Last Thursday, our Local Union Delegated Meeting (LUDM) started with a rally around the Shaw Communications headquarters in Vancouver, to show support for our Shaw Unit 60 members as they are negotiating a new contract.
Three buses filled with USW Local 1944 delegates, staff and guests gathered at 9:00 am, marching and chanting.
"If Shaw does not agree to negotiate a fair contract for our members, they have no idea what we have ready for them," said Lee Riggs, National President of the USW Local 1944. "We know that it takes more than one million Freedom Mobile customers to pay the top 5 Shaw executive salaries. In the face of such outrageous social inequality, we have never been so united. We've got Unit 60's backs for this round of bargaining."
After the rally, delegates came back to the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown Hotel.
The Unit 60 Shaw Bargaining Team thanked delegates for their support and involvement in the bargaining campaign.
"We are very grateful that this action was made possible today," said Andy Wong, Unit 60 Bargaining Team. "We know the impact this rally can have on our bargaining process with Shaw. Today, we have shown the company that we are strong and determined to fight for our rights."
The LUDM resumed with the report of the Political Action Committee. It detailed the political situation in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Québec, with a focus on the good works of the New Democratic Party. Our Local's support has helped install NDP governments in Alberta and BC that are supporting minimum wage and professional training, creating jobs, making life more affordable, eliminating bridge tolls, promoting affordable child care and longer parental leave, implementing equal pay for equal work, and offering more protection and rights for unionized workers.
The day continued with reports from the Employee Life and Health Plan, LTD and Pension Trustees.
The delegates proceeded to the election of one Pension trustee for the TWPP: Czar Loquia was elected for a 6-year term.
Delegates then heard from the Civil and Human Rights Committee. The Committee reported the courses its members participated in, among which were Return to Work, Domestic Violence, Working While Black, Gender Equality, and Mental Health. (Visit the Civil and Human Rights Committee's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USWCivilHumanRightsLocal1944).
Our LUDM came to an end with closing remarks from Lee Riggs.
"The new By-Laws are going to make our Local stronger together, and will allow us to make progress," he stated. "This morning, during the rally, we experienced what it means to fight together. Each one of you works very hard for the membership, and on the floor, you are the person that the people come to. I thank each of you for bettering the lives of your families and coworkers."
The day ended with the singing of "Solidarity Forever"
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The Telecommunications Workers Union, United Steelworkers National Local 1944