Unifor

Unifor reaches tentative agreement with Ford Motor Company

September 22, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor’s master bargaining committee has reached an historic tentative agreement with Ford Motor Company, averting a strike at its Canadian operations, after extending last night’s midnight deadline and bargaining through the night.­­­­

"I'm very pleased to announce that on behalf of the more than 6,000 members who work at Ford Motor Company, we have negotiated $1.95 billion of investments to retool the Oakville complex to build five models of electric vehicles and bring new product to the engine plant in Windsor," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

"Today is an historic day. We are not only talking about solidifying the footprint of the auto industry in the short term, but for the long term. I think it's fair to say that as an organization we hit a home run,” said Dias.

Dias shared more information at a news conference streamed live on Facebook. While details of the tentative agreement will be presented to members at a series of virtual ratification meetings over the weekend, the deal includes significant commitments for Ford’s Canadian manufacturing facilities.

"Up until today, of the $300 billion announced globally in EV investments as the auto industry transforms from combustible engines to battery-electric vehicles, not one nickel had been allocated Canada. But with today's announcement, that changes," Dias said. 

“I am proud of this bargaining team and grateful for the support and solidarity from our members over these past few weeks of intense talks as we worked hard to set a pattern that secures future jobs for our members, and makes significant wage and benefit gains.”

Dias thanked both federal and provincial governments for funding commitments that were key to landing the new investment, as part of developing a national auto strategy to secure jobs in the sector.

Dias also announced that Fiat Chrysler will be the next Detroit Three bargaining target.

The news conference is available for www.dropbox.com/s/w3iex143duqwyi3/Ford%20TA%20News%20Conference-2020.09....">https://www.dropbox.com/s/w3iex143duqwyi3/Ford%20TA%20News%20Conference-...">download here.

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 www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/auto-talks-2020?v=custom">https://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/auto-talks-2020?v=custom" target="_blank">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">http://Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org">Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

“This is Premier Ford’s second chance to take action in long-term care”: SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor continue to ring the alarm bells

TORONTO – Unions representing health care workers across Ontario held a media conference urging immediate action to end the crisis in long term care.

CUPE Ontario, SEIU Healthcare, and Unifor, unions which collectively represent more than 70,000 long-term care workers, are condemning the inaction of the Government of Ontario and are raising concerns about the significant uptick in cases of COVID-19.

“We’re approaching a second wave and I’m left questioning whether we learned any lessons from the first wave,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario, which represents nearly 35,000 members in the sector. “We’ve been ringing the alarm bells about chronic underfunding, understaffing, and the drive for profits at the expense of the lives of residents and workers. Now its Premier Ford’s second chance to listen and take action.”

Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare added: “Workers, elder care experts, seniors, and families alike are singing the same tune. They all want increased staffing levels for better senior care. They all want full-time jobs for our healthcare heroes. And they all agree PSWs need universal pay because a PSW is a PSW is a PSW—it’s time to give them a raise and give them a pension. These essential policies are not items on a menu to be picked over and the rest discarded, instead, they add up to a real action plan to fix Ontario’s failed long-term care system. Let’s get it done.”

“This pandemic has resulted in thousands of deaths it is now time for the government to address the crisis in long term care,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Our demand is simple - we need the government to work with us, work with the front-line workers and help fix long term care, before we have another tragedy.

The three unions, joined by personal support workers at the media conference, called for a legislated guarantee of a minimum of four hours of care per resident per day, highlighting a private members’ bill that could be passed into law as early as this week.

The unions also made the case for an end to for-profit care, noting that these facilities have been seen the highest number of cases. The profit motive, according to the coalition, has resulted in cost-saving measures, like having 17% fewer staff than non-profit homes.

“No more hollow words,” said Rennick. “Front-line workers are tired of empty promises.  They need more staff, more funding, and more protection to keep themselves safe and their residents alive.”

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

Unifor to continue negotiations and extend Ford strike deadline

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

“Our master bargaining committee is willing to negotiate throughout the night to provide Ford with every opportunity to do right and reach a fair settlement to avoid a work stoppage at its Canadian plants,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

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

WHAT:                News conference regarding #AutoTalks 2020

WHEN:               10 a.m., Tuesday September 22, 2020 

WHERE:             Provincial Ballroom North, 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 and answer portion of the news conference by phone must register by emailing Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org by 9 a.m. Tuesday.

