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Home > Community Based Organizing > Mine Mill 598/CAW Organizing Report

Mine Mill 598/CAW Organizing Report

April 27, 2005

Dear Brothers and Sisters

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

I am pleased and excited to inform our members that we have several active campaigns underway.  We have begun to distribute leaflets at Com Care, Canadian Blood Services and Day Construction and several other campaigns underway.

To begin an organizing drive in any workplace you have to convince the workers that Mine Mill 598/CAW can and will make a difference in their workplace. With a Union, they will have a grievance procedure to resolve workplace issues.  With a Union, fairness, not favourtism, rules the day.  With a Union, management cannot make up the rules as they go along.  With a Union, their contract will set out the rules governing seniority, scheduling of work, job posting procedures, layoff and recall rights, hours of work, transfers and promotions.  With a Union, their co-workers and themselves will have a say in their workplace. You must listen, share personal experiences, return phone calls promptly, provide confidentially, honesty and listen some more.  Showing a genuine concern about their working conditions and guiding them form committees, inside committees make a much stronger campaign.

Many workers who I speak to are fearful of their future, or losing their jobs if the company finds out they signed a union card.  Section 5 (Membership in a Union) and Section 72 (Employers not to interfere with employees rights) under the Ontario Labour Relations Act is Law and protects unorganized workers.

I meet with people one on one or a small group approach at their homes or in coffee shops.  They begin to share information about their workplaces, the owners/corporations and the issues and concerns and then we research.  This groundwork is important.  We direct and support the workers because they own their organizing drives and make their own choices.  We provide information about our Union including who we are, what we do and how it works.  We form a bond with the workers, continue to educate and keep their spirits and interests up. John Aman, National CAW Organizer, provides us with tremendous support and resources. 

We have begun a leaflet distribution at Com Care, Canadian Blood Services and Day Construction. We have several other "drives" and if any one wishes to know more information, call the numbers listed below.

Our Mine Mill 598/CAW active and retired members have shared their time and important tips, you know who you are and I am sincerely grateful. 

WHEN A UNION IS ORGANIZING THE WORD SPREADS!

In Solidarity

Anne Marie MacInnis
Mine Mill 598/CAW
Community Based Organizer
Work (705) 673-3661  (ext 30)
Cell (705) 698-7655

From - CONTACT VOLUME 35, No.  14

Buzz Hargrove urged Ontario local Unions to lobby their provincial MPPs in support of restoring a card check union organizing system and restoring anti-scab legislation Bill 144.  The card check system allows workers to become unionized automatically if a majority sign union cards.  The current vote-based system forces a vote even if a majority have already signed cards.  This give employers more time to intimidate workers against voting for the Union.  Delegate after delegate spoke at the microphones about the importance of restoring a card check system and the importance of bringing back anti –scab legislation in Ontario.  Paul Forder, CAW director of membership mobilization and campaigns, said the majority of provinces and the federal government had a card check system.  New legislation giving card check only to construction workers in Ontario must be expanded to cover everyone, he stressed.  Forder said workers are intimidated in an organizing drive and there is nothing democratic about holding a vote to join a union on the employer's property, under the watchful eye of the workers' employer.

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