Latest Labour News

Cannabis workers at Superette Wellington join the union

UFCW Canada -

Ottawa – November 6, 2020 – Cannabis workers at the Superette Wellington retail dispensary in Ottawa are the newest members of UFCW Local 1006A after recently voting to join the union. In an online vote conducted by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the 25 employees at Superette voted overwhelmingly for union representation.

Deal with GM secures $1.3 billion investment to return truck assembly in Oshawa

Unifor -

November 5, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor’s Master Bargaining Committee has reached a tentative agreement with General Motors that includes a $1.3 billion investment that brings truck assembly back to the Oshawa plant, plus new investments to the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre.

“We have never given up on Oshawa and I am so pleased to announce that up to 1,700 members will be building both Silverados and Sierras on a two-shift operation in Oshawa and we were able to negotiate investments that will stabilize operations in both St. Catharines and Woodstock," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

“Oshawa is incredibly personal to me. We launched one major campaign in an attempt to get General Motors to reverse its decision back in 2018, and they pressed pause and we preserved the footprint and now we will be the only GM plant globally building both heavy and light duty trucks.”

GM has committed to a new body shop, continuing the after market parts production and will begin hiring in August.

“We knew that our members in St. Catherine’s were nervous, dreading the end of two products and now thanks to higher volumes and $109 million in new investments, jobs are stable for the life of this agreement and beyond,” said Dias. 

In total, the Ford, FCA and GM agreements bring more than $4.7 billion dollars in investment to the auto sector in Canada.

Dias has a message for members in Oshawa.

 “I know many of our members who were let-go, while some moved on, many have not found other jobs, so I’m asking you to take a breath while we collectively find ways to get you all back to work. Today is a recommitment to the community of Oshawa.”

This three-year agreement follows an historic pattern-setting deal reached with Ford Motor Company last month that includes five per cent increases to hourly rates, bonuses, improved benefits, among other major improvements.

“This bargaining team worked very hard and I am grateful for the support and solidarity from members as we bargained during ever changing and difficult conditions during a pandemic. I urge members to support this settlement,” said Tim McKinnon, Unifor’s GM Master Bargaining Committee Chair.

More details of the tentative agreement will be presented to Unifor members during a series of virtual ratification meetings over the weekend, and members will vote on whether to accept the agreement over a 24-hour period, starting at 11 am on Sunday. 

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website

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 via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell). 

 



 

Unifor Ontario Director available to comment following release of Ontario Budget

Unifor -

TORONTO- Unifor’s Ontario Regional Director will be available comment today on the release of the provincial budget.

“Ontario’s workers faced incredible challenges this past year, some borne of deep cracks in Ontario’s existing infrastructure and public services. Today’s budget gives the Ontario Government a chance to recognise those gaps, and begin the process of rebuilding a more just and equitable society,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director.

WHAT: Unifor available to comment on Ontario budget

WHERE: Skype, FaceTime, or telephone interviews

WHEN: Thursday, November 5, 2020

WHO: Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi

In its fall budget submission, the union recommended that the Ontario government focus on two simultaneous goals for budget 2020: keep Ontarians protected through the coronavirus pandemic and ensure we build a better Ontario coming out of this crisis. Read the submission.  

Earlier this year, Unifor released its strategy to #BuildBackBetter with the of the union’s comprehensive ‘Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery’. Visit buildbackbetter.unifor.org to read the recommendations and download the Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 168,000 members in Ontario. 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 Skype, Facetime, or telephone interviews contact, contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.



 

Unifor resumes secondary picket at Weston’s bakery

Unifor -

November 04, 2020

MOUNT PEARL–Unifor has resumed a secondary picket line at the Weston’s bakery in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, as part of escalating action by the province’s 1,400 Dominion store workers, in week 11 of an ongoing strike against Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw Co.).

“Our members will not be intimidated from exercising their right to hold a secondary picket, not by Loblaw Co. and not by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

During a prior secondary picket at Weston’s bakery on October 27, 2020, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) deployed riot and tactical units to threaten peaceful picketers with arrest under the Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

Today, Unifor will file notice of civil claim against the RNC in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador for breach of Charter Rights, negligence, negligent or willful misrepresentation and intimidation.

“We’ve returned to the location where RNC unjustly shut down our picket line,” said Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice. “It is Unifor’s position that this is a legal secondary picket in our action to bring Loblaw Co. back to the bargaining table with a legitimate offer to end this strike. ”  

Weston’s bakery is owned by George Weston Ltd., which also operates Dominion’s parent company Loblaw Companies Limited.

