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2014 Government
Benefits

Retiree Jack Blair
Passes Away
January 2, 2015

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Unifor boss urges
government
pressure
in GM talks

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UNIFORUM
VOL 2 NO 25
Dec 19, 2014

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Dec 2014
Local 584
Partsline
Volume 7

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UAW workers
want two-tier
gone,
seek raises

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 24
Dec 5, 2014

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 23
Nov 21, 2014

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EILEEN MAREK
PASSES AWAY
NOV 19, 2014

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 22
Nov 10, 2014

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Ford scraps
potential $2-billion
investment in
Windsor, Ont

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 21
Oct 24, 2014

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Unifourm
Vol 2 No 20
Oct 9, 2014

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Hands Off
Of Our
Pensions
Petition

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Brampton
Guardian
Article on
Oct 10th
Food Drive

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Wynne says her
government on
side with unions
on good jobs

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Ford hiring 1,000
people for Oakville
assembly plant

_________

Uniforum
Vol 2 No 19
Sept 30, 2014

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Anti-Tory ad blitz
planned by union
a compelling reason
for Harper to
call snap election

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As Tim Hudak learned,
the era of union bashing
has run out of steam

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 18
Sept 19, 2014

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Unifor puts defeat
of Harper above
loyalty to NDP

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Striking
Bombardier rail
workers reach
tentative deal

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Uniforum
Sept 3, 2014
Vol 2 No 17

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 16
Aug 21, 2014

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Uniforum
July 31, 2014
Vol 2 No 15

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Uniforum
July 17, 2014
Vol 2 No 14

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As Mark Fields
takes over at Ford,
what does the future
hold for Canada?

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 13
July 3, 2014

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ELECTION RESULTS
#3 SHIFT ALTERNATE
COMMITTEEPERSON

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Uniforum
Vol 2 No 17
June 19, 2014

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Unifor head wants
to end pay cuts, boost unionization at
foreign automakers

___________

UNIFORUM
VOL 2, NO. 11
June 6, 2014

__________________

Unifor Local 584
Golf Tournament
May 31, 2014
Picture Gallery

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Partsline
Vol 6
Spring 2014

_________________

 

Hassan Yussuff
is new CLC
President

UNIFORUM
VOL 2 NO 10

May 22, 2014

UNIFORUM
Vol 2 No 9
May 12, 2014

How the Heartbleed
bug works, and what
passwords you
need to change

OFL president Sid Ryan
attacks Hudak's stance
on organized labour

Green Shield Drug
Dispensing Update
Spring 2014

Cars allegedly raced
through Oakville won't
go to dealerships,
Ford says

Retiree John Stone
Passes Away

Momentum C.U.
Workers Vote to
Return to Work

As Tim Hudak learned,
the era of union
bashing has run
out of steam

Ford building new
Edge Concept at
Oakville plant

Retiree Bob Evans
Passes Away
Feb 28, 2014

Canada left behind
in auto race as
U.S., Mexico
make gains

Congratulations to
Our Newest Retirees
February 1, 2014

Ford decision
gives Windsor
Engine Plant a
reprieve

Retiree John
Frankland
Passes Away
Jan 23, 2014

Uniforum
Vol 2 No 8
April 26, 2014

Uniforum
Vol 2 No1
April 10, 2014

Uniforum
March 27, 2014
Vol 2 No 6

Uniforum
Vol 2 No 5
March 18, 2014

International Women`s
Day March 9, 2014

Uniforum
Vol 2 No 4
Feb 27, 2014

Uniforum
Vol 2 No 3
Feb 13, 2014

Uniforum
Vol 2 No 2
Jan 30, 2014

Uniforum
Vol 2 No 1
Jan 19, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2014

Partsline Xmas Edition

 

Retiree Jack Blair
Passes Away Jan 2, 2015

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Retiree Jack Blair. Our Sincerest condolences go out to Chris Blair (Local 584 Member) and to the entire Blair family. Jack will be sadly missed.

Jack Blair

BLAIR, Jack Robinson

June 21, 1925 - January 2, 2015

Retired July 1, 1990
23.3 Years Service

Peacefully passed away at the age of 89. Predeceased by his loving wife Norma. Loving father of Chris (Heather), Bill (Sherri Patch), Donna Fleck (Jim), Mary Papakonstantinou (Tom), Jim (Vlasta), and Rob. Cherished Grandfather of Jason, Andrea, Sarah, Adam, Bryan, and Alex. Jack will be missed by his surviving sibling Dorothy, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation
Glen Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery
3164 Ninth Line, Oakville, ON, CANADA, L6H 7A8
Friday, 9 Jan 2015 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Funeral
Glen Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery
3164 Ninth Line, Oakville, ON, CANADA, L6H 7A8
Saturday, 10 Jan 2015 11:00 AM

Burial
Glen Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery
3164 Ninth Line, Oakville, ON, CANADA, L6H 7A8
Saturday, 10 Jan 2015 12:00 PM

Gathering
Glen Oaks Funeral Home and Cemetery
3164 Ninth Line, Oakville, ON, CANADA, L6H 7A8
Saturday, 10 Jan 2015 12:30 PM

MAP

 

Unifor boss urges government pressure
in GM talks

Windsor Star
Dec 19 2014
Grace Macaluso

After failing to get a clear answer from General Motors on whether it will maintain current production levels in Canada, Unifor president Jerry Dias urged Ottawa and Ontario to hang on to shares in the company until they secure an agreement to invest in its Canadian plants.

"When you have power and you don't use it, you're foolish," Dias said Wednesday. "Don't be in a rush until you've carved a deal with GM that solidifies their operations in Ontario."

On Tuesday, the union president held separate meetings with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa and GM Canadian and U.S. human resources managers to deal with growing concerns about the long-term future of its Canadian operations.

"Yesterday was about a preliminary discussion about where they're going. There was no firm commitment made by any stretch of the imagination," said Dias.

Dias said he would seek a meeting early in the new year with GM CEO Mary Barra, who is based at corporate headquarters in Detroit.

"We need to talk sooner than later."

GM's manufacturing footprint has been an ongoing source of worry for the union. The $10.6-billion bailout agreement with Ottawa and Queen's Park compelled GM to maintain 16 per cent of its North American production in Canada through 2016. The automaker already has announced plans to shift production of the Camaro muscle car to Lansing, Mich., next year and will shut down its consolidated line in Oshawa in 2016.

The loss of Camaro alone could affect up to 1,000 jobs, said Dias. "They should be saying they are increasing the volume of the Chevy Impala to compensate for the loss of Camaro. There are things they can do to ensure there are no layoffs."

The union's fears have been compounded by a forecast by U.S.-based automotive industry analyst Joe McCabe, who predicts that Oshawa complex will close by 2019 and the CAMI operation in Ingersoll will be reduced to one shift.

A smaller manufacturing footprint could also have an impact on auto parts suppliers, including Tecumseh-based Lakeside Plastics, which builds interior trim components for such vehicles as the Chevy Camaro, Impala and Malibu.

"We're concerned," said Ken Siddall, senior director of human resources at Lakeside, which employs 320 people. "We are making headway. We are working with GM on securing work beyond 2017."

GM, he added, makes up 98 per cent of the company's business.

Faye Roberts, GM Canada spokeswoman, said the automaker is "committed to Canada for the long term. We're upbeat and we're rolling up our sleeves; we're very positive about what we can do about working with our partners."

As for McCabe's forecast, Roberts said she did not want to comment "on those doom and gloom scenarios that are out there. At this stage, we are really focused on working with our partners and other stakeholders."

Canada is GM's fifth largest market for sales and sixth largest manufacturing jurisdiction, she said.

Roberts' assurances offered little comfort to Dias, particularly in light of the automaker's recent announcement to invest US$3.6 billion in Mexico.

"GM has a policy of building where they sell," he said. "With the recent announcements, they will be building six vehicles for every one they sell in Mexico. On top of that, Mexico never gave GM one dime when it was in bankruptcy."

With a seven-per-cent stake in the carmaker, Ottawa and Queen's Park are one of the largest shareholders, said Dias.

The government can play "a more active role in ensuring the automaker stays put."

 


UAW workers want
two-tier gone, seek raises

UAW Solidarity House in Detroit.(Photo: Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)

The Detroit News
Melissa Burden and
Michael Wayland
December 13, 2014

Eliminating the two-tier wage system that automakers used to help boost profits following the recession tops the issues that hourly UAW members want addressed as the union and Detroit's Big Three carmakers head into next year's contract negotiations.

UAW hourly members have and are submitting bargaining resolutions to local unions. And getting rid of the system that pays new hires less in wages and benefits than veteran employees they work alongside is a top concern, according to UAW locals surveyed by The Detroit News.

"Since we've implemented the two-tier, it has absolutely caused a divide among our membership on both sides of the aisle," said Brian Hartman, president of UAW Local 2209 in Roanoke, Indiana. The local represents hourly workers at General Motors Co.'s Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, which builds versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks. Hartman estimates about 20 percent of the workforce there is entry-level.

The two-tier system and other resolutions are expected to be among the issues UAW President Dennis Williams is likely to address Monday in Detroit, as he sits down with the media for one of the first times since he was elected the union's head in June.

Williams, in a statement to The News, said collecting resolutions is important because the "members' voices drive" the union's decisions — and contract negotiations are no exception.

"Our conversations do not start and stop every four years, but they are ongoing and designed to give UAW members opportunities to have the kind of internal discussions that help us prepare for UAW events that include the upcoming bargaining convention but are not limited to that," he said.

