Who We Are
New era for Canada’s oldest media union
In 2007, CWA|SCA Canada became the new name of the country’s oldest media union. Formerly known as TNG Canada/CWA, our new moniker contains bilingual initials (SCA stands for Syndicat des communications d’Amérique) and reflects our elevated, autonomous position within the Communications Workers of America.
CWA Canada remains an important part of the international union’s main media sector, The Newspaper Guild, the largest media union in North America. Three members of the CWA Canada Executive sit on TNG’s Executive Board and about a third of our Locals retain Guild in their names.
The name change is the third since TNG Canada was founded in 1995. Each one was made because of advancements for Canadian members within our national and international union. The name changes also reflected the fact that our union has grown to include workers in other fields; among them interpreters/translators, information technologists, light industry workers and social services providers.
We are the oldest and one of the largest media unions in Canada, with 27 Locals across the country. About 8,000 of our members are employed in the communications industry, be it news services, radio, television, internet, newspapers, print shops or mailing operations. Our members can be found everywhere from the front door to the back shop, working in administration, customer service, sales, staff support, production, distribution and, of course, the newsroom. Our employers include the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Press and newspapers from coast to coast such as the Halifax ChronicleHerald, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Sudbury Star, Red Deer Advocate and Victoria Times Colonist.
Our members form the Canadian Region of the Communications Workers of America, which has more than 600,000 members across North America. We in Canada run our own affairs out of our national office in Ottawa, but have access to the $400-million CWA strike fund to stand up for our rights. CWA Canada is headed by a full-time Director who is elected to the position.
We are a truly democratic organization. Our members elect Local and national leaders who have the ultimate say in how the union is run. Members at the Local level, assisted by national staff representatives, negotiate their own wages and working conditions.
CWA Canada advances the economic interests of its members, improves their standard of living, and strives to guarantee equal job opportunities and human rights. We aim to raise professional standards and promote ethical business and journalistic practices where our members work, bring about a better workplace through fairness and respect, and foster friendship and co-operation between all workers.
We don’t object to a company making a profit. That’s good for all employees. We just think employees have a right to a fair share of that profit.
CWA Canada has been a leader in negotiating issues such as pay equity, paid parental leave, flexible work hours and protection from harassment.
The union has negotiated tremendous improvements for members over the years:
Wages: Yearly increases that have resulted in our members being paid far more than their non-unionized counterparts.
Pensions: Good pension plans that guarantee a secure retirement.
Job Security: No firing except for just cause and no dismissal due to automation. On the rare occasions when there are layoffs, they must be based on seniority.
Discipline: A grievance procedure to protect from unfair discipline, harassment or bullying, including arbitration of unsettled disputes.
Hours: Shorter work hours. The majority of members work fewer than 40 hours a week with time and a half for overtime.
Working Conditions: Paid holidays, vacation and sick leave. Extra pay for weekend and night work. Health and safety protection. Life, dental and health insurance.
Career Advancement: Our union recognizes the right to individual advancement based on ability and qualifications.
Nearly all of CWA Canada’s collective agreements are reached without strike action. In the rare event of a strike, our union’s strike pay is among the highest of any in North America.