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New webCampus On-The-Go, core courses available now

UFCW Canada -

Toronto – September 22, 2020 – Fall learning with Canada’s leading online education program, webCampus, continues to move forward as UFCW Canada has launched seven new On-the-Go and core webCampus courses that can help you develop your personal, emotional, and professional skill sets.

Unifor reaches tentative agreement with Ford Motor Company

Unifor -

September 22, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor’s master bargaining committee has reached an historic tentative agreement with Ford Motor Company, averting a strike at its Canadian operations, after extending last night’s midnight deadline and bargaining through the night.­­­­

"I'm very pleased to announce that on behalf of the more than 6,000 members who work at Ford Motor Company, we have negotiated $1.95 billion of investments to retool the Oakville complex to build five models of electric vehicles and bring new product to the engine plant in Windsor," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

"Today is an historic day. We are not only talking about solidifying the footprint of the auto industry in the short term, but for the long term. I think it's fair to say that as an organization we hit a home run,” said Dias.

Dias shared more information at a news conference streamed live on Facebook. While details of the tentative agreement will be presented to members at a series of virtual ratification meetings over the weekend, the deal includes significant commitments for Ford’s Canadian manufacturing facilities.

"Up until today, of the $300 billion announced globally in EV investments as the auto industry transforms from combustible engines to battery-electric vehicles, not one nickel had been allocated Canada. But with today's announcement, that changes," Dias said. 

“I am proud of this bargaining team and grateful for the support and solidarity from our members over these past few weeks of intense talks as we worked hard to set a pattern that secures future jobs for our members, and makes significant wage and benefit gains.”

Dias thanked both federal and provincial governments for funding commitments that were key to landing the new investment, as part of developing a national auto strategy to secure jobs in the sector.

Dias also announced that Fiat Chrysler will be the next Detroit Three bargaining target.

The news conference is available for www.dropbox.com/s/w3iex143duqwyi3/Ford%20TA%20News%20Conference-2020.09....">https://www.dropbox.com/s/w3iex143duqwyi3/Ford%20TA%20News%20Conference-...">download here.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/auto-talks-2020?v=custom">https://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/auto-talks-2020?v=custom" target="_blank">this website.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org">http://Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org">Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

CAUT highlights role for federal government in strengthening post-secondary education in advance of the Speech from the Throne

CAUT -

(Ottawa – September 21, 2020)  The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge development of a national pandemic recovery plan that includes strategic investment in Canada’s post-secondary education (PSE) sector.

“This pandemic has demonstrated the unsustainability of the current patchwork approach to PSE policy at all levels. A stronger federal partner is needed,” writes CAUT President Brenda Austin-Smith in the letter.

 “Universities and colleges are integral to a strong, stable and resilient Canada, growing the knowledge, innovation and talent needed to solve current and future challenges.  However, the sector is under considerable strain that is negatively affecting jobs, the diversity of educational programs, and accessibility to opportunities.”

In its recent pre-Budget submission, CAUT pointed to the critical need to improve the affordability and sustainability of PSE as part of any recovery plan and made several recommendations, including:

  • Develop a national strategy with the provinces and territories that provides adequate, stable federal funding to support quality post-secondary education.
  • Accelerate research through enhanced investments in the Tri-Councils granting programs and increase graduate student scholarships.
  • Secure opportunities for Canada’s youth & unemployed Canadians by moving to a free tuition model for low and middle-class Canadians at public universities and colleges.

“This is Premier Ford’s second chance to take action in long-term care”: SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor continue to ring the alarm bells

Unifor -

TORONTO – Unions representing health care workers across Ontario held a media conference urging immediate action to end the crisis in long term care.

CUPE Ontario, SEIU Healthcare, and Unifor, unions which collectively represent more than 70,000 long-term care workers, are condemning the inaction of the Government of Ontario and are raising concerns about the significant uptick in cases of COVID-19.

“We’re approaching a second wave and I’m left questioning whether we learned any lessons from the first wave,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario, which represents nearly 35,000 members in the sector. “We’ve been ringing the alarm bells about chronic underfunding, understaffing, and the drive for profits at the expense of the lives of residents and workers. Now its Premier Ford’s second chance to listen and take action.”

Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare added: “Workers, elder care experts, seniors, and families alike are singing the same tune. They all want increased staffing levels for better senior care. They all want full-time jobs for our healthcare heroes. And they all agree PSWs need universal pay because a PSW is a PSW is a PSW—it’s time to give them a raise and give them a pension. These essential policies are not items on a menu to be picked over and the rest discarded, instead, they add up to a real action plan to fix Ontario’s failed long-term care system. Let’s get it done.”

“This pandemic has resulted in thousands of deaths it is now time for the government to address the crisis in long term care,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Our demand is simple - we need the government to work with us, work with the front-line workers and help fix long term care, before we have another tragedy.

The three unions, joined by personal support workers at the media conference, called for a legislated guarantee of a minimum of four hours of care per resident per day, highlighting a private members’ bill that could be passed into law as early as this week.

The unions also made the case for an end to for-profit care, noting that these facilities have been seen the highest number of cases. The profit motive, according to the coalition, has resulted in cost-saving measures, like having 17% fewer staff than non-profit homes.

“No more hollow words,” said Rennick. “Front-line workers are tired of empty promises.  They need more staff, more funding, and more protection to keep themselves safe and their residents alive.”

For more information, or to arrange interviews contact:

Daniel Tseghay, Communications Representative, CUPE at dtseghay@cupe.ca | 647-220-9739

Corey Johnson, SEIU Healthcare at c.johnson@seiuhealthcare.ca | 416-529-8909

Hamid Osman, Unifor National representative – Communications at Hamid.Osman@unifor.org | 647-448-2823

Unifor to continue negotiations and extend Ford strike deadline

Unifor -

TORONTO—Unifor’s master bargaining committee has decided to continue bargaining with Ford Motor Company past the strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. tonight.

“Our master bargaining committee is willing to negotiate throughout the night to provide Ford with every opportunity to do right and reach a fair settlement to avoid a work stoppage at its Canadian plants,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Dias will share more information at a news conference tomorrow that will be streamed live on Facebook.

WHAT:                News conference regarding #AutoTalks 2020

WHEN:               10 a.m., Tuesday September 22, 2020 

WHERE:             Provincial Ballroom North, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto

WHO:                  Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor Bargaining Committee representatives

Journalists wishing to participate in the question and answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by emailing Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

In-person attendance is restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related Ontario health directives. Those wishing to attend in person must register in advance via email on a first come first serve basis. A pool camera arrangement is in place and the news conference will be streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page. Broadcast quality footage of the event will be available for download by accredited media upon request via email.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

U of T facing scrutiny over academic freedom controversy

CAUT -

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is investigating allegations that the University of Toronto bowed to outside pressure in rescinding an offer of employment to an internationally recognized scholar.

Following a competitive hiring process, Dr. Valentina Azarova was the unanimous recommendation for the post of Director of the International Human Rights Program in the Faculty of Law. Dr. Azarova says she was offered the post by videoconference on August 11 and accepted the offer the following week. In early September, a sitting judge with the Tax Court of Canada contacted the Faculty of Law to express concern about Dr. Azarova’s appointment, and shortly after, her job offer was withdrawn.

In a letter to the University, CAUT Executive Director David Robinson concluded that “it appears the decision to cancel her appointment was politically motivated, and as such would constitute a serious breach of widely recognized principles of academic freedom.”

“An institution of higher learning fails to fulfill its purpose and mission if it accedes to outside pressure or asserts the power to proscribe ideas, no matter how controversial,” Robinson stated. “This would create an environment inimical to the free and vigorous exchange of ideas necessary for teaching and learning.”

In response, the University has not denied that a Tax Court judge contacted the Faculty to express concerns about the candidate but claims no job offer was made. Members of the hiring committee contest this and have resigned in protest.

Robinson says that CAUT will be pursuing the matter consistent with its procedures in investigating academic freedom cases.

“The matter will be taken up by our Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee at which time we will discuss what further actions and sanctions may be taken,” said Robinson.

Unifor to launch third party B.C. election campaign

Unifor -

September 21, 2020

VANCOUVER—The Horgan government’s progress on the quality of life for working people will be the cornerstone of a registered third-party campaign by Unifor across British Columbia.

“From record investments in childcare to eliminating health care premiums, the John Horgan government has taken concrete steps to improve the lives of working people across the province,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, after Premier John Horgan dropped the writ this morning. “This government did more for working people in three and a half years than the B.C. Liberals did in more than a decade.”

