition and  work closely with John Aman, CAW National Representative, who has assisted us tremendously.

Every worker has the right to an organized workplace.  There is statistical proof that unionized workers enjoy better wages, benefits and working conditions.  Mine Mill 598/CAW is committed to improving the lives of our members and the communities that we live in at our local and national level.  A unionized workplace begins to create accountable and responsible management.

In Solidarity

Anne Marie MacInnis

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