Latest Labour News

Unifor Area Councils turn to setting a federal workers’ agenda

Unifor -

Unifor members in Ontario and in Nova Scotia meet to set a worker’s agenda and build stronger connections between local unions ahead of the federal election.

Area Council meetings kicked off on June 4 in Windsor, Ontario and Sydney, Nova Scotia, continuing on in Antigonish.

“The federal election is fast-approaching, and the time is now to set our vision for a better, more equal country that puts workers ahead of corporations,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor members are already sending that message loud and clear. We want strong leadership to stand with workers.”

The room was buzzing with excitement and determination as members worked together to solve the issues facing workers in Canada today, from cuts to public services to job loss and outsourcing. Focusing on solutions, members identified real ways that federal parties can lead in the upcoming election, by addressing corporate tax loopholes and making Canada more fair and equitable.

Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director, spoke with members in Sydney, commenting “the only way to protect, and improve, our quality of life here in Atlantic Canada is to elect a government that will truly invest in good jobs and public services and protect and enhance workers’ rights.”

Meanwhile, in Windsor, Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, outlined the dramatic cuts that only one year of Conservative government have brought to Ontario, saying, “Cuts to education, cuts to health care, and cuts to workers’ rights. We didn’t vote for this, and we deserve better. But to get better, we have to fight for it.”

The election is already proving to be one where some politicians use scare tactics, and divisive language to isolate working people. By coming together in union halls across the country, Unifor members resist this division, and build working class solidarity.

Upcoming meetings are currently scheduled at the locations below. Members and Local Unions should stay tuned as these spaces grow across the country.

  • Thursday, June 6, Halifax - 5:00 p.m. at Unifor Halifax office (63 Otter Lake Court, Halifax)
  • Monday, June 17 - Kitchener – 5:00 pm at Unifor 1106 hall (600 Wabanaki Drive, Kitchener)
  • Monday, June 24 – Durham Region – 5:00 pm at Unifor Local 1090 (140 Hunt Street, Ajax)
  • Tuesday, June 25 – Thunder Bay – 6:00 pm Unifor 1075 hall (112 W Gore Street, Thunder Bay)
  • Tuesday, July 2 – Ottawa – 5:00 pm at St. Anthony’s Soccer Club ( 523 St Anthony St. Ottawa)
  • Wednesday, July 3 – London – 5:00 pm at Unifor Local 27 (606 First Street, London)
  • Thursday, July 4 – GTA/Peel – 5:00 pm Unifor Local 112 hall (30 Tangiers Rd, North York)
  • Monday, July 8 – Sudbury – 5:00 pm Unifor 598 hall (2550 Richard Lake Drive, Sudbury)

CAUT statement on the report on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

CAUT -

(Ottawa – June 6, 2019) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) calls for action on the 231 recommendations contained in the report on the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) released Monday.

“This report makes it clear that Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people have suffered from disproportionate rates of violence through our country’s history, with many being murdered or simply vanishing,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “The unacceptable gender-based violence they continue to face is shameful, and we urge the federal government to move forward on implementing the report’s Calls for Justice.”

The report caps over two years of cross-country hearings including testimony from some 2,000 survivors of violence, their families, and experts, and details the trauma and marginalization that have devastated many Indigenous communities.

“CAUT applauds the bravery and activism that inspired and drove the inquiry,” Robinson adds. “Now, we need to make the necessary legal and social changes not only so that no one suffers such injustice and inequity in the future, but also so that the wounds of the past are healed.”  

Hitachi members gain wage increase and improved benefits in new collective agreement

Unifor -

Hitachi members in Guelph, Ontario have ratified a new collective agreement that includes wage increases, improved life insurance, and dental and vision benefits.

“There were concerns about job security but in this round of bargaining the company made it clear that they are committed to the plant and as a result a 3-year collective agreement was secured,” said Jerry Escott, President of Local 1917 and Plant Chairperson of Hitachi. 

