Commitment, Honesty & Integrity
With the holiday season coming quickly I would like to ask our members, "Please Don't Drink and drive" it's a small sacrifice to pay, you might just save a life.
The following news articles have come across my desk recently and I thought they would be of interest to you. If you want more information about a particular story simply click on read more. If you would like to contact me, read my reports, or my archived postings, please click on the following link. Reports from Wayne Gates & Archived Articles
Wayne Gates, President Unifor Local 199
The Constitution for Unifor can be seen at the following link. Unifor Constitution
Local 199 Membership Collection $13,819.73
On Tuesday December 3rd Local 199's Community Services committee and elected reps were at all our units collecting for the less fortunate. This annual tradition once again demonstrated the generosity of our members. We would like to thank, not only our members, we would also like to sincerely thank the contractors and members of management who contributed to this collection. The total donations collected was $10,319.73, Unifor National Union donated $3,500, for a grand total of $13,819.73. Special thank you to Paul Moligian, aka Santa for coming out to make this a special day.
On behalf of the Executive board and Bargaining Committee's of Local 199 thank you all for your ongoing generosity.
David Chevrolet Welland, Agreement Reached
I would like to thank our members for their support during negotiations, more details to follow.
Toonie Tuesday Raises $3,386.50
Alex and Donna would like to thank the membership for their continuous generosity and support. On Tuesday 19th of November they were at the plant gates with their collection buckets. The donations totaled $3,386.50, all monies collected will be distributed to the following agencies; Welland Hope Center, Thorold Community Care, St. Catharine and Fort Erie Native Centers, Community Dinners, Gillian's Place, YWCA, and Women of South Niagara Shelters. Once again thank you for your continued support.
United Way Celebrates 60 Years of Community Service
The United Way of St Catharines celebrated 60 years in the community with a social reception at the Union hall. As past chairperson it was a special evening for me. Since the Red Feather Campaign started, this organization has raised over $88 million dollars. The largest single workplace donation has come from General Motors St. Catharines Powertrain employees and Unifor Local 199 members, collectively they have donated 29 million dollars since the campaign started.
I don't think anyone can imagine or totally comprehend the amount of good that has been done in the community through your generosity. Over the years we have helped families when they needed it the most, when they were sick when they lost their jobs and countless other life altering situations.
My involvement with the United Way is no doubt a highlight of my career and I must thank all our members who have contributed to this organization over the years. With every penny donated you have made a difference in people lives, thank you. Read Story
The St Catharines & district United Way campaign first started back in 1953. Since that time the United Way have raised over $88 million dollars. The money raised comes from people and organizations within the community.
Health Care Trust (GM Retiree)
At the retirees meeting this week Gord Graham and Joanne Hannah from the healthcare trust made a presentation for the retirees on the stability of the health care trust, which administers the health benefits for GM hourly retirees. The good news is that all monies committed by General Motors with interest has now been paid to the fund. The asr TRUST assets under administration is 1.9 billion dollars, which is invested in a diversified portfolio. With a portfolio of this size the fund has been able to keep the admin fees exceptionally low with 98.5% of the annual expenditure going directly to healthcare costs. The plan covers 30,000 current retirees and 24,000 dependants. The average age of plan members is 70, and the average claim per member, per year is $3,354. The Plan has sufficient funding and is projected to run through 2070. Executive Director Gord Graham and the board of trustees are doing an excellent job for our retirees securing the future of the Health Care Trust Fund.
Canadian autoworkers cost competitive with U.S., says report
Canada's auto industry is well poised for future investment thanks to strengthening global sales, a lower Canadian dollar and a 15 per cent labour cost advantage over new hires at unionized American assembly plants, says a report by Scotiabank Economics. "The latest contract with (Unifor) makes new hires for Canadian assembly plants more cost effective than the two tier wage system introduced for new autoworkers in the United States," chief economist Carlos Gomes said in his global auto report. "Estimates suggest the current all-in cost for a new hire by the Detroit Three in the United States is about US$37 per hour compared with just over C$32 in Canada. This translates to roughly a 15 per cent labour cost advantage for new hires at Canadian plants."
