We’re trying to build momentum in CUPW negotiations with TForce Final Mile (fka Dynamex).
Our original intent was to bring TForce to the bargaining table to negotiate with all the bargaining units as one, with a single set of demands on our side. This was to maximize our bargaining power and show the employer that the union’s issues in one location matter to members in all locations.
Our hope was to address disparities between the different CAs in different TForce workplaces, while respecting special provisions for different market conditions and staffing situations from place to place. We served notice to bargain on this basis on December 20, 2017.
TForce countered this approach by rejecting our notice to bargain as one and insisting that we serve individual notices to bargain for each existing bargaining unit. We did that in May, and now we’re working on getting meeting dates with employer negotiators.
Since then they’ve been disrespecting the union in the workplace (more on this below) and showing signs that they intend to take a firm stand against the improvements we want, even to the point of disrespecting some provisions of the collective agreements already in effect.
TForce would prefer to designate the workers as independent contractors, because that status gives the lowest legal standard of rights and benefits to workers. But it’s not honest: the employer has control over scheduling, routing, and other work conditions that truly independent contractors would set on their own.
We view it as a dependent contractor or employee relationship, of which entitles members to additional rights and protections under law.
It’s important to remember what we’re up against. Management reps in each location can leverage personal relationships and manipulate workplace dynamics to try to distract or divide the union. If they can divide the membership, they’ll use that to bring all our working conditions down to the minimum. They have opportunities to try to divide us every day, while we have to work harder to stay in the know and stay united.
TForce has been sending signals to the union by referring all sorts of matters to bargaining that we have more timely ways to deal with. They have been not holding grievance hearings and rate committee meetings, and withholding information that CUPW is entitled to in order to enforce our rights under the collective agreements.
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Keep in touch with your local and please report any changes to working conditions, or violations of our collective agreements. Show management that they’re negotiating with all of us and we support one another. United we’ll gain better working conditions for all!