“Mr. Crosbie is essentially asking people to vote for him so he can create an unelected body to do his dirty work in the health care system." — Jerry Earle, NAPE President
Saskatoon, Sask. – April 17, 2019 – A five-month long strike at Saskatoon Co-op has ended, with more than 900 UFCW Canada Local 1400 members returning to work at the Co-op following the ratification of a new contract on Tuesday.
"The devil is in the details." — Jerry Earle, NAPE President
Sodexo Physical Plant workers at Acadia University ratified their first collective agreement after just two days of bargaining. Local 2107 members voted 91 per cent in favour of the contract that secured wages, shift premiums, Paid Education Leave, a Women’s Advocate, and enhanced safety language.
“We had an incredibly committed and focused team during bargaining and the results are a clear reflection of that,” said Darlene McIvor, National Representative. “These workers were eager to be Unifor members and were ready to work together to improve their working conditions.”
The vote on April 10 also included a vote for three shop stewards (pictured) and a Unit Chairperson.
The collective agreement covers workers who perform custodial and snow removal duties at the university.
"The employer seems to have no problem paying premium rates — plus travel and accommodation — to bring in staff from outside of Nova Scotia, but they nickel and dime their own hard-working employees." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Members who work at the Ingredion Canada corn processing plant in Cardinal, Ontario have voted 83 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement.
“We were successful in fighting off concessions proposed by the company and made some real gains for our hard-working members,” said Joe Roode, President of Local 483. “The bargaining committee would like to thank the members for their solidarity throughout the process because it helped us at the table.”
Unifor Local 483 represents 143 workers at the plant.
The agreement includes improved language, benefits and a 2.5 per cent wage increase in each year of the four-year agreement.
Trades will also see an additional increase of $.50 in the second year of the contract. This equates to an average increase in wages of approximately $3.80 an hour during the term of the agreement.
"Our members are not having their issues addressed through bargaining, and the membership has just given us a strong mandate to address these in conciliation." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
Halifax – April 16, 2019 – Justin Cuison is one of eighteen winners of the UFCW Canada – BDM Scholarship. Currently completing an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, Justin is the son of Catalino Cuison, a proud UFCW Canada Local 864 member who works at Hotel Halifax in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“This is a Premier who has contempt for accountability, contempt for the rule of law, and contempt for ‘the people’ he claims to speak for.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
The Day of Action is part of an intensive 8-day lobbying campaign to restore fairness to B.C.'s labour laws.
Ottawa – April 15, 2019 – Representatives from UFCW Canada’s National Office and Local Unions recently joined labour activists from across the country for an Indigenous Rights lobby day on Parliament Hill.
The videos may be only 30 seconds but iit sends a serious and direct message: "Don't be that guy."
"Minister Bains just announced amendments to Bill 9 that will extend occupational disease and personal injury presumption to wildfire fighters — a long-overdue and hard won recognition of the technically, physically, and mentally challenging work that they do every day to protect lives and property across the province." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Canadian retail, wholesale and warehousing industries are facing a major technological upheaval, as online shopping advances, consumer habits change and automation expands. These changes raise serious questions about the future of work in the sector, our bargaining demands and our ability to organize new members.
More than 100 members attended the second Unifor Retail and Wholesale Workers Conference in Port Elgin, Ontario from April 12-14, 2019.
Themed “Making gains when confronted by change. Advancing Unifor’s ‘Program for Action’ in Retail-Wholesale” the Retail and Wholesale conference allowed workers to discuss new challenges affecting workplaces and continue building on the union's bargaining and political action strategy, that's resulted in landmark improvements to wages, scheduling and other gains for retail workers since 2015. Unifor locals are now preparing to renegotiate contracts for more than 10,000 supermarket workers across Canada over the next two years, starting with Toronto-area Metro stores in July.
Unifor represents more than 20,000 members working in retail stores, supermarkets, food warehouses, drug stores, wholesaling outlets and others across Canada. Workers in the sector face erratic work schedules, high turnover and many earn minimum wage. The previous Ontario government launched the changing workplace review to address the same inequities retail and wholesale workers in Ontario were facing.
Unifor became a leading voice in pushing for a living wage, equal pay for equal work and legislated paid sick days for all workers in Ontario. The Liberal government at the time passed Bill 148 that brought in progressive labour reforms. However, the Ford government immediately reversed the majority of the progressive labour reforms found in Bill 148.
“Metro and Loblaw lobbied the new right wing government hard on erasing the gains and going back to lower standards,” Naureen Rizvi Ontario Regional Director. “Employers needed to know that they may have won the battle but have yet to win to war. We developed the Emergency Collective Bargaining Directive that included eight of the key labour reforms that were included in Bill 148.
In a panel discussion on tackling the gender pay gap within the retail-wholesale sector, Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director led a conversation on the important role Unifor is playing in identifying and raising gender pay inequities with governments and employers.
“The work of Unifor, our sister unions and our community coalition partners is helping to narrow gender pay inequities,” said Payne. “Average wages in retail has jumped in Canada from $16 to $18 per hour since 2014. Even higher in provinces like Ontario and Alberta, thanks to major campaigns to increase minimum wage, and creative bargaining from our Union.
On the final day of the conference, Unifor National President Jerry Dias spoke of ways retail and wholesale workers are confronting e-commerce, online shopping and new automated technological changes in their workplace.
“The success we had in the retail and wholesale sector shows how critical both bargaining and political action are to make real gains for workers,” Unifor National President. “It shows how important community alliances and community solidarity is. It’s not one versus the other – it’s both. That’s how workers win.”
To read the Unifor’s retail and wholesale sector program for action click here.