Latest Labour News

Senate urged to act on Bill C-262 and protect the rights of Indigenous People

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Unifor is calling on the Senate of Canada to pass Bill C-262 to protect the collective and individual rights of Indigenous People, before it breaks for the summer.

The House of Commons passed Bill C-262, introduced by Quebec MP Romeo Saganash, on May 30, 2018. The bill ensures that Canadian laws are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP).

“The adoption and implementation of the UNDRIP was among the actions recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The Senate has a duty to all Canadians and Indigenous People to pass this bill.”

Last year, the union organized the Truth, Reconciliation and Education conference that focused on educating members about racism and colonialism inflicted on Indigenous People.

“Our members have been working alongside Indigenous communities, pressuring the Federal Government to implement the findings of the truth and reconciliation report,” said Dias. “This is just one more way in which we can continue to support Indigenous People.”

Unifor supports the 150 Acts of Reconciliation movement providing average Canadians 150 everyday actions that they can undertake to show solidarity to Indigenous People.

To learn more about the 150 Acts of Reconciliation movement click here.

Unifor members making a difference in the Alberta election campaign

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As elections go, it’s a nail biter.  Albertans will vote for a new provincial government on April 16 and the polls show it could be close, which is why Unifor members are fully engaged.

“I’m so proud of our members who have stepped up to the plate to help with this campaign,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s Western Regional Director. “They know how important this election is -   to their families, their communities and the province’s future. We risk losing so much.”

NDP Premier Rachel Notley is fighting for Alberta’s future and a strong economy that preserves public health care, education and worker’s rights.

United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Jason Kenney is planning cuts to all of those, including a cut to overtime pay for workers.

Unifor members are working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. Across the province, members are door knocking, speaking up and making calls to encourage fellow members to vote and get involved.

Unifor is asking members to click here to ‘Take the Pledge’ to vote on April 16 and in advance polls on which start on Tuesday, April 9.

‘Unifor Votes Alberta’ is a member to member campaign with a goal of ensuring Rachel Notley is re-elected. Click here to see the campaign website and more information on the key issues at stake in this election.

Members can sign up to volunteer for canvassing at this link.

“Jason Kenney’s polling numbers remain strong.  That’s why we are doing everything we can to ensure he doesn’t succeed on April 16th and if you live in Alberta, please get involved,” said Unifor political organizer Erin Harrison who is coordinating the union’s 28 day campaign.

To help motivate members to go to the polls, Unifor has posted info that provides more information about the top five issues: economy and jobs; healthcare; workers protections and rights; education and energy jobs. “The opposing forces are strong and well funded by business interests that stand to make enormous financial gains from Jason Kenney’s billion dollar plan for corporate tax cuts.  Make no mistake, those cuts will be on the backs of workers,” said Warnock.  

The UCP campaign has been dogged by repeated scandals, including homophobic candidates who want teachers fired for being gay, an RCMP investigation into the UCP leadership race, planned cuts to public services and a ban on workers’ overtime.

Follow our campaign on Facebook here or on Twitter @uniforvotesalberta.

Unifor members making a difference in the Alberta election campaign

Unifor -

As elections go, it’s a nail biter.  Albertans will vote for a new provincial government on April 16 and the polls show it could be close, which is why Unifor members are fully engaged

“I’m so proud of our members who have stepped up to the plate to help with this campaign,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s Western Regional Director. “They know how important this election is -   to their families, their communities and the province’s future. We risk losing so much.”

NDP Premier Rachel Notley is fighting for Alberta’s future and a strong economy that preserves public health care, education and worker’s rights.

United Conservative Party (UCP) leader Jason Kenney is planning cuts to all of those, including a cut to overtime pay for workers.

Unifor members are working hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. Across the province, members are door knocking, speaking up and making calls to encourage fellow members to vote and get involved.

Unifor is asking members to click here to ‘Take the Pledge’ to vote on April 16 and in advance polls on which start on Tuesday, April 9.

‘Unifor Votes Alberta’ is a member to member campaign with a goal of ensuring Rachel Notley is re-elected. Click here to see the campaign website and more information on the key issues at stake in this election.

Members can sign up to volunteer for canvassing at this link.

“Despite many scandals, Jason Kenney’s polling numbers remain strong.  That’s why we are doing everything we can to ensure he doesn’t succeed on April 16th and if you live in Alberta, please get involved,” said Unifor political organizer Erin Harrison who is coordinating the union’s 28 day campaign. Harrison is a National Representative in the Membership Mobilization and Political Action Department.

To help motivate members to go to the polls, Unifor has posted info that provides more information about the top five issues: economy and jobs; healthcare; workers protections and rights; education and energy jobs. “The opposing forces are strong and well funded by business interests that stand to make enormous financial gains from Jason Kenney’s billion dollar plan for corporate tax cuts.  Make no mistake, those cuts will be on the backs of workers,” said Warnock.  

