Latest Labour News

Striking Dominion workers hold virtual rally as Loblaw Co. challenges picket in court

Unifor -

October 21, 2020

ST. JOHN’S— Striking Dominion workers will hold a virtual rally as Loblaw Companies Limited challenges their picket at the St. John’s Loblaw distribution centre in court.

“Galen Weston and Loblaw Co. could choose to end this strike but they prefer to spend their resources and time in court rather than engage in negotiations to address the concerns of their workers,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

WHAT:               Striking Dominion workers rally

WHEN:               Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 10 a.m. NDT

WHO:                Chris MacDonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President

                           Carolyn Wrice, Unifor Local 597 President


                           Mark Nichols, 15 and Fairness

                           Dawn Hanames, 30-year Dominion worker

WHERE
:            Loblaw Distribution Centre, 35 Clyde Ave. Donovan Industrial Park

The event will be livestreamed to fb.com/UniforCanada. Upon request, a downloadable 4K video will be available for unrestricted use by members of the media following the event.

Media are invited to cover. All speakers will be available to comment immediately after the rally. All precautions will be taken to respect COVID-19 guidelines and best practices will be observed at the event.

Striking Dominion workers held a one-day picket at the Loblaw distribution centre on October 15 before starting round the clock action on October 20.

More than half of the 1,400 striking workers earn minimum wage with more than 80% classified as part-time, with no sick days or vacation and limited access to benefits. The workers are now in week nine of strike action, which began 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).

Nova Scotia job study needs participants

Rank and File - latest news -

Acadia U study is looking at working conditions in retail, grocery, long-term care, education By Lisa Cameron Work has drastically changed for Nova Scotians during the COVID-19 pandemic. A group of researchers from Acadia University are studying work and health during COVID-19 through the experiences of grocery and retail workers, long-term care workers, and teachers Continue readingNova Scotia job study needs participants

Dominion workers set up round the clock picket at Loblaw Co. distribution centre

Unifor -

October 20, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Dominion workers have set up a round the clock picket at the Loblaw Co. Distribution Centre in St. John’s, following the company’s continued refusal to negotiate a fair collective agreement.

“The Loblaw Co. business model is to tie wages for frontline grocery workers to minimum wage while refusing to classify jobs as full-time to avoid sick days, vacation and benefits, all with the end goal of enriching the Weston family and their shareholders while their workers struggle to make ends meet,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “If Loblaw Co. isn’t willing to do the right thing then it’s incumbent on Premier Fuery and his government to raise the minimum wage to a living wage that workers can survive on.”

The workers began round the clock picket action at 9 a.m. this morning at the Distribution Centre at 35 Clyde Ave. Donovan Industrial Park, which supplies Loblaw-owned properties across Newfoundland including No Frills, Bidgood Fresh Mart, Cash and Carry St. John’s, Independent grocers and Shoppers Drug Mart.

“Loblaw Companies Limited is using its corporate weight to try to crush these workers simply because they are asking for a living wage,” said Unifor 597 President Carolyn Wrice.

The workers are asking the public to show their support at unifor.org/customerschoice to call on Galen Weston to provide a living wage.

The workers have been on strike since August 22, 2020. More than 80% of the workers are classified as part-time, with more than half of earning minimum wage.

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 Support Workers ratify contract with Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board

Unifor -

TORONTO

"These were challenging and complex negotiations and both our local bargaining committee and membership deserve a lot of credit for overcoming the challenges created by the province’s mandated central bargaining process and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Unifor Local 2458 represents 160 custodial and maintenance workers at the WECDSB. The new agreement was ratified by 90 per cent. All WECDSB maintenance and custodial workers previously ratified an agreement under the province’s newly mandated central bargaining process that provided wage increases of 1 per cent and a 1 per cent increase to benefits. The agreement ratified by workers tonight settles numerous local issues with the WECDSB.

“Our members in the education sector are among the hardest working and most dedicated people you will find in our community. They ratified an agreement that reflects the respect and support they deserve for ensuring that our children can continue to learn in a safe, healthy and secure environment, especially with the ongoing pandemic,” said Tullio DiPonti, Unifor Local 2458 President.

The new contract will see new hiring and includes strengthened language and improvements for general working conditions.

"These were difficult negotiations complicated by the ongoing health and financial crises affecting our community," said Rick Nadin, Chairperson of the Unifor Local 2458 Custodial and Maintenance Unit. "I'm incredibly proud of our members and our bargaining committee for rising to the challenge and reaching a settlement that provides solid gains for the next four years."

WECDSB office, clerical, and information technology workers also represented by Unifor Local 2458 are set to start bargaining over the next few weeks.

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 please contact David Molenhuis, Unifor National Communications Representative at david.molenhuis@unifor.org or 416-575-7453 (cell).

