North America's Strongest Union

Organizing Success in Canada

More Than 500 New Members Join Local 31 in 2017

Local 31 in Canada had a successful year organizing new members, with more than 500 new members joining the local in 2017.

Ben Hennessy, Director of Organizing for Local 31 in British Columbia, Canada, has been a Teamster since 1999. He said the greatest asset to an organizer is the strength of his local union, and good communication with prospective members is part of that strength.

“Communication must be delivered to the future Teamsters regularly. Our Organizing Department uses bulk text messaging to quickly, effectively deliver our information to our card signers only,” he said.

“When investigating the working conditions at nonunion companies, we are finding that the general working conditions are dramatically falling behind the conditions and standards that the Teamsters have secured for our membership. The economy and business has improved for many years in British Columbia, unfortunately, improvements to workers respect, job security, income, health benefits and pension have not been echoed into better working conditions for employees. Workers are tired of the stagnation to their wages and lack of benefits (if any) and have weighed the pros to organizing far outweigh the cons,” Hennessy said.

The local’s organizing successes includes:

  • Four locations of Canada Cartage with 54 drivers;

  • Overland West Freight Lines, 80 drivers and warehouse workers;

  • Two locations of CSA Transportation, 31 warehouse workers and drivers;

  • Aerocar Services, 65 chauffeurs;

  • Cloverdale Fuel, 35 operators;

  • Beachcomber Hot Tubs, 112 manufacturing workers; and

  • Simard Westlink, 127 drivers.

“Local 31’s strength is our strongest asset in our endeavor to help workers organize and improve the working conditions for future Teamsters,” Hennessy said.

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