Skilled Trades wages will increase from $33.00 to $35.00 by the end of the agreement, the contract also includes an extra $1.00 when welding, a $0.25 increase on the Defined Benefit pension (over $100,000.00 value) and reduced waiting time for short-term disability. 

“We have a long history with Hitachi and our contract language is quite mature,” said Escott. “So in this latest contract we were able to keep all the old language intact in the event that the company needs to hire in the future.”

Women's Advocate Language and company support of the Unifor Social Justice Fund were also achieved.

La nouvelle convention collective des membres d’Hitachi offre une hausse salariale et des avantages sociaux bonifiés

Unifor -

Les membres d’Hitachi à Guelph, en Ontario, ont ratifié une nouvelle convention collective qui inclut des hausses salariales, une assurance-vie bonifiée, et des indemnités pour les soins dentaires et les soins de la vue.

« Les membres s’inquiétaient de la sécurité d’emploi, mais lors de cette ronde de négociation, l’employeur leur a clairement fait savoir qu’il avait l’entreprise à cœur et une convention collective de trois ans a donc été conclue », a déclaré Jerry Escott, président de la section locale 1917 et du comité d’usine chez Hitachi. 

Les salaires des membres des métiers spécialisés passeront de 33 à 35 $ l’heure d’ici la fin de l’entente. La convention inclut également une prime de 1 $ lors des travaux de soudage, une hausse de 0,25 $ des cotisations au régime de retraite à prestations déterminées (d’une valeur de plus de 100 000 $), et la réduction du temps d’attente pour l’obtention de prestations d’invalidité de courte durée. 

« Nous collaborons depuis longtemps avec Hitachi et les dispositions de l’entente sont plutôt évoluées, a précisé Jerry Escott. Dans le cadre de cette convention, nous avons donc pu maintenir toutes les dispositions existantes au cas où l’entreprise aurait besoin d’embaucher ultérieurement. »

Des dispositions sur une intervenante auprès des femmes et le soutien de l’entreprise pour le Fonds de justice sociale d’Unifor ont également été établis.

CAUT welcomes balanced, progressive copyright report from Industry Committee

CAUT -

(Ottawa – June 6, 2019) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) commends the authoritative review of the Copyright Act released yesterday by the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. The result of months of thorough and thoughtful study, the report contains 36 recommendations, including expansion of fair dealing purposes, and represents a balanced and forward-looking assessment.

“CAUT’s members – teachers, librarians, researchers and other academic staff at universities and colleges – include both users and creators of content, and they understand the importance of finding a fair approach,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “While the report contains compromises, we are assured that a broad range of voices were sought out and heard, including CAUT’s, making the report a good starting point for future copyright reform in Canada.”

Several key recommendations echo CAUT’s input before the committee:

  • Preservation of educational fair dealing, with expansion of fair dealing purposes (“such as” illustrative list as opposed to current exhaustive list)
  • Opposition to extension of copyright term; though conceded through recent NAFTA negotiations, the term should be extended only if copyright owners register
  • Agreement that intersection of copyright law and Indigenous knowledge is problematic and must be reformed to reflect Indigenous rights
  • Easing of digital locks for allowable purposes such as research, fair dealing
  • Placing limits on Crown copyright

“Fair dealing is a legal right confirmed by past judgments of the Supreme Court of Canada, and the report acknowledges that the ‘decline of collective licensing in education has arguably more to do with technological change than it does with fair dealing’,” Robinson adds. “It is significant that decades of jurisprudence have helped define fair dealing so as to provide certainty with flexibility, and CAUT urges the government to remain mindful of these considerations as it moves forward with reform of the Act.” 

Media contact: Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (c)

UFCW Canada Eastern Provinces Council Lights the Night in Moncton

UFCW Canada -

Moncton, N.B. – June 6, 2019 – Activists from the UFCW Canada Eastern Provinces Council (EPC) recently joined hundreds of participants from across New Brunswick at the inaugural Community Light the Night walk in Moncton to help raise funds and awareness for the life-changing work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC).

