Oppose union busting at Greenpeace

January 26, 2000

Oppose union busting at Greenpeace

Greenpeace Canada (GPC), with an annual budget of more than $7 million, is on a drive to bust the union of telephone and door canvass employees.

The phone canvass department raises an estimated $250,000 for GPC, after wages and costs. Workers are expected to work unpaid overtime in order to meet quotas, and wages and job security are determined on the basis of funds raised per individual, not on seniority.

Management has threatened to outsource the phone canvass department, a threat designed to bust the union, OPEIU local 343. Several employees were fired in the early 1990s for trying to organise a union. The current telephone supervisor, Eric Gamble, has stated, "There is no security in this job. If we want to fire somebody around here, it can be done easily."

The work force is completely part-time. Yet only full-time employees qualify for the overwhelming majority of the benefits, such as optical care, paid vacations and sick leave.

Management is currently conducting a disciplinary process against union representative Jason Baines. Greenpeace claim that Baines has not achieved quota, yet other employees who have also not achieved quota have not been disciplined.

Greenpeace's attempted intimidation will not work. Already, grievances have been filed. A victory at GPC will strengthen the union, putting it on the necessary foundations to unionise low-paid telephone workers.

[Abridged from a posting on Leftlink, <http://www.alexia.net.au/~www/mhutton/index.html>.]

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