CAW Council 4000 / Local 4002 loses Brother and Leader It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Local 4002 President Kerry Kauk on December 31, 2004.
Brother Kauk was one of a number of Winnipeg residents who suffered heart attacks while shovelling snow during the blizzards that hit the City over the holiday season. He was just 45-years of age. He leaves to mourn his beloved wife Gail of 18-years, and daughters Courtney (13) and Kendra (11).
Brother Kauk represented the Local 4002 Winnipeg membership admirably for a number of years in many capacities, including Local Chairperson and editor of the Local's newsletter. Brother Kauk won the election of Local 4002 President in the spring of 2004. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Kauk family. Funeral services were held in Winnipeg at Green Acres Funeral Home and Cemetery on January 6th. We will miss him; his friendship and activism.
The following is the last message issued by him as Local 4002 President. It was sent just days before Christmas. We feel it fitting to publish it for all our members:
Thoughts Brothers and Sisters I am sitting here trying to get my Union work completed before holidays. While I am working on this, I have my two daughters home from school also. They want just as much of my time, if not more, than I dedicate to the Union. This is always a dilemma for me; where do I draw the line? The problem is of lately I am having to spend so much time on union matters that should never have happened in the first place. This takes away from my family time as I am sure it takes time away from other dedicated Union Activists within our local. I think we all need to take a moment and gather our thoughts and reflect as to why we got involved with the union in the first place. We should not take these positions for the betterment of ourselves, we should have taken these positions for the betterment of our fellow Brothers and Sisters. As Christmas is quickly approaching and then suddenly we will find ourselves in a new year, let us as activists move forward and help others to move forward, achieving the goals we set for ourselves by helping others, and in doing so, we help ourselves. So to everyone from my family, we wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a happy fun- filled New Year. In Solidarity Kerry & Gail Kauk and family
It is also with sadness that we announce another untimely passing, this of Brother Guy Verdi, age 54, of Montreal Intermodal, who held various positions over the years in Local 4004 and the CBRT&GW. The contributions of Brothers Verdi and Kerry Kauk to the railway union movement, and their selfless devotion to their fellow railway workers will be missed, but will always be remembered with gratitude. This has made for a sad holiday season.
Unfortunately, further sad news also came out of Edmonton (Local 4001) over the holidays where the passing of two Union Sisters was reported.
Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those members we have had to bid an untimely goodbye. __________________________________________________________
Transitional period being worked out for Council President change - Council's National Office to move to Toronto With the recent victory of Bob Fitzgerald as National Council 4000 President, Mr. Fitzgerald's first formal announcement, besides thanking his supporters, was that the National Office of Council 4000 will be moved to the Council's Regional Area Office in Downtown Toronto at Union Station from its current location at the CAW's Montreal Regional Office, effective February 1st.
Fitzgerald defeated long-time President, Rick Johnston, by capturing 59% of the total vote to become only the second President of National Council 4000.
Mr. Fitzgerald and the Council's Secretary-Treasurer Bill Coolen have discussed transitional plans for the change of office between Fitzgerald and Mr. Johnston. He will travel to Montreal in mid-January to meet with Coolen and Johnston to discuss administrative matters and active files in the President’s office. One of the first employers to contact Fitzgerald over the holiday season was CN Labour Relations. He will probably arrange a meeting with CN while he is in Montreal at CN's Headquarters.
He is planning to convene a meeting of the Council's National Executive Board in February, and a conference call with the Council's Regional Representatives in the coming days.
Mr. Fitzgerald says: "one of my goals is to find a way to bridge the communication gap between the executive and the Regional Reps nationally. I think we need to work together, closer and better on the issue of national continuity in both of our major sectors."
There are many issues facing Fitzgerald as the new President. His first is balancing his new position of Council President while maintaining his responsibilities as one of two Regional Representatives for the Council's Great Lakes Region, until a successor is in place.
Rick Johnston will remain active with the Council until the end of January, when it is hoped to have a complete transition and the President's Montreal office closed. Fitzgerald said that he also hopes that the Council's long-time Administrative Secretary, Sylvie Bruneau, will remain with the Council, carrying on in her position but based in the Council's Area Office in Greenfield Park, Quebec, a Montreal suburb. __________________________________________________________
CAW Local 100 Chairperson Fired by CN – 3 days before Christmas As was posted on this web site on December 23, 2004, CN summoned the whistleblower responsible for exposing the Company's hidden surveillance cameras at its Transcona Repair Shops in Winnipeg, to a disciplinary investigation on December 21st.
Les Lilley, Local Chairperson for CAW Local 100 members in Winnipeg, himself an employee of CN for over 34 years, was accused of "insubordination" by the Company. A short time following the investigation, CN fired him!
The CAW was already in the midst of preparing to charge CN under a section of the Canada Labour Code for interfering with legitimate union activities, as well as other possible charges at the time Lilley was fired.
CN displayed no warmth or peace that society is accustom to over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. In early December, the Company suspended and fired two Managers for inappropriate use of the Company’s email system. It is suggested the emails that triggered this harsh action were those sent to Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (formerly the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers) Local Chairperson Bob Lee of Vancouver, another Union representative fired by the Company in late November.
Despite most of their customers are shut down over the holidays, CN forced its employees to work on Christmas and New Year’s Day, holidays where normally operations are scaled back to allow employees time with family, friends and loved-ones. We assume CN finds these festivities to conflict with potential profits… Bah Humbug!