The two-tier and lower-cost wage system, introduced in 2007, has allowed Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co. and GM to invest billions into U.S. plants and hire thousands of new employees. But those entry-level workers also make substantially less than Tier 1 employees who earn about $27 an hour. Next year, the newer workers will make at least $19.28 an hour, up from about $15.50 they earned in 2011.

About 17.5 percent of GM's hourly workforce is entry-level; approximately 23 percent at Ford; and about 44 percent at Chrysler.

Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry & Labor Group at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, said the upcoming talks will be interesting not only because of the two-tier system, but the workers themselves.

"The second-tier workers, this is the first time we'll see how they vote," she said. "I think that's a very interesting dynamic to all of this."

How the second-tier workers vote could make ratifying contracts more difficult. The second-tier workers rely on bonuses and profit-sharing checks more than the traditional hourly workers. They may not want to lower or see bonuses end in exchange for eliminating or bridging hourly wages between the two pay levels of workers.

The UAW opted for the promise of jobs and annual profit-sharing checks rather than wage hikes during the last round of collective bargaining agreements with the Detroit automakers in 2011.

Since then, automakers have paid billions of dollars to hourly employees — but in annual lump sum payments. For 2013, Ford had the top payout of approximately $8,800 to 47,000 eligible U.S. hourly employees — totaling $413.6 million. Workers may have to choose between a wage increase or the profit-sharing checks, which are dependent on the automaker's North American profits.

For veteran workers who haven't had a pay raise in several years, boosting pay may be more important than profit-sharing payments.

We haven't had a pay raise in almost 10 years," said Alec Arce, an electrician at Chrysler's Trenton Engine Plant. "With all the concessions we took, it hit us pretty hard."

Arce and his wife, Robin Arce, who is a machine operator at the plant, want to see a restoration of holiday pay and cost-of-living adjustment pay restored.

UAW Local 598 President Ray Gorney is hopeful the union will address "equal pay for equal work," that the union doesn't have today.

Gorney said the two-tier workers have helped the companies return to profitability.

"At that rate of pay you can't raise a family, buy a home, drive a decent car," Gorney said.

Hartman, workers and other officials said some union members also want to secure overtime after eight hours in a day, instead of after 40 hours in a week; ensure all hourly employees have a defined pension that pays out a predetermined monthly amount to retirees (entry-level workers don't have a defined pension); and see temporary workers hired after 90 days. The defined benefits could be a controversial point, as automakers in recent years have attempted to slash defined benefits, which are looked at as poison on a balance sheet.

The 2015 contract talks are the first since 2007 in which workers at GM and Chrysler have the right to strike; the UAW gave up that right for the 2011 talks as a condition of the government bailouts of GM and Chrysler. It's also the first contract that will be negotiated since Michigan enacted a Right to Work law that would allow hourly employees to opt out of union dues and membership — which may add pressure on the union to prove especially to some Tier 2 workers that it is giving them some bang for their buck.

Williams previously told The News that Right to Work isn't necessarily a focus for him. He said the union has been successful in retaining the vast majority of its members in other states with the laws: "I've always believed that if you do your job representing people, that people will be there to support you," he said.

GM spokesman Bill Grotz would not comment directly on issues union workers may be raising ahead of upcoming negotiations. The current contract expires in September.

"We're committed to working with our union partners to enable the company's long-term success for the business and our employees," Grotz said.

In a statement, Ford Motor Co. said it "has a longstanding history of working collaboratively with the UAW ... . In 2015, we look forward to continuing our strong UAW partnership as well as negotiating a fair and competitive labor agreement."

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said the two-tier wage system is not a good long-term approach.

"I think that the Detroit Three companies are going to look for continued restraint in overall labor costs and things that are more flexible and contingent will be their demands," Dziczek said. "Things that will raise cost will be difficult with the companies."

 

EILEEN MAREK
PASSES AWAY
NOV 19, 2014

Taken October 16, 2014 - Hugo's Cellar - Las Vegas

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Eileen Marek on Wednesday November 19, 2014

Eileen is the spouse of our Local 584 Retirees Vice-Chair and former Plant Chair Frank Marek. This year marked their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Our deepest condolences go out to Frank as Eileen will be sadly missed by all her family including sons Paul and Kevin.

The Family will be having a private service but will be having a Memorial Celebration of Eileen's Life on Saturday November 29th at the Unifor Local 1285 hall, 23 Regan Road, Brampton 4:00pm to 10:00pm. All are welcome.

More information regarding this function can be accessed by clicking here.

http://www.3ring.com/eileen

MAREK, Eileen Marie
Passed away unexpectedly in hospital Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at the age of 71. Beloved wife of Frank Marek. Loving mother of Paul And Kevin (Dana). Devoted grandmother of Vann and Ty. Forever cherished sister to Dennis, Lorraine and Janet (Mark). Beloved daughter of Helen and the late Julian Skrzela. Treasured sister-in-law to the late Steven (Diane), and the late Vilma (Rick), John (Linda), David (Irene), Joseph (Elaine), and James (Joan). Remembered lovingly by over a dozen nieces and nephews. Eileen will be sadly missed by countless other family members and friends across Canada and the USA. A private cremation service will be attended by immediate family. Frank and the boys would like to invite all family, friends and neighbours, old and new to join them for a Memorial Celebration of Eileen's life at the UNIFOR (formerly CAW) Local 1285 Banquet Hall at 23 Regan Road, Brampton on Saturday November 29th from 4pm till 10pm. Food, music, drinks and memories will be shared to honour Eileen. A short memorial service will commence at 6pm followed by cheerful reminiscent interaction with family and friends. Frank, Paul and Kevin would like to deeply thank the many nurses of the University Hospital CCU Unit in London for their tireless and caring efforts. Please visit www.3ring.com/eileen for detailed donation and memorial service information.



 

Ford scraps potential $2-billion investment in Windsor, Ont.

Adrian Morrow AND Greg Keenan
The Globe and Mail
Oct 25 2014

A Ford Motor Co. investment of about $2-billion that was being proposed for engine plants in Windsor, Ont., will go elsewhere, industry and government sources said Friday.

Ford had been proposing to assemble a new family of small engines at its Windsor operations that sources said would have provided as many as 1,000 new jobs and led to the recall of several hundred more employees who have been on layoff.

The federal and Ontario governments had been in negotiations with the auto maker, which has also been looking at Mexico as a location to assemble engines that would go in its Fiesta subcompact cars and other vehicles.

One source familiar with the discussions called it a "game changer" for the auto industry in Ontario that would have made Ford's Windsor operations a key player in smaller, more fuel-efficient engines as regulators in North America put in place more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards.

One source described the plant as "a complete shift in the direction of the industry in Ontario," which has for generations been focused on larger vehicles such as minivans, full-sized cars and more recently crossovers.

Japan-based auto makers make compact cars at plants in Alliston, Ont., and Cambridge, Ont., but traditionally the Detroit Three assembled pickup trucks and large cars.

If a plant making small engines such as the 1.5-litre power plant – which also had a hybrid version – could be made profitably in Ontario, assembly of small vehicles might follow, the source reasoned.

One source said in recent weeks that Mexico has increased the amount of financial assistance it was planning to offer.

Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, which represents workers at Ford's Windsor engine plants as well as an assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., said the decision is disappointing.

The union got involved late in the process, by which time Ford had already started talking to suppliers in Mexico, but had the union and the governments had more time, they might have been able to wrest the investment away from Mexico, Mr. Dias said.

The sticking points in the deal have been getting specific commitments from Ford on productivity numbers, research and development investment and using Ontario suppliers, a provincial source said. The governments wanted firm guarantees that Ford would not only create a specific number of jobs but that the company would also keep production at a certain level and spend money on Ontario companies and in research and development.

The governments wanted hard numbers on all these things, the source said.

The province was captivated by the Ford proposal because it believes small cars are the way of the future. It saw the Ford investment as a way to get in on the type of product that will dominate the market in coming years.

While Ford wanted a deal in short order, the provincial source said the governments were determined to take the time to get what they want out of it. The numbers involved in the deal – what the province and federal government have considered ponying up – have fluctuated throughout negotiations based on what Ford is willing to invest, the sources said.

Both the federal and Ontario governments have learned that they need to participate in financial assistance to auto makers if they want to attract investment, Mr. Dias noted.

"The auto industries that are flourishing around the world are ones where there is a deep commitment from government and an understanding of the importance and wisdom of investment – which always pays dividends," he said in a statement.

 

Wynne says her
government on
side with unions
on good jobs

The Canadian Press
Oct 5, 2014

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government shares the labour movement's goal of creating good jobs, while cautioning the two sides may have some differences of opinion about how to get there.

Wynne told the crowd at a Toronto jobs summit organized by mega-union Unifor that organized labour has improved workers' lives for the better.

She says her Liberal government is on side with unions in wanting to create better-paying jobs that won't get outsourced but added that "we will sometimes disagree about where to take a turn to the right, where to take a turn to the left."

Wynne says the "adversarial model" of labour relations no longer works and that all sides must see each other as partners.

She pointed to an announcement this week of 1,000 jobs being added at a Ford assembly plant in Oakville, Ont., as an example of the "strategic advantage" that can be had when government, business and labour work together.

Wynne touted her government's actions on tackling so-called precarious work and moving to crack down on unpaid internships.

And she made mention several times of how her government and the labour movement share similar values when it comes to jobs and employment.

"We agree on the broad destination, and my hope is that we will be able to travel together. My promise to you is that I will work to make that a reality," Wynne said Saturday.


 

Ford hiring 1,000 people for
Oakville assembly plant

Ford Motor Company of Canada is hiring 1,000 more
people at its Oakville assembly plant to build the new Edge.

