Member Testimonial - Sharon Phillips, GardaWorld YQR

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Justin Gniposky
/January 26, 2022

What are Unifor members saying about their union?

This week, you'll be able to read testimonials from workers in the aviation sector who are members of Unifor. Today we share some thoughts from Sharon Phillips. Sharon is a Unifor member from GradaWorld in Regina. She worked on the campaign join Unifor in 2018 and is currently assisting at her local union as they enter their second round of negotiations with Unifor.

Sharon Phillips, Unifor member and Screening Officer at GardaWorld, Regina International Airport

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“GardaWorld Regina joined Unifor in May 2018. I’ve been a union activist for more than 30 years. I like structure with Unifor much better, the other unions we belonged to – they didn’t encourage all members to be involved, only the ones they wanted involved. At the airport, we were represented by United Steelworkers (USW) Canada and Teamsters and we got rid of both.

We wanted structure where the members were allowed to vote and represent their membership and Unifor was the only union that offered that. I appreciate that we have local policies and bylaws where there’s an avenue for members to become active and access training.

It’s outstanding and professional representation. Our union executive wants to hear from the members and is open and transparent, so members understand issues and come to a resolution. I like that Unifor notifies you on updates. We always want people to engage and get involved. When the local held elections for the Treasurer position last year, our member from GardaWorld at the airport won – the first time someone from a smaller bargaining unit was nominated and successful in getting a three-year term for office.

In our first collective agreement – and we are heading to our second negotiations soon – we got yearly increases for every level including pre-certs in our three-year contract. Members liked the contribution RRSP plan we had better than the Teamsters Defined Benefit Pension Plan and people were not happy they couldn’t get their money when they left. With Unifor, we had choice and we went back to an RRSP contribution plan that members wanted.

We just got a big payout on vacation bank, because the old union changed the collective agreement without telling the members. Unifor went to mediation and we just won our vacation bank at the end of last fall. That was huge for us and was the first time the members received a monetary settlement and Unifor was the only union to take on a grievance and win like this.

Our goal for our next collective agreement is to beef up the benefits, wages and vacations. We’re excited to get to the table.

My advice for GardaWorld Calgary workers is you can trust Unifor to step up to the plate for you. At Calgary airport, Unifor already represents Air Canada and WestJet employees and that’s huge. It means a bigger union family – support and more power in numbers – under one roof.”

Stay tuned the rest of the week to read more about what Unifor members are saying about their union.

Next Steps

If you have not already done so, you can sign your electronic union card below. Signing a union card is an important step towards showing support for Unifor in your workplace. All union cards are confidential. From any touchscreen device, you will be able to sign your card and pay a $5 dollar fee. The fee is a requirement of the federal labour board, not of Unifor. Once completed, you’ll be asked to verify your email address, this step will finalize your union card.

Sign a union card here

If you have signed, you can encourage you co-workers to sign by sharing the link below.

To help a co-worker sign a union card, share this link: https://join.unifor.org/gardacard

We look forward to connecting soon.

Bruce Fafard //Unifor National Representative // [email protected] // 587-341-0945

Justin Gniposky // Unifor National Representative // [email protected] // 416-275-6389

You can read previous emails here