Important notice for MoveUP members at CMBC/TransLink

October 30, 2019

At MoveUP, we take great pride in working with and supporting our fellow unions when they encounter struggles with the employers during their collective bargaining process. We will stand with our union family to bring the strength and solidarity as they fight for their employee rights to better working conditions. When we share the workplace with a striking union, their fight often benefits our members directly. Job action is always the last resort and, while we don’t like to be on the picket line, sometimes we need to show the employer how valuable the workers are and that we will fight for our rights!

The Unifor locals at CMBC have served the Employer with 72 hours strike notice, Unifor has advised the Employer that if a collective agreement is not reached by midnight Thursday October 31, 2019, they will begin some form of job action this Friday, November 1, 2019.

MoveUP at this juncture is not fully aware what nature of job action Unifor is planning, however, communications on their website indicate a work to rule campaign (i.e. overtime ban) and potential rotating job action (pickets at rotating locations).

Here are some helpful facts should we need to support our brothers and sisters of another union on a picket line:

How Do I Tell If It’s a Picket Line?

MoveUP is organizing a picket committee to notify members of any potential job action at your worksite. Should you arrive for work and see people wearing picket signs, it’s a picket line. Please do not seek any backdoor access to your workplace, you will be considered to have crossed the picket line. Please search for a job steward or other MoveUP members to receive your instructions or call the MoveUP office.

Do Not Cross

When we stand with our brothers and sisters at other unions by refusing to cross their picket line, we put necessary pressure on their employer. You are asked to stand with your brothers and sisters on their line with the confidence that MoveUP is already protecting you from any possible discipline from your employer.

What Happens If I Cross?

Do not cross a picket line. Members of the other union will be very passionate regarding their issues and job action. While crossing a picket line you could be confronted by coworkers who will see your action as threatening their fight for fair wages, job security, workplace safety, respect, and other common strike issues. They will feel betrayed by your action and those feelings will have a lasting impact. You will be undermining their efforts to improve their working conditions and you will be undermining the solidarity we will depend on in the future to improve our working conditions.

The MoveUP Constitution (section 16.1) also allows for a member to bring a charge against another member for crossing a picket line (ours or another union’s) within six months of the witnessed crossing. After the charge is fully investigated via the process laid out in the constitution, the member may be subject to union discipline (section 16.4).

Will I Lose Pay or Benefits?

When you respect another union’s legal picket line, it’s as if you are on strike with MoveUP. Our local as well as your national union, COPE/SEPB, have defense funds in place to ensure any job action taken will impact our members as little as possible. Strike pay has been approved by the national and local union for our members at CMBC. More information will be provided regarding the payment amounts from the picket captains. For those members who are part time or casual employees, please gather your last three paystubs as the office will need your most current pay information. Please deliver copies of these paystubs to your job steward or union rep ASAP. MoveUP will also arrange with your employer the continuation of your health benefits on your behalf.

I will be convening an emergency conference call with all CMBC job stewards tonight to assign picket captains to the various CMBC worksites, please stay tuned for further information.

Please feel free to contact your job steward, union representative or myself with any other questions, and let your brothers and sisters know that you will support their job action.

In Solidarity,

Parm Sandhar, Union Representative
Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President of Combined Units