Latest Labour News

Unifor and Loblaw Companies Limited to return to bargaining table

Unifor -

October 28, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Unifor and Loblaw Companies Limited have agreed to resume negotiations tomorrow in an attempt to settle the ongoing strike by 1,400 Dominion store workers in Newfoundland.

“We’re pleased to get back to the bargaining table. Unifor has always maintained that the only way this strike would end would be through serious negotiations between Loblaw Co. and the union,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

The two parties will meet October 29, 2020 at 10 a.m. NDT in St. John’s. Unifor will not conduct secondary pickets while talks are ongoing.

The workers have been on strike at 11 Dominion stores across Newfoundland since August 22, 2020.

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).

Long-term care unions urge government to listen to experts on minimum care standards and pass Bill 13

Unifor -

October 27, 2020

TORONTO, ON – CUPE Ontario, SEIU Healthcare and Unifor held a joint press conference on Tuesday morning, calling on the Ontario government to legislate a minimum care standard of four hours of hands-on care in long-term care homes by immediately passing Bill 13, the Time to Care Act.
Based on the latest pre-pandemic calculations by the Ontario Health Coalition, Ontario’s long-term care homes average about 2.7 hours of daily care. The calculation is based on worked hours of care, as opposed to paid hours.

“We need to give seniors in Ontario a guaranteed care standard to help enhance the quality of working and living conditions in long term care. The lack of a staffing standard means that the care levels are left up to the individual facilities to establish, and we know that virtually across the province, staffing levels are dangerously low. It’s high time the government takes action by passing Bill 13,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario.
The legislation, an NDP private member’s bill introduced by Teresa Armstrong, will be debated during second reading on Wednesday evening. The unions echoed the recommendations of the government’s own staffing advisory panel report released in July, and last week’s interim report by the Long-Term Care Commission. Both reports called for the implementation of a four-hour minimum care standard, with the latter stressing its immediacy.

“Families, experts, and frontline workers all agree that current staffing levels are too low to deliver quality care for our most vulnerable in long-term care. Inaction means denying seniors dignity and it means unsafe workplaces for health care workers. It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare. “Bill 13 would afford frontline staff the time necessary to do the job well and do it safely. My message to the Ontario government and all members of the Legislative Assembly: pass this bill and give workers the time to care.”

“For years, health care workers, residents, their families and even opposition conservative MPPs in 2017 called for a legislated minimum standard of care in long-term care," said Katha Fortier, Assistant to Unifor National President. “Bill 13 will finally implement long overdue improvements in these facilities and we expect the government to set partisanship aside to show those who live and work in long-term care the respect they deserve.”

Unions leaders were joined at the media conference by Dr. Pat Armstrong, the distinguished professor of sociology at York University, who has been researching long-term care for over two decades. Dr. Armstrong and 24 other academics recently released an open letter to the Ontario legislature, calling for action on Bill 13.

“COVID-19 has created a consensus on what research has been saying for decades; namely, without sufficient staff neither residents nor staff are safe, let alone thriving,” said Dr. Armstrong. “Recent research shows that staffing levels are strongly associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care, emphasizing the importance of moving quickly to achieve these minimums.”

Ontario’s long-term care sector has not had a minimum care standard since the Ontario Progressive Conservative government eliminated it in 1996. Since then, healthcare unions and multiple advocacy groups have consistently called for a restoration of the staffing requirement. The Ontario Long-Term Care Association, which mainly represents for-profit providers, has consistently opposed a care standard.

For media inquiries, contact:
 

Corey Johnson
SEIU Healthcare
c.johnson@seiuhealthcare.ca
416-529-8909

Zaid Noorsumar
CUPE Communications
znoorsumar@cupe.ca

647-995-9859
Hamid Osman
Unifor Communications
Hamid.Osman@unifor.org
647-448-2823

Striking Dominion workers threatened with arrest at peaceful picket

Unifor -

October 27, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Striking Dominion workers are being threatened with arrest by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) while conducting a peaceful picket at the Weston's Bakery in St. John’s.

“It’s outrageous that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is intimidating peaceful picketers with police doing the bidding of Loblaw Companies Limited,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “The only place this will be resolved is at the bargaining table.”

The workers started the legal picket at the bakery, owned by George Weston Ltd., which also operates Dominion’s parent company Loblaw Companies Limited, on Monday October 26. On the evening of October 27, the RNC threatened to arrest the workers under the Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

“The police have no business intervening here. This is a matter between the workers and Loblaw Companies Limited,” said Unifor 597 President Carolyn Wrice. “One can only wonder if this police action was prompted at the behest of the company.”

The workers have been on strike at 11 Dominion stores across Newfoundland since August 22, 2020.

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).

WILDCAT! Major Alberta strike against healthcare cuts

Rank and File - latest news -

By Cole Rockarts Today, October 26 2020, hundreds of members of the Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE) walked off the job to protest ongoing attacks on health care by Jason Kenney’s government. The key issues include job security against outsourcing, addressing short-staffing, and stopping the privatization of public healthcare.   On October 13, Health Minister Continue readingWILDCAT! Major Alberta strike against healthcare cuts

CUPE Ontario, Unifor and SEIU Healthcare to hold a press conference calling on the government to pass the Time to Care Act

Unifor -

CUPE Ontario, Unifor and SEIU Healthcare are calling on the Ontario Legislative Assembly to take a critical step in addressing the long-term care crisis by passing Bill 13, the Time to Care Act.

The private member’s bill, introduced by NDP MPP Teresa Armstrong, will legislate a minimum care standard of four hours of daily hands-on care averaged across residents, requiring higher staffing levels, in line with expert recommendations. The legislation will be debated at second reading on Wednesday, October 28.

