Unifor

Canada’s fiscal update points toward future economic recovery, but workers need additional support today

November 30, 2020

OTTAWA – Unifor applauds steps taken in today’s fiscal update that seek to start the COVID-19 economic recovery, and build back better.

“This government is starting the long but critical work of economic recovery today, with support for Canada’s public services and the private sector,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “This fiscal update shows that Canada’s workers are being heard, and must continue to advocate for the lasting changes required to secure a fair, resilient and inclusive economic recovery.”

The union commends the increase in CEWS coverage, as well as new funding for provinces’ long-term care sectors.

The fiscal update also included a commitment to make international streaming giants register and collect GST/HST, making a longstanding demand of media workers in Canada a reality.

“While this forward-looking funding will help Canada’s workers beat back the coming recession, the fact remains that many are falling through the gaps that remain while the pandemic rages on,” continued Dias.  

Unifor advocates for additional, targeted measures to support workers in Canada’s hardest hit sectors including airlines and aviation, hospitality and gaming, and transportation.

These industries face projections of multi-year downturns, and long-term layoffs that are costing workers income and benefits.

Unifor supports the government’s efforts to invest today to prevent further hardship tomorrow. Federal spending in times of economic downturn helps ensure a faster, stronger recovery

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 a follow up FaceTime, Zoom or Skype interview in English please contact Unifor Communications Representative Sarah McCue at sarah.mccue@unifor.org or 416-458-3307.

Unifor calls for additional transit security to enforce mask requirement

November 27, 2020

VANCOUVER – As British Columbia’s largest transit worker union, Unifor is calling for additional transit security resources to enforce COVID-19 mask requirements.

“Insufficient transit security and police presence has put drivers in the dangerous position of dealing with passengers who refuse to comply with public health regulations that require masks onboard public busses,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “The drivers are responsible for the safe operation of the vehicles to get members of the public where they need to go but not at the risk of their own health and safety.”

The British Columbia Office of the Public Health Officer has mandated that passengers must wear masks on public transit, with a $230 fine for those who refuse to comply or engage in abusive or belligerent behavior. Unifor believes that stricter enforcement of penalties are needed now in order for mask requirements to be taken seriously.

“The masks are there to protect everyone onboard, both passengers and drivers, but there have been instances where transit workers have faced verbal confrontation or risk of physical assault,” said Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle. “This cannot be tolerated. An increased and more visible security presence would help to address the threat posed by anti-maskers who choose public transit as a venue to protest health regulations.”

Unifor represents more than 6000 members at Translink and B.C. Transit across British Columbia, including Victoria, Whistler, Squamish, Kamloops, Vernon, Campbell River, Courtenay, and Duncan.

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 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 cautiously optimistic about federal net-zero emissions plan

November 19, 2020

TORONTO—The federal government’s new legislation to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 is a step in the right direction, says Unifor.

“Canada can meet international climate change obligations and create good jobs at the same time,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Workers must be involved in decisions about our jobs and our communities. Nothing about us without us.”

Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, lays out an ambitious strategy to cap greenhouse gas emissions. While Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson will set specific reduction targets in the coming months, the bill’s goal is to exceed the Paris Climate Accord standards. Today’s bill also establishes reporting mechanisms and independent checks on the federal government’s progress.

Unifor welcomes the accountability measures as a commitment to be sensitive to the unique challenges of each economic sector, and emphasizes that workers must continue to be a partner in the discussions.

“Canada’s climate plan won’t work if it is set in stone. Instead, it should evolve and give attention to the areas that may need additional resources,” said Dias. “A green future isn’t about doing less—it’s about doing better. Good jobs in every region will help determine the success of our climate plans.”

“There’s no doubt that Bill C-12 puts Canada on the right trajectory,” concluded Dias.

Unifor’s commitment to the emerging green economy can be seen in the new auto sector collective agreements. Public and private investments will help produce low-emissions vehicles with good jobs on Canadian soil.

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).

Conservative election complaints against Unifor thrown out

November 18, 2020

WINNIPEG—Elections Manitoba has dismissed all complaints filed against Unifor by the Progressive Conservative Party during the 2019 provincial election.

“Brian Pallister attempted to use Manitoba’s election financing laws to bully one of his most effective critics. He failed,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Pallister was looking for any excuse to distract voters from his record in office.”

