A local union is a branch of a much larger union. We organized and selected the “United SteelWorkers” or “USW” for short, as our union to represent our members. The union bargains with employers on behalf of the members and negotiates labour contracts including Collective Agreements.
An Amalgamated Local is simply a group of local union branches that have merged together to pool resources. USW Local 2010 is an Amalgamated Union and has one additional local, 2010-01 included in our local.
Union dues are regular payments of money made by the members. Dues are the cost of membership; they are used to fund the Local, District, Canadian National, and International Union. The money is spent on paying Union leaders and staff, legal representation, union governance, training of stewards and executives of the Local, etc. You can find out specifics of what your dues pay for at the regular monthly union meetings.
Collective Bargaining Agreement or CBA regulates the terms and conditions of employees in their workplace, employee’s duties and the duties of the employer. It is the result of collective bargaining between the employer and our union members.
Yes! The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) gives a worker the right to refuse work that they believe is unsafe to themselves or another worker. In certain occupations, in specified circumstances, the right to refuse is limited. Please refer to the OHSA to find out more:
Any stewards will be able to help you with any questions or concerns you have. If they don’t know the answer, then they can find out for you or point you in the right direction. Other people that can help you are your unit chair, any member of the union executive committee (up to and including our president). We also have a staff representative from the Union that helps our executives with any questions they have.
You have the right to work free of discrimination by reason of race, colour, creed, nationality, age, sex, religious or political beliefs. You also have the right to request to meet with and have in attendance a Union representative at any meeting with a member of Management wherein the member is to be given formal discipline. Each CBA is different, so you may have more rights defined in your CBA. Please talk with your steward if you have any further questions.
A grievance is a violation of the collective agreement, law or legislation.
If you have an issue and are unsure whether it is a grievance or not, tell one of the Union Stewards and they will take down the facts of the event and forward that investigation to the Grievance Officer.
Basically, everything in your CBA has been negotiated and fought for by your union. The Union’s goal is to maintain or improve the conditions of our member’s employment. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring and firing and promotion of employees, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The USW has a long history of fighting for our member’s rights.
A strike is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. Most strikes are undertaken by Unions during the collective bargaining process as a last resort. Most CBA’s include a “no strike clause” during the term of the agreement.
A lockout occurs when talks during bargaining break down and the Company or workplace lock the workers out and won’t let them return to work.
In both cases, employees will not receive their wages while the strike or lockout continues.