"Gig economy workers are highly vulnerable to exploitation and need representation. Receiving no pay if sick, no protection if injured, and no respect for workers' rights is not acceptable. Foodora workers have chosen to organize and registered to vote to join a union. The Ontario Labour Relations Board should respect the rights of these workers and allow the votes to be counted." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Surrey, B.C. – August 24, 2019 – UFCW Local 1518 members working at Fresh St. Market in Surrey have achieved a new union contract that provides wage gains and improved benefits.
Calgary – August 23, 2019 – UFCW activists and allies from across Canada and the United States recently gathered in Calgary for the 2019 UFCW United Latinos Conference, where participants shared ideas and strategies on how to empower Latino workers and build Latino pride within UFCW and the North American labour movement.
Delegates to the third Unifor Constitutional Convention committed to pushing back against the rise of right-wing populists by taking an active role in elections, at the bargaining table, in organizing drives and in the fight for gender equity.
“We will always spend a lot of time talking about politics because it affects our lives each and every day,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias in his closing address to the convention, held in Quebec City.
Delegates adopted a new Political Action Program and released Unifor’s plans for the coming federal election, including a dedicated website and an aggressive advertising campaign.
“We’re going to get involved in the tough debates. We’re going to stick our nose in the political arena,” Dias said.
Social media will be a big part of Unifor’s election effort, which get a big boost at Convention with a Twitter storm of delegates posting selfies with signs reading “I am voting to stop Scheer.”
Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to the convention, stressing the vital role unions play in social justice and building the middle class – especially in the face of increasing right-wing populism.
Dias was acclaimed to his third and final term as President. Lana Payne became Unifor’s first female Secretary-Treasurer. Renaud Gagné was elected at Quebec Regional Council and was acclaimed by the membership as one of the top three officers of Unifor.
Replacing Payne as Atlantic Regional Director is Linda MacNeil. Gavin McGarrigle was chosen as Western Regjonal Director, replacing Joie Warnock, who is now an Assistant to the National President and will lead Unifor’s efforts on Indigenous issues. Naureen Rizvi, former Toronto Area Director and Director of Telecommunications, will continue as Ontario Regional Director.
A tribute was held for Bob Orr, who retired as secretary-treasurer after 35 years of union activism.
Delegates adopted several resolutions, including supporting greater rights for migrant workers, a call to ensure a faster start to contract talks for new bargaining units and an increase in financial and volunteer support for LGBTQ refugees.
Constitutional amendments included increased representation for retirees on Local union executives at former CEP Locals, an increase in strike pay and provisions to give equity seeking groups a stronger voice.
Thousands of delegates rallied outside the Bell Canada building in Quebec City demanding that the phone company maintain good jobs in Canada’s telecommunications industry, and not outsource the jobs of tomorrow.
The same political climate that is fueling Unifor’s political action plan is also behind a new bargaining strategy adopted at the convention to ensure the rights of workers are not only protected, but expanded.
Similarly, a new Organizing Strategic Plan was launched at Convention. The rise of the right and the growing number of Conservative governments in Canada puts unorganized workers most at risk, and Unifor is committed to bringing more workers into the union.
Just weeks after Jason Kenney’s election in Alberta, for example, Unifor successfully organized a hotel in Calgary. In the face of a government attacking their rights, including making organizing more difficult, workers at the hotel voted overwhelmingly to join Unifor, Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan said.
Throughout the week, gender equity was the focus of much of the discussion, from the work of women hockey players fighting for pay equity to a moving address to delegates by Me Too founder Tarana Burke.
“Diversity is being invited to the dance. Inclusion is being asked to dance,” said Tarana Burke, who founded the Me Too movement long before it came known as a hashtag.
A Wednesday night fundraiser sponsored by Unifor raised $150,000 for local women’s shelters.
Today, voting in the health care representation votes came to an end, and the Commissioner has released the official results.The successful union in each vote is listed below:
Winnipeg — The choice for Allied Health Care Professionals is clear: the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP) has been selected to represent the Professional, Technical, Paramedical (PTP) Sector in the new Shared Health and WRHA PTP Bargaining Units.
On behalf of MAHCP, President Bob Moroz wishes to thank everyone who supported us throughout the course of this campaign.
“We couldn’t have achieved this significant victory without the support of our members, our volunteers, our staff and all those Allied Health Care Professionals who voted for MAHCP,” said Moroz.
“Those who cast their votes for MAHCP wanted to be part of a union with a clear focus on Allied Health, a union with the expertise to fight for them. MAHCP has further solidified its reputation as the leader in member services and bargaining for our sector. We are One Strong Voice for Allied Health.”