During the 2019 provincial election, the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba held a media conference to denounce Unifor's voter mobilization campaign and announce official complaints. The subsequent investigation overseen by the Manitoba Commissioner of Elections found no evidence that Unifor violated The Election Financing Act.

At the time, Unifor shrugged off the accusations and chalked it up to an effort by Pallister to distract voters from his record on emergency room closures, mismanagement of Manitoba Hydro, and rollbacks of workers’ rights.

“Whether it is mismanaging Manitoba Hydro or bungling the pandemic response, Pallister’s first instinct is to point the finger at somebody else,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Rather than smear its critics, the Pallister government must take responsibility for its many failings.”

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).

Unifor helps bust common myths about government finances

November 16, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor has published a new tool for working people to make sense of the government spending undertaken to prop up the economy and keep Canadians working.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures—but that doesn’t mean that working people can’t be part of the conversation about our taxes, the economy, and Canada’s fiscal policy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Working people have the most at stake when it comes to the economy and Canada’s social safety net. We are helping to de-mystify government spending and give Canadians the tools to analyze the decisions being made in their name.”

Myth-busting government debt: How deficits and spending foster growth discusses common myths about government spending and explains key differences between how government finances should be understood. Unifor believes Canadians should draw a distinction between their own pocketbooks and the wider operational considerations of the federal and provincial governments.

“Decades of outdated theories and talking points have conditioned people to believe that government debt and deficit is always bad. That is just not true,” said Dias. “Government deficits should be viewed as a deliberate strategy to spur economic growth and bolster the foundation for an economy that works for everyone.”

Unifor’s myth-busting paper is the latest in a series of policy documents released under its Build Back Better project. Build Back Better lays out economic policy proposals to redesign Canada’s economic programs, its social infrastructure and public services to build an inclusive, fairer and more resilient economy.

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).

Dominion workers in Newfoundland ratify contract

November 13, 2020

ST. JOHN’S – Dominion workers have ratified a new collective agreement, ending a 12-week long strike action at stores across Newfoundland.

“These workers were the first to undertake meaningful strike action to draw attention to a business model in Canadian retail that fails workers,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “While improvements were obtained we know there is still more work to do at Dominion and the other grocery giants in this country to address wages and precarious work and Unifor will persevere in that effort.”

The new four-year contract, backdated to October 2019, covers more than 1,400 Unifor Local 597 members at 11 Dominion locations in Newfoundland.

“Our members took a stand to improve working conditions in Canada’s retail sector and we will continue in the challenge to raise the bar for workers,” said Carolyn Wrice, President of Unifor Local 597.

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 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 members at General Motors ratify new collective agreement

November 9, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor members at General Motors in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock have voted 85 per cent to ratify a new three-year collective agreement that includes significant investments, job security and economic gains.

“This contract solidifies and boldly builds on GM’s Canadian footprint, with a $1.3 billion dollar investment that brings 1,700 jobs to Oshawa plus more than $109 million to in-source new transmission work for the Corvette and support continued V8 engine production in St. Catharines,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

“Jobs at all three Canadian sites are secure for the life of this agreement, including at the Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre, which will also see upgrades,” added Dias.

Oshawa will be the only GM plant capable of producing both light and heavy trucks, and St. Catharines will produce the engines for those pick-ups.

“After Ford and FCA, this amounts to a hat trick worth almost $5 billion dollars,” said Dias.

The Ford deal reached in September includes $1.95 billion in investments to bring battery electric vehicle production to Oakville and a new engine derivative to Windsor and the Fiat Chrysler agreement includes more than $1.5 billion in investment in a state-of-the-art platform to build both Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles and Battery Electric Vehicles.

All three contracts include support from both the federal and Ontario government.

“I want to thank both levels of government for supporting us. We went into bargaining in the middle of a pandemic, facing great uncertainty. Now we can proudly say these three contracts will breathe new life into Canada’s auto sector,” said Dias.

“I want to thank the members for their support because our solidarity proves that if we stick together, we are a powerful force and we can achieve gains and job security for all members,” said Tim McKinnon, Unifor’s GM Master Bargaining Committee Chair. “There is a future for the auto industry, and that future is ‘Made in Canada.’”

The new three year GM agreement follows a historic pattern setting deal first reached with Ford that includes five per cent increases to hourly rates, a $7,250 productivity and quality bonus, a total of $4,000 in inflation protection bonuses, improved benefits, shift premiums, and restoration of the 20 per cent wage differential for skilled trades.

