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Labour Day Protest against UFCW Canada Local 175

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newfy
Post Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:29 am

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Thank you wm.pasz,here is what I am seeking for this
hopefull protest on Monday September 03/07
I am calling on all members and past members of
UFCW Canada Local 175 and any other Local of UFCW
Canada who have had their lives severely alterd to a
point of instead of a 40 hour week pay it is now a once a month pay for them, thanks to the neglect of
duties UFCW Canada placed on its injured members.
How many more lives will be destroyed-altered?
How many more Family break ups will it take?
How many more children will have to be told they can't have some thing because Mommy and Daddy can't
work any more? Well, the answer is simple: When we
the injured workers decide to stop feeling sorry and stop blaming our selves for the treatment and neglect
we had inflicted upon us by UFCW Canada at the work place.

The reason for this outing would be to let our
National President Wayne Hanley of UFCW Canada know
there is an army of injured members the broken product of UFCW's neglect,at his door step.We need to take this Labour Day morning and send a message
loud and clear to UFCW with a mandate and time limit
to fix it.
When Monday September 3rd 2007 at 7am
Where in front of UFCW Canada's office at 412 Rennie Street at parkdale Ave Hamilton on.

my name is Cyril Carroll you may contact me at
905-547-0839 from Tuesday Aug14 to Thursday Aug 30-07
Email me at: dcarroll5@cogeco.ca I would like to have a round about number of yes showing up So I will be able to contact media and other much needed support.

What I don't want is for people to show up intoxicated
or using street drugs after all we are injured.
So Ontario do we want to stay our asses where they
are and continue feeling sorry for our selves or do we stand up and take a much needed stand against
UFCW Canada? I would love to meet every one of you
on Labour Day Morning. Thank you wm.pasz for your offer of announcement wish me luck Newfy
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workerpower
Post Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 6:11 am

Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 101
I'm nt sure that my opinion really matters to anyone involved, but this seems like quite a wrongheaded approach.
The problem is that working conditions have been degraded, which I will not deny or defend. Union leadership could have and should have done more than they did to try to fight this.
But protesting the union leadership will not do anything to improve working conditions. It will only embolden the employers to further attack the united action of workers.
Any proteset regarding working conditions should, and MUST, be directed against the employer, not the union officials.
By actively fighting the employers over working coniditons in a collective and militant manner, you can largely nullify the weakness of the union officials.
Disputes with union officils should be dealt with in the context of internal union business, i.e. running for office, organizing large attendance at union meetings, speaking out in an organized fashion at union meetings, etc.
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wm pasz
Post Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:59 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
I think you miss newfy's point wp: The beef is squarely with the quality of representation that certain members (in this case, disabled members) are receiving. As there is no meaningful way of seeking recourse or otherwise pressuring the union to improve the quality of representation, direct action is a viable (and possible the only) alternative.

This is not really a case where the union is fighting management and having a hard time making any progress. This is a case where the union is in the sack with management. No sense kidding ourselves about that.

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Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. - Malcolm X
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workerpower
Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:32 am

Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 101
I understood exactly what was posted. You feel the union is not providing quality representation, so you think you should take public action against the union.

The union officials, not matter how corrupt, lazy and incompetent, are not the cause of your working conditions.

Your protests should be publicly directed at the employer. The union officials should be held accountable, but public protest against unions serves no ones interest except the bosses.
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CUPE_Reformer
Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:27 pm

Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 257
Location: Real Solidarity
workerpower wrote:
But protesting the union leadership will not do anything to improve working conditions.

Stockholm syndrome?

I saw Stockholm syndrome inside unions (union bosses/hostage-takers).

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wm pasz
Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:43 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
wp, have you considered that a union's coziness with management promotes poor working conditions?

Here's a brain-teaser for you: Is it possible that once a certain level of labour-management collusion is reached, a union really ceases to be a union in any meaningful sense?

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Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. - Malcolm X
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newfy
Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:55 pm

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Hello workerpower, Yes your oppinion matters and is
well received, but using the rightheaded approach
had been used in the past by many I'm sure including
myself, you see this is were the employer's safety
net starts by saying you have a Union so file a greivence, the second safety net for the Employer is
for that same greivence to be worked through the
1-2-3 steps, than it is arbritration which 99.9% of
the time won't happen,so the Employer's safety net
now becomes WSIB's Safety net (claim denied) unless
your injury is visable forget it.

Your UFCW Local in the workplace is a God sent gift
to your employer because in the so called modified
duty system at your work which is a must have by law
is also a death chamber because if you question the big boy on what is happening to you and asked him
why he allowed the supervisor to do what did to you
that caused you to be put in the modified duty system
well be wear, because your Employer runs this program
and they are finished with you, you will be rendered
unfit for even modified duty. I am speaking from
the experience I encountered with my employer,for the two years of having modified duty,it became so bad
It took a shrink to remove me from my employement and
I will never work again.

