Latest Labour News

12th Quebec Council: A call for commitment from Unifor members

Unifor -

Over 400 members from across the province gathered in Quebec City on November 23 and 24 as Unifor held its Quebec Council. In his report to delegates, Quebec Director Renaud Gagné delivered a positive assessment of Unifor’s actions during the federal election of October 21. However, he reminded delegates that “even though the election is over, it doesn’t mean our work is finished. Far from it. Our job now is to build strong ties with newly elected officials and to push forward our demands.”

Gagné also provided an update on the main negotiations currently in progress, including talks at Bombardier, Paccar and VIA Rail, as well as on the labour disputes at Vopak and Crustacés de Gaspé. He also reminded members of the numerous lobbying campaigns under way.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: without mobilization, nothing is possible. We need our members actively at our side to make our demands heard,” declared Gagné.

National Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne made a visit to the Council, offering an impressive report on the union’s accomplishments country-wide in the past months. In drawing attention to the incessant attacks by right-wing governments in Ontario and Alberta, she reminded delegates that “we have to be more ambitious than those who are trying to dismantle workers’ rights across Canada. We have to organize people both inside and outside our union. The current context leaves us no other choice.”

During the Council, elections were held for the members of the Quebec Council’s Executive and standing committees. The results of the elections can be found on the Unifor Quebec website. It should be noted that the duration of the Council was short due to the fact that the triennial convention of the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL) was set to start in Quebec City the next day, running from November 25 to 28.

UFCW applauds students’ successful legal challenge of Ford Conservative ‘initiative’

UFCW Canada -

Toronto – November 27, 2019 – The unanimous ruling by the Ontario Divisional Court to strike down Premier Doug Ford's so-called ‘Student Choice Initiative’ (SCI) followed a legal action by the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario and the York Federation of Students which challenged the government’s calculated attack on students’ rights, union rights, academic freedom, and student services on Ontario campuses.

Members at CCVT achieve first contract – UFCW 175

UFCW Canada -

Toronto – November 26, 2019 – Congratulations to UFCW Canada Local 175 members at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) on ratifying their first collective agreement. Members at the CCVT provide vital support and integration services to refugees and survivors of war, torture and trauma.

Unifor members on strike at Voith in Mississauga

Unifor -

After reaching a dead-end in negotiations to renew their collective agreement and dealing with a stubborn employer, workers at Voith Hydro went on strike last week.

“Unifor bargained up until the deadline but unfortunately it became clear that the employer was just unwilling to make a fair offer,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “The members are united and we are determined to obtain an agreement that addresses the workers’ key issues.”

The 35 workers represented by Unifor Local 252 had delivered an overwhelming 100 per cent strike mandate and began strike action on November 14, 2019.

“The employer has to understand that we are determined to make legitimate improvements to our members’ working conditions,” said Wilson Stowel, Unifor Local 252. “Under the circumstances, we had no other choice but to withdraw services because the employer just wouldn’t listen.”

The employer tabled several concessionary proposals that would have negatively changed the entire collective agreement.  Voith’s monetary proposals included reducing benefits from 100 per cent to 80 per cent, the elimination of the Cost of Living Adjustment and no increases to pension during the life of the collective agreement.

“We want to send a clear message to the employer. This work contract can only be renewed on the basis of negotiating in good faith and respecting our members,” continued Dias.

Despite several possible solutions put forward by the union, the employer has been steadfast in their demands on the union to accept concessions.

Voith manufactures hydro power station equipment, primarily for hydro dams around the world. The facility also repairs and maintains the equipment that it manufactures.

UFCW: Consumer and Worker Protections Must Be Top Priority for Northeast Governors in Cannabis Framework

UFCW Press Releases -

Union Representing Cannabis Workers Calls for Regional Framework to Prioritize Labor Peace Agreements that Support Good Jobs, Consumer Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union is calling for consumer and worker protections to be a top priority for Governors Andrew Cuomo (New York), Ned Lamont (Connecticut), Phil Murphy (New Jersey), Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island), Tom Wolf (Pennsylvania), and Charlie Baker (Massachusetts) in their states’ new joint framework on cannabis.

In a letter to these governors, UFCW called the agreement an important first step to strengthen the cannabis industry and support good jobs, but also emphasized the need to invest in high standards that put consumers and workers first. UFCW President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s cannabis industry has the power to create thousands of good jobs that support hardworking families and the communities they serve. But we can only achieve this with strong labor peace agreements that set high standards that reward responsible businesses, strengthen worker voices, and put consumer safety first. We urge these governors to make this a centerpiece of their cannabis framework as they continue to invest in the future of our economy.”


In the letter to Northeast governors, UFCW emphasized the importance of labor peace agreements. A labor peace agreement is a written and mutually agreed-upon document between a labor union and an employer, typically one that is licensed to operate in a regulated industry by a state or local government.

  • Labor peace agreements strengthen business stability and support a healthy workplace
  • Unions and their members typically agree to refrain from engaging in strikes, boycotts, picketing and any other interference in the employer’s business.
  • Employers, in return, agree to not interfere with efforts by the labor union to communicate with, and attempt to organize and represent, the employer’s workers.
  • These agreements generally require the employer, including management and supervisory staff, to agree to remain neutral regarding unions and their representation of the workforce.

Labor peace agreements do not equate to mandatory unionization and do not impose a union contract. In fact, union organizing must still take place at the worksite. And negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement between the union and the business only begin after a majority of workers elect to join the union. Ultimately, labor peace agreements provide an additional safeguard for workers and strengthen the businesses that agree to them.

Both New York and New Jersey already have labor peace agreements in place for medical cannabis businesses.

This week’s letter is signed by the following labor leaders:

  • UFCW International President Marc Perrone – Washington, D.C.
  • Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union President Stuart Appelbaum – New York, NY
  • UFCW International Vice President and Region 1 Director David Young – Little Falls, NJ
  • UFCW Local 152 President Brian String – Egg Harbor Township, NJ
  • UFCW Local 328 President Timothy Melia – Providence, RI
  • RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 President Jon Durso – Mineola, NY
  • UFCW Local 360 President Salvatore “Sam” Ferraino – West Berlin, NJ
  • UFCW Local 371 President Thomas Wilkinson – Westport, CT
  • UFCW Local 919 President Mark Espinosa – Farmington, CT
  • UFCW Local 1445 President Jeffrey Bollen – Dedham, MA
  • UFCW Local 1459 President Tyrone Housey – Springfield, MA
  • UFCW Local 1776KS President Wendell Young – Plymouth Meeting, PA
  • RWDSU New York City Director Dave Mertz – New York, NY

Since 2010, the UFCW has been a leader in the cannabis industry and currently represents thousands of cannabis workers in 12 states around the country. The UFCW represents more than 300,000 workers across a wide range of industries in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.


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


Q&A with OFL Presidential candidate Barry Conway

Rank and File - latest news -

The Ontario Federation of Labour’s biennial convention starts on Monday. In addition to the hundreds of resolutions that will be voted on and the action plan that will be hotly debated, this convention will see an open election for the position of OFL President as outgoing president, Chris Buckley, will not be seeking another term. Continue readingQ&A with OFL Presidential candidate Barry Conway