Public support for My Crowns campaign continues to grow

The public support for the My Crowns continues to win the hearts and minds of the people of Saskatchewan.

In a recent online poll by the Regina Leader-Post, more than 80% of respondents said they support striking Crown workers (more than 3,700 people voted).

This result comes on the heels of a more scientific poll conducted for Unifor by AngusReid that showed 89% of respondents in Saskatchewan believe workers should get wage increases of at least inflation.

These figures should be no surprise: Crown workers are extremely valuable to the Saskatchewan economy and make important contributions in every community across the province.  The crowns generated over 400 million dollars to the Government of Saskatchewan.

This has been our message from day one. Crown workers deserve better than zeros and good crown jobs should remain in the province not be shipped elsewhere. We have taken this message to the people of Saskatchewan, and it is  paying off.

We made every attempt at the bargaining table with a callous government, so now Unifor is all in on a strike to demonstrate our commitment to fairness.

Here’s what “all in” has looked like so far, with much more to come:

  • Opinion polling and graphics for sharing online
  • 22 Videos since October 3, 2019 with more than 1.2 million views
  • Newspaper advertisements
  • Billboards
  • Bus ads
  • Radio ads
  • Twitter ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Television ads
  • Media conferences
  • Social media shareables
  • Visits from the National President
  • Two rallies, including a massive show of force at Queensbury
  • Unprecedented shut-downs of SaskTel, SaskPower, SaskEnergy and DirectWest  locations
  • Daily media coverage (more than 500 media hits in past three months)
  • Solidarity meetings with other unions
  • Editorials in the newspaper
  • Campaign-branded t-shirts, hats, buttons, and more
  • On social media, we have more than 3 million impressions

It is clear that we are winning the battle for the hearts and minds of our communities.  We cannot and will not rest on our accomplishments. Unifor will continue to organize mass actions until an agreement is reached.

There is no predicting when this dispute will be over, but the pressure we’re putting on the Moe Government is increasing and the polling above shows that our message is sinking in.

For more information, visit www.myCrowns.ca

Allowing single sport betting a no-brainer

It is election time and voters want action, not words. They want commitments that are tangible and relatable, not ideas that will take years to be debated and discussed. They want decisions that will have an impact on their lives and their community.

Similarly, they want to be sure that politicians are held accountable for inaction and missed opportunities.

We have written about, talked about and shouted about the need to amend the Criminal Code to allow for Single Sport Betting. This is the biggest no brainer that any party can do to support border communities and protect jobs.

‘The cost to government is ZERO. What other government program for job preservation and job creation costs zero? It costs the federal government no money. It protects consumers by channelling current unregulated gaming into a regulated environment. It channels revenue, currently leaving the country, into the provincial governments and towards government programs.

Most importantly, it protects jobs and creates jobs. New York and Michigan have already opened sports books. We know exactly what happens when we cede our position to the U.S. - jobs migrate south.

Given all that, who will stand up and do what’s right?

We have had two private members bills from local MPs who have looked out for gaming sector workers. It is time that all parties acknowledge that the risk today is real and the timing is urgent.

This is not a matter of if, but when - and the impact will be absolute, predictable and it is completely avoidable. People will cross the border to Michigan and New York and Washington and Montana and New Hampshire.

Windsor, Niagara and other border communities will once again be hurt. Thousands of jobs are at stake and thousands can be created. That is as big swing and a risk I will not allow our members to take without a fight.

There is no opposition to this. The provinces are supportive, the major sports leagues are supportive and most importantly, our workers and communities are supportive.

The government works for the people. The people want to preserve their communities and jobs. We ask all parties, where do you stand? We need to know before we vote because this is a key issue for our community and our members to have clarity on as they cast their ballots on October 21.


Jerry Dias and Dave Cassidy

Unifor signs new collective agreement with CertainTeed

Unifor members at CertainTeed Canada Inc., a building product company in Mississauga, have voted to ratify a new three-year collective agreement that includes wage gains and enhanced early retirement payments.

“Unifor is raising the standards for all workers in Canada. This bargaining committee worked diligently to make jobs more viable while improving conditions and wages for workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor President.

The new agreement secured annual two per cent wage gains over three years, improved early retirement payments and upgraded language regarding scheduling of continental work weeks.

“We were bound and determined to get a fair deal,” said Angus MacDonald, Local 1256 President. “Through onerous negotiations the bargaining committee showed impressive solidarity. We made important gains toward clearer language, enhanced benefits, and fairness for everyone.”