In-person attendance is restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related 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 in place and the news conference will be streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page. Broadcast quality footage of the event will be available for download by accredited media 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 to launch third party B.C. election campaign

September 21, 2020

VANCOUVER—The Horgan government’s progress on the quality of life for working people will be the cornerstone of a registered third-party campaign by Unifor across British Columbia.

“From record investments in childcare to eliminating health care premiums, the John Horgan government has taken concrete steps to improve the lives of working people across the province,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, after Premier John Horgan dropped the writ this morning. “This government did more for working people in three and a half years than the B.C. Liberals did in more than a decade.”

Unifor’s efforts will focus on a voter education and mobilization campaign among its 28,000 members in every region of the province. From the smelter in Kitimat to the transit operators in Victoria to the hospitality workers in Metro Vancouver, Unifor members will be having conversations about the values they want reflected in the next B.C. government.

“The damage done to B.C.’s social safety net by Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark is hard to understate. Andrew Wilkinson is part of that shameful legacy and stands up for the wealthy instead of working people,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “John Horgan’s team has more work to do to restore workers’ rights and make life more affordable after 16 years of B.C. Liberal attacks, and Unifor is proud to support them to continue this important work in their next mandate.”

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).

MEDIA ADVISORY: Update on contract talks with Ford Tuesday

TORONTO—On Tuesday September 22, 2020 Unifor’s National President will provide an update live on Facebook about the negotiations with Ford Motor Company.

WHAT:           News Conference to update media on auto bargaining

WHEN:          10 a.m., Tuesday September 22, 2020 

WHERE:        Provincial 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).

MEDIA ADVISORY: Update on contract talks with Ford Motor Company

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

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).

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

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

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

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).

New report confirms truckers’ worst fears for black market

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).

Offshore workers call on government to stabilize industry

September 16, 2020

ST. JOHN’S—Hundreds of workers in the offshore oil and gas industry rallied at the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature today to demand protection from the turbulence in the industry caused by falling global oil prices and the COVID-19 economic slump.

“Strategic investments by both levels of government can help this industry, these workers, these families, weather a temporary downturn so that offshore can continue to be one of the region’s most valuable industries,” said Linda McNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director in the rally streamed live on Facebook.

Unifor is calling on the federal and provincial government to make strategic investments in the industry to ensure that Canada’s energy industry remains healthy and well-positioned to continue the transition to lower carbon alternatives.

“The energy sector’s good jobs and millions of dollars in royalties have strengthened the economy for decades,” said Dave Mercer, President of Unifor Local 2121, the union for workers on Hibernia and Terra Nova. “During this time of need, the government needs to stand up for offshore workers and form new partnerships for Canada’s energy future.”

Unifor represents 700 workers on the Hibernia platform and the Terra Nova. 

Video of the rally can be downloaded here.

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 to rally for offshore oil and gas workers at legislature

September 15, 2020

ST. JOHN’S— Offshore oil and gas workers and their supporters will rally at Confederation Building to demand all levels of government take urgent action to help save the industry and protect good jobs.

“Offshore oil and gas is integral to the economy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The time has come for government to show these workers that we have their back when times are tough. We need action, and we need it now if we’re going to save offshore jobs.”

What: Rally to support offshore oil and gas workers

Who: Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director; Dave Mercer, Local 2121 President; Amanda Young, worker on the Terra Nova; Carmilita Synard, worker on the Hibernia; Mary Shortall, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour; Charlene Johnson, Chief Executive Officer NOIA; other invited guests.

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 12 p.m. NDT

Where: Front steps of Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL

The event will be livestreamed to fb.com/UniforCanada. A downloadable 4K video will be available for unrestricted use by members of the media following the event, upon request via email below.

There will be a media availability with all speakers immediately after the rally. All precautions will be taken to respect COVID-19 guidelines and best practices at the event.

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.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Zoom, Skype or Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Unifor welcomes restoration of normal aluminum trade with the U.S.

September 15, 2020

TORONTO—Canada’s aluminum workers welcomed the removal of unfair U.S. tariffs and credit the federal government’s strong response for today’s win.

