Telecommunications Workers Union and United Steelworkers Announce Merger Agreement
BURNABY, BC and TORONTO, Aug. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) and the United Steelworkers (USW) have arrived at a tentative merger agreement to bring together the membership of the two unions.
The merger would join the TWU, representing close to 13,000 members working in telecommunications, cable TV and call centre locations in Canada, with the USW, representing 225,000 members in all aspects of the economy.
The merger agreement includes strong commitments to support bargaining, membership education, legislative action and bringing in new members in the telecom sector and has been unanimously endorsed by the TWU Merger Negotiations Committee. Next steps in the merger process include a review of the tentative merger agreement by the TWU National Executive Council and a one-member-one-vote ratification by the TWU membership.
"Our goal was to build a merger that focuses on concrete action here in Canada starting on day one, and that is also global in reach at the same time. Both unions were careful to enshrine key pillars of the TWU upon which our members rely. With this agreement, we met and exceeded our goals," said TWU National President Lee Riggs. "This exciting agreement also matches with the TWU Constitution and the labour movement's fundamental democratic traditions - all members of our union will be able to take part in the ratification through a rank and file vote."
"Together we've built an innovative, flexible merger agreement that blends the best of both of our unions," said USW National Director Ken Neumann.
"This is a merger about better bargaining power, about better service to members and about a strong voice for telecommunication workers when the federal government is making moves like its misguided Verizon scheme" said Riggs.
"The TWU membership will be leaders in our union in Canada," said USW International President Leo Gerard. "Because TELUS and other telecommunication companies have operations around the world, our work as a merged union will multiply across borders. The TWU will have immediate access to our union's proven capacity to deal with employers on a global basis. With the USW's extensive international network of allies and resources, our newly merged union will become a global leader in the telecommunications sector."
The TWU National Executive Council will meet in early September to review the tentative merger agreement. Once the agreement has been reviewed, it will be posted on both the TWU and Building for Our Future websites (www.buildingforourfuture.ca). The TWU will then communicate with members and local leaders across Canada through regional meetings, a merger website, mailings, webinars and 'telephone town hall' meetings. As well, the full merger agreement and accompanying materials will be made available to members before they cast their ballots.
The TWU has excellent pension and benefit plans in place for many of its members and the merger agreement ensures that the operation of these important TWU plans is protected.
The tentative agreement is currently being reviewed by legal counsel and is being translated into French. More details will be released following the TWU National Executive Council's review.
The Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) has a proud 69-year history of representing communications workers and workers in related fields. The TWU represents 13,000 members across Canada who work for telecommunications companies like TELUS and Shaw Communications, as well as workers in related fields. www.twu-stt.ca
The United Steelworkers (USW) is a diverse multi-sector union with 225,000 members working in every region and economic sector in Canada. www.usw.ca
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)For further information:
Lee Riggs, TWU National President, 604-437-8601
Ken Neumann, USW Canadian National Director, 416-544-5951
Leo Gerard, USW International President, 412-562-2300
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, email@example.com
The merger website: Building Our Future Website: www.buildingforourfuture.ca.