The UCP campaign has been dogged by repeated scandals, including homophobic candidates who want teachers fired for being gay, an RCMP investigation into the UCP leadership race, planned cuts to public services and a ban on workers’ overtime.

Follow our campaign on Facebook here or on Twitter @uniforvotesalberta.

Unifor members Rally for Education

Unifor -

Unifor members showed up in force to lend their voices to the thousands who attended the Rally for Education to oppose devastating changes to Ontario’s education system by the Conservative government.

“It is clear that Ford is hell-bent on implementing his corporate agenda with no qualms about injuring the most vulnerable or tearing down cherished institutions, as witnessed by his attack on elementary and highschool students and their teachers,” said National President Jerry Dias.

After a mass student walkout on Thursday, protesters filled the lawn of the Queen’s Park legislature on Saturday April 6, 2019, spilling out onto surrounding streets. Teachers, parents, students and workers united to demand a halt to plans to increase class sizes and eliminate thousands of teacher and support jobs.

Education Ministry memos acquired by the Toronto Star report that the Conservatives plan to cut 3,475 teaching jobs in Ontario. The average secondary school expected to see a loss of 11 full time teachers.

The Conservative government intends to:

  • Increase class sizes in grades 4-8 and in high school; reducing attention given to students and limiting access to equipment and other resources
  • Cut thousands of teacher and support staff jobs
  • Remove 1.4 billion dollars from the public education system
  • Download the government’s duty to support higher needs students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) onto schools without adequate funding
  • Require students to take several online courses; replacing personal attention with e-learning
  • Introduce a regressive sexual education curriculum

“Doug Ford is risking the future of students by eroding the very foundation of the public education system,” said Dias. “The people of Ontario will not tolerate this attack on our schools, our teachers and our children.”

The massive rally, organized by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSS), the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and sister unions followed province-wide student walkouts to protest the cuts to elementary and highschool education. In response, Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Lisa Thompson opted to attack workers instead of responding to the legitimate concerns of the tens of thousands of students who expressed their opposition.

“Ontarians, including high school and post-secondary students, are organizing massively successful grassroots actions to demonstrate opposition to the Conservatives’ destructive agenda,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “I commend the brave young activists who have organized rallies, walkouts, and strikes. Students and teachers deserve respect and acknowledgement from their government, not dismissal and cruelty.”

This is not the first time that Ford’s government has shown distain for students and public education. In addition to the changes at elementary and highschools the Ford government has also targeted postsecondary students by slashing OSAP, cutting $307.3 million in funding, cancelling three university satellite campuses and attacking students’ unions by forcing institutions to allow opt-out of democratically determined fees.

“Ontario workers are standing united against these cuts,” said Dias. “Unifor is in solidarity with students, teachers, and their unions.”

View a photo gallery of the Rally for Education here

 

 

 

Delegation meets with NS Premier and Official Opposition to discuss Northern Pulp

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Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne continued the union’s campaign to defend good jobs at the Northern Pulp mill and throughout the Nova Scotia forestry sector during a meeting with the Premier Stephen McNeil this week.

Dias and Payne were joined by Unifor Local 440 leaders Don MacKenzie and Wanda Skinner as well as Scott Doherty, Assistant to the National President, and Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Area Director.

“We want to make sure there is a clear understanding of what is at stake here,” said Dias. “In addition to 240 Unifor members who work at the pulp mill, thousands of other workers in forestry and related sectors depend on the economic footprint generated by the mill.”

Later the same day, a union delegation met with PC Leader Tim Houston and Pictou area MLAs.

“We stressed the need for a common-sense solution that respects all stakeholder needs for this serious situation and we urged politicians to move forward in a way that brings people together,” said Scott Doherty.

At issue is the construction of a new effluent treatment plant and meeting a legislated deadline of January 31, 2020 around the use of Boat Harbour, which is where the mill effluent is currently treated. The mill is now in the middle of an environmental assessment with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment for the new treatment plant and must provide additional information and perform more studies as requested by the Department. The company must receive approval on their environmental assessment before construction can begin.

At both meetings, there was an understanding of the tensions in Pictou County and appreciation for the considerable impact the jobs at Northern Pulp have on the Nova Scotian economy.   

MacKenzie and Skinner, both long-time workers at the mill, detailed the worry and stress felt by workers and their families. They also expressed concern over the deep divisions in their community.

“This sector is critical to the economy of rural Nova Scotia and we expect the company to pull out all the stops to make sure it provides the additional studies and clarifications as quickly as possible,” said Payne.

The union noted in its meetings that a solution is possible: one that protects the environment and good jobs and respects First Nations.

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