Latest Labour News

UFCW: Amazon Must Address Practices that Harm Workers and Customers

UFCW Press Releases -

Ahead of Amazon Shareholder Meeting, Largest Private-Sector Union Backs Resolutions to Strengthen Accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, ahead of the annual Amazon shareholder meeting in Seattle where a vote will be held on nine resolutions aimed at holding the company accountable for its practices that put employees and customers at risk, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“The growing frustration and anger with the way Amazon and Jeff Bezos do business is real. Year after year, Amazon earns billions in profits on the backs of American taxpayers and its own workers, while ignoring the company’s responsibility to do what is right.

“Today’s shareholder meeting is an opportunity to hold Amazon accountable. These resolutions are about sending a clear message to Amazon and Jeff Bezos that the American people are sick and tired of subsidizing billionaires and huge corporations at the expense of workers and consumers. It’s time for companies like Amazon to realize that they succeed because of their workers – not in spite of them.”

BACKGROUND

Today’s Amazon shareholder meeting will consider nine resolutions supported by a broad coalition of socially responsible investors focused on holding the company accountable for its practices that pose direct threats to employees, customers, and the broader public. A list of the resolutions to be voted on today is below:

  1. Risks of Sales of Facial Recognition Software: Open MIC, Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment
  2. Independent Study of Rekognition: Harrington Investments
  3. Report on Efforts to Address Hate Speech: Nathan Cummings Foundation
  4. Amazon’s Plans for Disruptions Posed by Climate Change: Amazon Employees
  5. Reduce Food Waste: JLens Network
  6. Executive Pay-Incorporate Diversity & Sustainability Metrics: Zevin Asset Management
  7. Independent Board Chair: SumofUs
  8. Majority Vote: Investor Voice
  9. Gender Pay Equity: Arjuna Capital

In November 2018, investors sent a joint letter to Amazon to underscore their concerns and request meaningful dialogue with the company.  The letter was endorsed by 114 investors representing over $2.6 trillion in assets under management, many of whom had varying degrees of prior engagement with Amazon.

Additional concerns were raised by Amazon’s decision to petition the SEC to omit many of the proposals from its proxy. Many investors see the fact that the company has actively sought to avoid addressing these problems in a constructive manner with the investment community as highly troubling.

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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

 

South Asian Heritage Month - Week 2

Unifor -

President of Local 6006

Pearl Almeida has been a Union activist since 2005. She has held the position of steward, Vice-President and now President.  She is active in union campaigns.  She has been a discussion Leader since 2014.  She is an advocate promoting Human rights, Women’s Rights and equality.  Pearl is active in the community working with Second Harvest and various other food banks and shelters.

 

Community Advocate

Born and raised in Vancouver, Pall Beesla is a community advocate who calls South Vancouver home with his Wife and two small children. In his spare time, Pall assists his dad and uncle in their family gravel truck business, Beesla Trucking (since 1985).

During his day job as a city Bus Driver, Pall gets to see and connect with Vancouverites every day. Driving in the city affords Pall the opportunity to not only meet with people, but to also see the changes in the city’s landscape first-hand. Through his job, Pall has assisted co-workers through his previous union activism with Unifor 111 as a Job Steward and understands what it takes to represent a peer group.

While trying to maintain a work-life balance, Pall volunteers his time as an elected board member at the faith-based Khalsa Diwan Society (Est. 1906). Serving for the past 7 years as Senior Assistant Treasurer, Pall has had the responsibilities of helping raise funds, maintaining financial transparency, project management, and coordinating the annual Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade. Through his outreach work, Pall has also built bridges with fellow religious and community-based groups to show a united front against hate and intolerance and to collaborate on common interests of community building. Pall looks to his faith for guiding principles on how to stay grounded and lead a good life while serving others.

Unifor members at Newport frozen food processing plant secure their first collective agreement

Unifor -

Unifor members working at a Newport frozen food processing plant in Gaspésie voted 96 per cent in favour of the terms of their very first collective agreement during a general meeting held late last week.