Toronto Star
Dana Flavelle
Oct 1, 2014

Ford Motor Company of Canada says it's adding more than 1,000 hourly jobs at its Oakville assembly plant in preparation for the launch of its 2015 Ford Edge crossover utility vehicle.

The mass hiring is the first bit of good news in a long time for Ontario's beleaguered manufacturing sector, which has seen the exit of such major employers as Caterpillar and Heinz.

"It's a very exciting day for the Ford of Canada team," Ford of Canada president and chief executive officer Dianne Craig said in an exclusive telephone interview late Tuesday. "It was just over a year ago we had the big announcement in Oakville that we're investing $700 million into this advanced global manufacturing plant to serve 100 markets around the globe."

The new jobs will bring total employment at the plant by year-end to more than 4,000, its highest level since 2004 when Ford closed its Oakville truck plant.

"It's great news for us. Absolutely. It's more than we were expecting," said Bob Scott, plant chair for Unifor Local 707 which represents 3,300 people at the plant.

Auto manufacturing was hit particularly hard during the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2008/2009, as U.S. consumers stopped buying big ticket items such as cars.

Oakville investment

Canadian motor vehicle manufacturers lost 11,900 jobs and had regained just 3,300 by May 2014, according to a report by economists at the Royal Bank of Canada.

Unifor represents 21,000 Canadian auto industry workers, including 4,500 at Ford, which also operates an engine plant in Windsor.

Ford announced the Oakville investment in September, 2013, saying it had won a hard fought internal company competition to be designated the "global platform" for the next generation Ford Edge.

The plant will be the sole manufacturer of the vehicle, which will be exported to nearly 100 countries.

"When I arrived here three years ago, there were a lot of questions about whether Canada could compete. I think we proved that we could," Craig said.

Craig credited both the new labour agreement and the contributions of the federal and Ontario governments, which provided $142 million of the total $700 million investment.

"It's definitely big news for Ford. It's big news for Ontario. It's big news for our industry. It's great for manufacturing in Ontario. Everybody came together to make this happen. Both Ontario and the federal government were a big part of making this happen. And our labour force as well," she said.

 

Anti-Tory ad blitz planned by union a compelling reason for Harper to call snap election

September 26, 2014
John Ivison
National Post

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper is wed to his timetable for a fall election next year, despite being urged to drop the writ early.

Some Conservatives have suggested going early because of the Mike Duffy trial, which is set to start dripping bad news (from Mr. Harper's point of view) from next April. The Prime Minister is said to be undaunted.

But there may be an equally compelling reason to go early – to disrupt the massive anti-Conservative advertising blitz planned by Canada's largest private sector union.

There's a new breed of highly politicized union in town – and they're intent on doing to Mr. Harper what they recently did to Tim Hudak in Ontario.

Unifor was created last year from the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions, to lead the fight-back against the Harper government, according to Jerry Dias, the national president.

"The creation of Unifor was a response to the federal government and the unprecedented attack being faced by working class people," he said.

Federal politics has not yet experienced the power of a union formed with the express purpose of defeating one political party.

But in Ontario, the Progressive Conservative party attributes its successive defeats, at least in part, to the negative advertising paid for by the unions.

In the Senate Thursday, Senator Bob Runciman said unions spent $10-million in the recent Ontario election – all on a campaign to "Stop Hudak."

Mr. Runciman was speaking during debate on a private members' bill that would force unions to publicly disclose details of their political spending. The bill — C377 — was gutted by senators last year but is now back in the upper chamber and is a major irritant for unions.

The Ontario campaign may be a harbinger of what Conservative parties across the country can expect to face in the future.

In the Ontario election, the Workers' Rights Campaign operated more like a shadow political party than a union, with its own war-room, field organizers and campaign strategy. In previous campaigns, certain unions backed the Liberals; others supported the NDP. In 2014, there were strenuous efforts made to avoid splitting the anti-Conservative vote.

'There's no question that pre-writ we can do all kinds of things. But to suggest we will spend $40-million is quite ridiculous'

Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Labour Federation, said the labour movement came together in a way he had not seen in 20 years.

The key difference between Ontario and federal elections is that third parties cannot advertise federally once the writ is dropped. But, thanks to fixed election date legislation, the unions know exactly when the next election is going to be — and can do pretty much what they please until the writ officially drops a month before voting day.

Mr. Dias dismissed speculation that Mr. Harper might call a snap election. "Nah, nah. He will drop a feel-good budget and then spend months on a travelling roadshow paid for by the taxpayer."

Conservative MPs have suggested Unifor may have up to $40-million to spend trying to bring down Mr. Harper. (When Unifor was created last year, it said it had $50-million to spend on organizing over five years — $10-million a year to "organize" new members and attract citizens to social causes.)

Sources say Stephen Harper is concerned that breaking his own fixed election date legislation would appear opportunistic. Sean Kilpatrick/CP

"That's utterly ridiculous," Mr. Dias said of the idea of a $40-million, anti-Tory war chest. "There's no question that pre-writ we can do all kinds of things. But to suggest we will spend $40-million is quite ridiculous. We certainly have resources and we are a very politically engaged organization in the defence of working people's interests. But those decisions will be made by the national executive board," he said.

Mr. Dias said the Ontario campaign provided a confidence boost for a labour movement that has been in decline for 30 years – only 16% of workers in the private sector are union members.

"Ontario showed we can mobilize and win," he said. "We will certainly be involved where we can make a difference."

Mr. Dias said that organized labour took a battering during the recession. "But here we are in 2014 and things have turned around significantly."

Voices inside the Conservative caucus have urged Mr. Harper to call an early election to disrupt Unifor's pre-writ advertising buys.

Sources say the Prime Minister is concerned that breaking his own fixed election date legislation in a majority-government context would appear opportunistic — particularly in advance of Mr. Duffy's trial.

But in sticking with that timing, he is gifting his union opponents the chance to influence a federal election in a way we have not seen in a very long time.

National Post

 

As Tim Hudak learned,
the era of union bashing
has run out of steam

Jim Stanford
The Globe and Mail
September 22, 2014

Eighteen months ago, Ontario's Progressive Conservatives planted a very provocative flag in the ground of Canada's labour relations landscape, with a proposal to implement U.S.-style restrictions on unions (including a prohibition on dues check-off, known euphemistically in America as "right to work"). But suddenly and surprisingly, just as debate over the idea was really heating up, Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak abandoned the plan. Speaking to business leaders in Toronto last week, he pledged to preserve current rules (codified in the famous Rand Formula) if he wins the next election.

Conservative strategists hoped their labour policy would be an effective wedge issue in the next campaign. It allowed the Conservatives to capitalize on public enmity about union fat-cats, pensions, and strikes. And it could cleave the electorate neatly between union-haters (owned by the Tories) and union-lovers (split between Liberals and the NDP).

So why did the Conservatives surrender before the election even started? There are several answers to this question, with important implications for parallel strategies by Conservatives in other jurisdictions to push the anti-union button.

Mr. Hudak's party did not help its own cause, with explanations of the issue that were badly formulated, confusing, and contradictory. They provided few specifics, preferring broad rhetoric about ending "forced unionism" and ushering in "worker choice." But in reality there is no forced unionism: workers must give majority approval before a bargaining unit is formed (whether by secret ballot or signing membership cards), and they can decertify their union the same way if they aren't happy with the service. The Rand Formula doesn't make unions compulsory; it merely prevents free-riding, whereby workers could get the benefits of a union contract without paying for it. The Conservatives' now-deposed labour critic Randy Hillier muddied the waters further, with wild proposals for combining individual and collective contracts.

Mr. Hudak's declaration of war also sparked a surge of political activism by unions and their members. For example, hundreds of union volunteers helped NDP candidate (and Unifor leader) Wayne Gates prevail over the Conservatives in the recent Niagara by-election – one week before Mr. Hudak threw in the right-to-work towel. This union activism could clearly swing the outcome of many key ridings in the GTA, southwestern Ontario, and the north.

Not even employers rallied behind Mr. Hudak's plan to ban the Rand Formula. Indeed, the Toronto business leaders in his audience applauded when he announced his reversal. Corporate Canada has been quietly telling Conservatives at all levels they don't want the disruption and uncertainty that would result from the wholesale dismantling of existing collective bargaining rules.

But the biggest problem for Mr. Hudak's crusade was a deeper sentiment in Canadian public opinion regarding unions and the role they play in society. No matter their warts, unions ultimately reflect their members: typical Canadians just trying to earn a decent income, support their families, and (hopefully) retire with some security, in an economy which rewards the rich and powerful more than ever before. Unions (like wage-earners in general) have been on the defensive for years. Wage gains have been small, strikes are historically rare, and even much-maligned public sector contracts have been rolled back substantially. In such a lopsided context, it's simply impossible to convince most voters that unions are really Public Enemy Number One. And many Canadians innately understand that if the only institutional voice speaking for working class priorities is silenced, then the whole social contract will become even more tattered in the years ahead. Unions, to their credit, effectively emphasized their broader social impacts in their responses to Mr. Hudak.

And therein lies the danger for other Conservatives (including federally) who have been sowing similar political ground. Attempts to delegitimize unions (as with the failed federal Bill C-377, which treated unions almost on par with organized crime), tilt the bargaining field further in employers' favour, and snatch away negotiated benefits (like the health benefits Ottawa is now clawing back from retirees) all appear increasingly mean-spirited. They offend moderate Conservatives (who understand the important institutional role of collective bargaining), anger unions and their members, and reinforce the impression that Conservatives do not speak for average working people.