In addition to several other gains in benefits, Unifor and GM have also agreed to create an anti-racism action plan, establish a new Racial Justice Advocate in the workplace, and the company will also provide up to 10 paid days of domestic violence leave.

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

Striking Dominion workers to vote on company’s final offer

November 07, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Today Unifor received a final offer to 1,400 striking Dominion workers from Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw Co.) through the provincially appointed mediator Wayne Fowler.

The bargaining committee has agreed to present the final offer to the members of Unifor 597 for ratification votes.

Details of the offer will be presented to members on Monday, when voting will begin. A full meeting schedule will be provided to members tomorrow.

The ratification votes will take place at picket lines across the province during the week of November 9, 2020.

Pickets will continue during the ratification process.

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).

Court refuses Weston Foods emergency injunction against Weston bakery picket

November 07, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador has again refused to grant Weston Foods Canada Ltd. an emergency injunction against a secondary picket by striking Dominion workers at the company’s bakery in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland.

“Weston Foods has repeatedly tried to use the courts to stop this peaceful secondary picket and has once again been denied,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Which begs the question - why is the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary intent on enforcing an injunction that doesn’t exist?”

On November 6, 2020, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) broke up the picket at the Weston bakery for the second time, threatening striking workers with arrest. The RNC action took place the day after Unifor filed a civil action against the force for violating the rights of workers at the same picket location on October 27, 2020. In the Statement of Claim the union seeks damages and a declaration that Charter rights were breached.

The company’s requests for an emergency injunction against picketing at the bakery location was refused by the court on November 3 and again on November 6. The bakery is owned by George Weston Ltd., which also operates Dominion’s parent company Loblaw Companies Limited.

On October 26, Loblaw Companies Limited was denied a blanket injunction to prevent the workers from picketing at approximately 50 locations owned by or connected to the company.

“The police have doubled down on being the personal security for Loblaw Co.,” said Dias. “If the court sees no legal reason to issue an emergency injunction to stop picketing then why is the RNC threatening to charge workers picketing in a driveway with Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code of Canada charges?” asked Dias.

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).

Deal with GM secures $1.3 billion investment to return truck assembly in Oshawa

November 5, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor’s Master Bargaining Committee has reached a tentative agreement with General Motors that includes a $1.3 billion investment that brings truck assembly back to the Oshawa plant, plus new investments to the St. Catharines Powertrain Plant and Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre.

“We have never given up on Oshawa and I am so pleased to announce that up to 1,700 members will be building both Silverados and Sierras on a two-shift operation in Oshawa and we were able to negotiate investments that will stabilize operations in both St. Catharines and Woodstock," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

“Oshawa is incredibly personal to me. We launched one major campaign in an attempt to get General Motors to reverse its decision back in 2018, and they pressed pause and we preserved the footprint and now we will be the only GM plant globally building both heavy and light duty trucks.”

GM has committed to a new body shop, continuing the after market parts production and will begin hiring in August.

“We knew that our members in St. Catherine’s were nervous, dreading the end of two products and now thanks to higher volumes and $109 million in new investments, jobs are stable for the life of this agreement and beyond,” said Dias. 

In total, the Ford, FCA and GM agreements bring more than $4.7 billion dollars in investment to the auto sector in Canada.

Dias has a message for members in Oshawa.

 “I know many of our members who were let-go, while some moved on, many have not found other jobs, so I’m asking you to take a breath while we collectively find ways to get you all back to work. Today is a recommitment to the community of Oshawa.”

This three-year agreement follows an historic pattern-setting deal reached with Ford Motor Company last month that includes five per cent increases to hourly rates, bonuses, improved benefits, among other major improvements.

“This bargaining team worked very hard and I am grateful for the support and solidarity from members as we bargained during ever changing and difficult conditions during a pandemic. I urge members to support this settlement,” said Tim McKinnon, Unifor’s GM Master Bargaining Committee Chair.

More details of the tentative agreement will be presented to Unifor members during a series of virtual ratification meetings over the weekend, and members will vote on whether to accept the agreement over a 24-hour period, starting at 11 am on Sunday. 

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

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 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 Ontario Director available to comment following release of Ontario Budget

TORONTO- Unifor’s Ontario Regional Director will be available comment today on the release of the provincial budget.