“This dispute was no doubt resolved thanks to the stance taken by Justin Trudeau’s government and the efforts led by Chrystia Freeland and Mary Ng,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It was the impending countermeasures that helped U.S. trade representatives realize that Canada was not going to take this lying down.”

On August 16 the U.S. imposed tariffs on Canada’s exports of P1020 aluminum. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland responded by releasing an initial proposal of countermeasures and consulted with Canadian industry experts and Unifor.

“Workers on both sides of the border would lose in an aluminum trade war,” said Dias. “Canada has done nothing wrong to warrant aluminum tariffs. We welcome the resumption of normal trade relations.”

Unifor has repeatedly warned that tariffs on Canadian aluminum exports are an unfair attempt to help a handful of struggling U.S. producers and that tariffs cause harm to the wider American 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).

Following election win, Unifor urges Higgs follow through and deliver stability to New Brunswick families

September 14, 2020

FREDERICTON— Unifor offers Premier Blaine Higgs congratulations for his win in today’s election and advice for his second term, to deliver on the stability and job security that New Brunswickers now count on his government to deliver.

“Higgs calling an election during a pandemic and the back-to-school season was an added stress for New Brunswickers concerned with their family’s health and well-being,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “On behalf of Unifor members in the province, I urge Higgs to take this mandate for stability and address New Brunswick’s urgent public education and health care funding needs, particularly in finally applying the rules of the Canada Health Act to fund Clinic 554.”

Unifor has made repeated calls to Premier Higgs during his first term to reverse his controversial stance on refusing funding for Clinic 554, the only clinic that provides out-of-hospital abortions in the province and one of the only providers of specialty LBGTQ2+ care.

“We hoped to see more talk from the other parties about health care, long-term care and education – areas where New Brunswick needs to invest to address the needs of working families,” said Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Regional Director. “Instead, voters heard party leaders add to today’s instability by throwing out previous agreements over glyphosate in forestry and agriculture. New Brunswick’s workers are already concerned about losing their jobs, they didn’t need party leaders manufacturing doubt about the security of two key industries in the province.”

An immediate ban on the use of glyphosate would cause job losses in forestry and agriculture. Unifor addressed party leaders prior to the election urging them to remain committed to the all-party legislative committee and their process to consult stakeholders on the use of glyphosate.

“We remain supportive of the process established by the legislative committee to evaluate the use of glyphosate and hope their work is allowed to continue until their mandate is complete,” said MacNeil.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including more than 7,000 workers in New Brunswick. 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 an interview by phone or FaceTime/Zoom/Skype, contact National Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at 902-717-7491 or shelley.amyotte@unifor.org.

Cambie private clinic ruling supports fair and equitable access to public health care

September 10, 2020

VANCOUVER – Unifor is relieved that the B.C. Supreme Court has dismissed a constitutional challenge by a private health clinic attempting to make for profit, private health care legal.

"Today public health care won and this is a victory for everyone who uses health care in Canada,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Even though this attack was launched by a greedy doctor in British Columbia, it took aim at the very heart of the Canada Health Act. Justice Steeves decision ensures our health care system will continue to be based on need not on ability to pay.”

Cambie Surgery Clinic CEO Brian Day launched a decade long constitutional challenge after he learned his private for-profit surgical centres were going to be audited by the B.C. Government. The Cambie clinic sought to make health care more profitable by striking down the key sections of the British Columbia Medicare Protection Act. In particular, Day wanted the ability to charge patients beyond the public plan, allow paying patients to jump the queue and allow doctors to give preferential treatment to wealthy patients with private insurance or those willing to pay out-of-pocket.

“Today’s ruling sends a strong message to those wanting to privatize our health care system – Canada’s public health care is here to stay,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to Unifor National President. “Canadians want improvements to their health care system and that starts with all levels of government providing adequate funding and support.”

In the court’s ruling, the Honourable Mr. Justice Steeves dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims that the B.C. Medicare Protection Act violate their rights under ss. 7 and 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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).

Unifor condemns new Torstar owners for sending jobs to U.S.

September 10, 2020

HAMILTON– Only 37 days after NordStar Capital took over Torstar, the new owners are closing down the Hamilton Spectator classified call centre and sending 24 good Canadian jobs to a firm in Buffalo, New York.

