Latest Labour News

MEDIA ADVISORY: Update on contract talks with Ford Motor Company

Unifor -

TORONTO—On Monday September 21, 2020 Unifor’s National President will provide an update live on Facebook about the progress of negotiations with Ford Motor Company in advance of the 11:59 pm strike deadline.

WHAT:           News Conference to update media on auto bargaining

WHEN:         3 p.m., Monday, September 21, 2020 

WHERE:       Dominion Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto

WHO:           Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor Bargaining Committee representatives

Journalists wishing to participate in the Question & Answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by 11 a.m. Monday by emailing Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org and we will send you dial in information.

In-person attendance will be restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic in compliance with Ontario health directives. Those wishing to attend in person must register in advance via email on a first come first serve basis. A pool camera arrangement is preferred.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page.  Broadcast quality footage of the event will be available afterward for download upon request via email.

A digital media kit including background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers represented by Unifor can be found on this website.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews after the news conference via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at  Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

Unifor raises $134,000 to aid domestic violence victims

Unifor -

September 19, 2020

TORONTO– Unifor has raised a record breaking $134,000, so far, for Halton Women’s Place in a ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk today led by Unifor National President Jerry Dias and his son Jordan.

“These much needed funds will provide safe shelter and services to women and children escaping domestic violence at a time when many have been forced to isolate with their abusers,” said Dias. ”We’ve seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic so in addition to raising money our goal is to also raise awareness about the ongoing violence that thousands of women across the country are experiencing.”

This year the annual ‘Hope in High Heels’ walks were modified due to COVID-19. Unifor opted to hold a walk with a limited number of men at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto.

“Every year I am overwhelmed by the dedication and passion that Jerry, Jordan and their Unifor team show at our walk events,” said Carm Bozzo, Manager of Development & Communications for Halton Women’s Place. “It is just amazing to see these men come out every September and stand up against women abuse and raise such an incredible amount of money that directly supports the women and children who use our services. This year, this is so important as fundraising events have been cancelled and majorly shifted because of COVID-19. Thank you, Jerry, Jordan and Unifor!”

Halton Women’s Place provides shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children. To date Dias and his team have raised more than $830,000 in Hope in High Heels events. Dias thanked the many Unifor employers and partners who made generous contribution this year, even amid the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
“This is about helping survivors rebuild their lives, but it’s also about men taking responsibility to end gender-based violence and promote equity” said Dias who led participants in a pledge against violence. “Women are most vulnerable right after they leave an abusive partner and often the one place the abuser knows they can find them is at their job which is why our union has worked to create supports within our workplaces.”
Unifor has made it a bargaining priority to negotiate the union’s ground-breaking Women’s Advocate Program, which trains workplace representatives to assist women with issues including workplace harassment, intimate violence and abuse.
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 phone, Facetime, Skype or Zoom interview with Jerry Dias please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

UFCW Canada – BDM Scholarship deadline extended to October 16

UFCW Canada -

Toronto – September 18, 2020 – As college and university students begin the new school year while also grappling with the challenges presented by COVID-19, UFCW Canada has extended the deadline for this year’s BDM Scholarship program to give members and their family members more time to apply for the $1,000 union scholarship.

SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor hold media conference to continue the call for immediate action in long-term care

Unifor -

TORONTO, ON – SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor, unions that represent health care workers across long-term care, are urging immediate action to end the crisis in the sector.

The unions are highlighting their joint “Care Not Profits” advocacy campaign, which calls on Premier Ford to end for-profit senior care; worsening conditions of employment for front-line workers, the lack of action on the part of the long-term care commission; and their call for a 4-hour legislated care standard.

WHO:                  Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario; Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare; Jerry Dias, President of Unifor; and front-line health care workers.

 WHAT:                A media conference to stress the need for urgent action for Ontario’s long-term care system.

 WHEN:               September 21, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:              The Dominion Board Room, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel; stream on Facebook here, here, or here; or call in: Local – Toronto (416 764 8658); Toll Free – North America (1-888 886 7786). Reporters wishing to ask questions remotely must register 24 hours in advance by emailing hamid.osman@unifor.org

4K version of the news conference and still photos will be available for download soon afterwards upon request via email.  A pool camera arrangement is welcome given Covid restrictions.

For more information, or to arrange interviews contact:

Daniel Tseghay, Communications Representative, CUPE at dtseghay@cupe.ca | 647-220-9739

Corey Johnson, SEIU Healthcare at c.johnson@seiuhealthcare.ca | 416-529-8909

Hamid Osman, Unifor National representative – Communications at Hamid.Osman@unifor.org | 647-448-2823

Media Advisory- Unifor team hold ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk to support domestic violence victims

Unifor -

September 18, 2020  

TORONTO – A Unifor team, led by Unifor National President Jerry Dias, will hold a ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk in downtown Toronto in support of Halton Women’s Place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday September 19, 2020.