I know I am not the only person out there who has fallen pray to this issue and I would love to hear from them. My question to you workerpower is where was our union UFCW when this was happening? Sorry
but your Question had been tried by many, now the only approach left to grasp on to for us the injured
is approach UFCW Canada on Labour day with the media
have a mandate for our cases to be reopened and dealt with, with a 12 month dead line or look down the
barrel of a class action.

Who ever gave this american union the right to step on Canadian soil and do so freely as they wish to
with its working members is beyond me.This UFCW
running under our Canadian Banner is the perfect safety net for our employers- Wsib-Human rights-and on
down the line because they feed off our employer's
and are fed well.

For those of you who do not wish to take part in this issue on Labour day but would like to help in puting a mandate together just send me a email with your request for action and I will have it all placed in a mandate and delivered and if I can involve Media,give
them a copy of the mandate also to feast on.
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newfy
Post Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:02 pm

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Quick question Cupe_Reform.
Stockhom Syndrome are you saying this is what I suffer from? Confused.
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CUPE_Reformer
Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:22 pm

Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 257
Location: Real Solidarity
newfy wrote:
Quick question Cupe_Reform.
Stockhom Syndrome are you saying this is what I suffer from? Confused.

newfy:

Definitely not.

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CUPE_Reformer
Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:38 pm

Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 257
Location: Real Solidarity
newfy wrote:
Sorry but your Question had been tried by many, now the only approach left to grasp on to for us the injured is approach UFCW Canada on Labour day with the media have a mandate for our cases to be reopened and dealt with, with a 12 month dead line or look down the barrel of a class action.

newfy:

Why not human rights complaints against UFCW Local 175?
Ontario human rights legislation prohibits discrimination against disabled people.

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newfy
Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:42 pm

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Good morning Cube_Rformer:
As to your question on Human Rights,thats where your
Union stops you with the 1-2-3 steps of the greivence
procedure, you see here in Ontario there is a time limit on filing a complaint with the Human Rights
it is 6 months from the day of the arising issue, and
UFCW will swollow up that six months in the 123 procedure. As Human rights told me you have a union
You will have to let the union deal with it. newfy.
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CUPE_Reformer
Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:16 pm

Joined: 04 Feb 2006
Posts: 257
Location: Real Solidarity
newfy wrote:
Good morning Cube_Rformer:
As to your question on Human Rights,thats where your
Union stops you with the 1-2-3 steps of the greivence
procedure, you see here in Ontario there is a time limit on filing a complaint with the Human Rights
it is 6 months from the day of the arising issue, and
UFCW will swollow up that six months in the 123 procedure. As Human rights told me you have a union
You will have to let the union deal with it. newfy.

newfy:

The time limit is 6 months after the union last dealt with it. This time limit doesn't apply when there is a reasonable explanation for a late complaint.

Bubb-Clarke v. Toronto Transit Commission and ATU Local 113

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wm pasz
Post Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:23 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
What's very frustrating about these situations is that the Ontario Human Rights Commission actually takes a very strong stand when it comes to protecting the rights of disabled workers - to the point that it is virtually impossible for larger employers to terminate a worker who can't do his or her regular duties because they are disabled. The duty to accommodate to the point of undue financial hardship has been interpreted by the Commission to mean (in the case of larger businesses) that if the accommodation won't put you out of business, you're going to have to do it. Accommodation may involve a whole range of different things which may include altering existing duties, reassignment to a more suitable job, bundling together tasks that the worker is able to perform, granting time off for medical appointments or simply allowing the worker to be off on sick leave until he or she is well enough to return to active employment with the employer. Unions that take an active role in advocating for their injured members can use the Human Rights Code to considerable advantage and employers run for cover when they do.

Unfortunately not all unions do this. Some unions and their union reps harbour the same biases against disabled workers as their employer pals - that accommodation is a pain in the ass, workers who are ill or injured are a drain on company benefit plans and a drain on profits and that if you can't do the whole job, you should get lost and go find something else to do with yourself. These kinds of attitudes are especially prevalent in business and labour organizations that have macho tough guy cultures. The problem that this presents for disabled workers is that, if they find themselves mistreated by their employer, they must take their problems up through their union before going to the Human Rights Commission. I'm not sure if this is an ironclad rule but I do know that the HRC does encourage this as do most unions. The rationale for this practice has been that by going through the union, the worker has access to an advocate that is supposed to provide really good representation and also to a grievance and arbitration procedure that can deal with their complaint more quickly that than the HRC's long and convulted investigation and hearing processes. In theory this makes sense. The union can file grievances and have them arbitrated very quickly (under the Ministry of Labour's expedited arbitration process, a hearing can be convened within 21 days of the company's final stage grievance reply) - if it wants to.