In short, the effort to blame trade unions as the scapegoat for all economic and fiscal ailments is running out of steam. Mr. Hudak's platform will continue to emphasize other anti-union initiatives, but they will resonate awkwardly in the wake of his Rand Formula flip-flop. And other Conservatives should beware the political rock – a deep, innate sympathy for institutions which help to share the wealth – that their Ontario counterparts just drove into.

 

Unifor puts defeat
of Harper above
loyalty to NDP

Unifor national president Jerry Dias says that another four years with Stephen Harper as leader would be disastrous for unions. Unifor is urging its members to vote for candidates best positioned to defeat Tories in the 2015 federal election.

Largest private sector union says it will urge its members to vote strategically to prevent Tories from cruising to victory.

Joan Bryden
The Canadian Press,
Sep 19 2014

OTTAWA—The NDP’s traditionally strong ties to the labour movement won’t be enough to secure a blanket endorsement from Canada’s largest private sector union in next year’s federal election.

Unifor will urge its 300,000-plus members to vote strategically and will pour its resources behind local candidates — be they NDP or Liberal — that are best positioned to defeat Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

The union infuriated many New Democrats when it took a similar stance in last spring’s Ontario election in a bid to stop Tim Hudak’s Progressive Conservatives.

In that case, Conservative support collapsed, allowing Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals to cruise to a majority victory.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias says the union has a strong relationship with the federal NDP and will support re-election of all incumbent New Democrat MPs.

But he says the need to defeat the Harper government must trump Unifor’s loyalty to the NDP.

“For us, we know that another four years of Harper will be disastrous for working-class people in Canada, period. So that in itself trumps going out there and putting support in a riding where we know that the New Democrats have no chance,” Dias said in an interview.

“If the New Democrats have a legitimate, good shot at winning, absolutely that’s where we’re going, no question about it. But if there’s not a hope in hell, why would I waste resources? It doesn’t make a stitch of sense.”

For example, in a riding like Manitoba’s Brandon-Souris, where the Liberals came within a whisker of defeating the Conservatives in a byelection late last year, Dias said Unifor would throw its support and resources behind the Liberal candidate next year.

“The New Democrat got wiped right out (in the byelection). So for us to even consider supporting the New Democrats in Brandon-Souris, in my opinion, may very well just hand the seat back to the Conservatives.”

The decision to pursue strategic voting in the next federal election was taken unanimously at a weekend meeting of Unifor’s national council. Ironically, the gathering featured a keynote speech by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, who announced his plan to reinstate a minimum wage for workers in federally regulated sectors, rising to $15 per hour over four years.

Dias acknowledged the labour movement has no stronger political ally than the NDP. But while Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are less supportive of unions than the NDP, he doubted they’re intent on destroying the movement, as he believes Harper’s Conservatives are determined to do.

“So if my choice is Stephen Harper or Justin Trudeau, then that’s a no-brainer.”

Dias said anti-union measures are “red meat” that Harper throws out to pacify “right-wing extremists” in the Conservative party.

He pointed to government and Conservative private members’ bills which labour advocates complain would impose unfair financial transparency rules on unions, gut public service collective bargaining and make it harder for federally regulated workers to join a union while making it easier to decertify a union.

Unifor’s decision not to unequivocally back the New Democrats in the Ontario election prompted more than 600 federal NDP parliamentary staffers, who are members of Unifor, to look for another union to represent them.

Dias said the divorce is almost complete.


Striking Bombardier
rail workers reach
tentative deal

Two of the TTC's new streetcars officially entered service on the 510 Spadina route on Aug. 31. The vehicles are made at the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay, where a strike has slowed production.

Thunder Bay plant builds subways, trains
and streetcars for TTC and GO. Ratification
vote is Friday morning

Toronto Star
Dana Flavelle
Sept 12, 2014

A tentative agreement has been reached in an eight-week strike at a Bombardier rail plant that builds subways, trains and streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission, GO and others.

The agreement covering the Thunder Bay plant will be presented for ratification on Friday, Sept. 12 at 8:30 a.m., the union said in a statement Thursday.

"These workers have stood up for good jobs in their community. Our fight against the employer's concessions has shown the resolve of the membership to fight for fairness," local president Dominic Pasqualino said.

Bombardier Transportation said in a release that it "hopes to see our valued employees return to work as quickly as possible," adding, "We believe this new agreement continues to provide for well paid jobs in Thunder Bay and meets the needs of the company moving forward."

Details of the new collective agreement will be presented at the ratification vote.

The main issues in the dispute have been the company's demand for cuts in benefits to new hires.

The workers at Bombardier build the new subway and streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission, as well as cars for the GO train commuter train service. The plant got the TTC contract under a Buy Ontario policy that the union says it helped secure.

The labour disruption came at a critical time for the TTC as it prepares to launch its new fleet of streetcars, two of which went into service on the Spadina line on Aug. 31.

The Bombardier facility also builds GO Transit's green and white bi-level cars and has orders for light rapid transit vehicles for Metrolinx and Kitchener-Waterloo and the Toronto Rocket, Toronto's next generation of subway cars.

Bombardier company spokesperson Marc-Andre Lefebvre has said in previous interviews the company was committed to meeting all of its obligations to customers.

The launch of the TTC's new low-floor accessible, air-conditioned streetcars on Spadina Ave. went ahead as planned at the end of August.

The 900 members of Unifor Local 1075 have been on strike since July 14.

Last month, the workers rejected a "last offer" from the company by 80 per cent in a vote ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Labour after an application from Bombardier.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers.

 


As Mark Fields takes over at Ford, what does the future hold for Canada?

Kristine Owram
July 4, 2014

As Alan Mulally steps down as CEO of Ford Motor Co. after eight years on the job, he leaves behind him a company that survived the financial crisis, made billions in profits — and shrunk its Canadian assembly operations by half.

Mr. Mulally can leave with a sense of satisfaction that he successfully navigated Ford through the recession and managed to steer clear of bankruptcy protection, unlike the other two members of the Detroit Three.

But there's still work to be done as Mark Fields a 25-year veteran of the company, moves into the corner office on This week.

"I believe he's got the pedigree to be a top CEO in the automotive space," former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda said in an interview.

"He's an industry veteran and has been a seasoned, successful executive for a long time."

For the approximately 4,800 remaining Canadian employees of Ford, the question is what the automaker's future in Canada will look like.

"I'd like to sit down and have a serious discussion about more investment," said Jerry Dias, president of the Unifor union that represents Ford, GM and Chrysler workers in Canada.

Ford invested $700-million in its plant in Oakville, Ont., last fall. Part of that money went towards retooling for the new Edge crossover, which will become the first Canadian-built vehicle to be sold worldwide. The Oakville plant also manufactures the Ford Flex, the Lincoln MKX and the Lincoln MKT and makes up the bulk of Ford's Canadian operations.

"They know the Canadian operations are profitable, they know they're efficient, but we really do need to have a conversation about future investment," said Mr. Dias.

Ford's future in Canada has looked increasingly uncertain since the company closed its plant in St. Thomas, Ont., in 2011, shrinking its Canadian assembly operations from two factories to one.

The company also operates two engine plants in the Windsor region and Mr. Dias said there's a lot of excess capacity in those operations that he'd like to see put to work.

Canada won't be top of mind for Mr. Fields as he takes over a global company with operations in nearly two dozen countries.

Bill Osborne, who was CEO of Ford Canada from 2005-07 and reported directly to Mr. Fields, said he was always supportive of Ford's Canadian operations.

"He certainly supported the things we wanted to do that were unique to Canada and where maybe under different leadership we might have been told, 'Save the money and just use what we have in the U.S.,'" said Mr. Osborne, who is now senior vice-president of global manufacturing and quality at truck maker Navistar International Corp.

For example, Mr. Osborne pushed for a separate Canadian marketing campaign when they could have used what was available in the U.S.

"I spoke with Mark and said, 'Canada is not the 51st state. We need something unique that speaks directly to Canadians,' and he supported that," Mr. Osborne said.

The result was the "Built for life in Canada" campaign, which won an internal marketing excellence award.

Mr. Fields, who was president of Ford's Americas division at the time, also oversaw the introduction of the Flex and the Edge to the Oakville plant. Both have generated strong sales for Ford.

Mr. Osborne described Ford's new CEO as "very calm, thoughtful and deliberate" and as someone with "a high degree of integrity."

Outside of Canada, Mr. Fields' primary challenge will be maximizing Ford's global reach, according to Bruce Belzowski at the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute.

It was Mr. Mulally who introduced the concept of "One Ford," which was meant to emphasize that you were working for the same company whether you were in the U.S., Europe or China, but "there's still work to do," Mr. Belzowski said.

"Their challenges are the same that all companies have — how do they maximize their global reach?"

Ford was "really late to the party" in China and is playing catch-up in the world's biggest auto market, Mr. Belzowski added. And Europe, where Ford lost more than half a billion dollars in 2013, remains a challenge that Mr. Fields will have to tackle.

Whatever awaits Mr. Fields, Ford's culture is unlikely to change under its new leader.

"I don't believe there will be a shift in culture at all," said Mr. LaSorda.

"When you've worked with someone for as long [as Mr. Fields has worked with Mr. Mulally], you learn so much from each other and it becomes part of the fabric of how you operate."


