Toronto – December 11, 2019 – According to Canada’s Food Price Report 2020, the average family in Canada will spend about $487 more on food in 2020 than in 2019 because of rising food prices.
Members of Unifor Local 728 voted 86 per cent in favour to accept the offer recommended by their bargaining committee, bringing an end to the labour dispute at the Paccar plant.
“We made good gains during this round of bargaining but unfortunately we were unable to deliver on one of our priorities, which was the elimination of two-tier pension plans,” said Unifor’s Quebec Director Renaud Gagné. “It makes no sense that employees had to face a lock-out and risk their jobs to do away with a measure that is now considered illegal.”
It should be noted that workers at the plant are covered by two different defined benefit pension plans depending on their date of hire. Group A, composed of workers having more seniority, receives higher benefits than Group B. Since June 2018, it is illegal to negotiate this type of provision in Quebec as it constitutes wage discrimination based on the employee’s hiring date. The problem is that the law does not ban such clauses in collective agreements negotiated before this amendment.
“Paccar makes a ridiculous amount of money, but it still refused to settle this issue. Even though we succeeded in reducing the gap in pension benefits between these two groups, there is still a difference of $15 per month per year of service. That’s a considerable amount. It should also be pointed out that the employer raised the possibility of moving production to other plants,” Gagné said.
The new collective agreement nonetheless offers numerous gains, including a 15 per cent wage increase over five years, the elimination of Group A and B in seniority calculations, an increase in pension benefits, including those in Group B, which are increased by 35 per cent (reducing the gap with Group A to 27 per cent), the addition of a second prevention representative for occupational health and safety, an increase in shift premiums and an increase in maximum group insurance earnings, which was also a bargaining priority.
The fact that the union was able to get more out of Paccar than what was in its final offer is without a doubt a significant victory. Another substantial gain to emerge from this dispute is the solidarity between members generated by the lock-out. As Gagné pointed out, “You could just feel how much solidarity and mobilization there was between everyone present at the ratification meeting.”
“It’s time for the Legault government to pass legislation to help us resolve these unfair and inequitable situations, but while making sure that it’s not done to the detriment of pension plan conditions. We need to raise the bar, not lower the bar,” the Quebec Director concluded.
Paccar employs 1,400 Unifor members who manufacture Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks. The employer declared a lock-out on December 1st.
Members of Local 62 ratified a tentative agreement with Bombardier on December 8 with 75 per cent support.
“This is a good labour contract. We made significant gains in terms of wages, but also in terms of work-life balance, both of which were priorities in the negotiations,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor’s Quebec Director. “For the first time in its history, this group had obtained a strike mandate even before starting negotiations last September. Once again, mobilization made a big difference.”
Highlights of the deal include:
- Pension benefit increases of $6 over the term of the three-year agreement ($77 as of January 1st, 2020, $79 as of January 1st, 2021 and $81 as of January 1st, 2022 – calculated on the base rate per year of service and per month),
- An increase of $2 in the monthly bridging benefit over the term of the three-year agreement ($24 as of January 1st, 2020, $25 as of January 1st, 2022);
- The possibility to accumulate 48 hours in a renewable hour bank, changes to work schedules: the day shift will start earlier (6:00 and 6:15 a.m.);
- Evening shift over four 10-hour days; night shift over four 9-hour days;
- Improved job stability with a letter of agreement providing for the repatriation of outsourced work before imposing lay-offs;
- Wage increases of 2.5 per cent for each year of the three-year collective agreement.
The Bombardier unit of Local 62 represents 2,400 members who perform interior completion work on Global business jets.
“The long-term direction from this government to contract out the direct management of Manitoba Housing units to either non-profit agencies, or for-profit agencies will result in job cuts and cuts to services for tenants.” ― Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Hamilton, Ont. – December 10, 2019 – Hundreds of service workers at Indigo Park locations across Ontario are the newest members of UFCW Local 102 after recently voting to join the union.
"In Canada, we have the privilege of being able to dissent without the devastating consequences Filipinos face everyday: intimidation, violence, and even death. We have the responsibility to draw attention to this situation and work in solidarity with our global allies to stop this abuse." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
The new bargaining unit certificates for Shared Health and WRHA bargaining units come into effect this Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.
MAHCP’s newest members – those transitioning from other unions this Friday – will be receiving an information package at their home mailing address by the end of this week. We encourage you to read through it to find out what you need to know.
The welcome package contains the following information: (links to the documents included)
- Welcome letter from MAHCP President Bob Moroz – here
- Info on MAHCP Labour Relations Officers
- “MAHCP welcomes you” (FAQ) – here
- Bargaining Proposal Form – here
- December newsletter – here
- Union card and postage-paid return envelope
Please feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-772-0425/1-800-315-3331 if you have any additional questions that aren’t answered in the welcome package.
MAHCP looks forward to representing and working with our newest members!
Your MAHCP Team
Members of Impark Services - Local 434 voted to ratify a new three-year agreement yesterday.
Quebec City– December 9, 2019 – A delegation from the Quebec Region of UFCW was present at the 32nd Convention of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ).
No longer will unvaccinated employees or physicians face discipline for failing to wear masks at all times in patient care areas.
"What more evidence do we need to act?" — Public Services International
Operation Christmas Cheer brightened spirits as volunteers brought gifts and good will to striking Local 252 members at the Voith Hydro picket line.
“All of the members are grateful to Operation Christmas Cheer for helping to alleviate some of the hardships that the strikers are facing right now on the picket line,” said John Harte, Local 252 Financial Secretary.
Operation Christmas Cheer (OCC) is a non-profit organization driven by volunteers from the labour movement and the community. For 15 years, its mission has been to make sure every worker walking a picket line in Ontario during the holidays receives some cheer.
