Latest Labour News

Unifor pushing federal government to plan for safe reopening of borders

Unifor -

July 25, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor continues to lobby the Federal Ministers of Health and Transportation to discuss a plan that eases travel restrictions while not comprising the health and safety of the travelling public.

“The air travel sector has arguably been hit the hardest because of the Pandemic and easing travel restrictions start by putting the health and safety of workers and passengers at the forefront,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President after speaking with federal officials yesterday. “Canadians are demanding all levels of government to start implementing measures that ease travel restrictions and provide funding to help the travel industry survive this unprecedented downturn.”

Unifor representatives outlined the need for government to establish clear criteria for opening borders to safe countries and corridors and reducing some quarantine requirements using science-based alternatives. The union believes that travelers arriving from countries and jurisdictions that have controlled the virus should not be subjected to the same protocols as countries where the virus is not contained.

“As the world is opening up, countries are coming to realize that blanket travel restrictions no longer make sense and in turn only hurt our economy, especially the travel and tourism sector,” said Barret Armann, President of Unifor Local 7378. “We need to recognize that if other countries are willing to accept Canadian travellers based on how we have controlled the virus we should do the same. The solution here is not simple but manageable and the government must act now.”

The union also highlighted its continued workwith many employers in the travel and tourism industry including hotels, airlines, and airports, to implement health and safety protocols that will increase the safety of workers and the travelling public.

To read Unifor’s “Air Transportation in Canada: Industry Preservation and Recovery” submission click here.

Information about the union’s response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.

For further information: For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with Jerry Dias via Skype or FaceTime, contact Hamid Osman, Unifor National Communications Representative at 647-448-2823 (cell) or hamid.osman@unifor.org

Media Advisory: School bus driver media availability on lack of COVID-19 protocols

Unifor -

August 24, 2020  

TORONTO – Unifor school bus driver members will hold a media availability to express concern on the lack of COVID-19 protocols at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday August 25, 2020.

“With weeks to go drivers still do not have information on measures to protect them and the students onboard from COVID-19,” said Unifor Local 4268 President Debbie Montgomery. “Many of our drivers are senior citizens, more vulnerable to the virus, and right now they’re telling me that they feel like sitting ducks.”

Montgomery will be joined by frontline drivers at a media availability in front of St. Kevin’s elementary school in Scarborough. A school bus will also be on site for media to get footage illustrating the confined space between rows and if wanted b-roll of the bus driving can be shot from outside or inside the bus with masks and social distancing in place as bus will be a full size vehicle.

WHAT:                              School bus drivers express concerns on COVID-19 protocols

WHEN:                              Tuesday August 25, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. ET

WHO:                                Debbie Montgomery, President of Unifor Local 4268

                                            Rob Robson, School Bus Driver Bowmanville

Michelle Lavallee, School Bus Driver Bowmanville

Frank Perrone, School Bus Driver Ajax/Whitby

Hira Khan, School Bus Driver Ajax/Whitby

Angela Sarjeant, School Bus Driver Ajax/Whitby

Safwat Elmor, School Bus Driver Toronto

Stanfield Duverney, School Bus Driver Toronto

WHERE:                         15 Murray Glen Dr, Scarborough M1R 3J6.  Access via Lawrence Ave. E, north on Gooderham Dr. then west on Murray Glen. Note - you cannot access using Murray Glen off Warden Ave as street does not go through for traffic (which may not appear on some maps).

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.

Media inquiries call Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  or 416-896-3303 (cell).

Striking grocery workers offer to help Dominion donate perishable food

Unifor -

August 24, 2020

ST. JOHN’S– Striking grocery workers have offered to help Dominion to donate perishable food from Newfoundland stores to local food banks.

“We are aware that there are perishables in the stores and there are people in need across Newfoundland,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Unifor has reached out to Loblaw Companies Limited to inform that our frontline grocery members are willing to assist any way we can to get the perishables out of the stores and into the hands of not-for-profit organizations that would distribute the food.”