The health care representation votes, mandated by the Pallister government, were held August 8 to 22, 2019, while the campaign period took place July 11 to August 7, 2019.
Over the next several weeks, MAHCP will be completing the transition of new members and preparing to get back to the bargaining table with the Manitoba Government.
MAHCP President Bob Moroz is available for interviews. Media inquiries can be directed to Bernice Pontanilla, MAHCP Communications Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-290-5829.
Visit mahcp.ca and onestrongvoice.ca for more information on our union and our successful campaign.
“Hosting the Leadership Development School is one of NUPGE’s greatest privileges. Each year, we bring engaged and passionate members together to learn from current leaders and experts, but also from each other. It’s an honour to say NUPGE is helping to strengthen solidarity and equip these members as they grow into leaders of the labour movement.” ― Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Toronto – August 22, 2019 – UFCW Canada recently hosted a Reconciliation Ambearrister at a special event at the Kapapamahchakwew - Wandering Spirit School in Toronto.
Toronto – August 22, 2019 – Labour Day is just around the corner, and UFCW Canada activists are set to participate in community events across the country dedicated to celebrating the victories that workers have accomplished together and calling for additional improvements to the lives of working Canadians.
For more than 20 years, Shirley Egan has stood up for the health and safety of gaming workers – not just in her workplace of Casino Windsor, but across the industry.
“When we take on these roles, we need to think about these injured workers. Their lives are on the line,” Egan said as she accepted the award.
Egan credited the training she received in Port Elgin for not only the skills to be an advocate for her co-workers, but also the confidence to do so.
“When we are sitting at that table, we are their equal. I may not have a law degree, but I’m their equal,” she said.
Egan is the 2019 recipient of the Bud Jimmerfield Award, handed out annually to someone who has demonstrated strong leadership and a proven commitment to health and safety, and preventing future occupational diseases, deaths, and injuries.
Egan played an integral role in organizing Casino Windsor in 1994, and soon after became the health and safety representative for the workplace.
She was also part of the Gaming Workers’ Health and Safety Research project published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, an innovative project that for the first time asked front line workers how the fast-expanding gaming world of work was affecting their health.
In 2015, Egan became the Workers’ Compensation representative at her casino and continues to work on behalf of Local 444 members on health and safety and workers’ compensation issues.
She has served as a workers compensation discussion leader in Port Elgin for more than two decades, and has helped develop and update course materials. Egan is also the on-site Employee Family Assistance Program representative for the casino members.
Her work has continued the legacy that Bud Jimmerfield left behind as a determined health and safety, environment and workers' compensation activist in his own workplace, as well as in other workplaces and communities across Canada.
Three hockey superstars thanked Unifor and its members for their support of the newly-formed Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), a players’ union fighting for pay equity for women’s hockey.
Kendall Coyne and Marie-Philip Poulin spoke in person at Convention and CWHL great and Team Canada Olympian Natalie Spooner joined the 3rd Unifor Constitutional Convention on Thursday morning by pre-recorded video. The three hockey players said Unifor’s support has been invaluable in allowing players to continue to train after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League disbanded suddenly earlier this year.
“After the league disbanded, the leadership at Unifor stepped in and immediately made an impact assisting us in securing ice facilities across the country,” said Spooner in the video. “I want to say to all the delegates and you, Jerry, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and solidarity. Women's hockey is in a better place because of Unifor.”
When the women’s league disbanded, players took action, with many opting to sit out the upcoming season to protest the shocking state of professional women’s hockey. The players launched the #forthegame movement and formed the PWHPA with the goal of creating a viable professional North American women’s league.
Part of ensuring equal pay for women hockey players is raising the profile of women players. Coyne made huge waves when she became the first woman to compete in the NHL Skills Competition, finishing with the second-best time in the Fastest Skater match.
“It was after that moment that I realized the power that we have,” Coyne said to delegates. “When I was getting messages from thousands of young girls, and young boys telling me they wanted to skate as fast as me, I knew that moment had an impact on the sport.”
Members spoke at the microphones to share personal stories of their daughters and other young girls who are fighting for recognition, ice time and funding in sport. Jerry Dias presented Coyne and Poulin with Unifor hockey jerseys and, sporting one himself, cheered them on and promised Unifor would stand alongside them in their campaign for equity.
“Now, when you ask kids their favourite players, it isn’t always Sidney Crosby, but now it can be Kendall Coyne and other women players,” said Poulin.
The PWHPA members look forward to the creation of a WNHL one day, where women’s hockey can be equally valued, supported and watched.