Employees of three local unions have themselves unionized and are now represented by Canada’s largest private-sector union, Unifor. The Manitoba Labour Relations Board has recently issued certifications for staff at the Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers (WAPSO) Local 162, Telecommunications Employees Association of Manitoba (TEAM) Local 161, and the group formerly known as the senior staff alliance at Manitoba Government and General Employees Union (MGEU). All three groups are now represented by Unifor Local 191. “We’re pleased these workers have chosen Unifor and Local 191 to represent them as they bargain a first collective agreement,” Unifor Local 191 President Aldo Santin said. “We commit to help them achieve the kind of workplace and community we believe can be achieved through membership in Unifor.”
Local 191’s newest members at TEAM, WAPSO and MGEU are employed as Labour Relations Officers, administrative assistants, labour analysts and clerical staff — where they assist union members achieve their goals for a fair and better workplace. They join Local 191’s other members already employed by labour groups, the Manitoba Association of Healthcare Professionals (MAHCP) and CUPE 37 (Calgary and area), who diligently work to benefit the lives of working people.
“All employees have the right to organize and belong to a union,” Brother Santin said. “Unifor came into being on Labour Day 2013 to improve the working lives of all Canadians. As was stated in our preamble at our founding, Unifor believes that good jobs and economic progress will still be won; that our workplaces will become safer; our jobs more secure; our wages and benefits more rewarding; and, our lives at work defined by dignity and respect.”
Unifor Local 191 has about 1,400 members employed in 15 workplaces — in Calgary, Brandon, Winnipeg, Selkirk and Thunder Bay — in the newspaper industry, commercial print, school bus drivers, non-profits, and labour groups.
TEAM and WAPSO are both affiliates of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, an American-based union.
Unifor was created through the coming together of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP). We are now the largest private-sector union in Canada, with more than 300,000 members.