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CAW-CEP merger in the works

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MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

Okay Fidel, you clearly have no desire to engage in reasonable discourse.  I'm going to give you a week to think (seriously this time) about whether you want to continue contributing here.

If you come back with the same beligerent, hostile and bullying behaviour, the choice will no longer be yours.


genstrike
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Joined: May 1 2008

I'm pretty sure having some concerns about the details of a proposal being put forward by the union leadership does not a fascist make.

ETA:  Sorry, cross-posted with Rebecca.

So, anyone have any thoughts on the proposal?  As a sidenote, there's some stuff in the later chapters of Canadian Labour in Crisis which is particularly illuminating on this issue - union reform from above or from below, and specifically what kind of unionism is being revitalized really matters when you're talking about proposals to revitalize and reform the labour movement.  Pretty much anything can be gussied up as a bold new step in union revitalization - just look at the CAW press releases from a few years ago on the "innovative" Magna deal.


Wilf Day
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Joined: Oct 31 2002

Rebecca West wrote:

Okay Fidel, you clearly have no desire to engage in reasonable discourse.  I'm going to give you a week to think (seriously this time) about whether you want to continue contributing here.

If you come back with the same beligerent, hostile and bullying behaviour, the choice will no longer be yours.

You've completely lost me, Rebecca. What did Fidel say to prompt that?

genstrike wrote:
I'm pretty sure having some concerns about the details of a proposal being put forward by the union leadership does not a fascist make.

Who said it did?


vouchsafer
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Joined: Jun 28 2012

Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Bygones. Time to move on.


robbie_dee
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Joined: Apr 20 2001

Quote:

A contest in Windsor, Ont., aims to come up with a new name for the Canadian Auto Workers if the union merges with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

The road to a merger hasn't met any bumps yet. The proposal goes to a CAW convention in Toronto next month, and a CEP gathering in October.

CAW Local 444, to which national president Ken Lewenza belongs, is asking for input from union members on an appropriate new name.

"This is a way for them to understand what's happening in regards to the discussions and as we get closer to that merger, there is going to be a name change and our members need to recognize that," said Dino Chiodo, president of the local, which has members working at the Chrysler Windsor Assembly Plant, Caesars Windsor and other workplaces in Windsor.

The deadline for name suggestions is early next month.

A committee will choose five top names and send them to the national union.

The merged union is expected to have 325,000 Canadian members.

CBC News: CAW Local 444 holds contest to name possible new union


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008

Having observed recent internecine conflict at the local level, I'm loathe to imagine such intrigue on a national scale.


Wilf Day
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Joined: Oct 31 2002

robbie_dee wrote:
A contest in Windsor, Ont., aims to come up with a new name for the Canadian Auto Workers if the union merges with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

IndustriALL Global Union represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors and is a new force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world. IndustriALL Global Union represents workers in a wide range of sectors from extraction of oil and gas, mining, generation and distribution of electric power, to manufacturing of metals and metal products, shipbuilding, automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, electronics, chemicals, rubber, pulp and paper, building materials, textiles, garments, leather and footwear and environmental services.


robbie_dee
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Joined: Apr 20 2001

IndustriALL is a good name, but it sounds like it's already taken? I was going to suggest Paper, Automotive, Communications and Energy workers union (PACE), but that was mostly out of a sense of irony. (Note - PACE was the U.S. union that Canadian pulp and paper workers fought to get out of by forming CEP instead. PACE has since merged with the Steelworkers).


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

How about Stealworkers?

j/k


derrick
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Joined: May 8 2008

Update: Yesterday in Toronto the CEP and CAW held a press conference to lay out merger plans. You can watch the full video here


ikosmos
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Joined: May 8 2001

The video is good but the report, which can be found over here in a pdf report,   is a must-read. I realize that I haven't posted much at all here, but it's disappointing that there isn't more discussion on babble about this process. I urge every babbler to read the report and take their time in doing so.

Firstly, the thread might wisely have a different title. This is not a merger. There's a whole lot more going on here. The process that is taking place in order to make the new union successful is amazing for its depth and breadth.

"Its creation will be the result of a process of discussion and debate not seen previously in recent labour history."

The very location of the press conference was significant, at Ryerson, as it "will change the face of Canada and be studied for decades" according to the very articulate Quebecois leader of the CEP. Incidently, this organization has already successfully vaulted over the issue of recognizing the NJational character of Quebec, with a positive approach, saluted the recent efforts of student in that province, etc.

Read it. You might call it a kind of "What is to be Done?" for the Canadian working class.