“Instead of sending more jobs out of the country, Unifor is proposing that Torstar invest in Canadian workers first and keep people in their readers’ communities employed,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, who is requesting an immediate meeting with NordStar owners Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett, to explore solutions.

The eight full-time and 16 part-time positions, predominately women workers, are scheduled to lose their jobs on October 19, a week after Thanksgiving.

“We are stunned by the speed of this aggressive outsourcing move,” said Paul Morse, President of Unifor Local 87-M, which represents employees at the Spectator. “Less than three months ago when they were trying to buy Torstar, Bitove and Rivett promised shareholders they would invest in the Canadian media giant if they sold their shares to them and let them take the company private. This is the antithesis of that promise.”

Torstar owns the Hamilton Spectator, Toronto Star, Waterloo Region Record, St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review, Welland Tribune and Peterborough Examiner daily newspapers, and a large number of weekly community newspapers.

The union plans to bring forward a proposal that could position Torstar as a leader in classified services and keep media jobs in Canada. Under the Hamilton Spectator collective agreement, the union has six weeks to present an alternative to layoffs.

“There is no doubt the pandemic has negatively impacted revenue, but it has also highlighted the need for Canadian-owned businesses to support Canadian workers as we build back together from COVID-19,” Dias said.

For media inquiries please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

Schitt's Creek and Workin' Moms cast members add their voice in support of the “CARE NOT PROFITS” long-term care campaign

Canadian actors Annie Murphy, Noah Reid, and Dani Kind latest to support the campaign to reform Ontario’s long-term care system

TORONTO — SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor, unions that represent healthcare workers across the long-term care sector, are proud to welcome Annie Murphy (Schitt's Creek), Noah Reid (Schitt's Creek), and Dani Kind (Workin' Moms) to the “Care Not Profits” advocacy campaign. They are the latest Canadian artists taking to social media to add their names to the growing chorus of voices calling on Premier Ford to end for-profit senior care.

“Care Not Profits” is an invitation to everyone in our province to call on Premier Ford to end the failed experiment of for-profit long-term care delivery. As COVID-19 numbers begin to rise again and we approach the upcoming flu season, our deepest appreciation goes out to these Canadian actors for using their voices for good. Along with Chantal Kreviazuk, The Sheepdogs, Basia Bulat, Born Ruffians, Tokyo Police Club, and Sarah Harmer who last month performed a “Care Not Profits” Facebook Live session for nearly 80,000 viewers in support of long-term care reform, their voices are making an immense impact.

QUOTES:

“The effects of the pandemic on our long-term care system have been nothing short of tragic. It's time that we advocate for safer conditions for our aging parents, grandparents, and the workers who care for them: we must act urgently to end for-profit long-term care now.” - Annie Murphy

“In Canada, we pride ourselves on a health care system that leaves no one behind, and yet some of our most vulnerable citizens and their caregivers have been living and working and dying in unthinkable circumstances during this pandemic, while companies who own the long-term care facilities are profiting at an alarming rate off their backs. Our elders and the people who look after them deserve better.” - Noah Reid

“This campaign is important to me because our seniors paved the path for so many of us and it’s our job to advocate for them at this stage in their lives.” - Dani Kind

“Culture and the arts have a way breaking through and reminding us what’s important as a society—and when it’s time for change. When it comes to long-term care, the time for change is now, and we’re so excited to welcome these talented actors to our advocacy campaign. Annie Murphy, Noah Reid and Dani Kind are using their platform to shine a light on the change we need to finally put senior care before the profits of big nursing home corporations. COVID-19 has opened our eyes to what really matters in society. It’s time for Premier Ford to listen and choose whose side he’s on: the side of families working and living in long-term care, or the side of wealthy executives and shareholders profiting from Ontario’s broken system.” – Sharleen Stewart, President, SEIU Healthcare

“This pandemic has only exposed and deepened an existing crisis in long-term care. And one thing it revealed is that the for-profit homes were the most dangerous sites for our elders. We need to do better – we need a complete overhaul of the system so that this never happens again. That’s why I’m so happy to see that the message is spreading and that more artists are joining us in this effort. Together, we will end for-profit care and create a system that our elders deserve.” – Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer, CUPE Ontario

