Let the Negotiations Begin

January 18, 2013

Last week every UPS security guard should have been contacted either by phone, e-mail, or by a personal visit from a union organizer at their job site. The purpose of these meetings was to update guards on important decisions made by the Alberta Labour Relations Board for  UPS security guards in the Oil Sands region.

Local 401 is excited to announce the long-awaited start of negotiations for UPS guards. Back in April, before the closure of UFNAC, proposal surveys were handed out to all of the guards to identify important issues in the workplace.  The valuable information in those surveys will be used going forward in negotiations with the company. However, there has been a lot of turnover in the workplace since then, and with a new employer there are new issues.

Because of this change, next week every guard will receive a new proposal package, much like the last one, that will outline some of the issues that we are hearing. Guards will also receive information about current wages and benefits. The new survey, combined with the last one, will give all guards a stronger voice in their first Union contract.

There will be dedicated proposal meetings set up for UPS members to ask questions about the negotiating process.  The proposal meeting is another channel for workers to provide input into their Union contract. During these meetings, guards will also be given the opportunity to volunteer for the negotiating committee.

“Having the legal right to negotiate a Union Contract is what makes Canada a great place to work” explains UFCW Local 401 President Douglas O’Halloran. “With the ability to participate in negotiations members know that their voice will be heard, and brought forward to the company at the negotiating table.” The negotiating committee will consist of many union members from different sites  and different shifts, which will give an even distribution of guard’s issues across the Wood-Buffalo region.

“This is a long awaited moment for the Union and many of the guards, and we are prepared to get the guards the first Union Contract they deserve.” Archie Duckworth, Union Organizer explains “This will not only benefit members of UPS, but all other guards in the area and across the province by showing them that by sticking together, they will be able to take on large corporations when joining a Union. We will create an industry standard that other companies will have to follow to maintain desired staffing levels.”

To get in contact with Archie Duckworth for questions regarding UPS, or getting a Union in your workplace feel free to call him confidentially at 403-861-2121 or by e-mail at aduckworth@ufcw401.ab.ca.