Latest Labour News

Unifor members at Saskatoon Radisson ratify new contract

Unifor -

SASKATOON—Members of Unifor Local 650 will see economic and safety gains after ratifying a four-year collective agreement with the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon on November 7.

“Unifor is a union for hotel workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Right across the country, Unifor members like these skilled negotiators at the Radisson are making real gains for hotel workers.”

The new agreement includes wage increases of 7.5% and clearer guidelines for treatment of banquet staff gratuities. Unifor was also successful at negotiation stronger protections against harassment and benefits gains including paid days off, crisis leave, and improved optical coverage.

“New limits on housekeeping workloads and improved scheduling language are welcomed news for our hardworking members,” said Kelly Ries, Unifor Local 650 President. “Should the minimum wage raise during the life of the collective agreement, the employer agreed to discuss all wage classifications​.”

Radisson workers also gained new access to a workplace Women’s Advocate.

Unifor Local 650 represents 123 workers at the Radisson in housekeeping; banquets, kitchen and in-room dining; front desk; the Aroma Resto Bar; maintenance; and the fitness facilities.

National Skilled Trades Council brings together delegates in Peterborough, On.

Unifor -

The National Skilled Trades Council brought together more than 100 delegates for its triennial meeting. Held on November 9-11 in Peterborough, Ontario, the event was hosted by the Oshawa and Eastern Ontario Skilled Trades Area Council. Diane Therrien Mayor-Elect of Peterborough offered welcoming remarks to delegates.

Delegates spent part of the Council reporting out on issues facing skilled trades members in their workplaces, including new technology, collective agreements, work ownership rules, apprenticeships and much more.

The Council was chaired by Dave Cassidy, Skilled Trades National Chairperson and featured a presentation by Ken Bondy, National Staff Representative, which included a discussion ­­­on the campaign for further recycling of automotive parts. In addition, John Breslin, Director of Skilled Trades, provided a report on issues facing trades. On November 11, delegates also participated in a Remembrance Day ceremony and presented the Bob Cherneki Charity of Choice to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

For more information, visit

Announcements: General Meeting and Fall Newsletter

University of Western Ontario Staff Association -

UWOSA December General Meeting

The General Meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, from Noon until 2:00 p.m. in Room 110 Middlesex College.

Please bring your Western ID card to gain admittance to the meeting.

Per our Collective Agreement, Article 7.07 (Union Representation), you are entitled to 2 hours without loss of pay or reduction of benefits, to attend this general membership meeting. These 2 hours include your regularly scheduled meal period. In addition, if you work away from main campus, you are entitled to up to one hour of additional time for travel. This time does not need to be made up.

In accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws, the agenda will be as follows:

1. Approval of the Agenda
2. Approval of the Minutes: Annual General Meeting held April 25, 2018 (Member Area)*
3. Business Arising out of the Minutes
4. President’s Report
5. Report of the Treasurer
6. Report of Chief Steward
7. Reports of Standing Committees
8. Reports of Special Committees
9. Any Unfinished Business from Previous Meetings
10. New Business
11. Adjournment

*You must sign in to view the Member Area, to read the General Meeting minutes

The Fall 2018 UWOSA Newsletter is now available

Please log into the “Member Area” of the UWOSA website under the menu “News”. If you require an alternate format, please email the UWOSA office at

Update: UWOFA Reaches Tentative Agreement
UWOSA was happy to learn that UWOFA reached a tentative agreement on November 9, 2018 after 25 bargaining sessions. UWOFA had been without a contract since June 30, 2018.

Building solidarity across borders

Unifor -

More than 140 union leaders and activists from several countries gathered for the first ever North American Solidarity Project Conference at Unifor’s family education centre this weekend.

“If we are going to continue renewal of the labour movement we have to be bold. The rich are getting richer and working people need us to collaborate and fight back,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President.

The conference came about as a result of an in depth study and solidarity building project that began in 2017 when Unifor signed a Cooperation Agreement with the United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers Union (UE)

"It is great to be in a room with more than a hundred like-minded trade unionists from the U.S., Mexico, Australia, and Canada, who are clear that as workers and as a class, we have more in common with each other than we do with the employer," said Peter Knowlton, president of UE.

The group leading the project also reached out to other unions including National Nurses United, Lecturer’s Employees Organization, Utility Workers of America, United Voice of Australia and six independent Mexican unions.

Delegates from all over the globe attended workshops to brainstorm on how to fight back as right wing governments continue to attack workers across North America.

The conference ended with a joint statement from all the unions that says: “In the face of right-wing populism, anti immigrant rhetoric, and rising inequality, unions must act to counter balance the forces that attack workers’ rights and undermine equality for all... We believe that it is time for unions to present a bold vision for social change and union renewal that unites the working class.”

