Latest Labour News

Unifor to rally for offshore oil and gas workers at legislature

Unifor -

September 15, 2020

ST. JOHN’S— Offshore oil and gas workers and their supporters will rally at Confederation Building to demand all levels of government take urgent action to help save the industry and protect good jobs.

“Offshore oil and gas is integral to the economy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The time has come for government to show these workers that we have their back when times are tough. We need action, and we need it now if we’re going to save offshore jobs.”

What: Rally to support offshore oil and gas workers

Who: Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director; Dave Mercer, Local 2121 President; Amanda Young, worker on the Terra Nova; Carmilita Synard, worker on the Hibernia; Mary Shortall, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour; Charlene Johnson, Chief Executive Officer NOIA; other invited guests.

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 12 p.m. NDT

Where: Front steps of Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL

The event will be livestreamed to fb.com/UniforCanada. A downloadable 4K video will be available for unrestricted use by members of the media following the event, upon request via email below.

There will be a media availability with all speakers immediately after the rally. All precautions will be taken to respect COVID-19 guidelines and best practices at the event.

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.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Zoom, Skype or Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Unifor welcomes restoration of normal aluminum trade with the U.S.

Unifor -

September 15, 2020

TORONTO—Canada’s aluminum workers welcomed the removal of unfair U.S. tariffs and credit the federal government’s strong response for today’s win.

“This dispute was no doubt resolved thanks to the stance taken by Justin Trudeau’s government and the efforts led by Chrystia Freeland and Mary Ng,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It was the impending countermeasures that helped U.S. trade representatives realize that Canada was not going to take this lying down.”

On August 16 the U.S. imposed tariffs on Canada’s exports of P1020 aluminum. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland responded by releasing an initial proposal of countermeasures and consulted with Canadian industry experts and Unifor.

“Workers on both sides of the border would lose in an aluminum trade war,” said Dias. “Canada has done nothing wrong to warrant aluminum tariffs. We welcome the resumption of normal trade relations.”

Unifor has repeatedly warned that tariffs on Canadian aluminum exports are an unfair attempt to help a handful of struggling U.S. producers and that tariffs cause harm to the wider American economy.

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).

Full Immigration Status for All

NUPGE -

Recovery from COVID-19 calls for a rethinking of the ways in which our communities and our economy is organized. Prime Minister Trudeau: Full Immigration Status for All is just, fair, necessary and urgent. The time is now.

BDM Scholarship gives financial boost to UFCW 401 family member

UFCW Canada -

Calgary – September 14, 2020 – Bahaaldeen Zahlan is one of eighteen winners of the UFCW Canada – BDM Scholarship. Currently completing a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Bahaaldeen is the son of Salah Zahlan, a proud UFCW Local 401 member who works at Real Canadian Superstore.

Following election win, Unifor urges Higgs follow through and deliver stability to New Brunswick families

Unifor -

September 14, 2020

FREDERICTON— Unifor offers Premier Blaine Higgs congratulations for his win in today’s election and advice for his second term, to deliver on the stability and job security that New Brunswickers now count on his government to deliver.

“Higgs calling an election during a pandemic and the back-to-school season was an added stress for New Brunswickers concerned with their family’s health and well-being,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “On behalf of Unifor members in the province, I urge Higgs to take this mandate for stability and address New Brunswick’s urgent public education and health care funding needs, particularly in finally applying the rules of the Canada Health Act to fund Clinic 554.”

Unifor has made repeated calls to Premier Higgs during his first term to reverse his controversial stance on refusing funding for Clinic 554, the only clinic that provides out-of-hospital abortions in the province and one of the only providers of specialty LBGTQ2+ care.

“We hoped to see more talk from the other parties about health care, long-term care and education – areas where New Brunswick needs to invest to address the needs of working families,” said Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Regional Director. “Instead, voters heard party leaders add to today’s instability by throwing out previous agreements over glyphosate in forestry and agriculture. New Brunswick’s workers are already concerned about losing their jobs, they didn’t need party leaders manufacturing doubt about the security of two key industries in the province.”

An immediate ban on the use of glyphosate would cause job losses in forestry and agriculture. Unifor addressed party leaders prior to the election urging them to remain committed to the all-party legislative committee and their process to consult stakeholders on the use of glyphosate.

“We remain supportive of the process established by the legislative committee to evaluate the use of glyphosate and hope their work is allowed to continue until their mandate is complete,” said MacNeil.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including more than 7,000 workers in New Brunswick. 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 an interview by phone or FaceTime/Zoom/Skype, contact National Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at 902-717-7491 or shelley.amyotte@unifor.org.

America’s Largest Meatpacking Union Calls on White House for Real Accountability and Action To Protect Workers on Frontlines of COVID-19 Pandemic

UFCW Press Releases -

Union Calls Latest Trump Admin. Fine Failure to Protect American Workers Essential to Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union – which represents 1.3 million workers in meatpacking plants and other essential businesses across North America – condemned the new U.S. Department of Labor fine on JBS Foods for the COVID-19 outbreak at the company’s plant in Greeley, Colorado. UFCW, which represents workers at the plant, called the $15,615 fine insufficient given that the outbreak led to 8 worker deaths and over 200 worker infections.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone​ released the following statement:

“The failure of the federal government to protect American workers and our nation’s food supply has reached new lows. With this latest ‘so-called fine,’ OSHA and the Department of Labor prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do not care about holding irresponsible corporations accountable for the lives lost or worker safety.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, meatpacking workers and UFCW have led the fight for better personal protective equipment, universal COVID-19 testing, better social distancing in plants, and the real and enforceable health and safety standards needed to keep these facilities safe. We have done our job, and all we have asked is that the federal government do its job and hold irresponsible employers accountable. This ‘so-called fine’ proves that this administration is incapable and unwilling to fulfill its duty to keep workers safe.