Unifor’s efforts will focus on a voter education and mobilization campaign among its 28,000 members in every region of the province. From the smelter in Kitimat to the transit operators in Victoria to the hospitality workers in Metro Vancouver, Unifor members will be having conversations about the values they want reflected in the next B.C. government.

“The damage done to B.C.’s social safety net by Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark is hard to understate. Andrew Wilkinson is part of that shameful legacy and stands up for the wealthy instead of working people,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “John Horgan’s team has more work to do to restore workers’ rights and make life more affordable after 16 years of B.C. Liberal attacks, and Unifor is proud to support them to continue this important work in their next mandate.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

MEDIA ADVISORY: Update on contract talks with Ford Tuesday

Unifor -

TORONTO—On Tuesday September 22, 2020 Unifor’s National President will provide an update live on Facebook about the negotiations with Ford Motor Company.

WHAT:           News Conference to update media on auto bargaining

WHEN:          10 a.m., Tuesday September 22, 2020 

WHERE:        Provincial Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto

WHO:            Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor Bargaining Committee representatives

Journalists wishing to participate in the Question & Answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by 11 a.m. Monday by emailing Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org and we will send you dial in information.

In-person attendance will be restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with Ontario health directives. Those wishing to attend in person must register in advance via email on a first come first serve basis. A pool camera arrangement is preferred.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page.  Broadcast quality footage of the event will be available afterward for download upon request via email.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at  Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

MEDIA ADVISORY: Update on contract talks with Ford Motor Company

Unifor -

TORONTO—On Monday September 21, 2020 Unifor’s National President will provide an update live on Facebook about the progress of negotiations with Ford Motor Company in advance of the 11:59 pm strike deadline.

WHAT:           News Conference to update media on auto bargaining

WHEN:         3 p.m., Monday, September 21, 2020 

WHERE:       Dominion Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto

WHO:           Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor Bargaining Committee representatives

Journalists wishing to participate in the Question & Answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by 11 a.m. Monday by emailing Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org and we will send you dial in information.

In-person attendance will be restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with Ontario health directives. Those wishing to attend in person must register in advance via email on a first come first serve basis. A pool camera arrangement is preferred.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page.  Broadcast quality footage of the event will be available afterward for download upon request via email.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at  Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

Unifor raises $134,000 to aid domestic violence victims

Unifor -

September 19, 2020

TORONTO– Unifor has raised a record breaking $134,000, so far, for Halton Women’s Place in a ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk today led by Unifor National President Jerry Dias and his son Jordan.

“These much needed funds will provide safe shelter and services to women and children escaping domestic violence at a time when many have been forced to isolate with their abusers,” said Dias. ”We’ve seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic so in addition to raising money our goal is to also raise awareness about the ongoing violence that thousands of women across the country are experiencing.”

This year the annual ‘Hope in High Heels’ walks were modified due to COVID-19. Unifor opted to hold a walk with a limited number of men at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto.

“Every year I am overwhelmed by the dedication and passion that Jerry, Jordan and their Unifor team show at our walk events,” said Carm Bozzo, Manager of Development & Communications for Halton Women’s Place. “It is just amazing to see these men come out every September and stand up against women abuse and raise such an incredible amount of money that directly supports the women and children who use our services. This year, this is so important as fundraising events have been cancelled and majorly shifted because of COVID-19. Thank you, Jerry, Jordan and Unifor!”

Halton Women’s Place provides shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children. To date Dias and his team have raised more than $830,000 in Hope in High Heels events. Dias thanked the many Unifor employers and partners who made generous contribution this year, even amid the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
“This is about helping survivors rebuild their lives, but it’s also about men taking responsibility to end gender-based violence and promote equity” said Dias who led participants in a pledge against violence. “Women are most vulnerable right after they leave an abusive partner and often the one place the abuser knows they can find them is at their job which is why our union has worked to create supports within our workplaces.”
Unifor has made it a bargaining priority to negotiate the union’s ground-breaking Women’s Advocate Program, which trains workplace representatives to assist women with issues including workplace harassment, intimate violence and abuse.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange a phone, Facetime, Skype or Zoom interview with Jerry Dias please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

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