Quispamsis, New Brunswick – November 28, 2019 – Hannah Fowler is one of eighteen winners of the 2019 UFCW Canada – BDM Scholarship. Each year UFCW Canada offers 18 UFCW Canada – BDM Scholarships worth $1,000 each to active members and their family members for post-secondary study.
MGEU member, Randi Chase, who was recently the victim of a violent attack at a Winnipeg liquor store, joined MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky to speak about how she's feeling now and her hopes for joint community action at a press conference today.
We need an urgent summit of law enforcement, addictions and social services, public and private retailers, unions, and the provincial government. — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Increased privatization will inevitably lead to two-tier health care, where the wealthy are able to pay for the care they need and the rest of us have to wait and worry.
Toronto – November 27, 2019 – The unanimous ruling by the Ontario Divisional Court to strike down Premier Doug Ford's so-called ‘Student Choice Initiative’ (SCI) followed a legal action by the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario and the York Federation of Students which challenged the government’s calculated attack on students’ rights, union rights, academic freedom, and student services on Ontario campuses.
“The security and prosperity of Canada, and a sustainable future for generations to come, depend on it.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Toronto – November 26, 2019 – Congratulations to UFCW Canada Local 175 members at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) on ratifying their first collective agreement. Members at the CCVT provide vital support and integration services to refugees and survivors of war, torture and trauma.
After reaching a dead-end in negotiations to renew their collective agreement and dealing with a stubborn employer, workers at Voith Hydro went on strike last week.
“Unifor bargained up until the deadline but unfortunately it became clear that the employer was just unwilling to make a fair offer,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “The members are united and we are determined to obtain an agreement that addresses the workers’ key issues.”
The 35 workers represented by Unifor Local 252 had delivered an overwhelming 100 per cent strike mandate and began strike action on November 14, 2019.
“The employer has to understand that we are determined to make legitimate improvements to our members’ working conditions,” said Wilson Stowel, Unifor Local 252. “Under the circumstances, we had no other choice but to withdraw services because the employer just wouldn’t listen.”
The employer tabled several concessionary proposals that would have negatively changed the entire collective agreement. Voith’s monetary proposals included reducing benefits from 100 per cent to 80 per cent, the elimination of the Cost of Living Adjustment and no increases to pension during the life of the collective agreement.
“We want to send a clear message to the employer. This work contract can only be renewed on the basis of negotiating in good faith and respecting our members,” continued Dias.
Despite several possible solutions put forward by the union, the employer has been steadfast in their demands on the union to accept concessions.
Voith manufactures hydro power station equipment, primarily for hydro dams around the world. The facility also repairs and maintains the equipment that it manufactures.
Union Representing Cannabis Workers Calls for Regional Framework to Prioritize Labor Peace Agreements that Support Good Jobs, Consumer Safety
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union is calling for consumer and worker protections to be a top priority for Governors Andrew Cuomo (New York), Ned Lamont (Connecticut), Phil Murphy (New Jersey), Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island), Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania), and Charlie Baker (Massachusetts) in their states’ new joint framework on cannabis.
In a letter to these governors, UFCW called the agreement an important first step to strengthen the cannabis industry and support good jobs, but also emphasized the need to invest in high standards that put consumers and workers first. UFCW President Marc Perrone released the following statement:
“America’s cannabis industry has the power to create thousands of good jobs that support hardworking families and the communities they serve. But we can only achieve this with strong labor peace agreements that set high standards that reward responsible businesses, strengthen worker voices, and put consumer safety first. We urge these governors to make this a centerpiece of their cannabis framework as they continue to invest in the future of our economy.”
In the letter to Northeast governors, UFCW emphasized the importance of labor peace agreements. A labor peace agreement is a written and mutually agreed-upon document between a labor union and an employer, typically one that is licensed to operate in a regulated industry by a state or local government.
- Labor peace agreements strengthen business stability and support a healthy workplace
- Unions and their members typically agree to refrain from engaging in strikes, boycotts, picketing and any other interference in the employer’s business.
- Employers, in return, agree to not interfere with efforts by the labor union to communicate with, and attempt to organize and represent, the employer’s workers.
- These agreements generally require the employer, including management and supervisory staff, to agree to remain neutral regarding unions and their representation of the workforce.
Labor peace agreements do not equate to mandatory unionization and do not impose a union contract. In fact, union organizing must still take place at the worksite. And negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement between the union and the business only begin after a majority of workers elect to join the union. Ultimately, labor peace agreements provide an additional safeguard for workers and strengthen the businesses that agree to them.
Both New York and New Jersey already have labor peace agreements in place for medical cannabis businesses.
This week’s letter is signed by the following labor leaders:
- UFCW International President Marc Perrone – Washington, D.C.
- Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum – New York, NY
- UFCW International Vice President and Region 1 Director David Young – Little Falls, NJ
- UFCW Local 152 President Brian String – Egg Harbor Township, NJ
- UFCW Local 328 President Timothy Melia – Providence, RI
- RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 President Jon Durso – Mineola, NY
- UFCW Local 360 President Salvatore “Sam” Ferraino – West Berlin, NJ
- UFCW Local 371 President Thomas Wilkinson – Westport, CT
- UFCW Local 919 President Mark Espinosa – Farmington, CT
- UFCW Local 1445 President Jeffrey Bollen – Dedham, MA
- UFCW Local 1459 President Tyrone Housey – Springfield, MA
- UFCW Local 1776KS President Wendell Young – Plymouth Meeting, PA
- RWDSU New York City Director Dave Mertz – New York, NY
Since 2010, the UFCW has been a leader in the cannabis industry and currently represents thousands of cannabis workers in 12 states around the country. The UFCW represents more than 300,000 workers across a wide range of industries in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
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
“We stood with the students because it was the right thing to do" — OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas
Violence and harassment, including that in the workplace, disproportionately affect marginalized women and gender-diverse and Two Spirit people.
Victoria, B.C. – November 25, 2019 – Retail workers at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) in Victoria, British Columbia are the newest members of UFCW Local 1518 after recently voting “Yes!” to joining the union.