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New Canadian union to fight against Verizon

Staff writer ▼ | August 13, 2013
Canada will have a new union until the end August, Unifor the Union, created by the merger of Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union.
Unifor the Union
Unifor the UnionCanada will have a new union until the end August, Unifor the Union, created by the merger of Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union.


The new union will have 300,000 members from 20 industrial sectors but it also plans to recruit new workers and include unemployed people, students and retirees. The Canadian trade union movement is fighting anti-union legislation being enacted by the right wing government of Stephen Harper and also membership decline. In 1997, Canadian unions represented 16.7 percent of the workforce in the private sector workers. By 2012 this had fallen to 13.4 percent.

The leaders of both unions intend to retire on October 1. One of the key issues facing the incoming leadership is the current debate on whether the federal government should permit the US telecommunications company Verizon to compete in the mobile phone industry in Canada and compete with Canadian companies Bell Canada, Rogers Communications and Telus.

20,000 members of Unifor work for Bell. The merger means 300,000 union members lobbying the government, urging MPs to take a stand against Verizon and standing up for their fellow members in Bell.

Unifor is also planning to dedicate 10 percent of income to organising new members and non union workplaces and they also plan to examine how the new union can engage students, retirees, the unemployed and others to join the new union, something "that's never been tried before."


 

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