Hello Brothers and Sisters,
I hope this message is finding you all well rested and recharged from the nice summer we had, and also finds you ready to take on the new challenges presented to us by the merger of Bell and Bell Aliant. I am sure some if not most of you have had a chance to see the press release this week put out by UniforACL regarding the outsourcing of work at Bell Aliant and the refusal to replace assigning positions in PEI and NL, and also the attempted replacement of our buildings group with SNC Lavalin. The time has come Brothers and Sisters for us to mobilize and use all the resources we have at our disposal. The time has come for our Young Workers to take a stand and tell Bell that your futures are not something to be gambled with and that you deserve the same respect and opportunities your predecessors had. We need to send the message that you will not stand for a two tiered wage system (something that affects many of you), outsourcing of jobs that could provide you with a more stable employment in the future, and an increased downsizing of Bell Aliant as they try to do more with less (and expect you to do the same).
The time has come for us to form a Young Workers Committee. What is a Young Workers Committee you ask? Unifor young workers committees help contribute to the strengthening of Canada’s broader youth movement. Young people (especially young workers) are among Canada’s most exploited, heavily stigmatized and underrepresented demographic groups. For instance, many young workers are exposed to dangerous working conditions, are the most likely to get seriously injured at work, are often paid below average wages and less likely to belong to a union. Young people are widely dismissed as being apathetic towards general social, economic and political issues – despite the fact that all young people under the age of 18 are completely excluded from voting. They are generally treated as consumers of popular culture rather than members of an engaged and active citizenship. Young people are more likely to be asked what they think is “hip” and “cool”… instead of being asked what they think is “right” and “wrong”. The Canadian youth movement serves to give young people a voice in our country’s affairs. Today, the youth movement is mobilizing around many key issues including climate change, workplace health and safety, social justice, as well as those issues impacting students. Unifor local union young workers committees are important structures in the Canadian youth movement, helping to raise the voice of young people.
In closing I would ask any members of Local 506 who are aged 35 and under, and who are interested in sitting on a Young Workers Committee to contact your Regional Chair (Region 1 Tammy Pitt – email@example.com , Region 2 Donovan Richard – firstname.lastname@example.org , Region 3 Adam Costain – email@example.com , Region 4 Ron Benoit – firstname.lastname@example.org ) or the Union Office – email@example.com to let us know you are interested. I will be mentoring this group to get it off the ground but at 37 I am no longer a Young Worker. I look very forward to hearing from you.