Les conseils locaux d’Unifor établissent un programme pour les travailleuses et travailleurs fédéraux

Unifor -

Les membres d’Unifor de l’Ontario et de la Nouvelle-Écosse se sont réunis pour établir un programme pour les travailleuses et travailleurs et développer des liens serrés entre les sections locales en vue de l’élection fédérale.

Les réunions des conseils locaux ont débuté le 4 juin à Windsor, en Ontario, et à Sydney, en Nouvelle-Écosse, et se poursuivront à Antigonish.

« L’élection fédérale approche à grands pas et il est maintenant temps d’établir notre vision pour un pays plus égalitaire et encore meilleur qui fait passer les travailleurs avant les sociétés, a déclaré Jerry Dias, président national d’Unifor. Les membres d’Unifor envoient déjà un message très clair. Nous voulons des dirigeants qui prennent la défense des travailleurs. »

Les participants étaient remplis d’enthousiasme et de détermination alors que les membres travaillaient ensemble pour résoudre les enjeux auxquels doivent faire face les travailleuses et travailleurs canadiens d’aujourd’hui, de la réduction des services publics aux pertes d’emplois, en passant par la sous-traitance. Mettant l’accent sur les solutions, les membres ont cerné les véritables façons dont les partis fédéraux peuvent faire preuve de leadership dans le cadre de la prochaine élection en traitant des échappatoires fiscales des sociétés et en bâtissant un Canada plus juste et plus équitable.

Lana Payne, directrice de la région de l’Atlantique d’Unifor, a discuté avec des membres à Sydney, précisant que « la meilleure façon de protéger, et d’améliorer, notre qualité de vie, ici, dans le Canada atlantique, est d’élire un gouvernement qui investira véritablement dans les emplois de qualité et les services publics et qui protégera et améliorera les droits des travailleurs ».

Entre-temps, à Windsor, Naureen Rizvi, directrice de la région de l’Ontario, a souligné les coupes catastrophiques que le gouvernement conservateur a effectuées dans la dernière année en Ontario : « Nous n’avons pas voté pour des coupes touchant l’éducation, les soins de santé et les droits des travailleurs, et nous méritons mieux. Mais pour y parvenir, nous allons devoir nous battre. »

L’élection s’annonce déjà comme une campagne où certains politiciens utilisent des tactiques alarmistes et un langage semant la discorde pour isoler les travailleurs. En s’unissant au sein des conseils locaux dans l’ensemble du pays, les membres d’Unifor s’opposent à cette division et renforcent la solidarité des travailleuses et travailleurs.

Des réunions sont prévues prochainement aux endroits précisés ci-dessous. Les membres et les sections locales doivent rester à l’affût puisque d’autres réunions pourraient s’ajouter dans l’ensemble du pays.

  • Jeudi 6 juin, Halifax : 17 h au bureau d’Halifax d’Unifor (63, Otter Lake Court, Halifax)
  • Lundi 17 juin, Kitchener : 17 h à la section locale 1106 d’Unifor (600, route Wabanaki, Kitchener)
  • Lundi 24 juin, région de Durham : 17 h à la section locale 1090 d’Unifor (140, rue Hunt, Ajax)
  • Mardi 25 juin, Thunder Bay : 18 h à la section locale 1075 d’Unifor (112, rue Gore Ouest, Thunder Bay)
  • Mardi 2 juillet, Ottawa : 17 h au club de soccer St. Anthony (523, rue St. Anthony, Ottawa)
  • Mercredi 3 juillet, London : 17 h à la section locale 27 d’Unifor (606, 1ère Rue, London)
  • Jeudi 4 juillet, région du Grand Toronto et Peel : 17 h à la section locale 112 d’Unifor (30, route Tangiers, North York)
  • Lundi 8 juillet, Sudbury : 17 h à la section locale 598 d’Unifor (2550, route Richard Lake, Sudbury)

Unifor Area Councils turn to setting a federal workers’ agenda

Unifor -

Unifor members in Ontario and in Nova Scotia meet to set a worker’s agenda and build stronger connections between local unions ahead of the federal election.

