A Union is an organization that acts as an intermediary between its members and the business that employs them. The main purpose of a Union is to give workers the power to negotiate for more favourable working conditions and other benefits through collective bargaining.
Collective bargaining is the heart and soul of a Union. Collective bargaining occurs when a group of people, such as the workforce at a company, band together to increase their negotiating power. For instance, a single worker might feel that a certain new safety policy should be implemented, but they might have limited power to get the company to adopt a new policy. If the entire workforce is made aware of the need for the new policy and bands together to pressure the company, there is a much greater chance that the company will comply. Unions join workers together, allowing the voices of individual workers to be heard.
Monthly Union Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month* at The Teamster Union Hall, 1680 Dublin Ave. We discuss current issues and these meetings are your best opportunity to learn about your rights, ask questions and seek advice. Attendance is voluntary but encouraged for all members.
* Unless the preceding Monday is a General Holiday, then it will be the following Tuesday
Statutory Holidays follow Federal observance.
Consolidated Collective Agreement can be found in the “Agreements / Downloads” section.
For reference we fall under Thunderbay West, Central Division.
(If you are having difficulty submitting a guarantee, contact your appropriate Local Representative. (LC or VLC Cndr for Trainman Guarantee, Yard LC or VLC for Yard Spareboard Guarantee)
Starting rate is 95% of full rate (Article 1.21 of the Consolidated Collective Agreement)
100% after seven months of cumulative compensated service, an employee must, for the purposes of this clause, have worked and/or been available for service for 210 calendar days. The starting rate provisions take effect upon the successful completion of the respective training program.
Investigation & Discipline Process (Article 39 of the Consolidated Collective Agreement)
General Committee of Adjustment CP West: www.tcrccalgary.ca
TCRC Division 76 Winnipeg: www.tcrc76.org
VRU Number: 1 (888) 225-5127
What does it mean to be “Laid Off”
Laid off does not mean you are terminated; you are still an employee for the purposes of retaining seniority and recall rights. However, if you are laid off for a prolonged and/or indefinite duration, it could sever the employment relationship. Extended, open-ended layoffs will be treated as terminations and entitle the employee to severance
As you are likely aware, if there is a layoff and you are the most senior employee about to be laid off, you may “bump” or “displace” a more junior employee
The most valuable benefit retained by a person who is laid off is the right to be recalled according to his or her seniority standing. However, you must accept the recall from the employer. If an employee is notified of a recall, the employee’s refusal or failure to comply may provide the employer with grounds for termination. Be aware, that you may have to pass a rules examination and submit to a medical exam possibly including drug and alcohol testing. Be sure you are fit for duty when recalled.
What can I do?
You can get a new job when you are laid off and you won’t lose your seniority or your recall rights. You also have the right to apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits because there has been a disruption to your earnings. Remember that you have 15 days to book on after you are recalled, or it may be determined that you no longer want to return to work and you will be considered dismissed.
Can I apply for Employment Insurance if I was fired, let go, held out of service, suspended or dismissed?”
Yes, you may be entitled to receive EI regular benefits if you:
You may not be entitled to receive EI regular benefits if you:
Misconduct: Generally speaking, "misconduct" refers to any inappropriate action, offence, or professional fault committed willingly or deliberately by a person while working for an employer. Misconduct occurs when an employee's behaviour is in violation of the obligations set out in their contract of employment and when, under normal circumstances, the employee should have known that the actions, omissions or faults could result in a dismissal.
Your Legislative Rep can help you with an Employment Insurance Application / Appeal
Your Local Chairman can help you with exercising your seniority to possibly work in another location.
Part I: Industrial Relations
This part of the Act deals with collective bargaining, dispute resolution, strikes and lockouts.
Part II: Occupational Health and Safety
This part of the Act deals with maintaining the health and safety of workers in the workplace. It focuses on the recognition and prevention of hazards.
