LOCAL 199: 124 BUNTING RD., ST. CATHARINES, L2P 3G5 PHONE: 905-682-2611  FAX: 905-682-9393  
Retiree Golf League meeting

Date: Apr 25, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: Retiree

Planning For Your Future

Date: May 03, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Location: Unifor Local 199 Union Hall , 124 Bunting Road, St Catharines


     From the Presidents Office

Contact Bruce Allen

E Mail Bruce Allen

Office: 905-682-2611 ext 228

Cell: 905-328-1722

Cell: 905-905-933-2811

Following the election of Wayne Gates to the position of M.P.P. pursuant to the bylaws of local 199 Bruce Allen, Vice President will assume the duties of president. To contact Bruce Allen, please use the contact information above.

Letter to the Premier

Premier Kathleen Wynne
Legislative Building
Queens Park
Toronto, ON
M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Wynne,

I have read with great concern a growing body of correspondence to you regarding what has been described as an explicit attack on injured workers unlike anything since the Meredith principles and the workers compensation system were established 100 years ago. I likewise share the view that the WSIB is administratively attempting to rewrite the workers compensation legislation in this province to the obvious disadvantage of injured workers.

Noting these things I want to express my individual concerns and add them to the discussion particularly with respect to how the WSIB's new policies pertaining to asymptomatic pre-existing conditions. These new policies and their broad application not only eliminate the significant contributing factor test. They are being routinely applied to terminate ongoing entitlement of work related injuries even though prior to those injuries the workers in question were wholly asymptomatic and without any functional loss.

The one point I particularly want to emphasize to you is that these policies directly contradict and render effectively meaningless the WSIB's ostensible commitment to ensuring injured workers an early and safe return to work. This is so because the WSIB's now routine attribution of ongoing impairment to pre-existing conditions is never qualified by consideration of whether or not an injured worker has been performing medically suitable work subsequent to their injury and return to work. Speaking from my experiences as someone who has been representing injured workers for nearly fourteen years I can tell you in no uncertain terms that this repeatedly results in the WSIB making critically important oversights and in seriously inadequate consideration of whether injured workers should have ongoing WSIB entitlement for their occupational injuries.

WSIB benefits are often terminated as a result and this becomes particularly serious if the injury in question is more than seventy-two months old given the provisions of Bill 187. Workers so affected all too often become compelled to turn to CPP Disability Benefits or to Ontario Works. This is wrong. It shifts the costs to the wrong places.

It is brutally obvious to me that the WSIB is callously indifferent to all of this and to the consequent grief experienced by injured workers. The WSIB has also not come to terms with other implications of what it is doing in this regard. Foremost among these is the fact that if pre-existing degenerative conditions are continually cited as the reason why workers who have been injured at work experience ongoing impairment then it effectively no longer matters what they do at work subsequent to their injuries or how conducive their work activities are to perpetuating if not worsening their injuries. This is totally illogical and completely absurd. It cannot be tolerated any longer given the horrific consequences that will result and have already become evident. This is in fact a prescription for increasing the carnage in Ontario's workplaces and should alarm you. Accordingly I strongly urge you to respond with appropriate and very decisive action.

Yours Sincerely,

Bruce Allen
President, Unifor Local 199

Copies to: Timothy Hudak MPP
Andrea Horvath MPP
Kevin Flynn MPP and Minister of Labour
Elizabeth Witmer - WSIB Chair
Jerry Dias - Unifor President
Sid Ryan - OFL President

Planning For Your Future

Due to the high interest in retirement options Local 199 education committee has scheduled another date for the very popular Planning for the Future Course. This course is designed to help our members prepare and plan for the transition from worker to retiree. The course emphasizes the importance of advance planning and covers five main topics.

  1. Social & Leisure Time
  2. Legal Planning - Wills & Probate
  3. Pensions & Benefits - Service Canada CPP & OAS
  4. Financial Planning - FirstOntario Credit Union
  5. Retiree Chapter - Retiree Chapter Activities
  6. GM Benefits - GM Pension & Benefit Rep

Both members and their spouses are encouraged to attend. A hot lunch, tea & coffee, will be provided at no cost to the member. This course will not be offered again until September and space is limited. For more information or to register, please contact Patty Stoddart or Peter Scott. 905-682-2611 ext 238

Seminar Poster

International Women's Day 2014

On March 7th 2014, the Women's committee held a trivia night at the Celtic club in St Catharines to celebrate International Women's Day (IWD) and raise funds for community groups that support Women and families. Members from other unions (OSSTA/ATU/CUPE) and members from the community attended this event. The committee raised $1,400, all proceeds from the trivia night will be donated to the Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre and Women's Place of Niagara. Special thanks to our amazing sisters, Lynda Greer, Kim & Brittany Leoppard, Carm Lenartowich, Susan Erskine Fournier, Donna Higham and brother John Neely for organizing and running this event.

Congratulations to the Women's committee who recently received The Unifor Social Justice Award which was accompanied by a cheque for $2,000. The award was for the committee's support of women and families in the Niagara region. The committee plans to donate the cash award to Gillian's place. On behalf of the executive board and members of local 199 I would like to congratulate the Women's committee for being the recipient of this award and for all their hard work.