“This membership was solid. We had a 100% strike mandate and that’s how we made these gains,” said Howard Law, Media Sector Director.

A strong majority of workers voted in favor of the new agreement on October 8th, 2019.

Unifor reviewing the Northern Pulp focus report, preparing submission

The Northern Pulp kraft pulp mill in Pictou, Nova Scotia, has filed a 2,600-page report with the Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) responding to additional questions and concerns laid out by the government back in March regarding its proposed new wastewater treatment facility.

“Members at the mill are looking forward to this process being resolved and are hopeful the government will find an appropriate and respectful way for the community to move forward,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor has stood firm for years in demanding government work with stakeholders to find a solution that supports good jobs, protects the environment, and respects First Nations’ rights.”

Unifor Atlantic Regional Director Linda MacNeil spoke to The Todd Veinotte Show on Halifax-based radio NEWS 95.7 about the submission.

“Across Canada, there are 88 pulp and paper mills – approximately 27 of those are Kraft mills just like Northern Pulp – and they get along with their communities, they create jobs and are environmentally responsible,” MacNeil told Veinotte. “This isn’t something new in Canada. The communities coexist, the fisheries coexist, so it is possible.”

NSE has opened a 30-day public consultation period to hear from concerned citizens with regard to the scientific studies.

Unifor is preparing their submission and encourages its forestry locals and members to contribute their support for the approval of the Northern Pulp treatment facility project.

Locals seeking support in submitting their comments should contact the Halifax office at halifax@unifor.org.

Support grows for striking Sask Crown workers

As the province-wide strike and lockout of Crown workers drags into day seven, support for workers is growing across Saskatchewan and beyond.

“It is always heartwarming to see other unions’ members and even Unifor members from other provinces join our picket lines,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Dias walked the picket lines as the strike began Friday October 4.

By October 7 SaskTel locked out 1600 Unifor members of Local 1S and 2S, while members from five other Crowns and the Water Security Agency remained on picket lines.

“Two point three! Good enough for Moe, good enough for me!” chanted Unifor members at several rallies this week, referring to the 2.3 per cent wage increase Premier Scott Moe gave himself and his MLAs while demanding a two-year wage freeze from Crown workers.

Vote in Advanced Polls this weekend to Stop Scheer

Are you planning to vote? All across Canada, polling stations are open from Friday, October 11 to Monday, October 14, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Find your polling location through the Elections Canada website or by checking your Voter Information Card. 

“Canada’s workers must stand strong and elect a progressive government that puts us first, instead of siding with the wealthy and corporate elites,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We know Andrew Scheer’s plans to cut taxes for the richest will cost hardworking Canadians.”

You can vote almost any time between now and Election Day. Advanced polls are open over the long weekend, but voters can also cast a ballot at any Elections Canada office across the country before October 15, or in person on Election Day on October 21.

To vote, you must be a Canadian citizen, be at least 18 years old on Election Day, and prove your identity and address. Check out the Unifor Votes site for helpful frequently asked questions, or contact Elections Canada directly.

“I’m voting to stop Scheer and choose a better future in this election. But to make that happen, we’re all going to have to do the work, and get out to the polls,” continued Dias.

Unifor members have already knocked on tens of thousands of doors in this election—but with 315,000 members across the country, there’s work to be done all across the country!

Join the team—sign up to volunteer for Unifor’s non-partisan member-to-member campaign or RSVP for an event near you.

Closure of the Fortress mill in Thurso

Unifor members working at the Fortress pulp mill in Thurso were stunned this week to learn of their employer’s decision to close down for three to four months.

“Obviously, this comes as a shock to everyone. But given the profitability issues facing the mill, we also understand that they can’t keep operating at a loss indefinitely,” commented Unifor Quebec Director Renaud Gagné. “Right now, our priority is to support our members in dealing with employment insurance. But we’re also holding out hope that the employer will be able to develop more promising markets in the middle and long term.”

The employer announced that the main reason for its decision to close the mill was the declining price for the pulp produced at the plant as well as its large product inventory. “It appears that this situation may be due to tensions with China. Given the circumstances, other markets need to be explored in order to ensure greater stability,” Gagné pointed out.

The mill employs more than 200 members of Unifor Local 894. The employer’s plans call for about 20 workers to remain on the job to ensure cogeneration activities, effluent treatment and heating of the mill.