“Ontario’s workers faced incredible challenges this past year, some borne of deep cracks in Ontario’s existing infrastructure and public services. Today’s budget gives the Ontario Government a chance to recognise those gaps, and begin the process of rebuilding a more just and equitable society,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director.

WHAT: Unifor available to comment on Ontario budget

WHERE: Skype, FaceTime, or telephone interviews

WHEN: Thursday, November 5, 2020

WHO: Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi

In its fall budget submission, the union recommended that the Ontario government focus on two simultaneous goals for budget 2020: keep Ontarians protected through the coronavirus pandemic and ensure we build a better Ontario coming out of this crisis. Read the submission.  

Earlier this year, Unifor released its strategy to #BuildBackBetter with the of the union’s comprehensive ‘Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery’. Visit buildbackbetter.unifor.org to read the recommendations and download the Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 168,000 members in Ontario. 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.

To arrange Skype, Facetime, or telephone interviews contact, contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.



 

Unifor resumes secondary picket at Weston’s bakery

November 04, 2020

MOUNT PEARL–Unifor has resumed a secondary picket line at the Weston’s bakery in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, as part of escalating action by the province’s 1,400 Dominion store workers, in week 11 of an ongoing strike against Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw Co.).

“Our members will not be intimidated from exercising their right to hold a secondary picket, not by Loblaw Co. and not by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

During a prior secondary picket at Weston’s bakery on October 27, 2020, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) deployed riot and tactical units to threaten peaceful picketers with arrest under the Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

Today, Unifor will file notice of civil claim against the RNC in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador for breach of Charter Rights, negligence, negligent or willful misrepresentation and intimidation.

“We’ve returned to the location where RNC unjustly shut down our picket line,” said Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice. “It is Unifor’s position that this is a legal secondary picket in our action to bring Loblaw Co. back to the bargaining table with a legitimate offer to end this strike. ”  

Weston’s bakery is owned by George Weston Ltd., which also operates Dominion’s parent company Loblaw Companies Limited.

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).

 



 

Ontario budget sets an underwhelming path to economic recovery, leaves workers with questions

TORONTO- Ontario budget begins to set the course for economic recovery, but Ontario workers must maintain pressure for a fair and equitable vision.

“Unifor members were wanting to see signs of investment in telecommunications and a made-in-Ontario manufacturing plan,” Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Though we saw some of those steps in today’s budget, we will keep up the pressure until we see economic recovery that benefits all workers.”

In its fall budget submission, Unifor recommended that the Ontario government focus on two simultaneous goals for budget 2020: keep Ontarians protected through the coronavirus pandemic and ensure we build a better Ontario coming out of this crisis.

“It’s encouraging to see the Ford government finally put a pin in cuts and start to make some infrastructure investments that workers have demanded for many years,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “MPPs need to know the gaps in health care are far from filled and new corporate investments like those in auto and infrastructure need strong, enforceable conditions to grow good jobs.”

The union advocates for responsible investments in Ontario’s critical infrastructure, from childcare and health care to telecommunications and manufacturing. In sectors where unions are strong, workers can see greater direct benefits from corporate investments that fuel good jobs, instead of seeing public money funnelled away into corporate profits.

“Missing from this budget was any mention of common-sense policy changes to support the workers who are bravely bringing us through the worst of this pandemic. How will the Time to Care Act be implemented when there is no funding earmarked for more PSWs? When will this government introduce a $15 an hour minimum wage, paid sick leave, smaller class sizes and affordable, public child care?” continued Rizvi.

Ontario government announced its plans to establish an average of four hours of direct care for long-term care residents by 2024-2025 earlier this week.

“Ontario’s long-term care workers were watching this budget closely for a sign that the Ford government is up to the task of implementing a four-hour minimum of care,” said Katha Fortier, Unifor Assistant to the National President. “But with no funding for PSW recruitment or dedicated investments to reach the mandate, public pressure needs to stay on this government to fix the LTC system sooner rather than later.”

Earlier this year, Unifor released its strategy to #BuildBackBetter with the of the union’s comprehensive ‘Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery’. Visit buildbackbetter.unifor.org to read the recommendations and download the Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 168,000 members in Ontario. 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.

To arrange Skype, FaceTime, or telephone interviews contact, contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.

