Why Join CWA Canada

Why we need unions

In a perfect world, employers would always treat workers with respect and pay fair wages. No one would be disciplined or fired unjustly, denied promotions unfairly or forced to work long hours — at the expense of family life — without being paid overtime. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world.

A union brings some democracy to the workplace. We wouldn’t dream of living in a community where we have no say in how things are run. So why should we accept having little or no say in our workplace?

A union helps level the playing field between you and your employer. Acting individually, you have little power. If you ask for a raise or want something changed and management says no, what can you do? Being part of a union gives you and your colleagues the power to bargain collectively for a better work life.

With a union, a contract is negotiated that puts working conditions in writing and provides a fair process to deal with problems. That doesn’t mean some old-fashioned rigid system. CWA Canada is a democratic and modern union that understands the need for flexibility and respects the principle of individual advancement based on good work.

One of the things I like about the Guild is the fact that we have a contract that spells out the rules for both managers and Guild members. This means we know what’s expected from both sides so we have fewer conflicts and a more civil workplace.
Sandra Cordon, Reporter, The Canadian Press

Our Accomplishments

CWA Canada has been a leader in negotiating issues such as pay equity, paid parental leave, same-sex benefits, flexible work hours and protection from harassment.

The union has negotiated tremendous improvements for members over the years:

Wages: Yearly increases that have resulted in our members being paid far more than their non-unionized counterparts. (At some daily newspapers where CWA Canada has members, editorial employees routinely earn more than $1,000 a week. Ad builders and clerical staff earn more than $20 an hour; creative earn more than $25 an hour. The list goes on.)

Pensions: Good pension plans that guarantee a secure retirement.

Fairness: Equality in pay and treatment for all members regardless of sex, creed or colour. Many of our members have received increases and retroactive pay for female dominated jobs that have been undervalued. Some have received retroactive pay of thousands of dollars.

Job Security: No firing except for just cause and no dismissal due to automation. On the rare occasions when there are layoffs, they must be based on seniority.

Discipline: A grievance procedure and legal reprsentation to protect from unfair discipline, harassment or bullying, including arbitration of unsettled disputes.

Hours: Shorter work hours. The majority of members work fewer than 40 hours a week with time and a half for overtime.

Working Conditions: Paid holidays, vacation and sick leave. Extra pay for weekend and night work. Health and safety protection. Life, dental and health insurance.

Career Advancement: Our union recognizes the right to individual advancement based on ability and qualifications.

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