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Paul, Environmental Service Driver, Stoney Creek

My coworkers and I know what it’s like to work ‘precariously’. We were all hired employees through a temporary employment agency.

We tried to unionize. The company fought us tooth and nail. In fact, they opposed the union certification process 17 times. They went to court, arguing that they had no employees (that we were actually employed by the temporary agency). Management’s attitude was: “If you don't like it, go home.”

But we stuck with it, we stood our ground. We finally joined the union and gained more secure status at work. Since then, we’ve seen how things have changed for the better.

We now have a proper Joint Health and Safety Committee at work. We have an employee assistance program.  Many of my co-workers have been able to secure mortgages and car loans whereas before they were always denied because they worked for a temp service – their jobs and income was too unstable.  In some cases, we have even seen coworkers increase their income by 70%.

The knowledge that the union has provided us has brought about substantial change. But that desire for change was brought forward by the workers. The union was our vehicle to make change happen.