Unifor to continue negotiations and extend General Motors strike deadline

TORONTO—Unifor’s master bargaining committee has decided to continue bargaining with General Motors Canada past the strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. tonight.

“The master bargaining committee is ready to negotiate all night if needed to fight for our members in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock to give GM ample opportunity to work with us to achieve a fair settlement and avoid a work stoppage,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Dias will share more information at a news conference tomorrow that will be streamed live on Facebook.

WHAT:     Virtual News Conference to update media on GM bargaining

WHEN:     10 a.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 

WHERE:   Facebook live from Provincial Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street W.

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 9 a.m. Thursday by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  and we will send you dial in information.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in compliance with Ontario health directives, only one pool camera and one pool photographer will be permitted on site at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page and broadcast quality video of the event will be available shortly afterward for download at this link.

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.

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 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 to provide update on contract talks with General Motors

November 4, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor’s National President will provide an update on negotiations with General Motors at a virtual news conference streamed live on Facebook tomorrow morning.

Talks continue as Unifor seeks to reach a new tentative agreement with GM on behalf of 1700 members who work in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock in advance of tonight 11:59 pm strike deadline. 

WHAT:                Virtual News Conference to update media on GM bargaining

WHEN:                10 a.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 

WHERE:              Facebook live from Provincial Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West 

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 9 a.m. Thursday November 5, 2020 by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  and we will send you dial in information.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in compliance with Ontario health directives, only one pool camera and one pool photographer will be permitted on site at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page and broadcast quality video of the event will be available shortly afterward for download at this link. No further comment will be made until the news conference.

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.

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 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 reaches tentative agreement with General Motors

TORONTO—Unifor’s Master Bargaining Committee has reached a tentative agreement that is being unanimously recommended for 1700 members working at General Motors in St. Catharines, Oshawa and Woodstock, averting a strike this morning. Unifor’s National President will provide more information at a news conference that will be streamed live on Facebook  tomorrow morning. No further comment will be made until then.

WHAT:             Virtual News Conference to update media on GM bargaining

WHEN:             10 a.m., Thursday, November 5, 2020 

WHERE:           Facebook live from Provincial Ballroom, Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West

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 8 a.m. Thursday November 5, 2020 by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  and we will send you dial in information.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in compliance with Ontario health directives, only one pool camera and one pool photographer will be permitted on site at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

The news conference will streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page and broadcast quality video of the event will be available shortly afterward for download at this link.

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 welcomes overdue CTRC move on Canadian content

November 3, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor welcomes the announcement today that the CRTC will be given the power to compel foreign internet giants to create, stream and broadcast more Canadian content, something that is long overdue.

“This is about cultural sovereignty, something we swore to protect in the last trade deal. Telling Canadian stories to Canadians is not only vital to our culture, it is a source of good jobs and helps to define us as a nation in an inclusive way,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

“The fact is, American internet giants that have been devouring Canadian market share for years without paying a dime towards the production of Canadian news, sports and entertainment programming, something that our regulated Canadian media companies do.”

New legislation introduced today giving the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission the power to require foreign streaming services to play by Canadian rules could lead to as much as $830 million a year in new production work by 2023.

“This is a long way from the days when Stephen Harper dismissed any such move as a “Netflix tax.” The fact is, this would be a huge boost for Canadian media, and media workers and their families.” Dias said.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said today that once the CRTC is told by cabinet to proceed under this new bill, he’d like to see a roadmap for contributions by foreign streamers completed within nine months.

“The need is immediate. Getting this done cannot take one day longer than nine months. Our content creators and producers cannot afford any further delays,” Unifor Media Director Howard Law said.

“There have been plenty of consultations. The government and the CRTC know what to do, and the time has come to act.”

The review of the definition of Canadian content is also welcome if it encourages authentic Canadian shows, Law said. 

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 13,000 in the media sector. 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.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Stuart Laidlaw at stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or 647-385-4054 (cell).

Unifor launches three-city action against Loblaw Co.

November 3, 2020

AJAX–Unifor is holding a three-city action against Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw Co.) in support of 1,400 striking workers at Newfoundland Dominion stores.  

