Latest Labour News

Event Cancelled: Refinery workers call on Premier Moe to stand up to Co-op

Unifor -

June 18, 2020

REGINA—Unifor Local 594 has cancelled a planned media event that would have been held today at the Legislative Building in Regina.  

The union thanks the Regina community for their ongoing support of locked-out workers. For more information about the labour dispute, including ways to support refinery workers, visit www.unifor594.com.

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 more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303.

Unifor to hold virtual rally for grocery workers

Unifor -

June 18, 2020

TORONTO – In the face of grocery chains cutting the pay of their employees, Unifor will be holding a virtual rally on Friday to show support for the workers.

“Retail workers play a vital role in our economy and our communities, as we have all seen throughout this pandemic,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

“The extra $2 an hour only began to make up for historic inequities in the industry and should not be taken away now or ever.”

Loblaw was the first to announce it would end the $2 premium paid to workers in its grocery stores, and was soon followed by other major retailers, including Metro and Sobeys.

The virtual rally on Friday is part of that effort:

  • What: Virtual Rally for Fair Pay Forever
  • Who: Speakers will include Unifor National President Jerry Dias, Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi, Atlantic Director Linda MacNeil and grocery store workers in both Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Where: Hosting on Unifor Facebook page
  • When: Friday, June 19, 1pm (ET)

Unifor is leading efforts to make fair pay permanent as the country slowly emerges from the pandemic. The Fair Pay Forever campaign calls for historic inequities in the sector to be corrected. Many workers are forced to take more than one part-time job to get by.

“These workers are no less at risk and are no less essential today than they were before or during the pandemic. There is no justification for cutting their pay,” Dias said.

Unifor is currently in negotiations with Loblaw-owned Dominion Stores in Newfoundland and Labrador, attempting to reverse a 2019 company decision to eliminate one in five full-time supermarket jobs. 

For media inquiries, please contact Unifor Communications representative Stuart Laidlaw:  stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or 647-385-4054 (cell).

Government expands Risk Recognition Program, still excludes far too many essential workers

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

Yesterday, the government announced it would be expanding their Risk Recognition Program by increasing the maximum income threshold for essential workers – those who earned a total pre-tax employment income of $12,500 during the 2.5-month eligibility period (excluding overtime) will now be eligible to apply.

Prescription safety eyewear added to MAHCP Discounts Program

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

MAHCP has teamed up with the Manitoba Association of Optometrists to offer the Prescription Safety Eyewear Program!

Through this program, MAHCP members can purchase prescription safety eyewear at a fraction of the normal pricing (usually 1/4 – 1/3 of the regular cost, depending on your vision prescription).

This program is currently at 55 locations across the province, including 27 in Winnipeg. Furthermore, starting week of June 22, the Manitoba Association of Optometrists is adding the three Winnipeg Oakley Optical locations, bringing the total to 58 in Manitoba, with 30 in Winnipeg.

To take advantage of this new program, MAHCP members must bring their membership card and current vision prescription to any participating location and can purchase at the deal rate.

Standard procedure is for you to pay at the optometrist’s office and they will issue a receipt so you can submit a claim through any insurance coverage you may have.

Please note: this deal applies to prescription safety eyewear only, not regular eyewear. Also, side shields are permanently fixed, removable side shields are not available through this program as they do not meet CSA standards.

For a current list of participating locations, click here.

The MAHCP Discounts Program has also been updated with new vendors in northern Manitoba. Please click here to check out these new additions.

MAHCP thanks all businesses and associations participating in our Discounts Program!

MAHCP President on Risk Recognition Program changes

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Two weeks ago, the Manitoba Government announced their so-called “Risk Recognition Program,” which was actually a one-time top-up payment for lower-wage workers.

On June 16, they quietly announced expanded eligibility criteria, doubling the income ceiling to $12,500 earned between March 20 and May 29, 2020. The “minimum hours worked” requirement remains at 200 hours over that same period.

This means that some of you may now qualify for this one-time payment, although we expect that the majority of full-time Allied Health Professionals, and many part-timers, will still be excluded based on the income ceiling and minimum hours worked requirement.

Details of this provincial program, including a link to apply, can be found on the Manitoba Government website: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/infomanitobans/mrrp.html. If you have further questions about the program that aren’t answered on the website, you can contact the Manitoba Economic Assistance Office, toll free, at 1-888-805-7554. If you believe you should qualify but are excluded based on your classification, we want to know about it at info@mahcp.ca

I will state once again that one-time taxable bonuses, whatever they may be called, are never a substitute for real wage increases.