On Tuesday morning, the healthcare union leaders will be joined at a virtual press conference by Dr. Pat Armstrong, distinguished research professor of sociology at York University.

Who:       Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario; Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare; Katha Fortier, Assistant to Unifor National President, Unifor; and Dr. Pat Armstrong, York University professor

When:     October 27, 10 a.m.

What:      A press conference calling on the government to ensure higher care standards

Where:   Journalists are invited to participate via this Zoom link

For media inquiries, contact:
Corey Johnson
SEIU Healthcare
c.johnson@seiuhealthcare.ca
416-529-8909

Zaid Noorsumar
CUPE Communications
znoorsumar@cupe.ca
416-559-9300

Hamid Osman
Unifor Communications
Hamid.Osman@unifor.org
647-448-2823

Unifor commits to protecting Sask Crowns and workers’ rights after provincial election

Unifor -

REGINA—Canada’s largest union in the private sector will continue to fight for good jobs and workers’ rights in Saskatchewan, after Scott Moe’s Sask Party was elected to another term.

“Crown corporations help make life more affordable for Saskatchewan families and they provide thousands of good jobs,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Unifor is committed to standing up for Crowns and Crown workers against Sask Party politicians who can’t wait to privatize cherished public services.”

Saskatchewan saw a wave of increased job action over the past two years as workers have taken to the streets to defend good jobs, including the province-wide Crowns strike and the lengthy Co-op Refinery lockout. Documents recently surfaced suggesting that the Moe government caved to demands from the refinery to use the Regina Police to crack down on the oil and gas workers’ picket line.

“Dr. Ryan Meili ran a principled campaign based on putting working people first and reducing economic inequality in Saskatchewan,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We look forward to working with Dr. Meili and his opposition caucus to hold the government accountable.”

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 via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Alberta’s workers have had enough of Jason Kenney

Unifor -

October 26, 2020

EDMONTON—Unifor supports the wildcat actions carried out by Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE) members in response to Premier Jason Kenney’s relentless attacks on the province’s public services.

“From education workers and frontline health care staff to the Albertans who rely on them, few workers have escaped Kenney’s heartless cuts and attacks on basic workplace rights,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We salute the workers at AUPE who are taking direct action today.”

Workers in Alberta have been fighting back against the United Conservative Party government’s deep cuts to education and health care and have vowed to resist the American-style “right to work” legislation introduced by Kenney in July 2020. Unifor says it should be no surprise that workers have started walking off the job to protest the attack on their rights and well-being.

“In his brief time in office, Jason Kenney has criminalized dissent, imported the worst of American labour law, and made devastating cutbacks to public services during a pandemic. He must be stopped,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Unifor stands in solidarity with all of the health care workers standing up for their jobs and for public services.”

Unifor represents the more than 4,000 school support staff in Alberta’s Francophone and Catholic school system that were subject to the largest public sector layoff in the province’s history earlier in 2020.

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 via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Aviation workers take to streets of Toronto and Montreal to demand support

Unifor -

October 26, 2020

TORONTO – Aviation workers will hold a rally and distribute leaflets in two provinces on Friday, to urge the federal government to create a national aviation recovery strategy.

Media are invited to attend the events that will feature Unifor leadership and front line workers.

“Over the past seven months we have seen a transformation in the aviation sector like no other,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The facts are now clear. If we want to save our aviation industry from total collapse, we need the federal government to implement an aviation strategy that focuses on workers and building the sector as a whole.”

Who: Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, Front line aviation workers
When: Friday, October 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Where: Toronto - Pearson International Airport Terminal 1

Montreal – Minister of Transport Marc Garneau Constituency office
4060 Sainte-Catherine Street West, Westmount QC 

Additional details will be provided to media on Friday morning. 

To arrange in person, phone or FaceTime interviews or for more information please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at hamid.osman@unifor.org or 647-448-2823 (cell).

Striking Dominion workers relocate secondary picket to Weston’s Bakery

Unifor -

October 26, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Striking Dominion workers have relocated their secondary picket line from the Loblaw Distribution Centre to Weston's Bakery, located at 17 Bruce St., Mount Pearl. The bakery is owned by George Weston Ltd., which also operates Dominion’s parent company Loblaw Companies Limited.

“Strike activity will continue to escalate as long as Loblaw Co. refuses to come to the negotiating table in good faith,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

A ruling on the injunction application filed by Loblaw Companies Limited to prevent picketing at the distribution centre is expected to be handed down at 11 a.m. NDT this morning.

Unifor will reach out today to ask government appointed mediator Susan Whitten to bring the parties back to the negotiating table to settle the ongoing strike.

“Loblaw Co. has seriously underestimated their workers, both in value and determination,” said Unifor 597 President Carolyn Wrice.

The workers are now in week ten of strike action, after overwhelmingly rejecting Loblaw’s offer. More than half of the workers earn the provincial minimum wage of $12.15, despite serving their communities during COVID-19.

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).

Unifor welcomes B.C. election results

Unifor -

VANCOUVER—Unifor members are celebrating the provincial election results in B.C. as expectations remain high for the BCNDP’s second term.

“Unifor members worked very hard for a BCNDP majority government,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Electing John Horgan’s team is the means to an end. There is still a lot of work to be done to undo the damage from 16 years of B.C. Liberal cuts.”

Unifor members spent hundreds of hours volunteering on campaigns across the province. Unifor also undertook an extensive third-party advertising campaign exposing B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson’s out-of-touch views on issues such as domestic violence and the housing crisis.

“John Horgan accomplished a lot in just 3.5 years in the last government. We’re eager to work with his new government to build a more affordable B.C. that treats workers fairly and does its part in the urgent fight against climate change,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director.

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 via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

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