Latest Labour News

Unifor joins NDP MP Brian Masse to support single-event sport betting

Unifor -

Ottawa—Unifor joined Windsor-West Member of Parliament Brian Masse for the unveiling of a bi-partisan private members’ bill that would, if adopted, legalize single-event sport betting.

“This is about making Canada in line with the United States, Europe, and many other countries with regards to single-event sports betting,” said Brian Masse at the Tuesday morning news conference. The bill is co-sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh and is anticipated to go to a vote within weeks. “This is a bipartisan effort. This minority parliament really is about making opportunities and making things work,” Masse added. “It’s a simple line in the criminal code that would be eliminated which would allow provinces to define their own destiny with regards to single event sports gaming.”

Masse went on to point out that currently more than ten billion dollars of illegal or offshore money is bet annually and that legalization would allow for implementation of responsible measures while generating revenue for the provinces. 

The bill first introduced by the NDP more than a decade ago would amend the Canadian Criminal Code to allow for individuals to place bets on single sporting events. The legislation was introduced again yesterday at 10 a.m. in the House of Commons.

“This is an easy one. The importance of this is about jobs,” said Dave Cassidy, Unifor Local 444 President and Skilled Trades Council Chair. “I think it’s time that we get on and get this thing moved so we can have great paying jobs that will add to our economy. We’re excited.”

Cassidy represents workers at three area-Casinos including Caesars Windsor, Cascades Casino, and Point Edward Casino. “Today, I can go on my phone and I can bet offshore. There’s no responsibility there. But when we have this [legislation], we have checks and balances,” Cassidy added.

Unifor represents a significant number of gaming workers and technicians throughout many communities across Canada. Workers in the gaming industry have long-supported responsible gaming measures and advocated for legislation that allow single-event sports betting. The measure would not only provide substantial revenue opportunities for provincial and federal governments and provide new job opportunities in the gaming industry but also enable responsible gaming and regulation over sports betting, particularly in border areas like the Niagara and Windsor regions.

Members gather in Thunder Bay for Northern Ontario Leadership Meeting

Unifor -

More than 100 members gathered in Thunder Bay on February 24-25 for the annual Northern Ontario Leadership Meeting to strategize on how to fight Doug Ford’s attack on workers.

“Locals in Northern Ontario understand the importance of collaboration and solidarity as a path to build stronger communities,” said Lana Payne, Unifor’s National Secretary-Treasurer in a speech to delegates. “We’re up against blistering attacks on workers’ rights and public services – if we don’t act now, we’ll lose the hard-earned gains the labour movement has made for Canadians.”

The two-day meeting welcomed conversations and planning on political activism; issues faced by northern Ontario locals, including the impact Ford’s deep cuts have on rural communities; and ways to achieve progress by determined lobbying and strategic bargaining.

“In response to Ford’s deplorable attacks against the working class, we must be 100 times bolder in our demands for better working conditions, good jobs, and the advancement of workers’ rights,” continued Payne. “Make no mistake, the dismemberment of public services and weakening of union protections is, by design, meant to perpetuate injustice – and we won’t let that happen.”

Members voiced their overwhelming support to turn up the heat through political action and mobilization, and the importance of addressing issues collaboratively and head-on.

“Unifor is becoming stronger and more effective each day. From coast to coast we’re making significant gains for workers and leveling a system that’s stacked against us,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. “Thousands of workers showed up to protest the Ontario PC convention this past Saturday. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – we’ve built a movement across this country that is a force to be reckoned with.”

Sessions at the meeting highlighted recent attempts by employers to undermine workers, including the historic Co-op Refinery lockout in Regina, shifting tides at Bombardier, drastic cuts to personal support workers, and the epic failure of the Nova Scotia government to save good jobs in forestry.

“Together, we are building a fighting union,” continued Payne. “The determination and commitment of the 100 leaders and activists here today goes to show how creating stronger, more resilient communities impacts long-term systemic change. There is no room for complacency – we must continue to disrupt how the economic pie is split.”

 

 

UFCW Statement on Amazon Cashierless Grocery Store Opening

UFCW Press Releases -

America’s Largest Grocery Union Slams Cashierless Model that Discriminates Against Low-Income Shoppers, Hurts Customer Service, and Threatens Good Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) announced its strong opposition to Amazon’s opening of a new cashierless grocery store in Seattle. UFCW International President Marc Perrone issued the following statement:

“Amazon represents a clear and present danger to millions of good jobs. The brutal truth is that Amazon is focused on one thing – eliminating as many jobs as possible to enrich one multi-billionaire, Jeff Bezos. Despite the failure of their Amazon Go stores, it is clear that Bezos is determined to pursue a ruthless strategy that is designed to destroy millions of grocery worker jobs.

“At a time when millions of Americans are already struggling, when most Americans are one paycheck away from disaster, what does it say that Bezos wants to create stores that serve food and groceries and eliminate the jobs real people need. Now, more than ever, it is time for our nation’s leaders – Democrats and Republicans – to wake up and act before Amazon and Jeff Bezos do permanent damage to America’s economy and the future of work.”

“Make no mistake, the UFCW will make sure that Amazon’s ruthless business model is a 2020 election issue. Every voter – and every candidate running for office – will be made aware that they have a choice to make: support good jobs or support Amazon’s destruction of jobs.”

Background:

As reported by CNBC, Amazon is continuing its ruthless strategy to take over America’s $800 billion grocery industry. Today, less than three years after purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Amazon is opening its first, full-size, cashierless grocery store. It uses the same technology from the Amazon Go stores that have faced a national backlash from customers and lawmakers who say it discriminates against low-income shoppers and threatens good jobs.

Amazon Go stores have failed to meet lofty predictions and are unlikely to deliver the $639 million in 2020 sales the company promised. Additional reports show Amazon Go stores’ operating losses are still ballooning. And since purchasing Whole Foods, the grocery chain was the only Amazon division to report a sales slowdown during the fourth quarter.

Amazon could also be looking to scale its cashier-free technology to other retailers and chains such as movie theaters and airports, threatening many of the jobs in these industries as well.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

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