“Due to the reality of COVID-19 the charity walk was modified this year but team Unifor is determined to proceed,” said Dias. “Sadly the pandemic has also led to women and children being confined in their homes with their abusers with access to outside supports cut off. The need to provide a safe place and services for them is greater than ever.”

Halton’s Women Place provides shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children.

In light of the tremendous need, team Unifor has organized a walk at Nathan Phillips Square, across from the location where the union is currently engaged in auto bargaining. Following a cheque presentation, a small team of Unifor men will practice safe social distancing as they join Jerry to participate in the walk wearing pink high heels.

To date team Unifor has raised more than $460,000 in total in ‘Hope in High Hells’ events with a record-breaking donation of 126,000 last year alone. Photos of the event will be available on @UniforTheUnion twitter account following the event.

WHAT:               Unifor ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk in support of Halton Women’s Place Cheque presentation followed by walk

WHEN:               Saturday September 19, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. ET

WHO:                 Unifor National President Jerry Dias and team Unifor

                Carm Bozzo, Halton Women’s Place,

                Manager of Development and Communications

WHERE:            Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall 100 Queen St W

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).

School bus system crisis continues due to government inaction

Unifor -

September 17, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor, Ontario’s largest school bus driver union, maintains that the crisis in the school bus system continues due to inaction by the provincial government.

“I hear Education Minister Stephen Lecce saying that his government is doing everything possible to address the driver shortage and concerns about safety aboard school buses but that simply isn’t the case,” said Debbie Montgomery, President of Unifor Local 4268. “While it’s true the province has designated some funds towards health and safety and driver retention the fundamental issue remains the lack of provincial standards to go with those dollars.”

As students return to schools across the province there are widespread school bus route cancellations happening in several jurisdictions.

As far back as July, Unifor warned that urgent action was needed to ensure that school buses would be able to return to their routes when classes resumed. On August 13, the union sent Premier Ford, Minister Lecce and Minister Mulroney a statement on behalf of drivers calling on the government to address five key concerns, including guaranteed access to PPE, limits on the number of passengers to allow for social distancing, and proper sanitation of busses.

Drivers reiterated that call during a media conference on August 25, where they shared their first hand knowledge of the variety of measures planned at different school bus carriers and school boards.

“We have been clear on driver’s concerns and they have yet to be addressed,” said Montgomery. “We have drivers receiving manifests with upwards of 70 kids on-board, no social distancing and instances where drivers are receiving inadequate PPE supplies, some of which are substandard quality. This is the result of throwing money at student transportation without a plan to enforce consistent standards.”

The majority of Ontario school bus drivers are above 60 years old, considered a higher risk group for COVID-19.

“Knowing the demographic of drivers, the government should be doing everything in its power in terms of COVID-19 safety protocols to maximize the number who feel safe to return and prevent the loss of additional drivers, which I guarantee will happen if they fail again to move on this,” said Montgomery.

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 phone, Facetime, or Zoom interview with Debbie Montgomery please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

National Executive Vice-President Resigns 

PSAC -

PSAC’s National Executive Vice-Present (NEVP), Magali Picard, announced her resignation today.  “It is with a heavy heart today that I announce my resignation. The past month has been a difficult one, personally and...

New report confirms truckers’ worst fears for black market

Unifor -

September 17, 2020

VANCOUVER—An independent report commissioned by the Office of BC Container Trucking Commissioner confirms that there is a growing two-tier system of “off-dock” container shipping at Port Metro Vancouver and that many current licensees are actively involved in this destabilizing behaviour.

“It’s time to act. Zero doubt remains about a thriving black market that undermines legitimate business,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Law-abiding truckers deserve justice.”

Despite decisions by the Commissioner that have resulted in millions of dollars of unpaid wages and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, the report reveals that at least 45 per cent of these same licensed companies were actively using non-tagged trucks and engaging in chassis swapping to avoid paying the regulated rates.

The Cascadia report says that chassis swapping occurs in parking lots to avoid paying the regulated rates and the resulting gap in rates between unlicensed and licensed truckers is as much as $85 per trip, less than half the price. The problem is so widespread that some licenced companies have a shadow workforce of unlicensed or “untagged” truckers while others use affiliated companies to lower costs and driver compensation.

“Unlicensed trucking threatens to imminently disrupt labour peace at the port,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “This is a major problem that calls for long overdue, comprehensive action by the provincial government.”

Last month Unifor wrote to the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to demand that the Commissioner be given more tools to properly monitor off-dock shipments in order to stamp out unlicensed operators. Unifor has consistently raised this issue for several years. Failure to act earlier has led to a massive growth in this unregulated market and a potential collapse in regulated rates.

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).

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