Latest Labour News

Unifor cautiously optimistic about federal net-zero emissions plan

Unifor -

November 19, 2020

TORONTO—The federal government’s new legislation to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 is a step in the right direction, says Unifor.

“Canada can meet international climate change obligations and create good jobs at the same time,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Workers must be involved in decisions about our jobs and our communities. Nothing about us without us.”

Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, lays out an ambitious strategy to cap greenhouse gas emissions. While Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson will set specific reduction targets in the coming months, the bill’s goal is to exceed the Paris Climate Accord standards. Today’s bill also establishes reporting mechanisms and independent checks on the federal government’s progress.

Unifor welcomes the accountability measures as a commitment to be sensitive to the unique challenges of each economic sector, and emphasizes that workers must continue to be a partner in the discussions.

“Canada’s climate plan won’t work if it is set in stone. Instead, it should evolve and give attention to the areas that may need additional resources,” said Dias. “A green future isn’t about doing less—it’s about doing better. Good jobs in every region will help determine the success of our climate plans.”

“There’s no doubt that Bill C-12 puts Canada on the right trajectory,” concluded Dias.

Unifor’s commitment to the emerging green economy can be seen in the new auto sector collective agreements. Public and private investments will help produce low-emissions vehicles with good jobs on Canadian soil.

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).

UFCW International President Perrone participates in Biden-Harris roundtable on economic recovery

UFCW Canada -

Wilmington, Delaware – November 18, 2020 – UFCW International President Marc Perrone recently participated in an economic roundtable hosted by U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris to explore strategies for rebuilding the American economy and helping workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conservative election complaints against Unifor thrown out

Unifor -

November 18, 2020

WINNIPEG—Elections Manitoba has dismissed all complaints filed against Unifor by the Progressive Conservative Party during the 2019 provincial election.

“Brian Pallister attempted to use Manitoba’s election financing laws to bully one of his most effective critics. He failed,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Pallister was looking for any excuse to distract voters from his record in office.”

During the 2019 provincial election, the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba held a media conference to denounce Unifor's voter mobilization campaign and announce official complaints. The subsequent investigation overseen by the Manitoba Commissioner of Elections found no evidence that Unifor violated The Election Financing Act.

At the time, Unifor shrugged off the accusations and chalked it up to an effort by Pallister to distract voters from his record on emergency room closures, mismanagement of Manitoba Hydro, and rollbacks of workers’ rights.

“Whether it is mismanaging Manitoba Hydro or bungling the pandemic response, Pallister’s first instinct is to point the finger at somebody else,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Rather than smear its critics, the Pallister government must take responsibility for its many failings.”

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).

Unifor helps bust common myths about government finances

Unifor -

November 16, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor has published a new tool for working people to make sense of the government spending undertaken to prop up the economy and keep Canadians working.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures—but that doesn’t mean that working people can’t be part of the conversation about our taxes, the economy, and Canada’s fiscal policy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Working people have the most at stake when it comes to the economy and Canada’s social safety net. We are helping to de-mystify government spending and give Canadians the tools to analyze the decisions being made in their name.”

Myth-busting government debt: How deficits and spending foster growth discusses common myths about government spending and explains key differences between how government finances should be understood. Unifor believes Canadians should draw a distinction between their own pocketbooks and the wider operational considerations of the federal and provincial governments.

“Decades of outdated theories and talking points have conditioned people to believe that government debt and deficit is always bad. That is just not true,” said Dias. “Government deficits should be viewed as a deliberate strategy to spur economic growth and bolster the foundation for an economy that works for everyone.”

Unifor’s myth-busting paper is the latest in a series of policy documents released under its Build Back Better project. Build Back Better lays out economic policy proposals to redesign Canada’s economic programs, its social infrastructure and public services to build an inclusive, fairer and more resilient 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).

Additional Compensation for HCAs Disrupted by Staffing Shortages

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip Manitoba, the staffing situation in health care facilities has become critical. The MGEU and the Provincial Health Labour Relations Secretariat (PHLRS) are in discussions to revise the current COVID Redeployment Memorandum of Agreement signed off last Spring to support members who are disrupted by staffing shortages. In the meantime, we have agreed to additional compensation for affected HCAs.

CAUT condemns threats to Colombian teachers and unions

CAUT -

(Ottawa – November 13, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez to demand protections for executive members of the Federación Colombiana de Educadores (FECODE) teachers’ union. Death threats were made at the end of October through the delivery of a funeral wreath and individualized obituary notices.

“We are alarmed at these latest threats to the teachers’ union and are deeply troubled that violence towards social and union leaders has become far too commonplace in your country,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson in the letter.

CAUT joins with Education International (EI) and the global education community in condemning the chronic lack of safety of teachers and union leaders in Colombia, where more than 6,000 education unionists have been killed, threatened, or forcefully displaced over the last 30 years.

“CAUT urges your government to ensure the safety and the physical integrity of all individuals on the FECODE Executive Committee, and of all citizens who exercise their rights to express opinions, demonstrate, and organise in defense of the public education system,” the letter concludes.

Dominion workers in Newfoundland ratify contract

Unifor -

November 13, 2020

ST. JOHN’S – Dominion workers have ratified a new collective agreement, ending a 12-week long strike action at stores across Newfoundland.

“These workers were the first to undertake meaningful strike action to draw attention to a business model in Canadian retail that fails workers,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “While improvements were obtained we know there is still more work to do at Dominion and the other grocery giants in this country to address wages and precarious work and Unifor will persevere in that effort.”

The new four-year contract, backdated to October 2019, covers more than 1,400 Unifor Local 597 members at 11 Dominion locations in Newfoundland.

“Our members took a stand to improve working conditions in Canada’s retail sector and we will continue in the challenge to raise the bar for workers,” said Carolyn Wrice, President of Unifor Local 597.

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 a Skype, Zoom or FaceTime interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or
416-896-3303 (cell).

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