Building of Brock University

April 7th 2014, Brock unveiled a new plaque recognizing the significant contributions that local union members made to the University's Founding Fund from 1965 to 1970. The plaque, which is located on the 300-level of Mackenzie Chown where blocks B and C meet, was proposed by Brock's Centre for Labour Studies as part of the University's 50th anniversary celebrations. "This plaque commemorates the contributions of unions and the labour movement to the very foundation of Brock University," said Ingrid Makus, acting dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, at yesterday's event. "This group of supporters was one of the first to provide voluntary financial contributions to the founding of the University."

Read the Article

First Ontario Credit Union Ratifies New Contract

April 3rd 2014, Unifor Local 199 members at FirstOntario Credit Union ratified a new 3 year tentative agreement by 93%. The new agreement includes, improved representation, moderate benefit improvements in health and bereavement, increase in wages each year of the 3 year term, COLA roll in and a 1,000 dollar signing bonus.

I would like to thank the bargaining committee: Lori Gaboury, Debbie Blair, Lisa Vescio, Tammy Carlomusto, Jessie Buckner, and Unifor National Rep Doug Orr for all the hard work required to secure this agreement.

Bruce Allen, President Local 199

Look Who's retireed - March 2014 GM Retirees

This month approximately 45 of our members retired from the General Motors unit. They attended an orientation session in the retiree lounge. Bruce Allen, Rob Acker, Larry Greenhalgh, Tim McKinnon, Nick Collini & Dee Hughes were in attendance to offer some advice and welcome them all to the retiree chapter of local 199. Pictures of the newest retirees can be seen at the following link.

Images Retirees March 2014

Join a mass picket to defend Canada's postal service.

Join us in Toronto to demand that Conservative minister Joe Oliver (MP for Eglinton/Lawrence) and the Steven Harper government cancel the plan of Canada Post to eliminate door to door delivery of mail and increase the price of postage. Saturday March 15th 2pm, 511 Lawrence Avenue West (corner of Bathurst St and Lawrence Avenue) Any member who would like to attend please call me.

Bruce Allen, President Local 199

Unifor Scholarships 2014

Sons and daughters of Unifor members in good standing, who are entering their first year of Full time post-secondary education in a public Canadian institution are encouraged to apply for a Unifor Scholarship. There are 28 ($2,000) scholarships available. The application form is available at the following link. Applications can be mailed, faxed or scanned and e mailed, no later than April 30th 2014.

Application Form - 2014 Unifor Scholarships

Important Notice GM Employees

General Motors Tuition Refund applications must be received by GM Benefit Centre (Hewitt) on or before March 31st 2014 for the calendar year 2013. If you have any questions or need assistance please contact Mark Roy or Tony Tyminski. 905-641-6444

GM Employment Opportunity

A Supplemental Workforce Employee agreement has been entered into by the Union and the Company. To apply click on the following link and follow the online instruction. You will be asked for a current e mail and resume. On Line Application

International Women's Day 2014 Theme: INSPIRING CHANGE

Women's equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme which encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.

The vast array of communication channels, supportive spokespeople, equality research, campaigns and corporate responsibility initiatives means everyone can be an advocate inspiring change for women's advancement. Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

This year the Unifor Local 199 Women's Committee will be celebrating International Women's Day by hosting a Trivia Night on Friday, March 7, 2014 @ 8pm at the Celtic Club, 14 Secord Dr. St. Catharines, ON (Doors open at 7:30pm). Tickets can be purchased at all FirstOntario offices.

All proceeds from this event will be donated to various local women's shelters. For further information, please contact E Mail The Women's Committee

Seneca Manufacturing

Members at Seneca manufacturing ratified a new three year agreement last night, I would like to thank the Seneca bargaining committee for their hard work and Doug Orr National Rep for his support during the bargaining process.

Bruce Allen
President Unifor local 199

2014 Alzheimer Walkathon Report

The 2014 Alzheimer Walkathon held at Brock University was a great success. We would like to thank John Pula for his continued hard work to support this event and worthy cause. John asks that we recognize Jason Copeland for collecting pledges and thank everyone who made a donation. Congratulations to Karen Courchaine for placing 3rd with the most pledges collected raising $ 1,460. The 199 Unifor team raised a total of $3,850. This year $ 71,218 has been raised to date.

Once again we have shown that our union supports our community. A big thank you to Brock University for providing the venue and to the Brock students that volunteered their time to help with the walk.

You donations to the Alzheimer Society will provide assistance and care to those with Dementia and Alzheimer Disease throughout Niagara. Thanks John Pula for your contribution.

Congratulations - Wayne Gates M.P.P.

We would all like to congratulate Wayne Gates for his landmark victory last night over Conservative Bart Maves and Liberal, Joyce Morroco.

Many thanks to all our members and their families who volunteered their time during the coldest winter we have seen for many years.

"We can make a difference"

Images from the E Day Celebration

unifor Press Release

It's time to be honest about Right to Work Legislation"

Both the St Catharines Standard and the Windsor Star have Articles and Polls about Right to Work for less legislation. Please click on the links and send a strong message that "Right to Work for Less" is not good for workers, the economy or businesses.

St Catharines Standard Article & Poll

Windsor Star Article & Poll


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