Part II of the Canada Labour Code lists the following overall objectives:
General Obligation: Every employer shall ensure that the health and safety at work of every person employed by the employer is protected. (Section 124)
Among their specific duties, employers must provide their employees with:
Duties of Employees (Section 126)
Employees must take all reasonable and necessary precautions to ensure their health and safety and that of anyone else who may be affected by their work or activities. In particular, employees must wear protective equipment and clothing if required, comply with all of the employer’s safety instructions, co-operate with Workplace Committees and Health and Safety Representatives, and report all hazards and accidents.
Members should comply with the Act, article 126(1):
Wear personal protective equipment and safety clothing supplied by the employer as mandated in the regulations. (COHS Part XII) It is in their own best interest, not only in terms of health and safety, but also to avoid disciplinary action. Obey posted regulations and employer’s instructions related to workplace health and safety. Once again, it is in their best interest. No one wants to be hurt, or worse, risk hurting someone else or causing material damage.
Co-operate with Workplace Committees and Health and Safety Representatives.
Whether it is a prevention inspection or an accident investigation, it is important to make your experience-based opinions, perceptions and ideas known. This can be of immeasurable help in preventing accidents and identifying the causes and possible solutions.
Report to your employer any hazard or situation posing a risk to your health and safety or those of others.
Hazardous situations must be reported to ensure that changes are made. Ideally, this should take the form of a written report. A copy should be sent to the Legislative Representative and Union member on the Workplace Committees and to the Health and Safety Representative. In the event of an accident, criminal charges could be laid against the employer or their representatives if negligence on their part can be proven (Sections 22.1 and 217.1 of the Criminal Code). The Crown must first prove negligence and an apparent breach of the duty of care beyond a reasonable doubt. If they are proven, the employee will have to prove on a balance of probabilities that he showed due diligence or took reasonable care.
Report any accident or other event, in the performance of your work, causing injury to yourself or to another person.
It is important to report incidents, and to enter the necessary information in the records created for this purpose. This will help ensure that preventative measures are taken, reports are made, and the Union is able to mount a proper defence and representation. This evidence can help avoid contestation of an industrial accident. Some companies offer bonuses, gifts, or incentives to employees who are never absent or who have an accident-free work record.
Cautionary note: This may seem generous on the part of the company and attractive to some members, but it has perverse effects. Some employees who are ill or injured do not dare miss work for fear of losing these “treats”, thus aggravating their condition. Other employees fail to report workplace accidents, opting instead to file a group insurance claim. This does nothing to improve working conditions or ensure that necessary measures are put in place to prevent future accidents. Instead, it falsifies the employer’s accident reports, and deprives members of the protection and benefits due them under the Act.
Report any breach of the Act to your employer. Let’s help the employer uphold their duty to prevent accidents. Remember that the company and its representative can be charged in Criminal Court for negligence.
Rights of Employees
Based on the duties of the employees and employers under the Law, employees have important rights:
Right to know, to be informed. The right to know is central to being able to take preventative action. This right includes the right to be informed of known or foreseeable hazards related to one’s work, the right to receive the necessary instruction and training to do the work, and the right to be informed about the Act and its regulations.
Right to refuse dangerous work. The right to refuse enables employees to protect themselves and other persons in case of a hazard or emergency.
Right to complain and call a Health and Safety Officer if necessary. (In other words, the right to participate). The right to participate grants employees the right to draw attention to and report workplace health and safety concerns, and to request follow-up action. Failing such action, the internal complaint resolution process allows employees to compel employers or a third party (the Health and Safety Officer) to investigate the problems or breach of the Act.
Participating in the application of the Act and cooperating with committees and representatives are in every member’s interest. Without the support of the membership, Union members on Health and Safety Committees and Representatives cannot bring about any major changes.
Right to Refuse Dangerous Work - Section 128
Part III: Employment Standards Act
The third part of the Act is divided into 16 divisions which deal with terms and conditions of employment concerning hours, wages, leave, holidays, and sexual harassment. It also sets the conditions for the termination of employment. The majority of these rights are exceeded in your collective agreement or have exceptions in other industry specific regulations, i.e. work rest rules.