Dear Brothers and Sisters

I hope everyone had a wonderful break during the holidays and had a chance to connect with family and friends. Things are fairly quite right now but there is lots of unfinished business that your executive and committee members will be busy working at in the coming months.  

We are sending six members to the CLC winter school this session and I want to thank the membership for your support in this vital training of our officers and committee members. We are only as good as the people we train and I know they will come back with the knowledge and energy to defend your rights if you should need help.

Our working relationship with this employer seems to be holding and we are finding ways to resolve most of our differences, all be it frustrating and time consuming we are making good progress and your standing committee and I intend to continue with these efforts. I want to thank the membership once again for the support and most of all patience that you have shown your executive in order to get us to where we are today, without that I’m sure we would still be having a very difficult time finding resolves. As I’m sure you have noticed we have suspended the assessments for the arbitration fund and it’s my hope we won’t have to use it again, however only time will.

Your contracting out committee is working on a number of issues and seems to be making some head way, with the company committing to the purchase of a vacuum truck, there should now be opportunities to resolve a number of concerns around the use of contractors for cleanup type work. There are still a number of bumps in the road that the committee is trying hard to work through, but they deserve a big thanks for all their efforts on this frustrating committee that fights every day to protect all of our jobs.

Please take the time to check out our web site Richard Sauvé and Bruce McNevin have been doing a great job updating it and keeping it current. You will find links that will be helpful and informative, as well as the resent stuff YOUR Local Union has been doing in the community, we are trying to do a better job of branding ourselves as a relevant force in our community thanks to your generosity. I can assure you that Unifor 1119 is well respected and that will only grow.

At the time of this writing I’m preparing to go to Toronto and meet with other Unifor political action committee members from across Canada (national is paying).  We will be develop an action plan to mobilize our membership, our retirees, and other like-minded community groups, with the focus to take back our country and defend our Canadian values against this Conservative government.

I have been informed we will be getting our new union cards soon (thank-you Danielle). Once we receive them, we will be around to the control rooms handing them out. I would like to get your feedback on what you would like to see your Union do in our community, and listen to any concerns you may have. We want to hear from you. We want to hear what the issues are that directly concern you and that you would like us to raise with the political parties. I have already heard from many of you on things like pipelines, health care accord, restoring full OAS at age 65, secret trade deals, restoring the labour law rights that have been attacked, restoring the coast guard, support for our veterans, sustainable development and action on climate change. Your political action committee is looking forward to hearing from you on these issues.

This will be a pivotal year for the labour movement in Canada as we will be going to the Federal polls this 2015; we will need all the feedback and support we can get to be successful. We will be appealing to you to see if anyone wants to directly be involved in the federal election this year; the goal will be to have each Local in Unifor be fully engaged in encouraging their memberships to vote for a new respectful Government. Remember together we stand divided we fall.

In Solidarity

Don Rheaume

Unifor Local 1119 President

Don Rheaume