Representatives from US and Canadian cement unions met on 26 September 2017 in Toronto, Canada with IndustriALL Global Union, in order to deepen their cooperation in the cement sector in North America.
It was the third meeting of the network, and the first held in Canada. The unions present were the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the USA and Canada, the United Steelworkers from Canada and the USA, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and the Fédération de l’Industrie Manufacturière from francophone Canada.
The participants exchanged ideas about over collective bargaining issues in Canada and the USA, as well as the situation in the cement industry as a whole and the latest developments, such as the Allmix joint venture in Canada, CRH purchasing Ash Grove and so on.
The meeting included a discussion with LafargeHolcim corporate management about open issues in Canada and the future global framework agreement between IndustriALL, BWI and LafargeHolcim, and implementation of the agreement in North America.
The meeting brought the trade unions closer together and facilitates coordination over bargaining issues and joint strategies in discussions with multinational companies like CRH, HeidelbergCement and LafargeHolcim.
Tyler Brown, executive director of industrial sector operations for the Boilermakers and meeting chair, said:
“I am glad that we have this network. It is growing and making progress. No cement employer in Canada or in the USA can ignore the unions in the sector. We coordinate our efforts to make the lives of cement workers in North America better.
“While each participating union operates independently, we engage in the exchange of information and ideas, and we benefit from our open discussions. The North American Cement Network is a positive instrument to give workers in this sector a voice.”
Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director for the materials industries, added:
”The coordination and cooperation with the materials unions in the regions is crucial for the strong representation of workers in the cement industry worldwide. Especially in multinational companies it is crucial to talk to each other in order to not being played out one against the other. IndustriALL is ready to do whatever is necessary to make this happen.“