Quote:
Two Canadian unions are negotiating a deal that, if successful, just might reinvigorate the labour movement…
How do unions make this leap? In part, the new proposal harkens back to an earlier era when unions, such as the 19th-century Knights of Labour, acted more like fraternal organizations than modern-day collective bargaining units.
Unions got their start in those days by offering members tangible benefits, ranging from burial insurance to summer camp for the kids. The CEP-CAW scheme echoes this with its suggestion of letting those outside of traditional bargaining units participate in union-sponsored benefit plans. With its talk of organizing the jobless, the proposal also harkens back to similar attempts … in the 1930s. And the idea of unifying workers as a class is as old as the labour movement itself, dating back to the radical Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, and Canada’s short-lived One Big Union.
That labour is even talking about such things is a great step forward.

Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star, May 23 2012

From the video and the remarks by the leadership of CEP/CAW, we note ...

 

- the report reflects a new vision for labour. The new union will revive, as Walkhom has noted, some practically anti-diluvial labour approaches. It will represent, in addition to the over 300,000 combined members of CAW and CEP, those who have no collective agreement, those who have no specific or single employer, those who are yet to work, ie, the unemployed, public and private sectors alike, so that they can say, as it should be, that anyone who shares the values of the organization will be welcome to be a member and be represented by a union. A glorious vision. There is a democratic spirit that is unshakeable and infectious. As one person noted, "It takes a lot to overcome the cynicism and self-victimization that characterizes so much of left working-class culture."

- it involves the largest coming together of 2 unions in Canadian history. It is unprecedented. The resources that are intended to be mustered are astounding. 50 million bucks in the first 5 years for organizing. How's them apples? The new union will have the largest organizational capacity of any union in Canada. With around 85 000 women members, it will have more women members than many whole provincial federations of labour in Canada.  It will represent, as the report goes into astonishing detail, 20 key sectors of the Canadian economy.

- following the CAW (August 2012) and CEP (Octover 2012) Conventions, the new as-yet unnamed union will hold a founding convention in 2013.

- It has the support of some key labour and political leadership in Ontario (Ryan of OFL, Cartwright of TLC, Nash of NDP, eg)

- there is a kind of enthusiasm not seen in the labour movement for some time. It is inspiring. I particulary like that the report and its authors do not shy away from addressing their class enemies in no uncertain terms and put governments that attack working people on notice that battles are forthcoming. At the same time, they have soberly addressed the history of neoliberalism and its responsibility for landing social life in this country, and many others, into a land of impoverishment and bare-fanged class war from above. One of the so-called MSM phone callers asked a question which both Coles of CEP and the CAW leader responded to by poinint out specific actions of the class enemies (ignoring issues in the forest industry other than to avoid responsibility for pensions, or the whole neo-liberal vision of mass impoverishment alongside shareholder and corporate glutunous enrichment) ; for myself, I would probably make a slightly different analysis that emphasized the objective character of some of the political economy of capitalism in the post war period but, no matter!)

Quote:

The new union will be a large, diverse and active ‘general workers’ union. We will be a union that has
crossed and blurred old occupational lines and traditional union boundaries. Our new union will represent another
stage in the development of unions. In the early days of craft unionism, solidarity was based on common
occupations. At the peak of industrial unions, solidarity was extended across occupational lines to include workers
across skills and jobs within a particular industry or sector. Today, our solidarity is more powerful because it
builds class consciousness by strengthening the ties that unite us across jobs, industries and geography in our new
union.

I will give the last word to the two leaders, Dave Coles of CEP (who has certainly already won my admiration long ago for his cool-under-fire handling of the SQ police provocateurs in Montebello) and Ken Lewenza of CAW:

"This proposal for a new Canadian union will make Canadian labour history. The report speaks for itself and presents a great, new vision for Canadian workers. Our members will now decide this future."

Read the goddam report.

 

 


ikosmos
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Joined: May 8 2001

David Bush has read the report and views it as an opportunity for rank and file union members to set a new direction/agenda for labour in Canada. See his column over at rabble.ca


gutripper
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Joined: Jun 21 2010

The CAW made a great support gesture today by supporting CEP local 79M today, we have been locked out by Bell for 6 weeks now. Bell's version of bargaining is take it or leave it.  There was near a thousand protestors involved, starting from the Sheraton, west to Bay and over to the Bell building on Adelaide. 

 

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/08/23/caw-cep-target-bell-over-television-technician-lockout/

 

 

Thank you CAW.


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
At the very least, this merged entity will have both the political heft, and combined experience to negotiate better closure agreements. Hopefully, that won't often be necessary.

1weasel
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Joined: Jan 8 2006

Way delayed in mentioning this but it was fun to see some of the rabble folks at the CEP convention in Quebec.