 




ELECTION RESULTS

#3 SHIFT ALTERNATE COMMITTEEPERSON


BALLOTS CAST:                                130
SPOILED                                            7        

TONY GILMOUR                               67        ELECTED
GERALD ANDRUKONIS                   36
BRYAN LEVASSEUR                         20

 


 

Unifor head wants to end pay cuts, boost unionization at foreign automakers

Karl Henkel and David Shepardson
The Detroit News
June 9, 2014

Detroit — The president of the union that represents Canadian autoworkers called for the end of pay cuts for union workers and pushed for more widespread unionization efforts at plants owned by foreign automakers.

Jerry Dias, in a fiery speech at the United Auto Workers constitutional convention Wednesday, called for greater collaboration between the UAW and Unifor. Unifor is a combination of the old Canadian Auto Workers and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions, and represents more than 300,000 workers in 20 industry sectors.

"The UAW and Unifor need each other more than ever," said Dias, who believes the two unions can collaborate better when negotiating with Detroit automakers and parts suppliers.

Dias, who was elected Unifor president last year, is believed to be the first head of the Canadian union to speak at a UAW convention, said UAW president Bob King. Both unions have struggled with similar issues, including unionizing workers at foreign-owned auto plants.

Unifor is currently trying to organize a Toyota Motor Corp. plant, but has no set timeline for a unionization vote. Dias said Wednesday that Unifor has the necessary backing to call for a vote, but there is still a discrepancy between how many union, or bargaining workers, are employed at the plant.

Toyota says there are 7,500 bargaining workers; Dias believes there is probably around 6,000 bargaining workers, including 1,000 temporary employees. Unifor recently received a list of employees at the plant and is reviewing that list before deciding when to apply for a vote with the Ontario Labor Relations Board. Dias said based on Toyota's numbers, the plant decreased production volume by 8 percent while increasing employment by 17 percents, numbers that to him don't make sense.

He added a vote will happen "sooner than later."

Unifor is taking a methodical approach to a possible vote, especially after the UAW's failure to organize workers at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The UAW hoped it had enough votes to implement a German-style works council at the plant, but workers narrowly voted down the measure.

"I am not rushing to a bad decision," Dias said from the sideline of the convention. "When we go for the vote, we will be incredibly confident."

Dias called for an end to pay and benefit cuts for union members, citing rising automaker and supplier profits.

"There's no reason anymore for them to ask for concessions," he said. "We've given enough."

Though Unifor's contracts with Detroit automakers don't end until 2016 — a year after the UAW's contracts conclude — Dias also called for the end of two-tier wages, which he says automakers have tried to implement in Canada "in every negotiation."

Newer Unifor workers technically start at a lower hourly wage — $20 — but that rises each year until wages equal $35 an hour after 10 years. Newer UAW workers start at about $14 an hour, which is half the hourly wage of veteran workers, and receive wage increases, but will never make it to the top rate.

Dias expressed concern over a June 12 election. One candidate — Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak — has said he will not support investments for the local auto industry.

The possibility of a Hudak victory could affect the future of Chrysler Group LLC plants in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario. Dias said Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has offered short-term commitments to the Windsor plant, but not yet the Brampton plant, which could total about $1 billion.

Marchionne in March withdrew a request for subsidies relating to upgrades at both of the Chrysler plants.


 

Hassan Yussuff is
new CLC President

Hassan Yussuff is new CLC President

By H.G. Watson
May 12, 2014

Hassan Yussuff has made history Last week as the first person to defeat a sitting president of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). Yussuff is also the first person of colour to hold the office of leader of the CLC.

Yussuff defeated outgoing President Ken Georgetti by just 40 votes. Georgetti had been president for 15 years. Yussuff joined the CLC in 2002 as the Secretary-Treasurer.

Hassan Yussuff is new CLC President

Shortly after the results were made public, Georgetti passed a motion to have the vote counted as a unanimous one in favour of Yussuff, greeting the president-elect and raising their hands in solidarity at the podium.

The new President ran on a campaign of change, promising to bring grassroots action back to the CLC. A third presidential nominee, Hassan Husseini, dropped out of the race earlier in the week in order to back Yussuff’s bid for presidency.

Hassan YussuffChants of solidarity were heard throughout the convention hall in Montreal as Yussuff’s supporters rushed to embrace the new president.

In his first speech after the election, Yussuff re-affirmed his commitment to working towards a more inclusive and mobilized labour movement. He also sent a clear message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper – that the CLC will not bridge any more attacks on labour law in Canada.

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair spoke at the convention before the winner was announced. He said that the CLC and NDP would continue to work closely to advance a progressive agenda in Canada.

“We have, for the first time, a government that is actively attacking organized labour,” he said after his speech, referencing recent federal bills like Bill C-377. “They’ve been trying to put all sorts of sticks in the spokes of the union movement. It’s a direct attack on rights that are guaranteed under the Charter.”

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also offered his congratulations’ to Yussuff over Twitter after the election.

Minister of Employment, Jason Kenney, also tweeted his congratulations to the new President, and thanks to Ken Georgetti for his service.

In other CLC election news, Barbara Byers defeated Nathalie Stringer to be named the secretary-treasurer of the CLC. There were just over 2,000 votes cast for both candidates, indicating that over half of the delegates who attended the morning presidential vote had left.

Byers reaffirmed her support for Yussuff and promised to fight for every single member of the CLC. Similar to Georgetti, Stringer successfully motioned to have the vote recorded as unanimous in Byers favour.

Marie Clarke Walker was re-elected to her position of executive vice-president. Donald Lafleur is the new face on the national executive board. He had the most votes of any of the executive vice-president candidates, with 1,265 votes in his favour.

 

 

How the Heartbleed bug
works, and what passwords
you need to change

HeartBleed Bug

Shane Dingman
The Globe and Mail
April 14, 2014

Internet security experts are scrambling to patch an alarming encryption vulnerability that has exposed millions of passwords and personal information, including credit-card numbers, email accounts and a wide range of online commerce.

How big of a deal is this?

Some reports suggest as many as two-thirds of the sites on the Internet are using OpenSSL, the encryption code that we now know is flawed and vulnerable to so-called Heartbleed attacks.

It’s been a few days, anything new to worry about?

Initially, security experts focused on web sites using OpenSSL. We now know many digital products – including some with difficult to patch firmware – are also vulnerable, including:

  • Antivirus software
  • Email servers
  • Security firewalls
  • Routers and network switches
  • Some PCs
  • Android Version 4.11 (Jelly Bean)
  • Even the security-conscious Tor network

In those cases the hardware and software firms need to introduce patches.

What websites should I be worried about?

The Canada Revenue Agency website was shut down, and opened again yesterday. The CRA says this move was precautionary, because there is no evidence of a security breach.

Canadian banks, airlines and online retailers such as Amazon.ca, Wal-Mart and Indigo Books all said they weren't affected by the bug.

The online news site Mashable has an extensive list of other affected sites. They suggest you should immediately change your password if you use:

  • Facebook
  • Gmail (or other Google services)
  • Tumblr
  • Yahoo mail
  • GoDaddy
  • Intuit (TuboTax)
  • Dropbox
  • LastPass
  • OkCupid
  • Soundcloud

Wondering about a site a site not on this list? There is no central "is my Internet broken" government agency that can verify if your site is vulnerable.

There are also a few services, such as filippo.io/Heartbleed, that let you test a website yourself. We recommend doing this for any lesser-known site you use regularly.

When should I change my passwords?

It may sound like a good idea to just update every one you have, but it won’t do you any good to change a password on a site that hasn’t updated its OpenSSL yet: The new password will be vulnerable too.

As Toronto-based password-managing site 1Password says "The time to change passwords is after sites patch vulnerability *and* update certificates."

How can I make my passwords safer?

The smartest thing to do at this point is diversify your passwords, so that if someone hacks your OKCupid account they can’t get into Google with the same password. My rule of thumb is that no site that connects to my credit card shares a password with any other site I use. We just started a series on how to live a more secure digital life and here’s some totally crucial password advice from Technology reporter Omar El Akkad:

Most people use terrible passwords. There are a number of reasons for this. One is the sheer variety of password-enabled devices we have to deal with every day (how many people still have the default “1234” as the password on their vehicle’s Bluetooth connection?). Another is the fault of certain products and web sites that either don’t care what sort of password you choose, or force you to jump through a bunch of hoops that result in the creation of a convoluted password you end up forgetting a week later. As Randall Munroe notes, the most important determinant of password strength is entropy. Basically, the more stuff there is to guess, the better the password. So choose a long password. And if you don’t think you can remember multiple passwords and don’t want to use a password manager, at least memorize a strong password and use it exclusively for your most important digital transaction. The last thing you want is your banking login compromised because someone hacked into a gaming forum you frequent and stole your password.

Is this a virus?

No. A virus is a piece of malicious code that seeks to infect your computer systems. Heartbleed appears to be a mistake, a flaw in the encryption code that many websites use to protect passwords they ask you to use to log in, as well as other information.

How long has this been going on?

According to the researchers who found the problem – and let’s be clear, this is a gaping hole that words like “flaw, bug and vulnerability” barely describe – the bad code was introduced two years ago. To quote Codenomicon (who found and named Heartbleed): The affected code is called OpenSSL and “is the most popular open source cryptographic library and TLS (transport layer security) implementation used to encrypt traffic on the Internet.”

Can you geek out for a moment, how does this work?

The term "Heartbleed" was coined by Finnish security researchers working in California. The vulnerability affects encryption technology called OpenSSL and could allow hackers to decipher encrypted data without website owners or users knowing any information theft had occurred.

Let me quote the Globe and Mail’s ops boss Steve Mickeler (Team Lead, Web Operations): “The flaw allows the attacker to access 64kb chunks of memory at a time and can often be used to retrieve the private keys, allowing the attacker to decrypt the SSL session and discover usernames and passwords. It can also be used to perform a man-in-the-middle attack by spoofing the site the user is going to since they now have access to the SSL keys and the client would not deem anything to be suspicious.”

