Telecommunications Workers Union and United Steelworkers to Merge in 2015

Since Unifor was created from the merger of Canadian Auto Workers and Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union last year, another merger of unions in Canada has seemed likely. The expectation became the reality on November 7 when the Telecommunications Workers Union voted to merge with the United Steelworkers. The merger will become effective January 1, 2015, but the two unions have announced they will begin joint activities immediately.

What can you expect from the new union? As we saw with Unifor, the new union will undoubtedly engage in renewed organizing efforts and other campaigns. The merger agreement promises an initial commitment of $1 million to organizing new bargaining units, and creates a new USW Telecommunications Council, which will be focused on building union density and “organizing the unorganized” in the telecom industry. You can review the full merger agreement here.

While the specific efforts of the new union (and fruits of those efforts) remain to be same, the best approach for all employers is to remain committed to positive employee relations and engage in regular, two-way communication to ensure that third party messages do not resonate with employees.