Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Allied Vote Notice

Hi everyone, This is for Allied Systems Canada workplaces in Ontario and Quebec.

Please ensure a notice gets posted in each workplace announcing the results of the ratification vote.

We are pleased the membership acknowledges the hard work done by your bargaining committee. This has been a very difficult process due to the restructuring by the manufactures as well as the intense competition within the car hauling industry. Our number one goal was to get control of the Pension plan and put Allied workers themselves back as trustees to monitor the plan going forward.
Thru out the bargaining it was made clear that this employer must change its culture. There is a need to be credible, in dealing with equipment issues and respectful in dealing with its employees. The CAW and all Local Unions brought credibility to the bargaining table and now it is up to Allied to bring it to its employees.

The results of the ratification vote held on Sunday December 19thwere as follows:

Office workers agreement was 79 per cent in favour and Driver’s/Mechanic’s agreement was 65 per cent in favour the agreement will expiry on January 10, 2014.

On behalf of all Local union leadership and myself, Ken Lewenza and Bob Chernecki we wish each member a Merry Christmas and hope everyone gets some quality family time during the Holidays. 

Len Poirier
National Representative
5 Executive Place
Kitchener, ON. N2P 2N4
Work: 519-893-4873X2226
Fax: 519-893-9908

Thursday, December 9, 2010


The CAW RTC Council met at the beginning of December in Toronto.  Ken Lewenza stopped by during the meetings.  Ken thanked the members present.  He stated that what a privilege it was to represent the members of the CAW.  Ken reminded us of what would happen if we as activists didn’t step up to make a difference.  If we did not, then who would step up for us and fight for us.  This message was not lost on the members in attendance.You can d/l meeting minutes here.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Airport Limo Drivers Locked-out of Using their own Cars

(Toronto) - Drivers for airport limousine services McIntosh, Air Cab and Aaroport have been “locked out” of their jobs after the company owner refused to release provincial vehicle registration stickers.  
The drivers have set up a picket outside the office of the three companies, located at 680 Sheppard Street West, in Toronto.

The move by the company comes after it walked away from negotiations with the CAW in early November, refusing to settle on a first agreement. CAW Local 252 represents the approximately 200 drivers.

The drivers must buy their car from the company owner at a marked up price and then it gets registered under the company’s name, which has enabled the lock-out to occur. The workers also must pay for the vehicle registration but cannot obtain it, independent of their employer.

“This practice is completely incomprehensible and without this first hand knowledge, I would never have believed it,” said CAW President Ken Lewenza. “These workers, predominately first generation Canadians and workers of colour, are extremely exploited, it is outrageous.”

A brief summary of the current terms of employment:
-The driver buys the car from the employer at highly inflated prices and then must transfer ownership to the employer, without any confirming paperwork;
-The driver has to also buy insurance from the employer without getting a policy that sets out premiums, coverage, or limitations;
-The driver also pays significant sums of money for permit and dispatch fees.

This practice is sanctioned by Greater Toronto Airport Authority.  
In addition to picketing outside the company’s head office, the union is will be planning other actions –should the company not return to the bargaining table.

“We’re now entering one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and it’s critical that we reach a first collective agreement for this group of workers and end the exploitative practices of this employer,” said Lewenza.


CAW National Representative Sukhvinder Johl (cell) 416-419-3009 CAW Communications Shannon Devine (cell)416-302-1699

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Latest Downloads

Download the ITF Cartoon, The DHL Postcard or the We Make it Move Handout for the Transportation Sector.  


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Len Poirier Report to Rail Confrence in Halifax


October 2010

  • Bio, update and involvement in the Local and at National level.

I was the President of CAW Local 4268, an amalgamated local based across Southern Ontario for four terms. The local was made of all types of road transportation units, freight movement docks and support personal. Our members are long haul drivers, city drivers, members of the waste/recycling industry, cross dock operations, auto and general freight movers as well as school bus drivers.

