Latest Labour News

Long-term care review must happen quickly to protect workers and residents

Unifor -

August 6, 2020

HALIFAX—The union representing the majority of workers at Northwood Manor willingly participated in the government-led review of long-term care facilities’ response to COVID-19, knowing fast action may help save lives as the pandemic continues.

“We are most concerned with the government taking decisive action, sooner rather than later, to better protect workers and residents if there is a second wave of COVID-19,” said Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Regional Director. “A public inquiry would take a very long time to accomplish, and in the middle of a pandemic we don’t have time on our side.”

Following years of activism by Unifor members and leaders, countless meetings and the extensive work done by the Expert Panel on Long-Term Care, the union believes the bulk of the issues that led to poor infection control and staffing issues are already well established and known by government.

“We’ve been hounding McNeil and his government for years to address all the issues raised in public following the COVID-19 outbreak and we demand that his government act swiftly on every single recommendation in order to protect residents and those who care for them,” said MacNeil. “More specific information about what could have been done better in the early stages of the pandemic will help, but the root causes of issues in long-term care are well-known.”

As servicing representative to Unifor Local 4606 at Northwood Manor, Shauna Wilcox was interviewed recently by the review panel.

“The panel directly addressed concerns raised about the requirements for privacy and made it very clear to me that I could disclose anything I said to the panel publicly, without repercussion,” said Wilcox, National Representative. “The privacy requirement is on the reviewers to avoid disclosing what they hear or from whom. With that in mind, Unifor members could participate in this process knowing they will not be subject to retaliation.”

Unifor represents more than 480 workers at Northwood Manor, and nearly 2,000 in the long-term care sector across Nova Scotia.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including more than 30,000 in the health care sector. 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 contact National Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at 902-717-7491 or shelley.amyotte@unifor.org.

Media Advisory: Unifor to begin negotiations August 12th with Detroit Three automakers

Unifor -

August 6, 2020

TORONTO– Unifor will begin formal contract talks with the Detroit Three automakers, Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, to reach collective agreements for nearly 20 thousand members on August 12, 2020.

"These are significant negotiations at a time when the auto sector needs new investment to rebuild our economy with more Made in Canada manufacturing,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Our union is committed to negotiating a solid agreement that makes progress on wages and working conditions for our members."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, strict safety protocols will be in place for the duration of the negotiations to ensure compliance with Ontario health directives. Unifor will make every effort to provide media with all necessary materials to allow for safe, remote coverage.

In-person attendance will be restricted for opening photo ops but we will have space for one pool videographer and one pool still photographer. The news conference will be less restricted and also streamed live on Facebook and available for 4K download upon request.  Journalists unable to attend in person can ask questions by phone. Any interested media should register in advance by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  who will provide call in details.

WHAT:                 Media conference and photo opportunities, opening of Detroit Three negotiations

WHEN:                Wednesday August 12, 2020

9:30 a.m.            Fiat Chrysler opening photo op - Grand Ballroom

11:30 a.m.          General Motors opening photo op - Grand Ballroom

2:00 p.m.            Ford opening photo op - Grand Ballroom

3:15 p.m.            News Conference - Dominion Ballroom and live on Facebook

WHERE:             Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto

WHO:                  Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor Master  Bargaining Committee representatives

For more background on Canada’s auto sector please download our fact sheet here.

A digital media kit will be available next week.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 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 please contact Unifor Unifor Director of Communications Natalie Clancy: Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (416) 707-5794.

Unifor urges retaliation for unfair aluminum tariffs

Unifor -

August 6, 2020

TORONTO—The re-imposition of punitive tariffs on Canadian aluminum exports by the U.S. Department of Commerce warrants a swift and aggressive trade reaction from the Trudeau government, says Unifor.

“A policy designed for Russian and Chinese exports has been recklessly applied to Canadian producers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Prime Minister Trudeau must respond with severe countermeasures.”

Unifor warned the federal government of the U.S. threats to Canadian aluminum last month. Without any direct evidence to support their claim, the American Primary Aluminum Association (APAA)— which represents only two aluminum companies—claims a “surge” in Canadian aluminum imports has caused aluminum prices to collapse.

In reality, the Canadian share of U.S. primary aluminum imports has been falling. Canada’s share of domestic US consumption of primary non-alloyed aluminum has fallen from nearly 50 per cent in 2010 to 43 per cent in 2019, while the share of non-Canadian foreign imports has skyrocketed. Unifor says that global economic conditions have eroded the American capacity to produce aluminum, and massive increases in Russian and Chinese imports have made up the difference.

“Tariffs on Canadian-made aluminum are Trump’s ‘solution’ to a problem that doesn’t exist,” said Dias. “The Trump administration has gifted billions of dollars worth of tariff exemptions, allowing countries like China to flood the US market with aluminum, but has the audacity to paint Canadian workers as the villain. It’s totally absurd.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 4,000 workers in the aluminum sector in Quebec and British Columbia. 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).

Unifor welcomes mask requirement for Translink, B.C. Transit users

Unifor -

August 6, 2020

VICTORIA—The new requirement for transit passengers to wear masks onboard buses is a welcome change that will help protect both other passengers and transit operators, says Unifor.

“With the proper precautions, we can have great public transit that minimizes public health risks,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We have the upmost confidence in the Provincial Health Officer.”

Transit authorities confirmed that operators are not responsible for policing passengers’ mask use. Instead, signage at transit stops will notify passengers of the new requirement.

“Unifor members will continue to do their jobs safely and leave mask compliance to the common sense of the transit riding public, and if necessary, Transit Supervisors or the police,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Thanks to anti-science conservatives, basic public health precautions have become politicized. No transit operator should have to risk their own safety confronting anti-mask crusaders.”

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).

Politics Blog: Jason Kenney’s Bill 32 is an assault on workers’ rights

UFCW Canada -

Edmonton – August 5, 2020 – When Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party (UCP) won Alberta’s provincial election in 2019, workers and the labour movement braced themselves for the inevitable assault on their rights. The arrival of COVID-19 likely delayed the UCP’s attacks on working Albertans, but now the assault has arrived with the introduction of Bill 32.

More Canadian musicians adding their voice in support of the “CARE NOT PROFITS” advocacy campaign to reinvest profits back into Ontario’s long-term care system

Unifor -

Chantal Kreviazuk, The Sheepdogs, Basia Bulat, Born Ruffians, and Tokyo Police Club latest to support the growing campaign to reform Ontario’s long-term care system

August 4, 2020

TORONTO — SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor, unions that represent healthcare workers across the long-term care sector, are proud to welcome Chantal Kreviazuk, The Sheepdogs, Basia Bulat, Born Ruffians, and Tokyo Police Club as the latest Canadian musicians to add their voice to our growing “Care Not Profits” campaign to reform Ontario’s long-term care system.

“Care Not Profits” is an invitation to everyone in our province to call on Premier Ford to end the failed experiment of for-profit long-term care delivery. Our deepest appreciation goes out to these amazingly talented artists for using their voices for good, along with Sarah Harmer who last week performed a “Care Not Profits” Facebook Live session for over 25,000 viewers in support of long-term care reform, which can be streamed here.

QUOTES:

“The time for action to reform our long-term care system is now. Workers know it. Families know it. And these proud Canadian musicians know it. We can no longer accept anti-care policies that cater to the profits of a few major nursing home corporations. Even as residents and workers were dying during the pandemic, companies like Chartwell, Extendicare, and Sienna continued to pay shareholders millions of dollars in dividends. Premier Ford must act now to give healthcare workers the support they need to deliver quality care for our most vulnerable. That means full-time jobs with higher wages, increased staffing levels, and the end to tax-payer funded for-profit long-term care.” – Sharleen Stewart, President, SEIU Healthcare

“This pandemic has only exposed and deepened an existing crisis in long-term care. And one thing it revealed is that the for-profit homes were the most dangerous sites for our elders. We need to do better – we need a complete overhaul of the system so that this never happens again. That’s why I’m so happy to see that the message is spreading and that more artists are joining us in this effort. Together, we will end for-profit care and create a system that our elders deserve.” – Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Ontario

“Music has a way of touching our souls. We hope the contributions of these talented Canadian artists and the growing chorus of concerned citizens demanding Care Not Profits can move the hearts and minds of Premier Ford and his team to finally make concrete change to Ontario’s long-suffering long-term care system. We can’t wait any longer for government to end for-profit care and fund dignified living conditions for our most vulnerable while respecting the people who dutifully care for them.” – Jerry Dias, National President, Unifor

BACKGROUND ON THE “CARE NOT PROFITS” CAMPAIGN:

During the COVID-19 crisis, Ontario’s worst hit nursing homes were all for-profit facilities. Data tells us that for-profit long-term care corporations have 17 per cent fewer staff than non-profit nursing homes. Yet, while families and care staff were dying throughout the pandemic, three of the largest long-term care businesses combined paid shareholders more than $58 million in dividends in the past three months alone. These are facts.

The new, 60-second ad called “Care Not Profits” originally launched on July 23rd.

To view the ad and learn more, visit carenotprofits.ca

The full, high-definition broadcast from this morning’s campaign launch, including the 60-second ad, is available for media to download here: https://bit.ly/39lxVfU

For media inquiries, contact:

 

Corey Johnson

SEIU Healthcare

c.johnson@seiuhealthcare.ca

416-529-8909



Daniel Tseghay

CUPE Communications

dtseghay@cupe.ca

647-220-9739



Shelley Amyotte

Unifor Communications

shelley.amyotte@unifor.org

902-717-7491

 

 

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