Unifor Social Justice Fund donates to Typhoon Mangkhut relief

Unifor -

Picture courtesy of the Philippine Red Cross

The Unifor Social Justice Fund has donated $27,397 to the Canadian Red Cross to aid Typhoon Mangkhut relief efforts in the Philippines. On September 15, 2018 the super typhoon left over 2.9 million people affected with 31 provinces impacted, 8 of which have declared state of calamity.

“In the wake of events such as Typhoon Mangkhut there is a long recovery and rebuilding process,” said Unifor International Director Mohamad Alsadi. “The Canadian Red Cross is working to support the Philippines Red Cross Society in their efforts to ensure those who need help are able to find it.”

The Red Cross has provided services including search and retrieval in landslide-hit areas and distribution of relief items including water containers, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets and hygiene kits.

To date, the Red Cross had served 18,700 hot meals, over 207,000 litres of safe water, psychosocial support to 11,680 and hygiene promotion to 5,010.

The Red Cross aims to continue supporting those impacted by the typhoon by focusing on shelter, livelihood and basic needs, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, protection and gender inclusion, migration, and disaster risk reduction.

For more information or to make a donation visit

Picture courtesy of the Philippine Red Cross

Message from UWOSA President

University of Western Ontario Staff Association -

Dear Fellow UWOSA Member,

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) will be in a legal strike position on Friday, November 9, 2018 at 12:01 a.m. This does not mean that UWOFA will take strike action. We understand from UWOFA that negotiations continue and some but not all progress is being made to resolve the outstanding issues at the bargaining table.

What is a strike? Strikes are often a last resort; if progress is not being made during negotiations. Strikes are an important tool and a recognized right for unions.

What is a lockout? A lockout occurs when, during negotiations, the Employer refuses to allow its employees to work in order to force a settlement. In this instance, Western Administration may refuse to allow striking faculty members on to Western's campus, park in Western parking lots, or have access to their Western emails.

What This Means for UWOSA Members:

Reporting to Work: In our Collective Agreement, Article 5: Strike or Lockout, specifically Article 5.05 states, "Where individuals in a labor dispute, other than those in the bargaining unit, engage in a strike and maintain picket lines, and where employees of the bargaining unit could suffer personal harm, the employer will endeavour to safeguard such employees.”

This means that UWOSA members are required to report to work, even if this means crossing a picket line. It will be the University's responsibility to ensure that employees are safe when crossing the picket line.

How do I know if UWOFA has chosen to strike? You can either check the UWOFA Website or you can check the Western University Negotiations website.

In the event UWOFA chooses to strike or the University's Administration chooses to lock UWOFA members out, please allow yourself extra time to get to campus on Friday, November 9th.

Please note that city buses will not enter campus during a strike or lockout. LTC will reroute so as not to cross picket lines, and may instead stop on Richmond Street/ Western Road instead.

If you are driving a vehicle, please be respectful to those picketing at the crosswalks and at the corners of the entrances to Western University.

When passing by or crossing picket lines, please be respectful and courteous to UWOFA members. Please avoid arguments or confrontations of why you are crossing, you may simply state that in the UWOSA collective agreement, you are required to report to work.

If classes are cancelled, laboratories or clinics are closed, you are still required to report to work. If you are told by a supervisor to go home after reporting to work, please contact the UWOSA office at

How Can UWOSA Support UWOFA


Walk the Picket Line: If you have time during your ten minute break or lunch break, before work or after work, consider joining the picket line, walking and talking with UWOFA members to better understand the issues they are facing at the bargaining table.

Letter Campaign: Email a pre-prepared letter by UWOFA to the University’s Administration in support of UWOFA

Decline Performing UWOFA Work: As per Article 5.04, “Employees have the right to decline to perform the normal duties of striking or locked out employees of the Employer during a legal strike by another bargaining unit of employees of the employer or during any lock out of another bargaining unit by the employer.”

Examples of faculty work that UWOSA members have the right to decline (only if you have never done this work in the past when a faculty member was absent):

• Care of lab animals,
• Care of live cultures or other organisms,
• Experiments that are at a critical juncture and could result in data loss
• Proctoring exams

UWOSA stands with UWOFA until their negotiations are complete and their collective agreement is achieved.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me one of our Executive Officers at

In Solidarity,

Meg Perinpanayagam
UWOSA President

Government Spends Over $16 million on Private Consultants Rather than Consulting the Frontline

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

A startling media report has surfaced that shows the Pallister government has spent more than $16 million to date on 20 different studies done by private consultants.“This should be concerning to all Manitobans. This is $16 million that could have been spent on delivering frontline services. Instead, they’re spending our tax dollars to fill the pockets of professional ‘privatizers’,” said MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky. “The fact that this is only for high profile studies makes you wonder how much more money they’ve wasted trying to justify their cuts to public services and privatization plans.”