Members of 4304,
As you know, for several months, a group has been working to dissolve our bargaining unit. Last week this group submitted a second application to decertify from Unifor, to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. In the event the OLRB orders a vote on the matter, we strongly urge you to reject decertification.
What Unifor Does For Us
Grievances, Mediations, Arbitrations. Return to Work. Scheduling. Health & Safety. This is the bread and butter of what our union does. The work is sometimes slow, sometimes frustrating, and definitely not exciting but we move forward day by day.
Much of the work we do happens behind the scenes. Behind every steward and officer is an army of UNIFOR training, support, and legal staff, whose work most members will never see. These people devote their working lives to improving conditions for us and others. They are passionate and driven. We know, because we work with them every day.
When we call, our Union answers.
If we decertify, this support is gone, along with our stewards and committees. People who have worked in a non-unionized environment know that law and contracts will protect you only as long as you have the resources to defend yourself. Without a union, there is no one standing behind you.
We do not believe a recertification drive will go smoothly. Who will represent us? Who will be part of our local? The path here has been long and divisive. How can anyone expect building a new local to be quick or easy under such circumstances?
Some see supporting decertification as a way to express our unity to management. Nothing could be further from the truth. Skilled Trades members, ASAs, Mobility and Cambridge Conventional drivers are strongly against decertification. Dragging these members out of their union against their will risks cracks which may never mend. Many of these members will not support the same bargaining arrangement we now enjoy. Some will push to split our unit.
This is not “fear mongering”. This is reality.
What We Must Do
For these reasons and more, we strongly urge the membership to reject decertification. The unifying act that people are searching for is a strong vote against the motion. This shows:
We support our Department 2, Mobility and Cambridge Conventional members and will not drag them from their union against their will
We support our executive and bargaining unit
We may have disagreements, but we stand strong together at the end of the day
We will never willingly put our union, built over decades, at risk
No executive, local or national union can fight without the support of its members. The cause of our grievances is our employer, not our union. Show our employer that we are strong and unified by voting UNIFOR to remain as our bargaining agent.
As always, we are available to address concerns and answer any questions you may have. Let’s move on and move forward together.
The Officers of Local 4304