The Quebec government has already announced $8 million in aid for the mill. “But we plan to keep a close eye on this situation to make sure that the governments use all means possible to make sure this mill, which is essential to the local community, remains in operation in the long run,” concluded Brother Gagné.

Tentative Agreement reached at the Unifor Dental Centre

Unifor members of Local 1136 have reached a tentative agreement with the Unifor Dental Centre in Oshawa.

“The Unifor Dental Centre is one of the few not-for-profit unionized dental centres in Canada,” said Derek Spence, Unifor Local 1136, President. “We have a lot to be proud of in this new agreement."

The Centre was founded in 1976 by former Unifor Local 222 President Abe Taylor and Dr. George Morgan.

“The not for profit model provides the centre with an opportunity to offer good wages, benefits and a pension plan,” said Sam Snyders, National Representative. "This deal came together thanks to a great commitment from our bargaining team.”

The purpose was to provide dental care for workers and their families. Over the years, the centre has expanded to offer service to the public.

Details of the deal will be made available once the members ratify it.

Coast Mountain Bus Company members conduct strike vote

Unifor Coast Mountain Bus Company members will conduct a strike vote today after negotiations for a new collective agreement broke off on October 3, 2019. 

“Months of talks have failed to produce any meaningful mandate to address wages, benefits and working conditions,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Our members have been working without a contract since March 31 and Coast Mountain has still to come to the table with an offer that addresses the key issues.”

More than 5,000 Unifor members work in the lower mainland at Coast Mountain Bus Company, with Unifor Local 111 representing transit operators in conventional and community shuttle and Unifor Local 2200 representing maintenance and Seabus workers. 

“Our members know that the public relies on them and it is our sincere hope that Coast Mountain comes back with a serious offer to avoid strike action and inconvenience to transit riders, but we are determined to obtain a fair deal for the workers,” said Mike Smith, Unifor Local 2200 President.

Coast Mountain Bus Company is a subsidiary of TransLink, which was recently named the best public transportation system in North America.

“TransLink won this award in part because of the on-time service of our members, but what the company isn’t recognizing is that level of service was achieved due to lack of proper breaks and recovery time between trips,” said Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle. “Coast Mountain is also failing to address a serious understaffing issue, with overcrowded bus trips increasing 36 per cent between 2016 and 2018.”

Negotiations between Unifor and Coast Mountain are set to resume on October 15, 2019.

“TransLink ridership is on the rise, making it increasingly difficult for our members to properly deliver quality service to the region’s growing population” said Balbir Mann, Unifor Local 111 President. “Improved working conditions and increased compensation will be a priority for us during these negotiations.”


Hogarth Riverview Manor workers to protest employer

Health care workers at Hogarth Riverview Manor will held a rally outside the facility after contract negotiations came to a standstill.

“Safe working conditions are at the heart of this round of bargaining,” said Local 229 Vice President Suzanne Pulice. “This facility is dysfunctional and understaffed. Over-worked Unifor members needing a break are having difficulty booking earned time off the job”.

Since December 2017 Hogarth Riverview Manor has been under third party management, but nothing has been done to address the fact that the facility is operating short-staffed on an almost daily basis.

“Although working short-staffed is a systemic problem in long-term care homes across Ontario, the situation at Hogarth Riverview Manor takes it to a new level,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to Unifor President, Jerry Dias. “Unmanageable workloads and burn out are deterring young workers from seeking employment in the long-term care sector.”

The Union has been steadfast in demanding that any increased investments for health care staffing must include commitments to improving patient-to-staffing ratios.

“The solidarity rally is part of our Care Takes Time campaign aimed at the Ontario Government to set provincial staffing standards that establish appropriate staff-to-resident ratios,” said Fortier.

To learn more about the campaign please visit www.caretakestime.ca

Unifor National Council 4000 ratifies deal with CN transportation Ltd.

CNTL members voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new collective agreement.

“The members of Unifor Local 4000 at CNTL work long, thankless hours to deliver the goods that Canadians rely on. I congratulate them, and the bargaining committee for this collective agreement that recognizes their worth,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

The new deal builds on strong benefits including a leading fuel subsidy, bonuses for safety and fuel conservation, and increased bereavement leave. Owner-operators will also see mileage and wait time increases in every year of the agreement.

“CNTL owner-operators are asked to drive great distances, delivering cargo right across our country,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President. “A contract like this one not only raises the bar for Unifor members, but lays down the gauntlet in the trucking industry, asking employers to deliver more for drivers.”