MAHCP will continue pushing to get back to the bargaining table so we can negotiate a fair deal for our members who have been without a contract for more than two and in some cases three years.

In solidarity,

Bob Moroz, MAHCP President

The battle in Edmonton for a new kind of transit

Rank and File - latest news -

By Cee Rockarts In March, cities across Canada implemented fare-free public transit and back door boarding to encourage social distancing and curb the spread of COVID-19. On March 20, the City of Edmonton moved to temporarily suspend fare collection on all Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) buses, LRT and DATS services. Now, as many cities ‘relaunch’ Continue readingThe battle in Edmonton for a new kind of transit

Refinery workers call on Premier Moe to stand up to Co-op

Unifor -

June 17, 2020

REGINA—Unifor Local 594 will host a media event outside the Legislative Building in Regina, to demand action from their Premier.

Media and the public are invited to attend the event, which will also be livestreamed on Facebook at www.fb.com/unifor594. Responsible social distancing will be required of all attendees.

“Premier Moe has left refinery workers out to dry for too long. Co-op continues to brazenly ignore the Mediator’s Report, while Moe refuses to show even an ounce of leadership,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Local 594 members need the Premier to step up and force Co-op to make a fair deal.” 

WHAT:               Unifor Local 594 Media Conference

WHEN:              Thursday, June 18 at 12:15 PM CT, rain or shine

WHERE:            Steps of Legislative Building, Regina, Saskatchewan

                           www.fb.com/Unifor594                

WHO:                Kevin Bittman, President Unifor Local 594

Shobna Radons, President of Regina & District Labour Council

Crystal Brittner, Spouse of locked-out worker

Mikki Shaddock, Unifor 594 member

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 more information, contact Richard Exner, Chief Shop Steward at (306) 530-9965.

To arrange for interviews with Unifor representatives, in-person or via Skype/Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303.

W Hotel Toronto delay will not affect unionized jobs

Unifor -

June 17, 2020

TORONTO – This week’s announcement that Marriott International will delay plans to complete renovations and re-open its Yorkville location as a W Hotel citing the COVID-19 pandemic will not affect unionized jobs, Unifor has ascertained.

“As the worst effects of the pandemic may be behind us and workplaces begin to re-open, the last thing we want is for workers to find they have no job to come back to,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We knew this renovation would be lengthy and were sure to protect our members’ job security in the event of delays, changes, or, as it turns out, emergencies that would halt the project.”

In July of last year, Marriott announced it would undertake a $40 million redevelopment project that will transform its current Marriott property located in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood in to the first W Hotel in Canada. The development plans involve a significant upgrade to the property, particularly in its food and beverage services and a near-doubling of unionized hotel jobs at the site.

Marriott International, Inc.’s announcement to delay the re-opening of the hotel property adds to the difficulties workers in the hospitality industry have already faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, Unifor’s collective agreement provisions put in place last year provide essential protections for hospitality workers including:

  • guarantees that the employer could not convert the property to condominiums;
  • prevention of any subcontracting of union members’ work;
  • elimination of incentives to refuse housekeeping service with harmful programs such as the ‘Green Choice;’
  • protections of workers’ fundamental rights to return to their jobs after lengthy renovations.

“The bottom line is that no matter how long it takes to complete the W Hotel’s renovations, existing workers are guaranteed the right to return to their old job or a comparable job, without having to reapply,” said Dias.

As hospitality workers continue to face some of the most devastating layoffs across the country, Unifor continues to engage with all levels of government to advocate for necessary supports to workers affected by the pandemic including expanding direct financial assistance programs as well as providing pharmacare for all.

To arrange an interview, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative David Molenhuis at david.molenhuis@unifor.org or 416-575-7453 (cell).

Heartbroken over marine worker's death

NUPGE -

"Please take a moment to reflect on the loss, to hold your family and loved ones a bit closer tonight, and to remember to stay safe — everyone deserves to come from work safe and sound." — Graeme Johnston. 

Nanaimo (16 June 2020) — On June 12, a member of the BC Marine and Ferry Workers Union (BCMFWU/BCGEU), died while on the job in a suspected drowning. The BCMFWU is an affiliate of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union.

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