Canadian Telecoms Union To Merge With Steelworkers

Members of the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) in Canada have voted 73.7% in favour of joining the United Steelworkers (USW).

The TWU represents 12,000 members across Canada who work for telecommunications companies including TELUS and Shaw Communications, as well as employers in related telecommunications sectors and companies.

“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. It is a great step forward and there is a real sense of unity and excitement in our membership about the future,” ,” said TWU National President Lee Riggs.

“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 effect on January 1st, 2015, but both unions will kick off joint activities immediately. The agreement includes strong, mutual commitments around collective bargaining, education, organising 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 was conducted electronically, over a 24-day period, to facilitate participation by members in a wide array of workplaces, communities and shift arrangements.

The United Steelworkers in the USA and Canada and Unite the Union in the UK and Ireland created the global trade union Workers Uniting in 2008.

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