Unifor was accredited in the spring of 2018 to represent the employees of the plant. An agreement in principle followed after ten face-to-face bargaining meetings and several telephone meetings as the owners of the plant, Quebec Wild Blueberries, are based in Lac-Saint-Jean.

The new 28-month collective agreement not only lays the groundwork for a first employment contract, but provides the union and employees with all the tools they need to gain respect. This agreement significantly enhances the working conditions of employees and offers them better protections. The gains include: better rules to ensure the health and safety of employees, respect for seniority, two more days of sick leave in addition to those provided by law, overtime pay, improved employee earnings, bereavement leave, bonus system for shifts and special assignments. The wage increases will total 4.25 per cent for 2019 and 2020. In addition, a first salary increase will be applicable as of May 2019 which represents, depending on the occupation, a wage increase between three and eight per cent of current hourly rates.

"We are very proud of the result of the negotiations and support our members have given us,” said Martin Lambert, Unifor’s National Representative responsible for the negotiations. “We believe that we have met their expectations while establishing a constructive dialogue with this employer and setting the basis for discussions for the coming years."

Asian Heritage Month - Week 2

Unifor -

Proud Member of Local 1106

Maricar Camblin is a wife and mother. She is from the Philippines and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. In September 2006, she came to Canada as a Live-in Caregiver. In March of 2015, she graduated from Toronto Health School as a Personal Support Worker.

From March 2015 to present, Maricar has been working at Ventra Plastics in Kitchener where she is a Certified Health and Safety Rep, who is also a certified in first aid. In addition, she is one of the Harassment Investigators for Unifor Local 1106.

Maricar has taken Ergonomics, Human Rights, Harassment Investigations, and Women’s Activist courses through Unifor. She was one of the guest speakers at last year’s Aboriginal and Workers of Colour Conference in Port Elgin where she shared her experiences of coming to Canada through the Live-in Caregiver program.

 

Proud Member of Local 1090

Jamie Martinez is a member of Local 1090's Executive Board Member serving as a Trustee. Jamie was elected as a member at large on the Ontario Regional Council Executive Board in 2018. Jamie believes that member education is vital to make our Union stronger. She is thankful that she was given an opportunity to attend and complete the Discussion Leader Training offered by Unifor.  Jamie believes in giving back to the community that gave her an opportunity when she immigrated to Canada in 2000, so she volunteers at the community hospital and other organizations.

Unifor launches member survey on pensions

Unifor -

If you are a Unifor member on our mailing list, you should have received an email this week with a link to the union’s survey on pensions. Part of an initiative to ensure Unifor members have access to a reliable retirement plan, the survey aims to evaluate member interest in a Unifor-driven plan.

“We’ve known for some time that pension benefits differ greatly from employer to employer and at the same time we know that retirement security is a top priority for our membership,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “Unifor is taking the initiative to create better options around pensions, with our members’ input, we expect it to be a significant step forward in building a more adequate and secure retirement for all Unifor members and retirees.”

When Unifor was created in 2013, members identified retirement security as a top priority. Last year in Port Elgin, the union brought together members from across the country for our inaugural Pension Summit. Following the Summit, we collaborated with retirement security firm Common Wealth, and focused on building a retirement security action plan under the direction of the National Executive Board.

A crucial part of this action plan is hearing from members about your needs and challenges when it comes to retirement security, and how Unifor can best ensure those needs are met.

“The Pensions and Benefits Department has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to draw from and our partnership with Common Wealth has only deepened our understanding of where Canadians’ expectations and needs for retirement stand,” said Corey Vermey, Director of Pensions and Benefits. “But where the rubber meets the road is really with the membership, so this survey is a crucial step in offering a retirement plan tuned to the needs of today’s workers.”