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 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).

 



 

Ontario budget sets an underwhelming path to economic recovery, leaves workers with questions

Unifor -

TORONTO- Ontario budget begins to set the course for economic recovery, but Ontario workers must maintain pressure for a fair and equitable vision.

“Unifor members were wanting to see signs of investment in telecommunications and a made-in-Ontario manufacturing plan,” Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Though we saw some of those steps in today’s budget, we will keep up the pressure until we see economic recovery that benefits all workers.”

In its fall budget submission, Unifor recommended that the Ontario government focus on two simultaneous goals for budget 2020: keep Ontarians protected through the coronavirus pandemic and ensure we build a better Ontario coming out of this crisis.

“It’s encouraging to see the Ford government finally put a pin in cuts and start to make some infrastructure investments that workers have demanded for many years,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “MPPs need to know the gaps in health care are far from filled and new corporate investments like those in auto and infrastructure need strong, enforceable conditions to grow good jobs.”

The union advocates for responsible investments in Ontario’s critical infrastructure, from childcare and health care to telecommunications and manufacturing. In sectors where unions are strong, workers can see greater direct benefits from corporate investments that fuel good jobs, instead of seeing public money funnelled away into corporate profits.

“Missing from this budget was any mention of common-sense policy changes to support the workers who are bravely bringing us through the worst of this pandemic. How will the Time to Care Act be implemented when there is no funding earmarked for more PSWs? When will this government introduce a $15 an hour minimum wage, paid sick leave, smaller class sizes and affordable, public child care?” continued Rizvi.

Ontario government announced its plans to establish an average of four hours of direct care for long-term care residents by 2024-2025 earlier this week.

“Ontario’s long-term care workers were watching this budget closely for a sign that the Ford government is up to the task of implementing a four-hour minimum of care,” said Katha Fortier, Unifor Assistant to the National President. “But with no funding for PSW recruitment or dedicated investments to reach the mandate, public pressure needs to stay on this government to fix the LTC system sooner rather than later.”

Earlier this year, Unifor released its strategy to #BuildBackBetter with the of the union’s comprehensive ‘Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery’. Visit buildbackbetter.unifor.org to read the recommendations and download the Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 168,000 members in Ontario. 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 Skype, FaceTime, or telephone interviews contact, contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.

Unifor to continue negotiations and extend General Motors strike deadline

Unifor -

TORONTO—Unifor’s master bargaining committee has decided to continue bargaining with General Motors Canada past the strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. tonight.

“The master bargaining committee is ready to negotiate all night if needed to fight for our members in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock to give GM ample opportunity to work with us to achieve a fair settlement and avoid a work stoppage,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Dias will share more information at a news conference tomorrow that will be streamed live on Facebook.

WHAT:     Virtual News Conference to update media on GM bargaining

WHEN:     10 a.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 

WHERE:   Facebook live from Provincial Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street W.

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

Journalists wishing to participate in the Question & Answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by 9 a.m. Thursday by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  and we will send you dial in information.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in compliance with Ontario health directives, only one pool camera and one pool photographer will be permitted on site at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page and broadcast quality video of the event will be available shortly afterward for download at this link.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.

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 after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

 

Unifor to provide update on contract talks with General Motors

Unifor -

November 4, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor’s National President will provide an update on negotiations with General Motors at a virtual news conference streamed live on Facebook tomorrow morning.

Talks continue as Unifor seeks to reach a new tentative agreement with GM on behalf of 1700 members who work in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock in advance of tonight 11:59 pm strike deadline. 

WHAT:                Virtual News Conference to update media on GM bargaining

WHEN:                10 a.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 

WHERE:              Facebook live from Provincial Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West 

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

Journalists wishing to participate in the Question & Answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by 9 a.m. Thursday November 5, 2020 by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  and we will send you dial in information.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in compliance with Ontario health directives, only one pool camera and one pool photographer will be permitted on site at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page and broadcast quality video of the event will be available shortly afterward for download at this link. No further comment will be made until the news conference.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.

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 after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

Unifor reaches tentative agreement with General Motors

Unifor -

TORONTO—Unifor’s Master Bargaining Committee has reached a tentative agreement that is being unanimously recommended for 1700 members working at General Motors in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock, averting a strike this morning. Unifor’s National President will provide more information at a news conference that will be streamed live on Facebook  tomorrow morning. No further comment will be made until then.

