Latest Labour News

Media Advisory - Dominion workers to stream rally from picket lines across Newfoundland

Unifor -

August 28, 2020

ST. JOHN’S—Unifor is hosting a live virtual rally from Dominion picket lines across Newfoundland on Monday, August 31 at 11:00 a.m. NL.

“We are mobilizing and the fact that hundreds of underpaid grocery workers are standing up to the billionaire bosses at Loblaw Co., which owns the 11 Dominion supermarkets now behind picket lines, is really touching a nerve,” said Linda MacNeil, Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Director, referring to a member’s video message to Galen Weston yesterday that has been watched and shared by more than 100,000 Canadian consumers.

More than 1,400 Dominion grocery workers went on strike August 22, 2020. Media and supporters are invited to watch on Facebook.com/UniforCanada.

WHAT:                Virtual Rally for Dominion Workers

WHERE:              Live on Facebook from picket lines across Newfoundland

WHEN:                Monday, August 31, 11:00 a.m. NL

WHEN:                Monday, August 31, 11:00 a.m. NL

WHO:                  Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director;

                             Carolyn Wrice, Unifor Local 597 President;

                             Chris MacDonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President;

                             Members from various picket lines across Newfoundland

Unifor will provide high-resolution video of the rally to media following the event for unrestricted use, upon request to shelley.amyotte@unifor.org

The strike in Newfoundland is exposing what is wrong with how all frontline grocery workers are being treated after they helped Canadians put food on their tables during the COVID crisis.

For media inquiries, or to arrange Facetime, Zoom, Skype, phone, or in person interviews following the event, contact National Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at 902-717-7491 or shelley.amyotte@unifor.org.

 

 

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Demands CEOs End Gag Rules Endangering Public Health, Calls For National Registry of Frontline Worker COVID- 19 Infections

UFCW Press Releases -

Union for Grocery, Retail, and Meatpacking Workers Demand Transparency from Top Companies As COVID-19 Cases Continue to Spike

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) – which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, meatpacking, and other industries on the frontlines of the pandemic – condemned the CEOs of Amazon, Target, McDonald’s, and other top companies for instituting “gag rules” that prevent workers from disclosing COVID-19 infections in the workplace. A new report exposing the COVID-19 gag rules at top companies highlights the stunning effort to silence workers, and intimidate whistleblowers seeking to raise awareness about the threats to their workplace and public safety. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:  

“All Americans should be outraged by this report about COVID-19 gag rules at Amazon, Target, McDonald’s, and other top companies. It is outrageous that these CEOs would deliberately keep Americans in the dark about COVID-19 infections at their companies, directly threatening public health and worker safety in the middle of a pandemic that has already cost nearly 200,000 American lives.

“This new report exposes what UFCW has long warned the public about – that many of our nation’s largest corporations are purposely trying to hide the full extent of COVID-19 infections among their employees. Even worse, these actions by Amazon and other top companies are part of a ruthless attempt to silence whistleblowers at a time when transparency is more important than ever to keeping Americans safe from COVID-19.

“For the sake of all of our families’ safety, UFCW is once more calling for the immediate creation of a national public registry of COVID-19 worker infections to ensure that our elected leaders and the American people have all the facts about how many workers have died, been infected, or exposed to this deadly virus. We cannot afford to wait for the next outbreak or for more lives to be needlessly lost. Americans need and deserve answers now.”

Background:

UFCW has been a leading national voice in calling for action to strengthen transparency in tracking COVID-19 infections among America’s frontline workers.

On a June 25 national press call, UFCW called for the creation of a new national public registry to track COVID-19 worker infections. As proposed by UFCW, the public registry would require all companies with 1,000 employees or more to publicly disclose the number of COVID-19 deaths, infections, and exposures among their employees.

This week, UFCW confirmed that COVID-19 continues to threaten frontline food workers across the country, with more than 250 food worker deaths and over 36,000 food workers infected or exposed. This includes at least 103 grocery worker deaths and over 14,300 grocery workers infected or exposed to COVID-19.