“Make no mistake, the Trump administration has once again failed to honor what is its sacred responsibility – protect the American people. Our country’s meatpacking workers and the millions of Americans they serve, deserve and expect better from this administration and the leaders sworn to protect us.”

Background:

As the largest North American meatpacking union, UFCW has been a leading national voice in the call to protect meatpacking workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UFCW represents employees at the JBS plant in Greeley, Colorado that is the subject of the latest fine. The union also represents workers at the Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the focus of another Trump Administration fine this week. UFCW sounded the alarm early in the pandemic about the risks these workers faced, calling for action from public officials, and company leaders to provide the critical safety equipment and measures needed to protect employees as the virus devastated meatpacking plants across the country.

This week, UFCW confirmed that there have already been at least 122 meatpacking worker deaths and over 18,000 meatpacking workers infected or exposed to COVID-19. These numbers only include workers represented by UFCW.

As the New York Times reported, many meatpacking companies have refused to release internal numbers on worker deaths and infections, meaning that total number of meatpacking workers impacted by the virus is likely much higher that current public figures.

Meatpacking workers at the JBS Foods Greeley, Colorado plant are members of UFCW Local 7R. Workers at Smithfield’s Sioux Falls, South Dakota plant are members of UFCW Local 304A.

###

UFCW International is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

UFCW 1518 urges Uber, regulatory board to recognize drivers as employees

UFCW Canada -

New Westminster, B.C. – September 11, 2020 – On September 9, Uber announced that they will seek approval to expand into Victoria and Kelowna, British Columbia. The company has applied to the province’s Passenger Transportation Board for the right to operate in these cities, and the union for Uber drivers in B.C. – UFCW 1518 – is urging Uber and the board to recognize drivers as employees.

America’s Largest Meatpacking Union Condemns Trump Admin. For Failure to Hold Smithfield Accountable for Outbreak of COVID-19 Worker Deaths and Infections

UFCW Press Releases -

Union Calls New Trump Admin. Meatpacking Fine a “Slap on the Wrist” After Plant Failed to Protect Workers, With Multiple Deaths and Nearly 1,300 Worker Infections

Nationwide: 122 Meatpacking Worker Deaths, Over 18,000 Workers Infected or Exposed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents 1.3 million workers in meatpacking plants and other essential businesses, condemned the new U.S. Department of Labor fine on Smithfield Foods as completely insufficient in the wake of the company’s failure to protect meatpacking workers at its Sioux Falls, South Dakota which reported nearly 1,300 COVID-19 infections and at least four deaths among its employees. As the union for Smithfield workers at this plant, UFCW called today’s fine by the Trump Administration insulting and a slap on the wrist that will do nothing to help those already infected or prevent future worker deaths.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone​ released the following statement:

“How much is the health, safety, and life of an essential worker worth? Based on the actions of the Trump Administration, clearly not much. This so-called ‘fine’ is a slap on the wrist for Smithfield, and a slap in the face of the thousands of American meatpacking workers who have been putting their lives on the line to help feed America since the beginning of this pandemic.

“OSHA has been asleep at the switch throughout this pandemic and this is just the latest example of the agency failing to do their job and take responsibility for worker safety. If we truly care about protecting workers and our nation’s food supply during this pandemic, the federal government must take action, beginning with an enforceable national safety standard, increased access to PPE and COVID-19 testing, and rigorous proactive inspections.

“Smithfield is a multi-billion-dollar corporation that failed to protect its workers, with multiple deaths and more than a thousand infections on their watch. This response by OSHA confirms that the company will not face any real consequences. The failure by the Trump Administration to hold Smithfield accountable makes clear that this White House cares more about industry profits than protecting America’s essential workers. Our country’s meatpacking workers, and the millions of American they serve, deserve and expect better from those sworn to protect us.”

Background:

As the largest North American meatpacking union, UFCW has been a leading national voice in the call to protect meatpacking workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UFCW represents employees at the Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota that reported at least 1,294 meatpacking worker infections and four worker deaths from COVID-19. UFCW sounded the alarm early in the pandemic about the risks these workers faced, calling from for action from public officials, and company leaders to provide the critical safety equipment and measures needed to protect employees as the virus devastated meatpacking plants across the country.

UFCW confirmed today that there have already been at least 122 meatpacking worker deaths and over 18,000 meatpacking workers infected or exposed to COVID-19. These numbers only include workers represented by UFCW. As the New York Times reported, many meatpacking companies have refused to release internal numbers on worker deaths and infections, meaning that total number of meatpacking workers impacted by the virus is likely much higher that current public figures.

Meatpacking workers at Smithfield’s Sioux Falls, South Dakota plant are members of UFCW Local 304A.

###

UFCW International is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

Pages