As security expert Raymond Vankrimpen explains in our story about the CRA shutdown: "The Heartbleed vulnerability occurs when OpenSSL is used in combination with a communication protocol called the RFC6520 heartbeat. Such "heartbeats" help a remote user remain in touch after connecting with a website server ...

"A small chunk of the server’s memory content, about 64 kilobytes of memory, can leak out with each heartbeat.

"While 64 kilobytes doesn’t represent a large amount of memory content, it is large enough to hold a password or an encryption key, allowing an unscrupulous user to return to exploit the server further."

For an excellent illustration of how this works, check this cartoon from xkcd.

It's also important to note that 64kb is not the limit of leaked information, a potential attacker could collect many "heartbeats" of data.

Again, for even more information, including info on how to fix your site, check Codenomicon’s specialty site: Heartbleed.com.

One piece of good news? The password you use on The Globe and Mail’s website is not vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug (we use a different security protocol, and in places that use OpenSSL we used the older, not broken, version).

Whose fault is this?

Well, it's hard not to blame this on the OpenSSL Software Foundation and the developers who maintain this code. According to the Wall Street Journal, there are only four staffers to maintain the open-source libraries, and only one is full time.

"There's no question more effectively applied manpower would be a good thing," said Steve Marquess, 59 years old, who is the president of the foundation. "Formal code audits would be a good thing." Indeed.

What does the guy who made the mistake have to say?

Robin Seggelmann, the German software developer who wrote the bad line of code spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald:

“I was working on improving OpenSSL and submitted numerous bug fixes and added new features…In one of the new features, unfortunately, I missed validating a variable containing a length.”

After he submitted the code, a reviewer “apparently also didn’t notice the missing validation,”  Seggelmann said, “so the error made its way from the development branch into the released version.”

Dr Seggelmann said the error he introduced was “quite trivial,” but acknowledged that its impact was “severe.”

 

 

OFL president Sid Ryan attacks Hudak's stance on organized labour

John Harte, financial secretary for Unifor Local 252, Mike Shields, staff rep for Unifor, and Sid Ryan, president, Ontario Federation of Labour, chat prior to a meeting of union executives to discuss strategy for the upcoming provincial election.(Photos by Bryon Johnson)

Jason Spencer
Brampton Guardian
April 11, 2014

BRAMPTON — Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, is on a crusade to inform union members across the province about Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak's vision for organized labour.

Last Tuesday night, Ryan stopped by Unifor Local 1285 on Regan Rd. to hold a meeting with some 200 Peel members.

With the possibility of a spring election looming, the thrust of Ryan's visit was to convince workers to vote nay to the Conservatives in the next provincial election.

"The idea here is to leave this room and go back into our workplaces and speak to that 25 per cent of our membership who we believe vote Conservative because in the past they offered tax breaks," Ryan said prior to the closed-door meeting.

"So, what we're saying this time around is, if you vote for the tax break, you're going to be voting against your own self-interest because your wages, your benefits and your pension plans will be in jeopardy if you vote for Hudak and he gets elected."

According to Ryan, the Tory leader's proposed labour reforms laid out in his "white papers" would "undermine the labour movement" by cutting down wages, benefits and pensions.

"(Hudak) believes that wages are too high (and) they should be lowered, in order to be able to compete with the right-to-work down in the United States," he said. "He wants to put in wage freezes for public workers."

"He abhors the pension plans that are in place in the public sector. He thinks they're too rich. They're not, but he says they are. …he says benefits are too rich. So there's an array of issues that we want to engage in that would seriously damage the labour movement."

Though Hudak has said he'll back off proposed changes like doing away with the Rand Formula, a Canadian labour law which requires every employee of a workplace with a collective agreement to pay union dues, the former NDP candidate isn't buying it.

"The Rand Formula is only the tip of the iceberg," he said, arguing that there are still ways around the agreement.

"Like by negotiating individual, separate agreements with the employer…which is separate from the collective agreement that's in place in the workplace. Therefore, you don't have to pay your union dues and you can opt out."

Hudak has also said that his potential reforms would only affect the heads of unions, not the workers, but Ryan says the math doesn't work out.

"What kind of impact you would have on the economy if you went after a thousand union leaders? Is that going to impact the economy? Of course not. He's going after the 1.2 million workers that belong to the labour movement — that's where he thinks he sees the savings."

Motilall Sarjoo, president of the Peel Regional Labour Council, said Tuesday's meeting included union labourers from across Peel, hailing from workplaces such as the Chrysler's Brampton Assembly Plant, Nestle Canada and the City of Brampton.

"We want them to speak to their family, friends, neighbours about where (Hudak) wants to take union legislation to break unions in this province," said Sarjoo. "People need to understand that their rights are being eroded in the work place."

Ryan's tour has already hit London, Kitchener, Toronto Peterborough and Ottawa, to name a few. Hamilton is next on his schedule.

 

Cars allegedly raced through Oakville won't go to dealerships, Ford says

April 5, 2014
Toronto Star

Nine new Ford Canada vehicles that were allegedly raced down Trafalgar Road Wednesday morning will not be shipped to Ford dealerships, says a Ford Canada official.

The auto giant weighed in on the early morning incident that saw the nine vehicles allegedly exceed the posted speed limit by nearly 70 km/hr as they were moved from a storage lot in Milton by a third party company- destined for the Ford plant in Oakville.

Halton police said they received a number of calls about a group of vehicles speeding and appearing to be racing along Trafalgar Road.

Officers set up radar in the area of Trafalgar Road and McCraney Street and, a short time later, nine vehicles travelling southbound approached in a tight pack at speeds allegedly ranging from 120 to 127 km/hr in a posted 60 km/hr zone.

Police stopped all nine vehicles on Trafalgar Road and have charged the drivers with racing under the Highway Traffic Act.

They will appear in a Burlington Court on May 13.

"Certainly we are very concerned about the incident and we want to sincerely thank the Halton police service for their quick response," said Lauren More, vice-president of public affairs at Ford Canada.

"As you can imagine, the safety of our community is our top priority."

More said Ford wants to reassure its customers that the vehicles involved won't be shipped to dealerships and will be replaced.

She also said Ford will no longer be working with the third party company, identified by Ford as FAC Transport, which employed the drivers of the vehicles.

FAC Transport had been sub-contracted by another company, Hansen's, which does transport work for Ford.

"We have confirmation from Hansen's that obviously the relationship with FAC has ended and these drivers have been let go," said More.

The nine vehicles involved were Crossover SUVs, mostly Edges and a few MKXs.

A 26-year-old man from Brampton, a 24-year-old man from Brampton, a 36-year-old Whitby man, a 28-year-old Oshawa man, a 42-year-old man from Ajax, a 27-year-old woman from Bobcaygeon, a 52-year-old man from Whitby, a 25-year-old man from Scarborough and a 26-year-old man from Toronto have all been charged in connection with this incident.

Police would not provide the names of the accused stating they have not been charged criminally, but rather under the Highway Traffic Act.

 

Retiree John Stone Passes
Away April 2, 2014

John Stone

John Stone
Retired October 1, 1994
28.3 Years Service

Our Deepest Condolences go out
to his Family and Friends

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden peaceful passing of John Daniel Stone at home on Tuesday, April 2, 2014.

Born in Belle Isle, N.L., on Sept. 5, 1931, he was the son of the late William and Georgina (Styles) Stone.

He is survived by his wife, Martha (McCarthy); two stepdaughters, Valerie (Jay) Hollohan; Joanne (Ian) Cann, both of Sydney and three grandchildren, Taylor, Stephanie and Ryan. He is also survived by his brothers, Harry (Joyce), Billy (Stella), Angus (Mary), Eric (Betty), all of Ontario, Jim (Helen), Labrador; sisters, Margaret (Ed), Ontario and Theresa (Tom), Newfoundland. John has many nieces, nephews, in-laws, grandnieces and grandnephews who will miss him dearly, and he will be missed by all who knew him, especially the staff at Casino Nova Scotia.

He was predeceased by a sister Mary in childhood.

He lived most of his life in Georgetown, Ont., where he retired from Ford Canada and recently settled in Cape Breton. John was a quiet soul; a very easygoing man who liked simplicity. He was a long-standing member of the KOC (Newfoundland Ontario, Sydney). John was an avid reader and a stellar crossword person.

Visitation for Mr. Stone will be on Sunday, April 6 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at T.W. Curry Parkview Chapel. Funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Monday in Holy Redeemer Church with Rev. Paul Murphy officiating.

Donations in his memory may be made to Holy Redeemer Building Fund.

Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.twcurry.com.


Momentum Workers Vote
to Return to Work

Workers and supporters rallied together in Burlington on Sunday March 23, 2014 prior to The Momentum AGM meeting. A vote was held later that afternoon and the tentative agreement was voted on and passed. All the workers returned back to work on Tuesday March 25, 2014.

Autoworkers Credit Union
Momentum on Strike

Barb Morrison and Chris Wilski Join the Momentum
Barb Morrison and Chris Wilski Join the Momentum
Strikers at the Brampton Branch on March 7, 2014


March 3, 2014

Momentum On Strike

The Staff at the Brampton Momentum Credit union is on strike for fairness. The Credit Union went on Strike Wednesday February 13th as Management threatened to disolve their Defined pension plan which they were told prior to agreeing to the last merger that it would remain untouched. Please show your support to their just cause.