Additionally, UFCW confirmed that there have been at least 115 meatpacking worker deaths and over 17,700 meatpacking workers infected or exposed to the virus. And in food processing plants, the union confirmed there have been at least 35 food processing worker deaths and more than 4,900 food processing workers infected or exposed.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

Statement from MAHCP President on diagnostic services consolidation in Russell/Roblin:

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Here is our statement from MAHCP President Bob Moroz on the diagnostic services consolidation in Russell/Roblin:

 

It’s sad to see another community lose diagnostic services, when this was entirely avoidable.

This closure is the direct result of a failure to invest in rural health care. It’s the culmination of a failed strategy to ignore and cut, and now their answer is to cut even more services.

MAHCP is concerned that this reportedly temporary closure could become permanent, as has happened with other rural health care services. Furthermore, the Manitoba Government has already signaled that we can expect consolidation in rural health care services, as we have seen in Winnipeg in recent years with significant impacts to services and accessibility.

We are concerned that this closure in Roblin could be part of a concerning trend and that many more closures and cuts to services may follow. Not only does this mean a loss of services, but a loss of good jobs as well.

These Allied Health Professionals are community members, this isn’t just their job, it’s their home and they’re dedicated to their communities. We see the same passion and commitment from our members working across the province.

Fortunately, Allied Health is here to help and we can work with the Manitoba Government on this. Let’s get back to the bargaining table to negotiate a fair deal for Allied Health Professionals. Let’s give them the resources and supports they need to care for their neighbours and loved ones in Roblin and other rural communities like it across the province.

Let’s get them back to work delivering services close to home during this pandemic when Manitobans need them most.

Bob Moroz, MAHCP President

Governments must take urgent action to save Bombardier Thunder Bay jobs

Unifor -

August 27, 2020

THUNDER BAY— Unifor is calling on all levels of government to secure long-overdue product commitments with the Bombardier Thunder Bay plant as the company announced new devastating layoffs of approximately 40% of the plant’s current workforce yesterday.

“For the past three years, Unifor has urged all levels of government to take immediate and decisive action to secure product orders with the plant in order to protect hundreds of highly-skilled workers’ jobs at this world-class facility,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “With the country headed for a potentially drawn-out economic downturn, it is unthinkable for governments to sit on their hands, allow more layoffs and jeopardize a manufacturing facility that will be crucial to Canada’s post-COVID economic recovery.”

The layoffs will affect 200 workers and will come into effect in two stages—125 workers will be laid off in October 2020 with 75 more in 2021. Knowing the plant’s need for product commitments, Unifor began meeting with municipal, provincial and federal officials in early 2018 to solidify funding commitments and secure purchases of new bi-level, subway trains and streetcars manufactured at the facility. The Toronto City Council solidified its transit funding plans in late 2019 while both the Ontario and federal governments continue to fault one another for failing to finalize the province’s transit plans.

Back in May, approximately 60 workers at the plant were recalled to assemble ventilators as part of the Ontario government’s COVID-19 strategy. That work will end within the next two months, roughly when the company plans to proceed with the next round of layoffs. Fulfilling the TTC’s immediate need for 60 additional street cars would help sustain the plant in the short term, and create a bridge to longer term transit procurement projects.

“The plant and its workers have always been part of fulfilling the country’s manufacturing needs, from life-saving ventilators to trains, buses and planes to even war-time minesweepers,” said Dominic Pasqualino, president of Unifor Local 1075. “This plant has always stepped up in times of crisis and that’s exactly where we find ourselves today. The road to economic recovery requires ‘made in Canada’ green public transit vehicles that could easily be built by our members in Thunder Bay now.”

Recent studies of the Bombardier plant’s economic benefits have shown that each job maintained at the facility supports between 1.5 and 2.8 additional full-time jobs, many of them in Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area. The value of those jobs is a combined $184 million in labour compensation and direct GDP and tax revenue of approximately $545 million and $33.5 million respectively.

When at full capacity, the Bombardier plant is easily Thunder Bay’s largest private sector employer, sustaining high quality, middle class jobs for hundreds of families. The loss of some of these jobs has already been a significant economic blow to Thunder Bay and Ontario, but so far has been temporary.

“We need Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau to stop delaying and get the product orders in today. A failure to order public transit vehicles now risks making the damage of these layoffs permanent,” added Pasqualino.

For media inquiries please contact David Molenhuis, Unifor National Communications Representative at david.molenhuis@unifor.org or 416-575-7453 (cell).

 

Unifor calls for review of container trucking black market

Unifor -

August 27, 2020

VANCOUVER—Lack of proper monitoring and enforcement of “off-dock” trucking shipments threatens the livelihoods of all law-abiding Port Metro Vancouver container truckers and demands action, says Unifor.

“When there’s no enforcement, unscrupulous businesses will create a black market,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Under illegal markets legitimate businesses suffer, workers lose their jobs, and government quickly loses control. Truckers are demanding justice.”

Unlicensed truckers are moving marine containers off-dock within the Lower Mainland at steeply discounted prices and undermining licensed, fee-paying companies, says the union. Unifor is calling for the provincial government to give the Office of the Container Truck Commissioner more tools to properly monitor the off-dock shipments and levy fines.

“Issuing licenses when there is a thriving black market makes no sense,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We liken it to taking a head count on a sinking boat with a large hole in the hull. The most urgent problem must be dealt with first.”

Unifor has been working closely with the Minister of Transport and the Commissioner since it helped establish the Joint Action Plan signed in 2014. The Plan was designed to capture and regulate all on-dock and off-dock movements of containers within the Lower Mainland, whether by employee or owner operator.

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.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype/Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Calls for Action to Prioritize Safety of Frontline Workers Essential to Food Supply Chain During COVID-19

UFCW Press Releases -

Following President Trump’s North Carolina Visit, UFCW Calls on Elected Leaders for Action on Hazard Pay, National Mask Mandate, Workplace Safety Union Confirms Over 250 Food Worker Deaths, With Over 36,000 Food Workers Infected or Exposed to COVID-19 

WASHINGTON, DC – Following today’s President Trump visit to a produce facility in North Carolina, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) – which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery, meatpacking, food processing, and other industries essential to the U.S. food supply during the pandemic – called for the White House and all elected leaders to support these frontline workers with action on hazard pay, a national mask mandate, and stronger workplace safety standards.  

Since the pandemic began, there have been over 250 food worker deaths and over 36,000 food workers infected or exposed to COVID-19 in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and food processing facilities. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:  

“America’s food workers have been on the frontlines of this public health crisis, and their safety must come first. Frontline workers across the food supply chain have been putting themselves in harm’s way to help put food on the plates of all Americans every day of this pandemic. This is not about politics. This is about the safety of millions of American food workers who are essential to our country’s food supply. 

“President Trump and all of our elected leaders have a responsibility to stand up for these brave American workers. A strong national agenda for America’s food workers must include hazard pay for the risks these workers are facing, a national mask mandate to slow the spread of COVID-19, increased access to COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment, and enforcement of clear safety standards for all essential frontline workers for as long as this pandemic continues.

 “Every day, more of our country’s frontline food workers are getting sick and dying from this terrible virus. Our elected leaders must act to protect these workers and keep our food supply chain secure. We cannot wait any longer.”

 Background:

 UFCW has been a leading national voice in calling for action to support and protect grocery and meatpacking workers who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic.  

Today, UFCW confirmed that among the union’s members there have been at least 103 grocery worker deaths and over 14,300 grocery workers infected or exposed to COVID-19. Additionally, UFCW confirmed that there have been at least 115 meatpacking worker deaths and over 17,700 meatpacking workers infected or exposed to the virus.  

In food processing plants, the union confirmed there have been at least 35 food processing worker deaths and more than 4,900 food processing workers infected or exposed.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

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