In 2008, I became a staff member of the CAW, working primarily in the road transport sector out of our Kitchener regional office. My assignment is working with my former local as well as other locals with members of DHL Canada and Allied Systems Canada.

  • I helped establish the CAW Road Transportation Council and we had our initial conference at the Port Elgin Family Education Centre.  We are in the process of organizing a CAW Transportation Conference for the fall of 2011.

-          This transportation conference will bring leadership personnel from all sectors of our membership which encompasses all sectors of the Canadian transportation infrastructure. We have members in all types of road transportation - taxi, courier, heavy equipment, waste/recycling, hourly workers and owner-operators, auto parts and general freight, armored truck etc.

-          We have airlines and supporting workers

-          Ship building and Marine workers

-          Rail and supporting workers

  • We are the largest group of related workers in the CAW, a fact that historically we have not recognized amongst ourselves, so we should not be surprised that Canadians do not think of the CAW as a transportation Union. We will change that!

  • Bill Murnighan of our research department recently did a little home work for us and here are his results:

Sector:            Air Transportation    15,500
                        Rail                             11,400
                        Road                          20,200
                        Marine                        2,500 = Almost 50,000
Manufactures of Transportation
                        Specialty Vehicles   7,000
                        Shipbuilding             1,500
Aerospace                 10,000
Auto                            24,000
Auto parts                  32,500= Almost 75,000

For a total of:                                     125,000.

  • 125,000 members in the transportation sector and we do not even consider ourselves a transportation Union! I echo Bill’s comments when he said: “Whether we drive it, or manufacture it, in the CAW “We make it move”.

  • Our next step is to take pride in whom we are and who we represent.  We must help increase our own sector specific density, while reaching out to others in the industry to show that we can and will successfully represent them.

  • In the Road Transport Council we have been involved in some locations more so than others in supporting and participating in the ITF (International Transport Workers Federation) days of action every fall. These campaigns are global endeavors that allow us to use as a tool in educating our members’ as well non union workers about our common issues and has been effective in organizing.

  • Workers across borders and jurisdictions have the same concerns, some more than others but as more and more multi-national corporations take over the logistics of the world’s freight, our need to work together is greater than ever. Working together with International organizations, like the ITF is important but we know the importance of having a Canadian Union fighting for Canadians within our jurisdictions, is the best way to fight for respect in our workplaces. Fighting locally first is our way of fighting globally with our contributions.

  • In some locations, companies use owner-operators as a tool against hourly workers and vice-versa but it is here, when brothers and sisters come together in solidarity that real pressure and advancements are made at the bargaining table. The employers feel the solidarity and the members themselves understand that by standing up for someone else’s issues you are standing up for yourself!

  • An advantage that we have in Canada is the ability for owner-operators to be members of the bargaining units or have units that are completely made up of owner-operators or brokers as we commonly refer to them as.

  • Brokers are more like every other worker than they sometimes choose to recognize. They have been sold on having greater flexibility, being their own boss and being a business owner as well. Representing brokers sometimes has its’ own set of challenges because we need to bargain different protections and rates for them. The companies like to think there is a greater ability to pressure one worker (broker) against another but a solid membership of brokers can be fighting the employers at their own game by not only controlling their labour but also their capital as tool in bargaining.

  • Some typical bargaining requirements that are unique to brokers can be: allowances to label trucks and paint colours, parking facilities with hydro hook up for winter months, cargo insurance, accident insurance, WCB (or equivalent), running rights and plates, road tolls, rates of pay in what-ever form that is whether it is a tonnage, mileage, hourly cartage rate, trip rates and one of the most volatile issues the price of fuel.

  • Fuel price is a variable that can eat away at any broker’s bottom line and without protections built into a collective agreement it becomes a difficult situation. In Ontario one of our most successful bargained issues is that of a fuel escalator clause that protects the owner operator from the fluctuating price of fuel. During periods of rising prices our brokers are sheltered and continue to roll. If interested I can explain some of these formulas but their intention is a broker’s pay he receives for his labour is not spent on buying fuel for his truck.

