What lies in our future? The PWU has grown over the years into one of the strongest most flexible unions in Canada. Our future is promising and our past is an exciting story.
The PWU, one of Canada’s strongest, most democratic and progressive unions, is a knowledgeable and experienced player in the energy sector. We are committed to delivering a promising future for our membership and continuing to help keep the lights on for all Ontarians.
Membership and Leadership
The PWU is the union of choice for the vast majority of the workers who help operate Ontario’s electricity system. The PWU represents over 15,000 men and women (about 70 percent of the unionized electricity workers in the province) working in Ontario’s generating stations, transmission and distribution lines and system control facilities. As well, the PWU represents workers in companies supplying support services for these critical functions as well as some in telecommunications. The PWU also represents casual workers who perform peak and intermittent work programs through PWU hiring hall agreements with various employers.
The membership is represented through approximately 50 Collective Agreements. A President and three Vice Presidents, who are elected for four-year terms, lead the union. This leadership provides support and direction for an extensive network of stewards across Ontario. In fact, this network represents one of the highest proportions of stewards to members of any union in Canada. Having nearly one member in nine as a frontline Steward or Health and Safety Representative has been instrumental in achieving PWU successes in past years. A team of professional specialized staff, including in-house legal counsel, supports this network from PWU headquarters in Toronto.
Affiliations and Partnerships
Affiliations and partnerships assist PWU in its ability to monitor and influence evolving labour and energy policies that can affect our membership.
Although the PWU is autonomous and self-servicing, it is is affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Union of Public Employees at the federal level. At the provincial level, the PWU is affilitated with the Ontario Federation of Labour and nearly 50 local Labour Councils across the province.
We also have valuable partnerships and jurisdictional accords with the relevant construction unions that work in our industry. Partnerships with the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers and the Labourers’ International Union of North America, along with other Building Trades Unions help to enable the supply of skilled workers to our employers through our Hiring Hall Agreements. In addition, the PWU is affiliated with the Canadian Nuclear Workers’ Council, an organization of unions representing workers in various areas of the Canadian nuclear industry, including electric utilities, uranium mining and processing, radioisotope production and nuclear research.
Demographics throughout North America’s electricity sector show large workforce retirements over the coming decades. To help address this critical challenge, the Power Workers’ Union offers extensive training programs to new members, Stewards, Chief Stewards and Health and Safety Representatives at our training centre in Toronto and operates the Bruce Technology Skills Training Centre in Tiverton.