That last piece is the critical piece - if a union wants to vigourously advocate for disabled workers, file grievances and take them to arbitration it can. But if it doesn't want to do that, it doesn't have to and, with the sad state of the Labour Relations Act "Duty of Fair Representation" provision, there isn't a damned thing the workers can do. One of the most common games that gets played is that the employer fires a disabled worker (or otherwise deprives him or her of their rights). The union files a grievance. A lot of time passes as the grievance winds its way through the grievance procedure. During this time, the worker becomes more and more distressed and vulnerable. They are out of work, without an income and all the distressing things that go along with that. The employer takes a hard position, refusing to reinstate the worker but proposing a deal whereby the worker resigns in exchange for some nominal amount of money. The worker refuses to go along with this and the grievance eventually gets to arbitration. Prior to commencing a hearing the arbitrator tests the waters with the union and management reps to see if any kind of deal can be made. The employer puts forward its "walking away money" offer and a major effort takes place between the arbitrator and the union rep to persuade the worker to take the deal.

The worker may be told all kinds of crap to get him or her to say yes. It's a better deal than they might get at the hearing, it'll get them some money now rather than months from now, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, the arbitrator might rule against them if there's a hearing and they'll get nothing. Arbitrators who engage in these pathetic spectacles sometimes berate, bully and even order workers to accept deals they don't want (even though they have no authority to order anyone to do anything during mediation). There are all kinds of underhanded tactics that get used and, because the whole mediation process is "off the record" nobody can take the union or the arbitrator to task for crossing any ethical or even legal boundaries.

I was at a conference a few years ago where a panel consisting of reps from Loblaws and the UFCW and a well-known arbitrator were talking openly about how they use the mediation-arbitration process to get rid of grievances and grievors who just aren't "reasonable" and "don't understand the law" to save the union and the company money. The arbitrator uses the mediation process to dispense "rough justice" (that is, to bully the worker into accepting a shitty deal that he or she really doesn't want). Seriously, these guys were yapping about what they do and how they do it and decides that it wants to drop it or make a deal with the employer it can do that and can bring a lot of pressure to bear on the worker in question to accept the deal even if it isn't acceptable to him or her and they were proud of themselves too, the bastards. The attendees at the conference were mostly a management crowd but there were a lot of stunned looks in the audience at how brazen these guys were and how blatantly in cahoots the union was with the company.

Where there are language barriers, the opportunity for travesty is magnified because of the increased potential for misunderstandings. There was case quite a few years ago where a mediated settlement was nullified by the OLRB because the grievor didn't understand English well enough to know what he was signing and the terms of the settlement were misrepresented to him by his union rep. Since then, some unions have started using interpreters but even so, there is a lot of room for misunderstanding and confusion and the finer details of a deal are not always explained or addressed.

Once a settlement is signed off, however, it's almost impossible to undo it and it becomes a barrier to the worker being able to then access the HRC. He or she can try to file a complaint but the employer will object saying that the matter was raised through the grievance procedure and settled to the worker's satisfaction. It would be unfair, therefore, to allow the worker to re-litigate the issue in another venue. If there's no settlement or if the union drops the grievance against the worker's wishes, the worker can then go to the HRC and file a complaint on the basis that s/he was unable to get the problem resolved through the union. While the door is still open in this situation, it will have taken months and sometimes even years for the worker to get there.

The whole situation stinks and is worthy of some good protest.

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Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. - Malcolm X
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newfy
Post Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:33 am

Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Let me introduce myself. I am Cyril Carroll's wife Dee and I am sorry to have to say this but due to ongoing issues with worker comp and the UFCW not being there to protect my husband Cyril has been hospitalized due to being over medicated by his doctor's neglect. He has had a breakdown and will not be able to attend the protest that he so badly wanted to take part in. He has asked me to let everyone know that as soon as he can get access to a computer he will give details and explain what has happened so that hopefully from this terrible experience mayby someone elese can learn how to protect themselves so no other UFCW member or any other union member will have to suffer through what he has gone through. He asks that if anyone elese can take over this protest please do.
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SharynS
Post Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:26 am

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3618
Location: the 'puter
My apologies if this is some off topic. I've been away and e-catch-up is a killer.

I don't have a link but - two important supreme court of canada decisions - the Meiorin case and the Grismer case - supposedly took care of this and "changed" everything. The problem seems to be motivating various unnamed unions to read up, recognize the enormous potential and then to act on it on behalf of members.

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