Organizing Campaigns Bring 2 Groups of Workers into USW on Same Day
Any day when a group of workers chooses to stand up for themselves and join a union is a good day. When two different groups of workers organize at the same time – it’s a great day. That’s what happened in Surrey, BC and Edmonton, AB as workers at ETDE Facility Management and ESCO, respectively voted to join the United Steelworkers.
The successful month-long campaigns mean that 65 workers at Esco’s fabrication and welding facility in Edmonton and 32 workers employed by house keeping and maintenance service provider ETDE will now benefit from the solidarity and strength that comes from being a USW member.
“We’re proud to welcome these workers as the newest members of the United Steelworkers in District 3,” said Director Steve Hunt. “The courage they displayed by sticking together and standing up for their right to join a union is a powerful reminder to all of us of the true meaning of solidarity.”
As the organizing drives began in earnest in June of 2012, it became evident that the USW’s work with newly-immigrated Canadians was, again, going to be key to the campaign’s success. At ETDE Facility Management, USW Organizers Pablo Guerra and Gord McIntosh worked with a team of workers from the mainly Filipino and Indian communities to quickly sign up a majority of employees. The vote to join the USW was a resounding 25 -2.
At Esco in Edmonton, the USW was able to point to the benefits enjoyed by employees of the same company in Port Hope, Ontario and Nisku, Alberta who are already proud members of the Steelworkers.
Despite the usual attempts by both employers to intimidate employees from joining a union, the workers at ESCO and ETDE were not distracted. They knew that joining the USW is their best opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families – and through their actions they have demonstrated their commitment to do just that.
“Organizing is the lifeblood of our union. We are committed to continuing our efforts to offer workers throughout western Canada the opportunity to join the United Steelworkers and stand together to build a better future for themselves and their families,” said Hunt.