Formally CAW (Canadian Auto Workers union) Our Local Union was formed by a group of members who decided it was time to establish our Canadian identity as Trade Unionists. On March 2nd, 2000, thousands of members voted to pursue disaffiliating from our International Union and establishing ourselves as a Canadian Union for Canadian Workers.
In October 2006, area leadership met to build on our Local strengths and further develop our identity as a Health-Care Union. As of November 2006, the membership voted to further divide in order to have a more manageable Union. In November 2006, Local 1106 was established.
Merger Success Stories: Local 1524 and Local 1106
In Kitchener, Ontario, Local 1524 and Local 1106 already had developed an existing relationship by sharing a common union hall space (owned by the national office) in order to save on rental costs. Despite coming from very different sectors, Local 1524 in manufacturing (with approx. 850 members) and Local 1106 in healthcare (with approx. 3,200 members) both groups worked well together. The continued decline in the manufacturing sector however had taken a toll on the membership of 1524.
Doubts later began to rise as to the future of the Lear plant, the closure of which would negatively impact the local members at 1524. The leadership became increasingly concerned with their ability to maintain the resources necessary to continue participating in national union meetings, educational workshops, events and conferences. The leadership of both locals discussed the potential of a formal merger of 1524 into Local 1106 and reached out to the Area Director to receive assistance in drafting a Merger Agreement. The proposal was brought forward to the membership of each local for review.
The biggest concern raised by members was around the differences between the two sectors (manufacturing and healthcare) and how it may impact the overall functioning of the local and servicing. To overcome this challenge, steps were taken to have two service representatives with a healthcare background, and one from a manufacturing background put into place to assist the local. The local’s by-laws were also amended to reflect this change of having a combination of servicing reps from both sectors.
“We overcame member’s fear of the unknown by talking to them, acknowledging their concerns, and finding appropriate solutions that worked for everyone. In the end, the merger of the two locals was seamless and we are able to continue supporting our members in being engaged in the overall work of the Union.”
– Bill McLachlan, Local 1106 President