Letter to the Editor: March 16th

Dear Editor,

I’m writing with regard to recent conversations within the don community about the opportunity for unionization through the United Steel Workers (USW). Given this incredible opportunity to provide dons with a real voice in the decisions that affect them, I’m appealing to my co-workers to vote in favour of unionization.

By voting in favour of unionization, we have the opportunity to improve our workplace safety, our wages and benefits while gaining the ability to be active in conversations that directly impact ourselves and our communities. This opportunity represents an unprecedented chance to meaningfully improve the residence experience for students and student staff, both now and in the future.

Concerns about equitable representation within the union, and worries about committing time to the organization are absolutely valid. That said, the democratic nature of USW provides members with the agency to elect representatives to collective bargaining teams, and allows members to vote on contracts prior to their finalization. Additionally, the flexible nature of union membership allows individuals to determine their level of involvement, while guaranteeing everyone a voice and meaningful protection against employer discrimination.

While it is true that non-unionized workers in Ontario are theoretically provided with basic workplace standards of safety and equitable treatment, a lack of oversight, accountability and enforcement of these regulations has failed to adequately protect the rights of student workers. By associating with a union, employees are able to access specialist resources in labour law, collective bargaining, and worker compensation, bettering our worker protections and minimising the potential for favouritism, contract violations, and unjust discipline. 

At the end of the day, we all know the reality of working for ResLife; dons are employed by an organization with unreasonable expectations, unwilling to offer meaningful support to its workers.

Vote in favour of unionization and make real change a reality.


Katie Middleton

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

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