WHAT:             Virtual News Conference to update media on GM bargaining

WHEN:             10 a.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 

WHERE:           Facebook live from Provincial Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West

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

Journalists wishing to participate in the Question & Answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by 8 a.m. Thursday November 5, 2020 by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  and we will send you dial in information.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in compliance with Ontario health directives, only one pool camera and one pool photographer will be permitted on site at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page and broadcast quality video of the event will be available shortly afterward for download at this link.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

 

CLC Morneau endorsement shows absolute contempt for workers, says UFCW Canada leader

UFCW Canada -

Ottawa – November 3, 2020 –  The recent statement from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) endorsing the former Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, for the role of Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) “shows absolute contempt for workers, unions, and labour councils,” says Paul Meinema, UFCW Canada National President.

Unifor welcomes overdue CTRC move on Canadian content

Unifor -

November 3, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor welcomes the announcement today that the CRTC will be given the power to compel foreign internet giants to create, stream and broadcast more Canadian content, something that is long overdue.

“This is about cultural sovereignty, something we swore to protect in the last trade deal. Telling Canadian stories to Canadians is not only vital to our culture, it is a source of good jobs and helps to define us as a nation in an inclusive way,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

“The fact is, American internet giants that have been devouring Canadian market share for years without paying a dime towards the production of Canadian news, sports and entertainment programming, something that our regulated Canadian media companies do.”

New legislation introduced today giving the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission the power to require foreign streaming services to play by Canadian rules could lead to as much as $830 million a year in new production work by 2023.

“This is a long way from the days when Stephen Harper dismissed any such move as a “Netflix tax.” The fact is, this would be a huge boost for Canadian media, and media workers and their families.” Dias said.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said today that once the CRTC is told by cabinet to proceed under this new bill, he’d like to see a roadmap for contributions by foreign streamers completed within nine months.

“The need is immediate. Getting this done cannot take one day longer than nine months. Our content creators and producers cannot afford any further delays,” Unifor Media Director Howard Law said.

“There have been plenty of consultations. The government and the CRTC know what to do, and the time has come to act.”

The review of the definition of Canadian content is also welcome if it encourages authentic Canadian shows, Law said. 

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 13,000 in the media 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.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Stuart Laidlaw at stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or 647-385-4054 (cell).

Unifor launches three-city action against Loblaw Co.

Unifor -

November 3, 2020

AJAX–Unifor is holding a three-city action against Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw Co.) in support of 1,400 striking workers at Newfoundland Dominion stores.  

“Loblaw Co. and its Chair Galen Weston sent the message that they feel they can ignore and disrespect a small group of workers from Newfoundland, so today Unifor is expanding secondary picket action to send a clear message back,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Two new secondary pickets at Loblaw distribution centres, located at 500 Bayly St E, Ajax, ON and 85 Commerce St, Moncton, NB, began today after negotiations broke off last week when Loblaw Co. refused to improve its initial offer, rejected by workers back on August 22, 2020. Pickets at 11 Dominion store locations across Newfoundland continue.

“These frontline workers are fighting a company that makes a billion dollars a year, owned by one of Canada’s wealthiest families, for a living wage,” Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi told picketers in Ajax. “Canadians’ need to hold our largest, richest corporations to account if they aren’t willing to provide a decent living to their workers.”

Loblaw Co. has sought injunctions against the striking workers secondary picket locations in Newfoundland. Unifor has also launched a lawsuit against the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for police actions to remove a secondary picket at the Weston’s bakery in Mount Pearl, NF.

“Loblaw is using every tool at its disposal to try to force these workers to yield their fight for fair pay,” said Unifor Atlantic Director Linda MacNeil outside the Moncton Loblaw distribution centre. “If the company wants to settle this, if they truly want to return service to its customers across Newfoundland, then they need to come back to the negotiating table with an improved offer.”

During a news conference livestreamed from Ajax, Moncton and St. John’s on fb.com/UniforCanada, Carolyn Wrice, President of Unifor Local 597, thanked the picketers for standing in solidarity with the striking workers.

“People across the country need to know that something is wrong when workers work full-time hours for Loblaw Co. but can’t afford to buy the groceries they stock,” said Wrice.

Unifor is calling for the company to return to the bargaining table with the newly appointed provincial mediator Wayne Fowler.  

“Loblaw Co. may be the largest retail company in the country but Unifor is the largest private sector union so this company needs to understand that this is bargaining not dictating,” said Dias.

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 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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