Telecommunications Workers Union and United Steelworkers Announce Merger
BURNABY, BC, Nov. 7, 2014 /CNW/ - About 3,000 employees in B.C.'s Lower Mainland are among 12,000 members of the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) who are merging with the United Steelworkers (USW).
In a referendum ballot concluded today, TWU members across the country have voted by a 73.7% margin in favour of merging with the USW.
The TWU represents 12,000 members in Canada. About 3,000 TWU members in the Lower Mainland work in a range of customer service and technical support positions for telecommunications companies including TELUS, Shaw Communications, TigerTel and Stratcom.
"This is a great result for our membership, our families and our communities across Canada. This merger will help us improve the working lives of our members," said TWU National President Lee Riggs.
"It is a great step forward and there is a real sense of unity and excitement in our membership about the future," Riggs said.
"This merger is an example of a shared, positive vision for the labour movement: global, outward-looking and focused on concrete action. We are optimistic about the future and we're honoured by the votes cast by so many TWU members," said USW National Director Ken Neumann.
The merger agreement takes formal effect on January 1, 2015, but both unions will kick off joint activities immediately. The agreement includes strong, mutual commitments around collective bargaining, education, organizing and legislative action.
"With the USW's extensive international network of allies and resources and the TWU's deep expertise in the sector, our newly merged union can become a global leader in the telecommunications sector," Riggs and Neumann said in a joint statement.
Balloting in the merger referendum was conducted electronically, over a 24-day period, to facilitate participation by members in a wide array of workplaces, communities and shift arrangements.
The merger website is www.wearestrongertogether.ca
The Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) has a proud 70-year history of representing communications workers and workers in related fields. We represent 12,000 members across Canada that 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 private-sector union with 225,000 members working in every region and sector in Canada. www.usw.ca
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)