  • Sometimes workers’ compensation becomes an important issue for owner operators.

  • Here are a couple examples of fuel escalators: And then I will share the current RTC newsletter and our new organizing leaflet for the Road Transportation sector.


Fuel: The Company agrees to sell fuel to the Brokers at a price to be determined by the Company at the beginning of each month.

The Company will pay a fuel escalator to mileage and hourly Brokers from time to time determined in accordance with the following formula:

1.    The Company shall determine its fuel price for each month as close to the beginning of the month as possible and compare that price to the "base price", as defined below.  For each full $.01 / litre increase above the base price then in effect the mileage rates set out in Schedule "B" shall be increased for that month by .625 cents per mile rounded to the nearest 3 decimal points plus $0.015 (1.5 cents) per mile.  For each full $0.01 / litre increase above the base price then in effect, the hourly rate will be adjusted by $0.179 per hour and such escalator shall apply to all hourly rates for highway brokers that month.  The adjustment for the Standby and Way freighting rate will be $0.124 / hour for each full $0.01 / litre increase.

2.  The "base price" will be for year 1 = 0.5160.  Year 2 = 0.5289.  Year 3 = .5421

  • Therefore as an example a Broker today whose mileage rate $1.19 a mile and pays $0.79 per litre of fuel with the escalator calculated equals $1.359 per mile.


Line haul Tractor Mileage              A fuel escalation of .75%* for every 1 cent
Line hauls Tractor Hourly               Increase per Litre in fuel over .50 cents

*During the winter months of October 1st through to April 1st the escalation will increase to .80% over .50 cents per litre for every 1 cent increase.

  • The above fuel clause is based on the Owner Operators providing receipt copies, and the Owner Operator will be dealt with individually based on where each individual’s fuel is bought (gross cost including GST.)

* Here a broker who paid $0.80 a litre will be paid (during winter) 80% of the cost he buys fuel for over $.50 litre. Therefore they would receive 80% of the $ .30 = $ .24 for each litre of fuel they purchased.

Diesel Retrofit

As of October 1, 2010, all B.C.-registered commercial diesel veihicles of model years 1989-1993 with a licensed gross vehicle weight of more than 8,200 kg must install an emission reduction device.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Respect DHL Workers Alberta - B.C.

Alberta's Report 

Respect for DHL Workers B.C. Photostream

Have YOU sent a protest letter to Frank Appel, CEO of DHL???? Click on the link below to send an email to Dr. Frank, demanding respect for DHL workers. It'll only take you 2 minutes  
Thanks for helping us out and please send on to your friends, using Facebook or any other networks and media at your disposal!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CAW Local 114: DHL workers stage cross-Canada protests against co...

CAW Local 114: DHL workers stage cross-Canada protests against co...: "CAW media advisory – for immediate release October 6, 2010 DHL workers stage cross-Canada protests against company malpractices (Toronto) H..."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


CAW Information Bulletin
October 6th to 12th is this years International Transport Workers Federations (ITF)
Week of Action. Our CAW Campaign will take place from October 12th through 15th this year.

Fatigue KillsOrganizing the UnorganizedWaiting Time is Working Time ;Manufacturing Matters; Conditions in the Road Transport Sector have been some of the past campaigns that are specific to the transportation industry that still need attention. This years campaign will deal with each of the past themes as well as Respect and Safety Now.  In Canada what is very important to our industry is supporting Canadian workers.

International Workers challenge multinational to honor its promises

Workers at multinational giant DHL will be challenging the company to open dialogue and honor its promises of fair treatment for all employees as part of a week of action between 6 to 12 October 2010.

CAW members all over will be at the forefront of the campaign here and will be recruiting DHL workers to campaign for fair treatment for all the company’s workers, wherever they are.