Media Release: BC Post-Secondary contract workers make gains, but pay equity gaps remain

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC -

Oct 19, 2020 FPSE News

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) & səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories (Vancouver) - Today is the first day of Fair Employment Week, an international campaign to bring attention to the working conditions of contract faculty. After a bargaining process that stretched out over a year, there are mixed results for contract faculty at BC colleges and teaching universities. Across the province, contract faculty are paid less by varying degrees. Ending this pay disparity was a top priority of the unions, but ultimately not all unions were able to make progress towards equal pay for contract faculty.

“Fair Employment Week is our opportunity to bring people together to understand and address contract faculty issues. For too long, contract faculty have been used as disposable labour that can be paid less for doing the same work,” said FPSE president Brent Calvert. “This creates an obvious cost incentive for institutions to keep educators on contract, rather than moving them into regular work. The combination of less pay, no job stability, and no health benefits was bad enough before the pandemic, but now is much worse. Contract faculty who weren’t hired for this fall semester now have no employment, no extended health coverage, and yet they still have bills to pay and kids to feed. What happens if they or their families get sick and need support?”

“At every bargaining table we attempted to connect the dots between the lesser pay and protections for contract faculty and the connection to the overrepresentation of racialized people within contract faculty ranks. In turn, this is connected to the systemic racism and bias that disadvantages racialized folks for promotion. All of this makes the gains that unions and employers were able to achieve that much more meaningful. Where contract faculty made gains, their economic health improved, and the institution became better placed to deal with COVID-19. However, there’s a growing number of items that workplaces are struggling with through the COVID-19 pandemic, so much more needs to be done.”

-30-

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators is the provincial voice of 10,000 faculty and staff at BC’s teaching universities, colleges, institutes and private sector institutions. We provide resources, legal services, and engage in advocacy on behalf of our 20 member faculty and staff associations. Learn more at fpse.ca

Background

  • Lower pay and instability for contract faculty has existed in BC for over 50 years, with unions attempting to increase security and pay through bargaining.
  • In 1998, unions reached a landmark agreement that included a process for contract faculty to become regular employees (regularization).
  • However, collective agreements continued to allow contract faculty to be paid less – sometimes 80% less – than their regular colleagues.
  • Now, at 8 institutions, contract faculty have had their first meaningful pay increase in two decades.

Unifor members ratify new FCA contract that delivers new jobs and investment

Unifor -

October 19, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor members working at Fiat Chrysler in Brampton, Etobicoke, Windsor, Mississauga, Montreal and Red Deer have voted ­78 per cent to ratify a new three  year collective agreement  that includes significant investment, job security and economic gains.

“This agreement solidifies and builds on FCA’s footprint, with a game changing investment of up to $1.58 billion for a state-of-the-art platform to build both Plug–In Hybrid Vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles, along with a $50 million investment to bring multiple derivatives of the Dodge Charger and Challenger to the Brampton plant where production of the Chrysler 300 is being extended,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

The commitments we have secured in these negotiations will stabilize FCA’s operations in Canada and position us as a global leader in the transition to zero emission vehicle production.

Fiat Chrysler forecasts the return of the third shift in Windsor by 2024, adding as many as 2000 jobs along with $14 million investment at the Etobicoke Casting Plant, and a 22 per cent increase in the hourly workforce.

“Workers who have feared plant closures and job losses in recent years can now look forward to a bright future with good jobs for years to come,” said Dias. 

The new agreement follows a historic pattern setting deal reached with Ford Motor Company last month that includes five per cent increases to hourly rates, a $7,250 signing bonus, $4000 inflation bonuses, wage parity with Ford workers, improved benefits, shift premiums, and restoration of the 20 per cent wage differential for skilled trades.

Unifor and the company have also agreed to collaborate on an anti-racism action plan, including the establishment of a new Racial Justice Advocate in the workplace and all facilities will fly pride flags every June. FCA has also agreed to provide up to 10 paid days of domestic violence leave.

Talks with General Motors Canada begin later this week. A digital media kit 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 via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at  Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

Desperate B.C. Liberals lash out at working people province-wide

Unifor -

VANCOUVER—Trailing badly in the polls, the B.C. Liberals have begun attacking the very working people who are poised to re-elect John Horgan and the BCNDP government.

“John Horgan and his BCNDP government have delivered results for working families,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “After a decade of scandals and ideological funding cuts, it should be no surprise that the BCNDP is the choice of working people.”

The B.C. Liberal Party distributed a fundraising email on Saturday, October 17 decrying the involvement of Unifor and other unions, accusing the organizations of spending “millions” on the election. Flyers with the same content were widely disseminated to households in Surrey and elsewhere. Unifor says the tactic exposes the hostility of the B.C. Liberals towards working people and reeks of desperation.

“Attacking working people is not a winning strategy, but it does help remind voters what the B.C. Liberals stand for,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Working families haven’t forgotten the damage done to public services and workers’ rights under Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark. That’s why Unifor members are working so hard to keep Andrew Wilkinson in the opposition benches.”  

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).

Pages