Canadian members of the Communications Workers of America now have their own region, thanks to an agreement signed last week by President Larry Cohen and other senior leaders, including Canadian Director Arnold Amber.
The new Canadian Region will have full autonomy for all governance, policy and operational decisions affecting its members. The Canadian Region will continue to be financially self-sufficient and the change will not mean any additional cost to CWA, nor to Canadian members.
The roughly 9,000 Canadian CWA members work mainly in the media but also include manufacturing, office and administration, and social workers. They include the 6,000 members of the Canadian Media Guild. CWA members in Canada are currently represented through TNG/CWA, IUE, and CWA Districts 1 and 7, which mostly encompass the northeastern and northwestern United States. Under the new arrangement, they will retain sector connections but will eventually move out of the two Districts and be represented exclusively through the Canadian Region by the CWA Director in Canada.
Canadian Locals will continue to participate in the CWA Members Relief Fund and the CWA Defense Fund, which provide financial support during strikes or lockouts. They also will continue to participate fully at all levels of the union, including appropriate CWA elections.
The agreement, which is subject to ratification by Canadian members, was announced by the Canadian delegation to the CWA Convention in Las Vegas, where an initial bid to get direct representation on the board of CWA failed.
On Monday, a Canadian motion from the floor to seat the Canadian Director on the board was endorsed by a majority of the almost 2,000 delegates present.
The following day, however, opponents of a Canadian presence on the board managed to undo Monday’s decision, through a process that TNG Canada is protesting and formally appealing.
Even if the appeal fails, your representatives will ensure the issue of a Canadian presence on the board is back on the agenda of the 2007 CWA Convention in Toronto.
The TNG Canada executive and Canadian delegates to this year’s CWA Convention are unanimous in their resolve to correct the injustice that has occurred, and for Canadian members to assume their rightful role among the leaders of this union.