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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Friday, February 02, 2007 ::

    It's open season for union raids - By IAN HARVEY, Daily Commercial News, Canada
    TORONTO - Contractors fear labour chaos as former Universal Workers Union Local 183 boss Tony Dionisio seems set to raid his former organization and others as open season begins.

    With the three year collective agreement terms expiring April 30, the law allows for a three month “open season” starting today, concurrent with negotiations during which time a union may apply to represent workers.

    For his part, Dioniso denies he has raids in mind, but evidence from other sources seems to indicate the fledgling Canadian Construction Workers Union (CCWU) is already moving in that direction.

    “We’re not worried because we know the membership of Local 183 is disgusted at the former leadership and they have no intention of following such a despicable character,” said Joseph Mancinelli, Canadian general manager of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA).

    “We’ve had our ear to the ground with our members and we’re certain of that.”

    He called Dionisio’s denials he was planning to raid Local 183 for members, “absurd.”

    “He says he has no intentions of raiding but in front of the OLRB at least one of the companies already has agreements with other unions or did under their previous names and the law says there are successor rights” said Mancinelli.

    Last Friday, the Ontario Labour Relations Board set March 19 as a hearing date into the CCWU’s attempts to certify as the union representing PBS General Contractors. While there are only three members of the bargaining unit, it’s a key test case which will establish whether the CCWU can become a bona fide union.

    The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners says it already has a collective agreement in place with the predecessor companies, Target Drywall and Acoustics Ltd. which was sold to Tabrco Management Ltd. The Carpenters argue PBS is in fact the same business, “working out of the same premises, sharing telephone and facsimile numbers and have key persons in common.”
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