United Steelworkers and Ontario Taxi Workers Solidify Alliance
TORONTO - The United Steelworkers and the Ontario Taxi Workers Union have signed an agreement that strengthens the partnership between the two unions.
USW and OTWU representatives met at the Steelworkers Canadian National Office in Toronto to sign a formal service agreement. The agreement allows the OTWU to access USW services, expertise and resources to best represent its members.
"The United Steelworkers has supported taxi drivers from the beginning and we are grateful to have cemented our partnership and look forward to growing together," said OTWU President Ejaz Butt.
"Steelworkers are proud of the alliances we have built with other Canadian unions over the years," said Ken Neumann, the USW's National Director for Canada.
"We are honoured to include the Ontario Taxi Workers Union as one of our key allies and we are committed to providing its members all the support and resources we can to help them achieve their goals," Mr. Neumann said.
The OTWU was recently certified by the province as a full-fledged labour union, representing over 1,000 Hamilton taxi workers at Hamilton Cab and Blue Line Taxi.
The service agreement with the USW will help the OTWU achieve its immediate goal, which is to negotiate a first contract for its members, Mr. Butt said.
"Our first priority is a contract that addresses health and safety, lease rates, fair dispatch and a grievance procedure," he said. "This agreement with the Steelworkers gives us the backing and resources to do what it takes to get Hamilton Cab and Blue Line to the table and to negotiate a fair deal."
The United Steelworkers also is a key ally of Toronto's iTaxiworkers, a taxi drivers' association and OTWU affiliate that has several hundred members. The USW assists iTaxiworkers in its efforts to improve working conditions and standards for its members.