“Loblaw Co. and its Chair Galen Weston sent the message that they feel they can ignore and disrespect a small group of workers from Newfoundland, so today Unifor is expanding secondary picket action to send a clear message back,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Two new secondary pickets at Loblaw distribution centres, located at 500 Bayly St E, Ajax, ON and 85 Commerce St, Moncton, NB, began today after negotiations broke off last week when Loblaw Co. refused to improve its initial offer, rejected by workers back on August 22, 2020. Pickets at 11 Dominion store locations across Newfoundland continue.

“These frontline workers are fighting a company that makes a billion dollars a year, owned by one of Canada’s wealthiest families, for a living wage,” Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi told picketers in Ajax. “Canadians’ need to hold our largest, richest corporations to account if they aren’t willing to provide a decent living to their workers.”

Loblaw Co. has sought injunctions against the striking workers secondary picket locations in Newfoundland. Unifor has also launched a lawsuit against the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary for police actions to remove a secondary picket at the Weston’s bakery in Mount Pearl, NF.

“Loblaw is using every tool at its disposal to try to force these workers to yield their fight for fair pay,” said Unifor Atlantic Director Linda MacNeil outside the Moncton Loblaw distribution centre. “If the company wants to settle this, if they truly want to return service to its customers across Newfoundland, then they need to come back to the negotiating table with an improved offer.”

During a news conference livestreamed from Ajax, Moncton and St. John’s on fb.com/UniforCanada, Carolyn Wrice, President of Unifor Local 597, thanked the picketers for standing in solidarity with the striking workers.

“People across the country need to know that something is wrong when workers work full-time hours for Loblaw Co. but can’t afford to buy the groceries they stock,” said Wrice.

Unifor is calling for the company to return to the bargaining table with the newly appointed provincial mediator Wayne Fowler.  

“Loblaw Co. may be the largest retail company in the country but Unifor is the largest private sector union so this company needs to understand that this is bargaining not dictating,” said Dias.

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).

Years of lobbying pays off for long-term care workers as Ontario finally commits to four hours of care

November 2, 2020

TORONTO – The Ontario government announced today to finally do what Unifor members and long-term care workers have demanded for years, to establish an average of four hours of direct care for long-term care residents by 2024-2025.

"Today's victory is the result of years hard work, and pure grit from health care workers, unions and families wanting a strong long term care system in Ontario," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Ontario's long-term care system has been in crisis far too long. This pandemic has spotlighted the crisis in long-term care and the urgency to make change. This announcement gives workers and residents hope for brighter days ahead, but we must aim for a faster timeline for implementation and create a plan to attract the thousands of front-line workers who have left the industry."

The government plans to announce details in the provincial budget later this week and layout a long-term care staffing plan next month. In addition to the minimum of four hours of care announcement, the government plans to hire more personal support workers, registered practical nurses and registered nurses in the coming years ahead.

"It has taken an immense amount of hard work to achieve today's victory," said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. "It's a tragedy that it took thousands of deaths and the pandemic for governments to recognize that workers are overworked and undervalued in long-term care. Moving forward, I hope that the government moves quickly to enshrine the four hours of direct care in legislation. We must stop putting monetary values on our elderly and those who care for them."

In 2017 Unifor launched the Six Minute Challenge campaign to highlight the on-going struggles of many personal support workers in long-term care facilities who have only six minutes in the morning to prepare residents for breakfast. This year before the pandemic, Unifor National President Jerry Dias issued a challenge to Doug Ford to spend one shift with him in a long-term care home and see the obstacles facing workers and work together to find solutions to strengthen the sector.

"Though Premier Ford did not spend one shift in a long-term care home with me and witness the dangerous conditions for workers and residents, I am relieved that he listened to our demands and is committed to fixing our long-term care sector," said Dias.

For more information, please visit, www.caretakestime.ca

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.

Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/covid19.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at hamid.osman@unifor.org or 647-448-2823 (cell).

 



 

Negotiations between Unifor and Loblaw fail to reach strike settlement

October 30, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Negotiations between Unifor Local 597 and Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw Co.) have failed to reach a settlement of the ten-week long strike at 11 Dominion store locations across Newfoundland.

“It’s disappointing that Loblaw Co. is still unwilling to address the workers’ key concerns, including earning a living wage,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Negotiations broke down today after the two parties failed to come to agreement at a bargaining session in St. John’s. Strike action across the province will continue with stores remaining closed.

“After ten weeks the company has not made one single improvement to their initial three-year offer,” said Unifor Assistant to the National President Chris MacDonald.

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).

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