Read The Windsor Star Story
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Romeo Lemay. Romeo served as the co-editor of local 199 for many years. During this time our local union publication received countless awards. Romeo had a unique sense of humour, a keen political insight and was very proud of the fact the served under 3 different presidents. Our sincere condolences to his friends & family.
Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week - Take the pledge, November 18th - 24th
We are asking our members to help end bullying by signing a pledge card. The Pledge card says.. "I believe everybody has the right to live in a community where they feel safe, included, valued, and accepted regardless of differences. I pledge to be respectful of others and stand up against bullying whenever and wherever I see it"
Cards are available at both the east and west clock-houses at GM and at the union hall.
Health Care Trust - Retiree Meeting, November 20th
Gordon Graham, Administrator for the Health Care Trust and Joanne Hanna Pension & Benefit Unifor National Rep. will be attending the next retiree meeting to provide an update of the retirees Health Care Trust fund.
Union battles loom after Tories push to overhaul labour laws
The Conservative Party's brewing battle with Canadian unions is taking shape, as party delegates have backed a push to overhaul labour laws with a series of new policies.
As you all know we elected a new president at the founding convention. I have know Jerry Diaz for a long time and think he is an excellent choice to lead our new union through the challenging times before us. If you would like to know more about Jerry click on the following link. Jerry Diaz
Next week I have heard there are several Labour Reform proposals on the table at the Conservatives Convention. I want all our members to understand that any labour reform proposed by the conservatives is most definitely not in your best interest. Ever since the thirties when UAW was formed and Justice Rand subsequently passed the Rand formula in 1945 corporations have been lobbying governments to change the rules. They claim their reforms are in the best interest of workers but this could not be further from the truth. Ask an auto worker in Detroit about labour reform. They will tell you what it means. The loss of good paying jobs from one state to another state, with a devastating effect on the workers and the unions that represent them. Labour reform is about weakening unions, limiting the right to strike and taking money out of your pocket. Read Article
FirstOntario Credit Union
Local 199 has a long history with Credit Unions, back in 1949 we started the Autoworkers Credit Union to provide financial services to our members. At the time members could not get loans or credit cards from the banks. Credit Unions were started to help workers with short term loans, open savings accounts and evolved into full service financial institutions. The Autoworkers Credit Union opened its doors to the entire community in 1981, when it became an open bond Credit Union and was renamed Family Savings. In 1999 Family savings merged with Avestel a steelworkers Credit Union based in Hamilton and became FirstOntario Credit Union.
For many at first glance it's hard to tell the difference between a bank and a Credit Union. The main difference is Credit Unions are democratically run meaning the members can run for election to the board of Directors. Secondly the profits from the Credit Union stay in the community. Local 199 also represent workers at the Credit Union. I would encourage you all to utilize FirstOntario Credit Union as you financial institution of choice.
Elections are currently being held at the FirstOntario for the board of directors I would encourage all our members who have accounts at FirstOntario to vote in the election. Incidentally two Local 199 members Irene Lowel and Lorie Peacock are nominated and are seeking re-election. I am sure they would both appreciate your support. Ballots were mailed out this month, members can also vote on line between October 1st and November 12th 2013.
Wayne Gates, President Unifor Local 199
Lorie Peacock Bio
Irene Lowell Bio
Fort Erie Race Track: The last lap
The ponies made one last trip around the Fort Erie Race Track on Tuesday. While it has had brushes with death before, the beleaguered border oval appears to have escaped the Reaper's icy grasp for the last time. Last week the provincial Horse Racing Transportation Panel put a final nail in the coffin when it deemed the track unsustainable and recommended against further investment in the 116-year-old racing venue.
Reports from Wayne Gates & Archived Articles