For a company that is proud to describe itself as a worldwide and world class enterprise, DHL is curiously partial to taking a free ride in any countries where the laws or government turn a blind eye to poor pay, poor conditions and coming down hard on anyone who has the temerity to want to be part of a trade union.

The CAW and our members working for DHL don’t think that’s good enough. We want a level playing field for everyone working for DHL, whatever their job, whatever their home country.

This protest // action // week long campaign will be linked to activities by DHL workers and their unions being held around the world as part of a DHL Workers Week called by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and UNI Global Union (UNI). The ITF represents almost 5 million members in transport, UNI represents 2.5 million workers from the postal sector.

The week of action is a joint campaign for rights for all DHL workers, irrespective of where they work or whether they’re directly employed or a subcontractor. The campaign seeks to ensure that workers at DHL have a voice in how the company is run, wherever they happen to be working. UNI and the ITF believe the best way to do that is by making sure that they are represented by their unions of choice, and by DHL engaging in meaningful dialogue. For more details please see www.itfglobal.org/campaigns/dhlworkers.cfm

The ITF and UNI are campaigning on DHL because:

Deutsche Post DHL claims it respects trade union and workers’ rights, but evidence from around the world suggests otherwise.

Deutsche Post DHL’s reactive policy of compliance with national regulations clearly isn’t working – instead it breeds a management culture of ‘do what you can get away with’.

Real respect for workers would involve a positive commitment to best practice. This is why the ITF and UNI are demanding a global agreement for DHL workers.

Current Conditions in the Road Transport Sector

Everywhere you look in our society, people and things must be transported – those movements occur more often by road than any other mode of travel.  Trucking, taxi, passenger buses, couriers, and school buses: all ply the busy roads of our country fulfilling this essential economic task.  As a result, the road transportation sector is an enormous industry, which has become one of Canada’s largest employers.

Total employment in road transportation (including trucking, public transit, couriers, taxis) exceeded 360,000 Canadians in 2008.  About 60,000 new jobs in the sector have been created since 2000.  Indeed, the truck industry was one of the biggest single new employers during recent years, spurred by vibrant economic conditions and increasing freight business.

That expansion will probably come to a grinding halt in the next couple of years, however, because of the global financial crisis and the resulting economic recession in Canada. Freight business is slowing down, and this has worsened the condition of excess capacity in the trucking and courier businesses.  This business is intensely competitive at the best of times, but the overall slowdown will push suppliers to cut costs and prices even further, in a desperate effort to stay in business.  This is a time when unions really proves it’s value, by preventing employers from taking out the cost of the economic crisis on their workers.

In public transit, the future economic outlook is generally more optimistic.  Problems of urban congestion and global warming have pushed our governments to expand budgets for public transit construction and operation (though still not adequate).  Stimulus spending from the federal and provincial governments in response to the recession will also help strengthen funding for public transit services.  The challenge will be to ensure that this money is well-spent on high-quality, publicly-owned services.

What is immerging as one of biggest problems for todays professional driver is the fact that too many companies dont recognize waiting time and the hours at work are increasing for owner operators and independent truckers.  The companies only recognize the time spent behind the wheel as working time.  There are more and more companies forcing drivers to wait at the customers locations/ warehouses/ bus terminals or to help load their own trucks and/or wait for passengers but only pay them for driving time and the daily hours at work are increasing for owner operators and independent truckers.

If you are an owner operator and are being paid on a percentage of what the customer is charged, what happens when the company drops their rates to the customer?  You lose money!  Does the company care?  No, they always make sure they make money, they look after their profit margin and they dump the entire burden onto the driver!    You dont even find out the company has dropped their rates until you see that your pay cheque is smaller than it once was.

Being a professional driver has enough stress built into the job.  Road and weather conditions, passenger conduct, traffic and safety issues, just in time deliveries and driving regulations to name a few.  Making sure you have adequate sleep is important and losing the ability to rest to unpaid labour is unacceptable.

