|CAW members at TTR vote in support of their union - CAW
In a 70% margin, workers at Toronto Terminals Railway (TTR) in Toronto voted to remain members of Canada’s largest private
sector union, the CAW. All but 9 members turned out for the vote conducted by the Canada Industrial Relations Board following an
application by the Labourers International Union of North America (LIUNA) pursuant Section 32(1) of the Canada Labour Code in
hopes to sign up CAW members to become members of LIUNA.
The TTR workforce has been members of the CAW and National Council 4000/Local 4003 for many years. The relationship dates
back to the days of the Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport and General Workers Union (CBRT&GW) and the beginning of
TTR in July 1906. They became CAW members in 1994 when the CBRT&GW merged with the CAW.
TTR was incorporated by the Government of Canada on July 13, 1906 to “construct, provide, maintain and operate at the City of
Toronto a union passenger station”. Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railways (initially Grand Trunk Railway) were
50% owners of TTR and Union Station in downtown Toronto.
In 2000, the City of Toronto purchased Union Station from TTR while Go Transit purchased the railway corridor (USRC), but TTR
maintained and operated the station, train sheds and the corridor as per the contract with the city and GO Transit. In May of this
year, the City of Toronto ended their contract with TTR and today manages the station with City of Toronto employees. This
resulted in the CAW Council 4000 membership who worked inside Union Station become members of the Canadian Union of Public
Employees (CUPE), while the outside workers remained members of Council 4000. TTR continues to maintain and operate the train
shed and rail corridor, and work alongside railway and transportation companies; VIA Rail Canada, CN, CP and GO Transit.
In response to the application from the Labourers Union, the CAW immediately mounted an organizing drive to persuade TTR
members to remain CAW. Various information meetings were held along with worksite visits from Council 4000 Regional
Representatives John Almdal and Danny Andru, Local 4003 VP Roy Eagan, Staff Representative Caroline Lavoie of the CAW
Organizing Department, Council 4000 President Barry Kennedy and CAW Director of Organizing John Aman.
CAW President Ken Lewenza sent a letter to member’s residences highlighting our past achievements and informing them of the
fact that many of the benefits, pension and work rule improvements made on the behalf of our TTR membership were achieved from
the patterns negotiated by the CAW with CN and CP, something that the Labourers Union would not have. He encouraged TTR
members to look carefully at the reputation and history of both unions.
CAW National Representative Bob Fitzgerald, who also worked on this campaign, was extremely pleased and grateful for the
continued support shown by our TTR membership and expressed appreciation for the support from the other rail unions. “It was
extremely important to keep this group under a railway bargaining unit and agreement,” explained Fitzgerald.
Council 4000 President Barry Kennedy thanked everyone for their hard work and successful efforts, saying: “We remain committed
and look forward to our continued relationship with our TTR membership.”
We are pleased with the decision of our membership and their confidence to remain with us. They have given us a clear mandate
with which to begin negotiations on a new agreement with TTR, which begins on December 2nd in Toronto.
November 21, 2009
An open letter to TTR members from CAW President Ken Lewenza on the upcoming representation vote at TTR [PDF]
October 21, 2009
Over 100 years together – CAW and its TTR members