Unifor represents 1006 CNTL members who are dependant owner-operator truck drivers who haul cargo for CN’s Intermodal business, including local pick-up and delivery service, regional and long-haul delivery across Canada, and truck service at Canada’s ports in Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax. 

CNTL membership is truly pan-Canadian, with members based in Newfoundland and Labrador to Vancouver Island.

Poll shows Sask residents want wages to rise with inflation

These are the findings of a survey conducted by Unifor from September 30 to October 3, 2019 with a representative sample of 800 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

For more information about bargaining at Saskatchewan Crowns, visit myCrowns.ca.

Metro workers ratify new collective agreement

Enhanced wages and new full-time jobs mark milestone improvements in a new collective agreement for Metro stores across Ontario, the second group of supermarkets to renew agreements with the grocery chain this year.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished at the bargaining table. We entered this round of negotiations with a clear vision: to improve conditions for our members” said Gord Currie, Local 414 President. 

Creating good full-time jobs, increasing wages and improving pension benefits was a priority for the bargaining committee.

The new four-year contract follows the pattern agreement Unifor established earlier this year for the grocery retail sector, which prioritizes the creation and protection of good full-time jobs. This new agreement at Metro (formerly Dominion Sav-A-Centre stores) also includes leave and return-to-work protections, the elimination of wage tiers for department managers, and a new paid personal day for senior part-time workers. 

“Over the past four years, our union has laid the foundation for high-standard wage and working conditions in a sector that has become notorious for low-pay, precarious work,” said Christine Connor, Unifor National Staff Representative. “The tireless work of our bargaining committee continues to ensure substantial gains for our members.”

The new agreement also contains an improved student leave of absence, an expanded shoe allowance, and a renewed commitment to Unifor’s Women’s Advocate program, to assist members and their families facing domestic violence.

The new collective agreement covers more than 500 workers at four Metro locations in Ontario. Members ratified the agreement by 90 per cent.

Unifor members at Vopak to return to work with heads held high

Unifor members at Vopak have voted 80 per cent in favour of their new collective agreement, putting an end to just over three months of strike action.

“We can be proud of this outcome and of our members’ unwavering commitment and support for their bargaining committee throughout the labour dispute,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor’s Quebec Director. “We were able to obtain significant improvements in our working conditions, bringing them into line with those in the industry. I want to thank all the local unions that offered financial and moral support to our members at Vopak,” he added.

Highlights of this agreement include a salary increase from $27.55 to $35.20 an hour for employees with three or more years of service, which represents 85 per cent of the workforce. More junior employees will join their co-workers on a salary scale spread over three years. This is a four-year labour contract, with more than two years already elapsed. It runs from June 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021. A signing bonus of $12,000 for full-time employees was obtained, while part-time and probationary employees will receive $4,000. Other important gains include:

  • Double time for overtime starting July 1st, 2020;
  • Contribution of $0.05/hour for the Paid Education Leave (PEL) program;
  • Increase to 5 per cent (from 4 per cent) for the employer’s contribution to the pension plan upon signing, rising to 6.5 per cent as of July 1st, 2020.

Vopak Terminals of Eastern Canada employs some 30 Unifor members working at the company’s oil terminals in Montreal and Quebec City.

Former Marystown Shipyard workers excited for a ‘new beginning’ as aquaculture hub

Members of Unifor Local 20 at the Marystown Shipyard in Newfoundland and Labrador are excited a deal with new owners has finally been approved by the province.

“I’m proud of how Local 20 worked tirelessly and diligently to secure a fair working agreement for the reopening of the long-dormant former shipyard facility,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “It took years of perseverance and solidarity, but now we see real opportunity for the workers, the people of Marystown and the entire Burin Peninsula.”

The shipyard was a Crown asset for over twenty years and then changed owners many times after it was privatized. The yard has been idle for the past four years.

Local 20 negotiated and ratified a collective agreement with this new company, Marbase, back in January of this year.

“The sale to Marbase hit a few roadblocks since we signed the new agreement, but Premier Ball gave the government’s blessing and funding for additional cleanup, which means we can look forward to getting members back to work,” said Rick Farrell, President of Unifor Local 20.

Marbase will turn the site into a service hub for the province’s growing aquaculture industry that will include a lumpfish hatchery. Lumpfish have been proven to help farmers deal with sea lice infestations in their salmon sea cages, avoiding pesticide use.

