Local 1 of Public and Private Workers of Canada was the very first local of the union, founded in 1963.

It includes over 340 members working at the Zellstoff Celgar Pulp Mill in Castlegar, British Columbia, a town of 8,000 residents.

The mill is located on the Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest Region of North America.

A Structure that Empowers Rank and File Members

Officers: President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer are elected biennially in referendum election. All members are entitled to vote by secret ballot at their workplace. If successfully elected for five consecutive years to any full-time officer’s position, the individual is ineligible to run again before spending at least one year in his/her home local before seeking re-election for national office.

Executive Board: The national officers and one member elected by each local union are responsible for the affairs of the union between conventions. This body, the National Executive Board, meets at least four times per year to conduct the union’s affairs and direct the national officers.

Conventions: Held once per year, delegates are elected by local unions to set policy and direction at these conventions.

Recall: All national and local officers are subject to recall by the membership at any time.

Salaries: Full-time officers’ salaries are equal to a tradesperson’s wage in the pulp and paper industry. The salaries are discontinued during a work stoppage at the officer’s home plant.

Audit: All financial accounts are audited four times per year by a convention-elected committee and are audited annually by a registered outside chartered accountant chosen by convention delegates.

Dues: Dues are set by local unions, paid from employer check-off directly to the local union, and are controlled locally by the local union. The majority of dues dollars stay within the local union.

Per Capita: Money paid to the national office to run the national union office affairs is set by convention delegates annually.

Local Autonomy: Local officers are elected by secret-ballot vote at the local level. Every local has the right to negotiate independently.

Old Challenges, New Opportunities: The Story of the PPWC

A new documentary has been produced by the PPWC, which focuses on its proud history and its struggle for workers’ rights, environmental sustainability and social justice. Be sure to watch it in HD by clicking on the tiny circle in the bottom right corner when the video starts and then switch to 1080p HD.

For half a century, the PPWC has maintained its core principles through times good and bad. Predicting the slowdown in the pulp and paper industry in Canada, the union has fought hard to expand its membership to education, hospitality and health care workers.

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