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Members Speak Out!!
IAM Members Want Their Union to be Active The results of the IAM’s first national face-to-face survey indicate that, no matter where they live in Canada, IAM members share the same views about their union. Over two-thirds of the members surveyed said that they wanted the IAM to go beyond the basics of collective bargaining and membership protection and be active in their communities. Nine out of ten IAM members believe that strong unions are good for Canada. 91% said that members who receive the benefits and protections of a union contract should be required to pay dues (known as the “Rand Formula”). This survey followed the IAM Canadian Political Action Conference in March, 2013, which called for a return to face-to-face engagement with our members. IAM Canadian Vice President Dave Ritchie welcomed the response to the survey. “Our members understand that unions are the only force in Canada capable of facing up to corporate greed. That is why unions are under attack by the corporate bosses and their captive politicians.” Ritchie added, “We need to strengthen unions to reverse the growing unfairness and inequality in our society.” IAM members endorsed the active role taken by the union in a number of public policy proposals that will help IAM members and their families, including: Pensions: • A doubling of the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan retirement benefits • A national insurance scheme to protect earned pensions from employer bankruptcies • A reversal of the federal Conservatives’ plan to move the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits from age 65 to 67 Labour Law and Labour Standards • The freedom for workers to organize unions without employer bullying and intimidation, with “card-check” certifications and severe penalties for employer anti-union actions • An end to one-sided government intervention in collective bargaining on the side of management, through phony “essential services”, strike-busting and the imposition of biased arbitration settlements • Preservation of the Rand Formula, so that everyone with union benefits and protections pay their fair share • An end to the attack on union capacities through costly and wasteful reporting requirements, as in the Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-377 • A minimum wage that provides a decent standard of living for all Canadian working families Health and Safety • A joint workplace health and safety system, based on the precautionary principle, with a right to refuse unsafe work • An end to deregulation and privatization of workplace health and safety Employment Insurance • A system that offers all workers across Canada real income security in the face of job loss, after past federal governments have stolen $56 billion of worker and employer contributions the unemployment insurance fund Medicare • A reversal of the unfair and wasteful growth of for-profit medicine • A national universal public pharmacare program Other Areas of Direct Concern to IAM Members and their Families: jobs and the economy, air transport and aerospace, public services, the environment GVP Ritchie said: “In the next 18 months, Canadians will be participating in federal and provincial elections that will be crucial for the futures of Canadian working families, said GVP Ritchie. “In unions, we are facing the fight of our lives. I am greatly encouraged by our members’ support. We will continue our program of active member engagement.”

IAM Challenges Government Attack on Workers Rights IAM gains intervener status to argue for Constitutional Protection for Free Collective Bargaining at Supreme Court of Canada The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has been granted the right to intervene in the upcoming Supreme Court of Canada hearing into Saskatchewan’s Bills 5 and 6. These Bills, passed by the Saskatchewan Party (formerly the Conservative Party) provincial government in 2008, which gave the government the unilateral right to declare any or all of its employees essential and take away their right freely collective bargain and to strike. The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and over 20 other Saskatchewan unions have appealed these Bills to the Supreme Court of Canada, which should hear the case this year. As an intervenor, the IAM will be able to present arguments against unfair government interference in collective bargaining. The IAM is currently challenging in the Federal Court the Harper Conservatives’ Bill C-33 of March, 2012, which took away the IAM members’ right to strike at Air Canada, and imposed a settlement based on the employer’s last offer. The Supreme Court ruling on the Saskatchewan Bills will undoubtedly affect the outcome of the IAM’s case on Bill C-33. The Saskatchewan Bills are part of a trend across Canada of governments legislating against free collective bargaining, and will likely serve as a “test case” for the Supreme Court to clearly lay out how the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights protect workers’ right to freely collectively bargain and strike if necessary. Bill C-33 and the Saskatchewan legislation have already been condemned by the International Labour Organization as breaches of ILO Conventions and Canada’s international legal obligations.

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Last modified: 6/19/2014

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