The company expects 100 workers will be employed initially, and then grow to about 300 people in two to three years. The announcement comes at a good time, as it coincides with the construction of the largest fish hatchery in the world in Marystown.

Star reporter first journalist in Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame

Legendary Toronto Star reporter Randy Starkman, whose generous spirit during a lengthy strike at the paper helped many of his co-workers endure the dispute, will be the first journalist inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.

“He was so fond of the people he was covering in amateur sports,” said his wife, Mary Hynes, host of CBC Radio’s Tapestry. “An accomplished athlete makes it look so easy, and it was important to him to make readers understand what’s involved.”

Starkman covered 12 Olympic Games during his 30-year career, turning down opportunities to cover professional teams to focus on amateur sports. He was loved by the athletes and their families for his ability to tell the human side of their efforts, and the complexities of their sports.

“He humanized us to the Canadian public,” Olympian Clara Hughes, who remains a close friend of Hynes and daughter Ella, told the Toronto Star.

Starkman was covering an amateur swim event in Montreal in 2012 when he fell ill, and died days later in a Toronto hospital at age 51.

At the London Olympics that summer, the Canadian Olympic Committee held a breakfast in his honour, and “Flat Randy” dolls made by his sister were taken around to events at the Games by fellow journalists and athletes, since no one there could imagine the Games without him.

Seven years later, Hynes – who met her husband covering amateur sports more than 30 years ago – said she still receives photos of Flat Randy at amateur events, and notes from athletes about their memories of him. At Starkman’s encouragement, many athletes also became fans of her show.

During a lengthy strike at the Toronto Star 1992, Starkman would prepare breakfast on the picket line, propping his mother’s grill on the tailgate of his Jeep to cook bacon and eggs or serving up bagels, cream cheese and lox.

“That was his self-appointed role, to keep spirits up,” Hynes said. “It was unexpected and such an affectionate way for him to show support.”

Former Star columnist Joey Slinger once wrote in the paper that Starkman was a “prince among colleagues, a diamond among craftspersons” whose morning efforts helped many cope with the stresses of the picket line.

Starkman won two National Newspaper Awards, one for reporting that Ben Johnson has tested positive again for ban substances and another for his pioneering work on concussions in hockey, and authored or co-authored three books.

The Canadian Olympic Committee also announced the Randy Starkman Award recognizing a Canadian national team athlete who has used their sporting excellence to benefit the community, with $5,000 going to the athlete and $5,000 to a charity of their choice.

Video highlights Unifor’s organizing efforts

Unifor’s Organizing Department is looking for ways to better reflect a modern workplace, adapting our organizing strategies to help more workers join the union.

 “We need to reflect the diversity of a changing workplace. We need to target new employers, highlight the bargaining power that we have and the influence we have and really demonstrate why Unifor is the union for workers,” Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan said in a video about Organizing.

That video was shown at Unifor’s Constitutional Convention in August, and highlights the diverse methods used by the department to bring more workers into the union.

One of the workplaces featured in the video is the Chaleur Sawmills in Belledune, N.B., where workers became interested in joining Unifor after seeing the advances that Unifor has been able to make for forestry workers across the country. Unifor was certified as the union at Chaleur shortly after the video was shown at the convention.

It was a similar story in Lac St-Jean, Quebec, where workers at Résolu Normandin voted to join Unifor so they could be part of pattern bargaining in forestry.

“It was unanimous. Unifor, from a forestry point of view in the Bois-du-Lac, is stronger. We noticed immediately that we were better off with Unifor,” said Marc Jobin, president of Local 512 at the mill.

The video highlights organizing drives across Canada and efforts to tailor drives to each workplace.

For example, the department has drawn on Unifor airline workers to help organize workers at WestJet as part of a drive that stretches across the country.

At the casinos in Niagara Falls, Unifor casino workers are an integral part of the effort, where the department is also reaching out to Chinese language workers in their own language.

In British Columbia, Unifor used a unique fisheries labour law to organize fishers there. That law had been on the books for years, but no other union had used it.

“We used it,” Scanlan said.

Unifor joins global strike to demand climate justice

Unifor members joined thousands of climate activists across Canada to demand immediate climate action in a historic global strike. Strikes were held across Canada to demand urgent action be taken to address the climate crisis.