ON STRIKE FOR FAIRNESS

COPE 343


After months of negotiation, the employees of Momentum Credit Union in Brampton, Hamilton and Oakville had no alternative but to take strike action in their fight for a fair collective agreement.

Issues include the employer demanding the elimination of the defined benefit pension plan for the six employees grandfathered in this plan in the previous round of negotiations, the vast majority of whom will retire in the next 5-6 years.

The elimination of post-retirement benefits for these same six employees despite written agreement that these were to be guaranteed in any merger agreement; consistent paid holidays for all employees of Momentum Credit Union; pro-rated sick leave for part-time employees; fair, consistent, equitable and appropriate classification and wages for all employees.

Thank you for your support and respecting our picket lines.

For further information please contact
Patty Clancy at
416-703-8515, ext, 229 or pclancy@copeontario.ca

pclancy@copeontario.ca

TORONTO, Feb. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - On the eve of the strike deadline, Momentum Credit Union gave their first full and final offer for a five year collective agreement after three months of negotiations.  The employer refused to address many issues unless the union agreed to eliminate post-retirement benefits and end the defined benefit pension plan for the remaining employees covered by the plan. Their offer was overwhelmingly rejected by our members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 343 (COPE).  Our members determined that the concessions they were facing and their employer's failure to address their concerns left them with no alternative but to take strike action for a fair collective agreement.

The employer's final offer maintained their demands to eliminate post-retirement benefits and end the defined benefit pension plan for six employees; all but one of whom are approaching retirement.   The employer's offer failed to address other important issues such as: consistent paid holidays for all employees; pro-rated sick leave for part-time employees; fair, consistent, equitable and appropriate classifications and wages for all employees.

CU Strike


Also voice your opinion by calling the Momentum
CEO - MALCOLM STOFFMAN at (905) 529-9445

Or sending a message through their website directly to him:

Click Here

Oakville Momentum Strike

 

CU Strikers

 

 

 

 

More Information Here

 

International Women`s Day

International
Women's Day 2014


Saturday, March 8, 2014
Unifor women are standing up
for equality, rights and good jobs


Unions are a big reason women's equality in Canada has advanced. Unifor, with its 305,000 members, is committed to making sure we continue to get the job done.

When right-wing politicians attack unions, they also attack an important catalyst for delivering women's equality. That is why this International Women's Day, Unifor women are standing up for our rights – the right to have a union, the right to equal pay, reproductive rights, the right to good jobs which includes affordable childcare and a world safe from violence. Unifor will not stand idly by while women are under assault and our equality is eroded.

Women are taking on bigger roles and are a vital part of every structure in our new union. Already, women hold 11 of the 25 seats on the National Executive Board, including two of the top six positions within the union. Women's committees are forming right across the country – at every regional council and in local unions across Canada and Quebec.

Unifor represents more than 86,000 women in every region of the country, in more than 20 different economic sectors. Women are making a difference in the union, helping to shape the conversation at every level. Women have already taken on two major initiatives since the creation of Unifor – a campaign on childcare and a national survey on the impact of domestic violence in the workplace.

Unifor is making a difference in the lives of women too – through training opportunities, events and a continued commitment to negotiating the Women's Advocate Program in all of our workplaces. To date, we have more than 300 Women's Advocates, trained to assist women with issues of workplace harassment, intimate violence and abuse.

Unifor women are getting their voices heard – in their workplaces, in the union and in the community. We are standing up for our union, for equality, and for economic and social justice. Every day, every week and every year to come – our actions are building a fairer and more equal world. Unifor women are building a movement.

This International Women's Day – the Unifor Women's Department is calling on women and allies across the country to join with us to stand up for women's rights, and to continue to fight for good jobs, strong public services and strong unions.

Women need unions and unions need women.


 

Click on photo to enlarge

Click Here for more photos

 

 

As Tim Hudak learned, the
era of union bashing has
run out of steam

Jim Stanford

Jim Stanford
Special to The
Globe and Mail
March 5, 2014

Eighteen months ago, Ontario's Progressive Conservatives planted a very provocative flag in the ground of Canada's labour relations landscape, with a proposal to implement U.S.-style restrictions on unions (including a prohibition on dues check-off, known euphemistically in America as "right to work"). But suddenly and surprisingly, just as debate over the idea was really heating up, Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak abandoned the plan. Speaking to business leaders in Toronto last week, he pledged to preserve current rules (codified in the famous Rand Formula) if he wins the next election.

So why did the Conservatives surrender before the election even started? There are several answers to this question, with important implications for parallel strategies by Conservatives in other jurisdictions to push the anti-union button.

Mr. Hudak's party did not help its own cause, with explanations of the issue that were badly formulated, confusing, and contradictory. They provided few specifics, preferring broad rhetoric about ending "forced unionism" and ushering in "worker choice." But in reality there is no forced unionism: workers must give majority approval before a bargaining unit is formed (whether by secret ballot or signing membership cards), and they can decertify their union the same way if they aren't happy with the service. The Rand Formula doesn't make unions compulsory; it merely prevents free-riding, whereby workers could get the benefits of a union contract without paying for it. The Conservatives' now-deposed labour critic Randy Hillier muddied the waters further, with wild proposals for combining individual and collective contracts.

Mr. Hudak's declaration of war also sparked a surge of political activism by unions and their members. For example, hundreds of union volunteers helped NDP candidate (and Unifor leader) Wayne Gates prevail over the Conservatives in the recent Niagara by-election – one week before Mr. Hudak threw in the right-to-work towel. This union activism could clearly swing the outcome of many key ridings in the GTA, southwestern Ontario, and the north.

Not even employers rallied behind Mr. Hudak's plan to ban the Rand Formula. Indeed, the Toronto business leaders in his audience applauded when he announced his reversal. Corporate Canada has been quietly telling Conservatives at all levels they don't want the disruption and uncertainty that would result from the wholesale dismantling of existing collective bargaining rules.

But the biggest problem for Mr. Hudak's crusade was a deeper sentiment in Canadian public opinion regarding unions and the role they play in society. No matter their warts, unions ultimately reflect their members: typical Canadians just trying to earn a decent income, support their families, and (hopefully) retire with some security, in an economy which rewards the rich and powerful more than ever before. Unions (like wage-earners in general) have been on the defensive for years. Wage gains have been small, strikes are historically rare, and even much-maligned public sector contracts have been rolled back substantially. In such a lopsided context, it's simply impossible to convince most voters that unions are really Public Enemy Number One. And many Canadians innately understand that if the only institutional voice speaking for working class priorities is silenced, then the whole social contract will become even more tattered in the years ahead. Unions, to their credit, effectively emphasized their broader social impacts in their responses to Mr. Hudak.

And therein lies the danger for other Conservatives (including federally) who have been sowing similar political ground. Attempts to delegitimize unions (as with the failed federal Bill C-377, which treated unions almost on par with organized crime), tilt the bargaining field further in employers' favour, and snatch away negotiated benefits (like the health benefits Ottawa is now clawing back from retirees) all appear increasingly mean-spirited. They offend moderate Conservatives (who understand the important institutional role of collective bargaining), anger unions and their members, and reinforce the impression that Conservatives do not speak for average working people.

In short, the effort to blame trade unions as the scapegoat for all economic and fiscal ailments is running out of steam. Mr. Hudak's platform will continue to emphasize other anti-union initiatives, but they will resonate awkwardly in the wake of his Rand Formula flip-flop. And other Conservatives should beware the political rock – a deep, innate sympathy for institutions which help to share the wealth – that their Ontario counterparts just drove into.


 

RETIREE
BOB EVANS
Passes Away


On February 28, 2014

Retired September 1, 1992

Our Sincerest Condolences
goes out to the entire Evans Family

Interment and a Celebration of Life
will take place at a future date

Donations would be appreciated by the
family to the Heart and Stroke Foundation


 

Ford building new Edge
Concept at Oakville plant

Officials from Ford and various levels of government at the September 2013 announcement of a $700 million investment at Ford. Today that influx of cash means the new Edge Concept will be built in Oakville.

Oakville Beaver
Feb 14, 2014

Ford will build an all-new Edge utility vehicle, the Edge Concept, at its Oakville Assembly plant for export to 60 countries.

The new product in Oakville follows Ford's $700 million investment in the plant to make it one of the most competitive and advanced global manufacturing facilities in Canada, while preserving 2,800 jobs.

The Edge Concept is now on display at the Canadian International Auto Show. It exhibits the the technology, design and craftsmanship Ford believes will define its next generation of global utility vehicles.

The new utility vehicle will be built in Oakville and shipped to more than 60 countries as demand for utility vehicles grows worldwide.

The vehicle competes in the global utility segment, which grew 13 per cent year over year in 2013. Ford outperformed the segment with 35 per cent growth and more than 1.2 million vehicles sold worldwide, and Edge production surpassed its 1 million vehicle milestone last year. The utility segment in markets outside North America grew 112 per cent in 2013 and is forecast to increase 30 per cent in 2014, with utility sales expected to total approximately 600,000 vehicles this year.

"The decision to produce the all-new global Edge in Canada is proof that Canadian manufacturers can compete, and win, globally," said Dianne Craig, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. "We're ready to showcase Oakville Assembly's commitment to craftmanship and advanced manufacturing to deliver what our global customers want and value — a high-quality vehicle with class-leading design, fuel efficiency and performance."

Ford announced last September its $700 million investment at Oakville Assembly to expand the plant's manufacturing capability to meet global demand and preserve more than 2,800 jobs. The plant manufactures Ford Edge and Ford Flex, as well as Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT.