 

One of the troublemakers in the colourful bowling shirts. Cool


Grandpa_Bill
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Joined: Apr 25 2009

ikosmos, quoting Walkom as follows, wrote:

Two Canadian unions are negotiating a deal that, if successful, just might reinvigorate the labour movement…
How do unions make this leap? In part, the new proposal harkens back to an earlier era when unions, such as the 19th-century Knights of Labour, acted more like fraternal organizations than modern-day collective bargaining units.
Unions got their start in those days by offering members tangible benefits, ranging from burial insurance to summer camp for the kids. The CEP-CAW scheme echoes this with its suggestion of letting those outside of traditional bargaining units participate in union-sponsored benefit plans. With its talk of organizing the jobless, the proposal also harkens back to similar attempts … in the 1930s. And the idea of unifying workers as a class is as old as the labour movement itself, dating back to the radical Industrial Workers of the World, or Wobblies, and Canada’s short-lived One Big Union.

That labour is even talking about such things is a great step forward.

Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star, May 23 2012

Dollars to donuts, this get put on the back burner until the next big merger proposal.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

"Unifor".

Really?

Unifor: A strong, new, bold union for Canadian workers

That's what focus groups and communications strategists will do to for you.

And I note that the "U" in the logo is broken.

Oh well.

Let's hope for the best!

 


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

Proper Uniform allowances will be the first bargaining priority at all locals.

What a stupid name.


Doug
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Joined: Apr 17 2001

It sounds as if it ought to be a construction company.


Doug
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Joined: Apr 17 2001

Or perhaps an industrial cleaning company.


onlinediscountanvils
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Joined: Jun 7 2012

Doug wrote:
Or perhaps an industrial cleaning company.

Yeah, Unilever was the first thing that came to mind when I heard it.


gadar
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Joined: Nov 1 2006

wtf? now i am a Unifor worker (that doesnt sound right). Who came up with this? Is there something i am missing here uni in lower case and FOR in upper.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005

Someone said it sounded like a pharmaceutical brand. I think I'll pop a couple Unifors - ttyl.

ETA: They served cake. https://vine.co/v/bYw07dBpg70


gadar
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Joined: Nov 1 2006

Oh well at least they got the color right, I hated the old blue. NDP partisans may not like the red tho lol


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Introducing Unifor: New union opens its doors to rebuild labour movement's power

A union's logo is a symbol that workers carry with pride, on their hard hats, on their membership cards, on their sleeves, explained Trish Hennessy of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one of the speakers at the Thursday event.

The name, Unifor, denotes the unification of 300,000 members and 800 local unions under this new organization. The 'U' of the logo is comprised of two halves, each representing one of the national unions that came together to form the new one.

But Unifor's name and logo are far more than a re-branding of old unions. They represent a radical new step in the labour movement, one that has been planned and refined since January, 2012. CEP and CAW leaders are adamant that Unifor is not a merger. It is the creation of an entirely new union, one with unprecedented scope and inclusivity.

"We're going to open the doors to people who do not have traditional employment," said CEP President Dave Coles.

That means inviting contract workers, students, retirees, the self-employed, the underemployed, even the unemployed, to become full voting members. "We're going to offer membership to people in Canada who have never had the opportunity to be represented, or to have a voice, in labour before," Coles said.

The open invitation to members, the first of its kind for a Canadian union, is an attempt to muster power in a harshly anti-labour climate. Canada's labour groups have been fighting the hyper-capitalist politics of neoliberalism since the Brian Mulroney administration. More recent challenges, including the global financial crisis, and the election of a majority Conservative government, have resulted in attacks on workers' rights from employers and politicians alike.

 


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

The new name leaves me wondering if they subscribe to the principles of Ingsoc, or if they are in the pay of Eastasia or Euasia.

Unionist does have a good point in suggesting it sounds like a controlled substance though... I wonder if the results from a different focus group got confused with those consulted about this new name.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005
Now for a few positive comments. The name actually works better in French (Uni! Fort! - United! Strong!). The most exciting part is reaching out to all working folks, including unemployed, precarious, freelance, etc., and students and others. All that's needed is a few convinced and dedicated activists to run with this, and fight to ensure it doesn't get bureaucratized from day one. We need change, and this looks like change. I'll support it just for that reason. And hopefully other unions won't see it as a threat, but rather as a challenge to grow the movement.

jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Would be a good name for a forestry company. As such, not bad for a union. I guess there's no rule saying union names have to always be acronyms. It's got a good, broad, transnational feel to it, that, to me, signifies breadth and power.

Just curious, I know the CEP represented mill workers. Did one of the former entities represent forestry workers?

I think it's very exciting the new direction and inclusivity they are proposing, but wonder if it's feasible for one union to represent that many interests.


kropotkin1951
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Joined: Jun 6 2002

My wife, who is now a member of Unifor, thought it sounded like Canfor. But then she does come from Vancouver Island.


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