Major Sector Development Issues

>          We need to promote stronger safety and labour standards through government regulation, including more effective hours of work limits.

>          We need to resist the tendency of the industry to drive down compensation and work standards, especially during economic downturns when thee is too much capacity in the industry.

>          We need to protect public ownership in urban transportation: expand investments in public transit to improve service and reduce pollution from passenger car use in cities.

Moving Forward: Developing the Road Transport Sector

Road transportation is vitally important to the economic lifeblood of Canada.  Can you imagine what would happen to the whole economy if road travel suddenly stopped? Chaos, congestion, and gridlock.  So the people who work in this sector perform an essential service for all of us, delivering people and goods within communities and between them.  Moreover, given the inherent risks of road transport and highway travel, public safety depends on those services being provided in a professional, high-quality manner.

Unfortunately, the powerful forces of private market competition tend to push the whole sector in the direction of always reducing costs, downgrading service, and cheapening labour.  Excess capacity is a chronic weakness experienced in the freight hauling, courier, and taxi businesses.  Fly-by-night operators try to penetrate the market by offering still lower prices – but at the expense of their underpaid workers, and with dubious impacts on the safety and quality of the services.

The wages in this sector are all over the map.  This is not at all a fair recognition of the importance, the dangers, and the stress involved in this work.  Wages are higher in some segments (such as larger freight and courier firms, and public transit operators).  But they are even lower in many road transport occupations  well below what is required to raise a family.  The assumption is that as long as someone has a drivers license, they can just be thrown into a job for a low wage, without training, proper equipment, or safety standards. This is a terrible way to run a business that is so crucial to our national prosperity and well-being.

All of us in this sector need to fight to have drivers treated as valued professionals, rather than as low-wage hired hands.  This partly requires striving through collective bargaining to raise the wages, benefits, and working conditions of the sector, and to close off the low-road option that will be the natural first choice of most private operators.  But it also means improving the overall economic conditions of the sector: limiting overcapacity; pushing suppliers to invest more in modern, high-quality equipment; to raise safety and quality standards; to spend more on training and retention, instead of treating drivers as a cheap throw-away resource.  In the private sector this will also require stronger government regulations on safety and working conditions.  In public transit we continue to fight for adequate investments in new equipment and services to meet our growing need (both social and environmental) for high-quality urban mass transit.

During this Week of Action
We need for Canadians of all sectors of the economy to recognize Made in Canada Matters. In the transportation sector we need to be building, servicing and operating Canadian made equipment with Canadian workers. Good jobs mean more local freight from raw materials, suppliers, feeder plants, production facilities to retailers. More quality jobs would support the need to better transportation networks for these workers. It all works hand in hand for the Canadian economy and more importantly for you and your neighbours!

Our union is calling on all levels of government to adopt Buy Canadian policies for all public purchases - one of the important policy tools to help protect manufacturing jobs and encourage regional economic development in Canada.  Buying Canadian helps save good jobs and builds stronger communities.

                     The only way to TAKE ACTION  is to organize!

No one is going to be able to do it alone.  It is going to take a collective effort, organizing employer by employer.  If these employers do not get the message and start taking some responsibility, their workers will organize a Union.  If you are not already a member of a Union, give us a call at the number listed below.  If you already belong to a Union, get involved, You are the Union!  Together we can make things better!

Remember, the week of October 6-12, 2010 is the International Transport Workers Federation Week of Action and we will be doing our campaign from October 12th  15th, 2010.  Professional drivers around the world will be driving home the message to their employers  Respect and Safety NowWaiting Time is Working Time,Hours at Work need to be Compensated and Manufacturing Matters!

Workers internationally can support each other by doing a better job of supporting their own economies locally and telling these multi-national corporations and the supporters of a world economy that communities matter! Our Communities Matter

        All calls to the CAW Organizing Department are always kept strictly confidential!
1-877-495-6551  organize@caw.ca  or visit us athttp://www.caw.ca/