More than 1,400 workers at 11 Dominion locations across Newfoundland began strike action on Saturday August 22, 2020 after voting to overwhelmingly reject the contract offered by Dominion parent company Loblaw Companies Limited.

Negotiations between Unifor and Loblaw have been ongoing for eight months, beginning shortly after the company’s decision to eliminate more than 60 full-time positions, approximately one in five full-time jobs, at Newfoundland Dominion locations. Today more than 80 % of the remaining workers are part-time, with more than half earning less than $12 an hour.

“Ironically some of Dominion’s own workers utilize local food banks so we are keenly aware of the need in our communities,” said Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice. “The workers are taking a stand to raise working conditions for themselves and to draw attention to the poverty wages that profitable grocery giants like Loblaw continue to pay.”

The frontline workers at the Dominion stores have been working without a contract since October 2019 and have not received a wage increase since the spring of 2018.

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 please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

 

Dominion workers on strike in Newfoundland

Unifor -

August 22, 2020

ST. JOHN’S– Unifor Local 597 members at Dominion grocery stores across Newfoundland will begin strike action at 10:01 p.m. Saturday August 22, 2020.

"Our Dominion members do not take this decision lightly. They would much rather be serving their communities but as frontline workers they felt they could not accept the contract put forth by the company," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

The workers, who have been without a contract since October 2019, voted to overwhelmingly reject the contract offer from Dominion's parent company Loblaw Companies Limited.

“There were gains in some areas but in the end the monetary offer fell short, last month Dominion clawed back two dollars an hour pandemic pay from their workers then offered just half of that back over the entire life of the three-year contract,” said Dias.

In 2019, Dominion eliminated more than 60 full-time positions at Newfoundland stores. Currently more than 80 % of the workers are part-time, with low pay and limited access to benefits, and have not received a pay raise since the spring of 2018.

"These are the very workers who supported us all during this pandemic and I hope that the public will support them now," said Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice.

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 please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

Dominion workers vote on tentative agreement

Unifor -

August 21, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Unifor Local 597, representing Dominion workers at Newfoundland grocery locations, will announce the result of the ratification vote on the tentative agreement offered by Loblaw Companies Limited at 10:00 p.m. NDT on Saturday August 22, 2020.

Ratification meetings for the 11 stores across the province began on August 6 with the final meeting and vote count scheduled for August 22.

In the event that the tentative contract is turned down strike action will commence at 10:01 p.m. NDT August 22, 2020. 

For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

Hospitality and gaming workers applaud EI changes

Unifor -

August 21, 2020

TORONTO—The new Employment Insurance measures introduced yesterday by the federal government will no doubt have an incredibly positive impact on workers in the hospitality and gaming sectors, says Unifor.

“For workers who cannot access CERB for much longer, the new EI measures will be a big help,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “But workers in sectors such as hospitality and gaming are still facing mounting concerns without extended health benefits coverage. This is a major concern for Unifor.”

By reducing the number of work-hours required to access EI, the federal government has dramatically expanded the number of hospitality and gaming workers who can qualify for EI after CERB has ended. Unifor has campaigned for expanded access to EI for many years, including several meetings with the federal government in recent weeks.

“Hotels, restaurants, and casinos have been among the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19-related closures,” said Albert Pacis​, unit chairperson at Unifor Local 112 at the Hyatt Regency Toronto. “During this time, getting financial help for workers was Unifor’s top priority.”

“Unifor has been fighting to address the unique struggles of gaming workers,” said Corey Dalton, President of Unifor Local 1090. “We’re going to keep fighting for a safe return to work, benefit coverage and fair financial supports while the industry recovers.”

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype/Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Covid-19 Update #13: MGEU Mandates masks at all in-person meetings, meetings in Area 2 & 3 under review

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

Due to the latest public health recommendations, MGEU members will be required to wear masks during all in-person meetings. Masks will be made available at the meeting if required. The new colour-coded COVID scale recently implemented by the Province also caps gatherings in the Prairie Mountain Health region to no more than ten people. As such, MGEU's in-person meetings in Area 2 and Area 3 are now under review.

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