Area Council meetings kicked off on June 4 in Windsor, Ontario and Sydney, Nova Scotia, continuing on in Antigonish.

“The federal election is fast-approaching, and the time is now to set our vision for a better, more equal country that puts workers ahead of corporations,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor members are already sending that message loud and clear. We want strong leadership to stand with workers.”

The room was buzzing with excitement and determination as members worked together to solve the issues facing workers in Canada today, from cuts to public services to job loss and outsourcing. Focusing on solutions, members identified real ways that federal parties can lead in the upcoming election, by addressing corporate tax loopholes and making Canada more fair and equitable.

Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director, spoke with members in Sydney, commenting “the only way to protect, and improve, our quality of life here in Atlantic Canada is to elect a government that will truly invest in good jobs and public services and protect and enhance workers’ rights.”

Meanwhile, in Windsor, Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, outlined the dramatic cuts that only one year of Conservative government have brought to Ontario, saying, “Cuts to education, cuts to health care, and cuts to workers’ rights. We didn’t vote for this, and we deserve better. But to get better, we have to fight for it.”

The election is already proving to be one where some politicians use scare tactics, and divisive language to isolate working people. By coming together in union halls across the country, Unifor members resist this division, and build working class solidarity.

Upcoming meetings are currently scheduled at the locations below. Members and Local Unions should stay tuned as these spaces grow across the country.

  • Thursday, June 6, Halifax - 5:00 p.m. at Unifor Halifax office (63 Otter Lake Court, Halifax)
  • Monday, June 17 - Kitchener – 5:00 pm at Unifor 1106 hall (600 Wabanaki Drive, Kitchener)
  • Monday, June 24 – Durham Region – 5:00 pm at Unifor Local 1090 (140 Hunt Street, Ajax)
  • Tuesday, June 25 – Thunder Bay – 6:00 pm Unifor 1075 hall (112 W Gore Street, Thunder Bay)
  • Tuesday, July 2 – Ottawa – 5:00 pm at St. Anthony’s Soccer Club ( 523 St Anthony St. Ottawa)
  • Wednesday, July 3 – London – 5:00 pm at Unifor Local 27 (606 First Street, London)
  • Thursday, July 4 – GTA/Peel – 5:00 pm Unifor Local 112 hall (30 Tangiers Rd, North York)
  • Monday, July 8 – Sudbury – 5:00 pm Unifor 598 hall (2550 Richard Lake Drive, Sudbury)

EFAP conference focuses on addiction and mental health issues

Unifor -

Delegates gathered at the Unifor Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario between May 31 and June 2, 2019 to discuss ways to support and effectively represent members who are struggling with mental illness or addiction.

The Unifor Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) & Addictions conference, which takes place every two years, brought together 135 attendees from across the country including full-time EFAP representatives, health and safety representatives and local union leadership.

“The focus of the conference was about breaking the stigma around mental health and addiction issues, as well as how to get our members and their families the appropriate treatment when needed,” said Jessica Ridgwell member of the Ontario Regional Council (ORC) EFAP Committee.

Participants were invited to attend a new full-day course piloted by the education department, called Mental Health Matters, which provided a foundation for understanding mental illness and gave them guidance on referring members to appropriate services. The course also explained the duty to accommodate people with mental illness and addiction, and set out the rights and responsibilities of the employer, the union and the worker. In addition, there was a discussion on how to improve collective agreement language to support our members in these situations.

Other courses included How to Work with People in 12 Step Recovery, Transforming our Workplaces into Psychologically Safe and Supportive Places and Workplace Suicide Prevention Training.

The conference was sponsored by the Ontario Regional Council EFAP with help from the EFAP committees from the Atlantic, Prairie and B.C. regions. Staff from the women’s, health and safety, human rights and research departments also attended.

“We take great pride in our initiatives to address mental health and addiction issues,” said Jeff Ramackers, chairperson of the ORC EFAP Committee. “By bringing together experts from the mental health field and resources within our own union in this way, we are better equipped to help members who are struggling feel like they are not alone.”

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