“The support that our Care Not Profits campaign has received from Canadian musicians and actors has been incredible to say the least. The Ontario government and particularly Premier Doug Ford needs to start making concrete changes to Ontario’s long-suffering long-term care system to end for-profit care for our most vulnerable.” – Jerry Dias, National President, Unifor

BACKGROUND ON THE “CARE NOT PROFITS” CAMPAIGN:

During the COVID-19 crisis, Ontario’s worst hit nursing homes were all for-profit facilities. Data tells us that for-profit long-term care corporations have 17 per cent fewer staff than non-profit nursing homes. Yet, while families and care staff were dying throughout the pandemic, three of the largest long-term care businesses combined paid shareholders more than $58 million in dividends in the past three months alone. These are facts.

The new, 60-second ad called “Care Not Profits” originally launched on July 23rd.

To view the ad and learn more, visit carenotprofits.ca

The full, high-definition broadcast from this morning’s campaign launch, including the 60-second ad, is available for media to download here: https://bit.ly/39lxVfU

For media inquiries, contact:

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

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

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

Unifor selects Ford Motor Company to set pattern in auto talks

September 8, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor National President Jerry Dias has chosen Ford Motor Company as the union’s strike target to set the pattern agreement with the Detroit Three automakers.

“I selected Ford because we think the company is prepared to reward our members, make a commitment to continue manufacturing in Canada, and has a vision that we think is in the best interest of the industry and the economy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, speaking at a news conference streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page. “Worldwide we have seen more than $300 billion dollars announced for electric vehicle production and not one dime is destined for Canada. Our members want that to change.”

For decades, it has been the union’s practice to strategically choose which of the three Detroit Three companies the union will negotiate with first—setting a pattern agreement for auto workers in Canada. There are multiple factors considered by the union, in consultation with the master bargaining committees, in making this decision, based on two key goals: building Canada’s auto industry and achieving the union’s bargaining objectives.

Once an agreement with the target company is ratified by members, bargaining shifts to a second company, and then the third. 

“The Oakville assembly plant is the last of Ford’s assembly plants left in Canada and has no firm product commitment beyond the current generation of the Ford Edge. This is a significant problem for our members and it should be a concern for all levels of government,” said Dias.

“Our members are pleased to go first and want to forge their own destiny, which is why we have worked hard to build a productive relationship with this employer,” said John D’Agnolo, Chair of the Ford Master Bargaining Committee and President of Unifor Local 200.

Unifor represents 6,300 workers at Ford Motor Company, 9,000 workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and 4,100 at General Motors.

Unifor opened formal contract talks in Toronto on August 12th, with the theme The Future is Made in Canada. The union has repeatedly urged the federal government to create  a comprehensive manufacturing strategy for the auto sector, given that every auto assembly job creates or supports as many as 10 additional jobs throughout the economy.

A digital media kit be found on this website and a downloadable 4K version of today’s news conference is available to media upon request.

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’s Director of Communications, Natalie Clancy at  Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

Media Advisory: Unifor activists hit the streets on Labour Day to demand respect for striking Dominion (Loblaw Co.) workers

September 3, 2020

TORONTO – On Labour Day, Unifor members across Canada will take action against Loblaw Co. to demand the company negotiate a fair contract with striking members in Newfoundland, and support fair wages for all retail workers. 

Media are invited to attend or stream the action that features Unifor leadership and activists across the country. 

“In the past six months we have seen a transformation like no other,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Canadians have realized that when the going gets tough it’s not the CEOs and billionaires who stepped up to the plate, but frontline workers in health care, retail, transportation - the list goes on - who played a vital role in helping us all get through the pandemic. Monday’s actions are to show these COVID heroes the respect, love and solidarity that they rightfully deserve.”

Who:    Jerry Dias, Unifor National President in Toronto

              Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director in Toronto

              Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director in Vancouver

              Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director in St. John’s

              And others

When: Monday, September 7, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. E.T.

Where: Info pickets across Canada – exact locations announced Monday morning   

              Live-streamed to fb.com/UniforCanada

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.

To arrange in-person, phone or video conference interviews or for more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at shelley.amyotte@unifor.org or 902-717-7491.

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