With the holidays rapidly approaching, Casandra Robinson, Founder of OCC, hand delivered a truckload of toys along with grocery and other gift cards to the striking members on December 9 as they picketed their Voith Hydro workplace in Mississauga, Ontario.
“When you first go out on strike people honk and stop by, but as time extends over the holidays when everyone is not here and you’re walking this picket line it’s real easy to feel cold, to feel alone, to feel forgotten,” Robinson told the strikers. “I bring you a message today that you are not forgotten. There are more than 240 different locals, individuals and councils that support OCC so we can do what we do every single year.”
Members began strike action at Voith Hydro on November 14, 2019 after the company tabled concessions that would reduce benefits, hurt pensions, and eliminate the Cost of Living Adjustment.
Delegates at Ontario Regional Council were empowered to defend good jobs, healthcare, education, and women’s rights in an era of Ford government austerity.
“Now more than ever, we have to come together to carve out our path forward as we continue to fight off this very dangerous government,” Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi told delegates
Council convened on December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. To mark the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre delegates held up their cell phone flashlights in a moving tribute as a candle lit procession carried purple ribbons bearing the names of the victims through the hall.
Delegates discussed the union’s work to eradicate misogyny and to fight for equality both in our workplaces and in society. The power of women was further emphasized, as Canadian Olympians Sarah Nurse and Natalie Spooner and high school hockey player Danika Gravelle shared their experience fighting shocking inequality in the game.
“When we unite and stand up for what we believe in, then nothing is impossible,” said Sarah Nurse. “Thanks for your support for women in sport and for equality.”
As delegates discussed and debated an action plan for the upcoming year they passed Director’s Recommendations calling on the Ford government to end inaction on climate change, enact better protections for temporary workers and to provide better care for patients and safer working conditions in long-term care facilities.
In an emotional speech Unifor National President Jerry Dias shared his mother's experience in long-term care as he called for action from Premier Ford.
“This time Doug I’m asking you respectively as a man for the people. I want you to join me for just one shift in the long-term care facilities so we can fix once and for all the inherent disrespect of our seniors,” said Dias.
The hundreds of representatives from Locals across the province also united in a show of public support for education workers as National President Jerry Dias was joined on stage by Harvey Bischof, OSSTF President, Sam Hammond, ETFO President, Liz Stuart, OECTA President and Smokey Thomas, OPSEU President.
“This is personal. It’s personal when they attack our kids,” said National President Jerry Dias. “It was the government’s plan to cut ten thousand teachers jobs.”
Amid chants of “solidarity”, the five union leaders raised arms before the more than 850 Council attendees.
Hammond called for workers and unions to stand together join forces.
“We are being attacked in the education sector and we need you with us as each affiliate starts to move to take a greater stand to protect children and public education in this province,” Hammond said.
Unifor offered its support to Ontario’s teachers and education workers in the fight against budget cuts that will increase class sizes, eliminate education options and career paths for students, and result in the loss of frontline jobs.
“The Minister of Education says we can fix the class size but the teachers and the workers have to pay for it,” said Stuart. “He’s stealing the money from the pockets of your children and he expects them to pay for it.”
Bischof told delegates that workers will not stand by as the Ford government attacks the future of the province.
“We will not allow this government to create a bargain basement education system,” said Bischof. “The only solution will be found at the bargaining table. If not we will work with you and we will drive them out of office.”
While Thomas sounded the alarm of looming threats to the broader labour movement.
“I feel it in my bones, I feel it in my heart that once Doug is done with the teachers he’s coming for the rest of us,” said Thomas.
Delegates voted to support a Ford Fightback Campaign to oppose any austerity measures that slash and burn labour regulations, social services, health care and education, and to continue to win back the provisions that the government removed from employment standards as the union negotiates new contracts with employers.
“We have held fast against this Premier. We have fought back,” said Rizvi. “But our work now is only getting started. We’re here to recommit to the next phase of this campaign and ensure that Doug Ford is a one-term Premier.”
Toronto – December 7, 2019 – On December 10, people around the world observe International Human Rights Day to celebrate the rights and freedoms affirmed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Manitoba Housing and its future were debated at the Manitoba Legislature in the closing week of the legislative session. MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky says the comments made by the Minister of Families are a "slap in the face" to those in Manitoba Housing who were recently told that changes are coming, which will affect services and potentially eliminate their jobs.
The Manitoba Legislature has wrapped up for another year and it was a busy one with a successful lobby day for members and meetings with the Premier, Ministers, and MLAs. Over a dozen pieces of legislation were introduced. Some were brand new, while others were carried over due to the early election call. Here are a few pieces of legislation that the MGEU is keeping an eye on.
Kenora, Ont. – December 6, 2019 – Hospitality workers at the Comfort Inn hotel in Kenora, Ontario are the newest members of UFCW Local 175 after recently voting to join the union.
America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls Bill Passage Biggest Victory for Access to Democracy Since Voting Rights Act of 1965
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) applauded passage of H.R. 4, the “Voting Rights Advancement Act” by the U.S. House of Representatives and released the following statement:
“The Voting Rights Advancement Act is a critical step forward in ensuring that every eligible voter across the country has the right to have their voice heard. Further, it will go a long way towards righting years of decisions and efforts by state and local politicians to prevent millions of Americans from voting.
“Together, we can ensure that no one group is singled out and that every person, regardless of their race, economic status or political affiliation, has access to the ballot box.”
- Since the 2013 Shelby County vs. Holder decision by the Supreme Court rolling back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states and localities have implemented efforts that make it more difficult for lower income people and people of color to vote.
- In response, the “Voting Rights Advancement Act” or VRAA would modernize and enhance federal protections on access to the vote for all Americans.
- H.R. 4, the VRAA, passed the house on a December 6, 2019 with bipartisan support.
The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.
Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org