If you have not received a link to fill out the pensions survey, please email communications@unifor.org

More than 200 health care workers rally outside Walkerton senior’s home

Unifor -

Unifor Local 2458 members who work at Brucelea Haven, a Home for the Aged in Walkerton, protested today in response to unfair practices in scheduling and a general lack of respect from the employer.

“Today’s rally is a wake-up call to the employer,” said Tullio DiPointi, President Unifor Local 2468. “We will no longer standby and allow management to disrespect and treat our members poorly.”

The workers, who include personal support workers, registered practical nurses and support staff have been frustrated by a scheduling system that has been implemented that does not respect the terms of their collective agreement. They often work overtime and work short staffed, especially in the PSW classification, which has a direct impact on resident care.

“The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care requires residents receive two baths a week. But because of the low staffing levels this minimum standard is not always being met. This is no way to treat the most vulnerable members of our society.”

The employer has agreed to bring in a third party to conduct a Workplace Cultural Assessment to review the values, collaboration, inclusivity, clarity of goals, and rewards as well as leadership transparency within the County homes. The cultural assessment will become the foundation of a plan of action for cultural improvement for staff and management at the home.

The union welcomes this assessment and will be working with the employer to ensure recommendations made are fully implemented.

For more information please visit www.caretakestime.ca

Grand River Hospital workers rally to stop layoffs and service reduction

Unifor -

KITCHENER - On Wednesday, May 22, Grand River Hospital health care workers represented by Unifor, Ontario Nurses Association, Ontario Public Service Employees Union and United Steel Workers will rally to stop layoffs, service reductions and demand the employer respect the commitment made to the unions on moving to the pension plan that covers hospital workers across the province.

"The newly hired CEO at Grand River Hospital is making his mark by issuing lay-offs and reducing services," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. "Added to that is his disrespect for his workforce by attempting to stop the move to a pension plan that he himself has the benefit of enjoying.”

The Health Care of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) is a joint contributory plan that has been in place for most hospital workers for decades.  It offers greater security to retire, after a career of what can be physically and mentally demanding work. 

Grand River Hospital has given notice of lay-off to 60 employees including RPN’s RN’s clinical assistants, personal support workers and clerical staff.  While some employee’s were redeployed to vacancies, the net result is a reduction in services, as well as future jobs in the communities served by the hospital. 

"Addressing the deficit by harming the quality of patient care is a recipe for disaster. These service reductions and layoffs will increase patient wait times and ultimately hurt the Kitchener-Waterloo community, and is a direct contradiction to the pre-election promises of the Ford Government who committed no public sector workers would lose their job,” continued Rizvi.

For more information please visit www.caretakestime.ca

Join MAHCP at the 2019 Manitoba Filipino Street Festival

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

The Executive Council at the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is proud to announce that this year MAHCP is sponsoring the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, on June 8 and 9!

The 2019 edition of the Manitoba Filipino Street Festival, which takes place at the Maples Multiplex (434 Adsum Drive in Winnipeg) marks the eighth year of the event and it keeps getting bigger and bigger! According to festival organizers, last year’s event had an estimated turnout of 15,000 over the two days.

MAHCP will have a booth at the event, where we’ll be handing out MAHCP gear and information, from noon until 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday from noon until 3 p.m.

We’re looking for a handful of volunteers to help at the booth over the two days, so if you’re interested, please email info@mahcp.ca

In addition to the booth, MAHCP will have a group walking in Saturday’s Filipino Cultural Street Parade and we’d like to see as many MAHCP members in that group as possible!

There’s no RSVP required: we’re asking MAHCP members to pick up a free T-shirt at the booth and then assemble for the Parade at the marshalling area at Watson and Jefferson. Please look for our MAHCP flags.

Please see the event poster here.

There will be a stamp competition, as well as entertainment at the main stage, 40 food vendors, and fireworks at 10:15 p.m. on June 8, so it promises to be a good time. See you there, MAHCP members!

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