Climate change disproportionately impacts workers and youth, whose futures are uncertain without strong government commitments to a just transition to a low carbon economy. 

“Unifor is at the forefront of a worker-centered just transition. We have the tools at hand to address the climate crisis while creating good new jobs that prioritize workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Unifor stands in solidarity with students worldwide, inspired to take action by sixteen-year old Greta Thunberg, who has been the face of the youth movement in recent months. Thunberg made an impassioned speech to the UN in New York on Monday.

“We are on the brink of planetary disaster – we call on all levels of government to act immediately,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director at the rally in Toronto. “We have to tame corporate greed and work together to put workers at the centre of economic transition.”

Unifor sees the transition to a low carbon economy as an opportunity for broad green job creation and vows to fight for displaced workers to ensure that no worker gets left behind.

Strike organizers have issued a series of demands, calling for Indigenous rights and sovereignty; collective effort to maintain and protect land, water, and life; government commitment to reduce emissions; universal public service and infrastructure, and more. See their demands here.

Unifor auto members impacted by UAW strike

The impact of the United Auto Workers strike is being felt in General Motors operations and its related supply chain on both sides of the border. 

Following the expiration of their collective agreement, 49,000 UAW members began strike action early on September 16 bringing production at 55 factories and parts centers in the U.S. to a halt.

Within the week vehicle production at Oshawa assembly stopped and the ripple effect then spread to St. Catharine’s engine production and many independent part suppliers, leaving approximately 2,600 GM and 1,800 independent parts supplier members on temporary layoff in Canada.   

“Unifor supports the UAW in its negotiations to get a fair contract settlement for its GM members, so that auto workers on both sides of the border can return to work,” said xxx.

On September 17, Unifor Local 444 sent a delegation of members to Detroit to stand in solidarity with striking UAW workers.

“The fight by the UAW GM members is a fight for all manufacturing workers including Canadian workers,” said David Cassidy, President Unifor Local 444.  

“When a company like GM has made billions in profits in the last two years and the CEO takes home more than $20 million in yearly compensation, it’s unjust, unethical and outright disrespectful to all of those UAW members who are fighting for a fair share in those profits.”

Major bargaining issues for the UAW include the closure of GM plants in the U.S., the use of temporary workers and a path to make them full time, as well as a faster track for getting newly hired workers to the top wage.

Unifor shares concern over the stability of good paying auto jobs and the treatment of workers, issues that will be raised when negotiations between GM and Unifor on behalf of Canadian autoworkers commence next year. Collective agreements between Unifor and General Motors will expire in September 2020 and September 2021.

Unifor celebrates great gains made at bargaining tables this year

Unifor continues to make strong gains for members at bargaining tables across the country. This year’s accomplishments are being celebrated in a new video that highlights innovative language for inclusivity, pushing back against intrusive and sometimes demeaning employer programs, and achieving wage gains for hard-working members.

“We bargain 700 collective agreements per year – this is what we do and we’re good at it. Strike actions, social media, news papers, TV ads, we do whatever it takes,” said Scott Doherty, Unifor’s Executive Assistant to the National President

The union is committed to doing whatever it takes to make workplaces better for members. Through collective action at the bargaining table and with every level of government, Unifor bargaining committees leverage their collective strength to create a better society for all – and it works.

At the recent Constitutional Convention in August 2019, Unifor set new bargaining priorities and outlined the challenges ahead, including the need for better public health care, education systems, just transition supports for workers adjusting to market changes, and robust investment in public and social infrastructure. As always, the goal is to raise the floor for everyone; in effect, building a stronger economy and more prosperous Canada.

“The recipe for success at Unifor is people like myself who come up through the ranks and we fight. We know the industry, we know the culture, and we also know what we’re entitled to,” said Laura Hazlet, Regional Representative of Local 4002. “We bear down until we get it.”

Unifor will continue to push back against corporate greed and competing government interests to fight for gains for members. One of these gains included Unifor succeeding in getting rid of stacked ranking in the Sales Group at Bell.

“Essentially at Bell Canada, there’s this system called stacked ranking and it ranks people against each other, pits them against each other, and then the bottom 25% are declared to be underperformers” said Chris MacDonald, Assistant to the President at Unifor.

The union put an end to the unfair practice.

Unifor also earned improved pattern setting wages at Suncor; and at Loblaws, mandated work was eliminated and a new diversity and inclusion committee was formed to address issues in the workplace.

Watch the Strength in Bargaining video here: