Latest Labour News

Le thème du Conseil régional de la C.-B. : Debout et au combat!

Unifor -

Le militantisme syndical a été grandement célébré ces derniers jours alors que les déléguées et délégués représentant les sections locales de toute la province participaient au Conseil régional de la Colombie-Britannique, tenu à Whistler du 22 au 24 novembre 2019.

« Au cours des dernières décennies, on a menti aux travailleurs, on a freiné leurs ambitions et on a minimisé leurs combats, a déclaré Gavin McGarrigle, directeur de la région de l’Ouest d'Unifor. Nous devons nous tenir debout et nous battre, c'est le thème du Conseil régional de la C.-B. 2019. »

Gavin McGarrigle a rappelé les principales campagnes que le syndicat a entreprises au cours de la dernière année, y compris la campagne de membre à membre à l’occasion des élections fédérales, qui a été très efficace en Colombie-Britannique.

« Nos membres recruteurs se sont réunis, se sont formés, ont appris à travailler ensemble... ils se sont portés volontaires dans des circonscriptions ciblées, plusieurs fois par semaine, a souligné Gavin McGarrigle aux déléguées et délégués. Unifor était là en force et nous avons tenu bon chaque jour de la campagne, en parlant à nos membres, en visitant les lieux de travail et en faisant du bénévolat. »

Le conférencier invité Don Davies, député néo-démocrate de Vancouver Kingsway, a également fait l'éloge des efforts déployés par les membres lors de la campagne électorale.  

« Unifor a été là pour moi dans ma campagne lorsqu’on cherchait ma défaite, a dit Don Davies. La campagne d'Unifor de membre à membre était visible, elle a été remarquée, et ce fut un succès. »

Le deuxième jour du Conseil, le président national d'Unifor, Jerry Dias, a poursuivi sur le thème de la riposte et du militantisme syndical.

« Nous pouvons exprimer tout ce que nous voulons. Nous pouvons être audacieux, nous pouvons tenir à nos principes, a déclaré Jerry Dias aux déléguées et délégués. Nous pouvons faire pression sur les gouvernements, sur les entreprises, ou nous pouvons garder le silence. Mais juste en regardant cette assemblée, je sais qu'il n'y a aucune chance qu'on se taise. »

Jerry Dias a souligné l'appui du syndicat aux questions autochtones lorsqu'il a invité les membres à se joindre à lui dans le cadre de la Marche pour la réconciliation sur la fameuse autoroute des larmes de la Colombie-Britannique, où de nombreux meurtres et disparitions de femmes autochtones ont été commis.

« Quand nous marchons sur l'autoroute des larmes, nous sommes tous ensemble. Nous allons bien faire les choses, pour nos consœurs, pour nos membres et pour nos enfants parce que nous devons le faire », a dit Jerry Dias.

Les déléguées et délégués ont voté pour l’adoption de résolutions en faveur de la marche de réconciliation et du lobbying auprès du gouvernement provincial de la Colombie-Britannique afin qu'il adopte et mette en œuvre les appels à la justice inclus dans le rapport final de l'Enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées.

Unifor a aussi exprimé son engagement envers la réconciliation par un don de 250 000 dollars à la B.C. Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS) fait conjointement par le Fonds de justice sociale d’Unifor et le CN. Les fonds serviront à étendre un programme novateur de développement de la parole et du langage destiné aux enfants de tout le Canada.

« En investissant dans le développement du langage, vous permettez à nos enfants d'avoir une voix pour provoquer des changements lorsqu'ils seront plus âgés », a déclaré la présidente du conseil d'administration de la BCACCS, Mary Teegee, aux déléguées et délégués lorsqu'elle a accepté le chèque. 

Les déléguées et délégués ont également adopté des résolutions et des recommandations visant à mettre fin au contrôle des entreprises sur les quotas de pêche de la côte ouest, à réclamer une aide en cas de catastrophe liée aux changements climatiques pour les pêcheurs et les travailleurs assimilés, à aider les sections locales à promouvoir une « transition juste » dans les industries où les émissions de CO2 continuent à augmenter, et à faire pression sur tous les paliers gouvernementaux pour que des mesures dynamiques soient prises pour lutter contre les changements climatiques.

 

Stand up and fight back theme of B.C. Regional Council

Unifor -

It was a celebration of union activism as delegates representing locals from across the province participated at the B.C. Regional Council, held in Whistler November 22-24, 2019.

"For the past few decades, workers have been sold a lie, their ambitions have been held back, and their struggles have been minimized," said Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle. "We need to stand up and fight back - that's the theme of B.C. Regional Council 2019."

McGarrigle highlighted major campaigns that the union undertook in the past year including the federal election member-to-member campaign, which was highly effective in British Columbia.

“Our member organizers came together, trained, learned how to work together…they volunteered their hearts out in targeted ridings, multiple times each week,” McGarrigle told delegates. “Unifor was there in force and we continued for every day of the campaign, speaking to our members, visiting workplaces, and volunteering.”

The members’ election campaign efforts were also praised by guest speaker Don Davies, the NDP MP for Vancouver Kingsway.  

“Unifor was there for me in my campaign when I was targeted for defeat," said Davies. “Unifor’s member-to-member campaign was visible, it was noticed, and it was a demonstrated success."

On day two of Council, Unifor National President Jerry Dias continued the theme of fighting back and union activism.

“We can be anything we want. We can be bold, in your face, principled,” Dias told delegates. “We can push governments, we can push corporations, or we can be silent. As I look across this room I know the chances of us being silent are zero.”

Dias highlighted the union’s support of Indigenous issues as he invited members to join him on the Unifor Walk for Reconciliation on B.C.’s notorious Highway of Tears, the location of many murders and disappearances of Indigenous women.

“When we walk the highway of tears you are all joining me. We’re going to do it right - for our fellow sisters, for our members for our kids because we have to,” said Dias.

Delegates voted to pass resolutions in support of the Reconciliation Walk and to lobby the B.C. provincial government to fully adopt and implement the Calls for Justice included in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Unifor backed up its commitment to Reconciliation with a $250,000 donation to the B.C. Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS) made jointly by the Unifor Social Justice Fund and CN Rail. The funds will be used to expand an innovative speech and language development program for children across Canada.

“We know comes from people speaking up so by investing in language you are allowing our children to have the voice to make changes when they are older," BCACCS Board President Mary Teegee told delegates as she accepted the cheque. 

Delegates also passed resolutions and recommendations to end corporate control over west coast fish quotas, to call for climate change disaster assistance for fish harvesters and allied workers, to assist locals to promote “Just Transition” language in industries where CO2 emissions counts continue to rise and to lobby all levels of government to take aggressive action to combat climate change.

 

Unifor and CN Rail donate $250,000 to the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society

Unifor -

Unifor and CN Rail have donated $250,000 to the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS) to support the expansion of an innovative program that uses Indigenous toys and stories to enhance language development in children.

“Unifor is proud to partner with CN to assist BCACCS’s work to deliver a spiritually enriching, high quality, early learning program that is based in the child’s Indigenous culture, language and history,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

BCACCS plans to adapt and expand its popular Moe the Mouse™ Speech and Language Development Program to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of on and off reserve Indigenous early childhood development programs in the six regions of Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon, and the Maritime Provinces.

“As a long-time leader in the creation of Indigenous early learning and child care resources like the Moe the Mouse Speech and Language Development Program, the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society is honoured to receive this generous donation from the Unifor Social Justice Fund and CN Rail,” said Mary Teegee, BC Aboriginal Child Care Society Board President.

Unifor represents approximately 6,000 CN employees. The donation was jointly presented by Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, and Tristan Jenkin, CN Account Manager, at Unifor’s BC Regional Council in Whistler.

In the coming months, BCACCS will network with its regional partners and community sites to integrate local Indigenous culture and language content while maintaining the integrity of the Moe the Mouse curriculum.

“This funding will support our joint efforts for social justice and strengthen collaboration across Canada. It will help Indigenous children, families and communities strengthen early learning and child care programs, revitalize Indigenous languages, and promote the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action," said Teegee.

 

Dustin Czmola joins MAHCP LRO team

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

MAHCP welcomes our newest Labour Relations Officer Dustin Czmola.

Dustin was born into a union family and began his official involvement in the labour movement in 2004, when he was voted in as Vice President of his union’s local.

From there, he climbed the ranks and accepted his first paid union position in 2010 with the Teamsters.

Dustin also spent six years representing unionized workers from 17 autonomous trade unions in northern Manitoba on the various Hydro projects.

Most recently, he was the campaign coordinator for one of the unions involved in the Representation Votes, which took place in the summer of 2019.

Dustin is an avid movie and concert enthusiast, and enjoys attending them with those he considers family.

Laurentian University administration violated academic freedom

CAUT -

(Ottawa – November 21, 2019) The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) has won an important legal battle in asserting the right to academic freedom across the country.

In December 2015, Dr. Michael Persinger was abruptly removed from teaching a psychology course after the administration received a student complaint. An arbitrator concluded that the administration violated the late professor’s rights.