"Oakville is vital to Ford's global manufacturing system as we prepare to launch more vehicles this year than ever before," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. "The Oakville facility will offer world-leading flexibility, enabling us to react quickly and efficiently to shifts in consumer demand here in North America and around the globe."

Ford's global utility portfolio spans small, medium and large vehicles — from the compact EcoSport to midsize Explorer and full-size Expedition – to fit the needs of consumers around the globe in various life stages.

Ford will provide customers with more choices in 2014 as it plans an unprecedented product year launching 23 vehicles globally – 16 in North America, including the new Edge.

Visitors to the Canadian International Auto Show will get a glimpse of the new vehicle at the Ford stand, including a preview of automated driving options Ford is developing.

These include: fully assisted parking aid: Automatic parking technology allows for control from inside or outside the vehicle; obstacle avoidance: automatically steers around an object when the driver does not; if the driver fails to react, the system will automatically steer and brake to avoid a collision; adaptive steering: the next step in steering technology leads to improvements in both low- and high-speed driving situations.

In addition, Ford Edge Concept features fuel-saving technologies such as Active Grille Shutters, Auto Start-Stop and an innovative air curtain, which manages airflow around the front wheels to enhance aerodynamic efficiency.

The Edge Concept is on display at the Ford booth Feb. 14-17.

 

Canada left behind in
auto race as U.S.,
Mexico make gains

GREG KEENAN
The Globe and Mail
Feb. 06 2014


North American vehicle production hit its highest level in a decade last year, but Canada missed out on the recovery – another sign that the country's position as an auto-making powerhouse is being eroded.

Output at assembly plants in Canada fell 3 per cent, compared with increases of 7 per cent at U.S. plants and 2 per cent at factories in Mexico, pushing Canada's share of North American vehicle production to its lowest level since 1987.

There is no danger of the industry packing up and moving south overnight, but there are questions about the viability of several factories and potential threats to thousands of direct jobs and tens of thousands more at auto suppliers, all of which are among the best-paying Canadian manufacturing jobs.

The deterioration of Canada's position last year also underlines the importance of retaining existing plants if the country is to hang on to its status as a major vehicle producer and exporter. The drop in Canada's share last year was the third straight decline.

"The fact that we've lost 2.5 points in the last three years is pretty significant … we've got a distinctive downward trend," said industry analyst Dennis DesRosiers, president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. "The other significant part – and it's really important – is that we were down and the U.S. and Mexico were up."

Assembly plants in Canada produced 2.37 million vehicles last year, compared with 2.45 million a year earlier, data from industry publication WardsAuto show.
Part of the reason for Canada's decline is that Mexico is booming with billions of dollars worth of new investment by Asia– and Europe-based auto makers coming on stream. A new Mazda Motor Corp. plant began producing vehicles last month, while the newest Honda Motor Co. Ltd. plant is scheduled to start up in the next few months. An Audi AG factory is under construction.

Mexico is threatening to displace Japan as the second-largest exporter of vehicles to the United States and could soon challenge Canada's leading position.

In addition, the rise in the value of the Canadian dollar before its recent tumble has hurt Canada's competitive position. At the same time, the Detroit-based auto makers have undertaken what the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., has called a retreat to the core, closing many factories that were in such states as Delaware, Georgia and Missouri that were relatively distant from their core operations in Michigan.

The addition by Chrysler Group LLC of a third shift at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit contributed to an 8-per-cent jump in vehicle production in Michigan last year.

The proposed investment of more than $2-billion by Chrysler in its Windsor, Ont., minivan plant, and whether the federal and Ontario governments will come up with financial assistance of more than $400-million to secure it, will represent a key signal about the future of vehicle manufacturing in Canada.

The Windsor plant employs more than 5,000 people and has been a humming economic engine of southwestern Ontario since the first minivan rolled off the line in 1984. The plant has been producing minivans on three shifts for almost three decades and its output represented 14 per cent of all Canadian vehicle production last year.

The Chrysler request is one of many that will arrive during the next few years amid what is a fact of life in the auto industry: Governments throughout the world offer auto makers hundreds of millions of dollars to attract new factories and retain existing plants. Ottawa and Ontario provided $140-million to Ford Motor Co. last year to help retool its Oakville, Ont., assembly plant.

"This industry needs investment in the next three to five years pushing $10-billion to keep what we have," Mr. DesRosiers said.He said there are few levers governments can pull to compete with Mexico and other jurisdictions. Canada's tax structure is competitive, and the drop in the dollar should help relieve some of the wage pressure."It comes down to three words: Cut a cheque," he said.

 

Congratulations to Our Newest Retirees
as of Feb 1, 2014

Larry Okolisan
Joan Wolfe
Larry Okolisan   Joan Wolfe
30 Years
30 Years

 

Ford decision gives Windsor
Engine Plant a reprieve

The Ford corporation flag and the Canada flag fly, at the Ford Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ont. (Dan Janisse/The Windsor Star)

Dave Waddell
Windsor Star
January 31, 2014

Workers at the Windsor Engine Plant can thank retiring baby boomers and the strengthening U.S. economy for Ford Motor Company's decision to keep production running longer at the facility.

Ford has decided to continue assembly of its 5.4-litre V-8 engine at a reduced volume at the Windsor Engine Plant and Annex — a move that has saved 118 jobs.

Unifor Local 200 had been told in 2012 the company planned to eliminate the engine and the 200 jobs tied to it by this October.

Eighty two workers will be laid off as early as this fall instead.

"This is some of the best news we've had in some time," said Unifor Local 200 president Chris Taylor, who announced Ford's decision to a packed meeting at the union's Turner Road hall Wednesday.

"The job losses can't be downplayed, but considering the alternative, we're in much better shape today than we were prior to this announcement.

"The reality was we were looking at losing that program completely and 200 people losing their jobs. Keeping that engine adds stability for Windsor Engine."

Taylor said Ford intends to continue to produce the engine for several years into the future.

The company uses the 5.4-litre engine in current models of the Econoline cargo van, Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUV.

The plant also produces a 6.8-litre V-10 for Econoline cargo van fleet sales and recreation vehicles, which are posting rising sales.

Last year, the Windsor engine plant produced about 300,000 5.4-litre engines. Taylor said that number will decline substantially.

"It'll put us at a steady level of line balance," Taylor said.

"What this has allowed us to do with Ford Motor Company is smooth out the daily build. It'll allow us to keep a steady number of people working instead of being in and out."

As Ford workers poured out of the meeting there was clearly a sense of relief over the announcement.

The loss of 200 jobs would have wiped out nearly 37 per cent of the 560-member workforce at the site. Currently, the local has 483 workers on layoff.

"This is pretty good news," said Gayle Beaudoin, who has been at Windsor Engine for 25 years.

"Unfortunately, there'll still be some layoffs, but it's not as bad as it could've been.

"They said they're not going to close the plant. We're hoping to get another product too."

John Gaudette, who has been with Ford for 19 years, said losing 200 good paying jobs would have been a devastating blow to the community.

Keeping 118 of those was only part of the good news he heard.

"They're going to increase production of the V-10 which is awesome," Gaudette said. "They're going to go from 80,000 to 100,000.

"It's the logistics in play (that keeps them from going higher). They can't build enough of them."

A big reason is the resurgence in the RV sales. RV shipments will total about 335,000 units this year — a 6.1 per cent increase from 2013, according to the U.S. Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. That would mark five consecutive years of RV market growth

"The RV industry is alive again," said John Chisholm, dealer principal at Rose City Ford in Windsor. And, U.S. sales for the Ford E Series van have steadily risen, thanks to the recovering housing sector. Sales grew from 85,735 in 2009 to 125,356 in 2013.

Windsor Ford workers were also told they could reduce those 82 layoffs even further.

"Right now, we're trying to keep every job we can," said Kris Geier, who has 29 years in with Ford. "People need to take their vacations and refuse some overtime."

Last year, 43 per cent of Ford's hourly workers in Windsor didn't use up all their annual vacation time.

Previous to the 2012 contract it was mandatory to do so, but Ford won that concession in bargaining as it reduces the number of workers it needs to fill in. Members who don't use their weeks, which can't be carried over, get paid for their vacation as well as collecting their regular wages for working that week.

With the immediate future of the plant secured, Taylor said the lobbying for new product will continue.

Union officials plan to meet with Ford executives shortly to go over the company's next five-year plan. Landing one of company's EcoBoost engines would be the ultimate prize.

"We need Ford to keep increasing market share," Taylor said. "The company is doing well.

"Ford has a very aggressive launch next year of 23 vehicles. If they do well, there are possibilities for us."

 


John Thomas Frankland

John Frankland

Passed away January 23, 2014
Retired August 1, 2006
39.3 Years of Service

It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the passing of Retiree John Frankland. Our Deepest condolences go out to his wife Jenny and Family.

FRANKLAND, Thomas Leslie (John) - (Longtime employee of Ford in Bramalea, and former volunteer with the Erin Fire Department) Peacefully at St. Mary's Hospital, in Kitchener, on Thursday, January 23, 2014, after a short illness. John Frankland of Erin, in his 68th year. Beloved husband of Jenny (Verdoold) Frankland. Loving father of T.J. Frankland and Cheryl of Marsville and Darran Frankland and Fiona of Milton. Cherished Papa of Trentan and Kolby. John will be sadly missed by his extended family and friends. A private family Funeral Service was held at the Butcher Family Funeral Home, 5399 Main Street South, Erin. Spring Interment, Erin Union Cemetery.

A Public Celebration of Life for John will be held at the Erin Legion on Thursday, January 30th from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Erin Fire Association, Station 10, would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

www.butcherfamilyfuneralhome.ca