“It was improper and contrary to the Collective Agreement for the University to have removed Dr. Persinger from teaching (…) and to have issued the related email (…) to students in that course and in doing so to have failed to consider Dr. Persinger’s academic freedom,” writes arbitrator Kevin Burkett in a consent award rendered on November 6.

The decision also binds the administration to follow a proper consultative process going forward and prior to the removal of a professor from the classroom, including assessing the responsibilities and duties of academics, and their right to a full and proper investigation. The University has also agreed to “not publicly invite complaints against faculty members, and (…) never again utilize a stand alone telephone number for complaints”.

“This is an important and precedent-setting award for academic staff across the country,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “Academic freedom is a necessary condition for the free pursuit of knowledge and understanding.”

LUFA president Fabrice Colin added that the Association is “Pleased with the decision because it sends a strong signal to our members, but it is a bittersweet victory because Dr. Persinger is no longer with us. We are happy that the University has agreed to award a yearly scholarship in his name to celebrate Dr. Persinger’s internationally recognized contributions to neurosciences and the field of psychology. A staunch defender of academic freedom, Dr. Persinger also received prestigious awards for his teaching and research accomplishments.”

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Media contacts : Valérie Dufour, Director of Communications, Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), 613-293-1810

Fabrice Colin, President, Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) 705-698-6763

Stand! A movie inspired by Winnipeg General Strike set to premier in Canada on November 29

Unifor -

Set against the backdrop of the Winnipeg General Strike, the new movie Stand! features an immigrant Romeo and Juliet story, as they fight for love amidst social upheaval, and Unifor members are encouraged to check it out this weekend.

“Stand! Is a reminder of the importance of collective action and community building,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We’re in the fight of our lives for equality, acceptance, and the protection of unions, just like we were 100 years ago.”

Stand! Is the screenplay adaption of acclaimed stage musical Strike!, inspired by the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike – one of the most influential strikes in Canadian history where more than 30,000 workers left their jobs, put economic activity in the region to a standstill, and stood together in solidarity for labour reform.

Unifor proudly sponsored the production of the feature film that is set to open across Canada on November 29.

“This movie inspires a new generation to fight for workers’ rights and reminds us where those basic rights came from and that solidarity and friendship are powerful tools to unite workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. “We can never take our right to a union for granted, the moment we do is the moment these rights are lost.”

Stand! centers around Stefan Sokolowski (played by Marshall Williams), who fled to the New World from Ukraine with his father Mike Sokolowski (played by Gregg Henry), and Rebecca Almazoff (played by Laura Wiggins), his Jewish suffragette neighbor. They take action as the impoverished conditions of the city’s working class become unbearable.

The 1919 Winnipeg General Strike has reached its centennial, reminding audiences across the globe that the power of collective action and solidarity are essential to sparking long-haul change. Workers to this day are faced with prevailing social inequalities including poor wages, rising costs of living, and unstable employment.

Here’s how you can get tickets to the opening weekend of this timely new film. Opening weekend is November 29 – December 1, with group tickets available for Local Unions or more than 8 people.   

  • Group tickets (with 20 or more participants) can be specially purchased by calling 1-800-313-4461 or via email at groupsales@cineplex.com

For more information about Stand!, visit stand-movie.com.

MGEU's Melissa Dvorak elected Winnipeg Labour Council President

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

Last night, the Winnipeg Labour Council held elections for positions on its executive. Melissa Dvorak, an MGEU activist out of MacDonald Youth Services, was elected President. With Dvorak’s election in Winnipeg, MGEU members now hold the position of Labour Council president in Brandon (Kirk Carr), Portage (Ed Miller), and Selkirk (Susan Smerchanski). MGEU members Liz Dodds and Jesse McNeil also serve as the elected are representatives from The Pas and Southeast on the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council.

MGEU's Mellissa Dvorak elected Winnipeg Labour Council President

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

Last night, the Winnipeg Labour Council held elections for positions on its executive. Melissa Dvorak, an MGEU activist out of MacDonald Youth Services, was elected President. With Dvorak’s election in Winnipeg, MGEU members now hold the position of Labour Council president in Brandon (Kirk Carr), Portage (Ed Miller), and Selkirk (Susan Smerchanski). MGEU members Liz Dodds and Jesse McNeil also serve as the elected are representatives from The Pas and Southeast on the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019

NUPGE -

“Transgender and gender-expansive people are valued members of our communities. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and enjoy full equality of rights and freedom from discrimination, harassment, and violence.” ― Larry Brown, NUPGE President

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