Bromont, Que. – September 26, 2019 – UFCW Canada Local 1991P members working at Residence Bromont, a senior living facility near Granby, Quebec, have achieved a new union contract that provides better wages and more vacation, among other gains.
More than 180 Thompson residents have been displaced from their homes following a suspicious fire in the north tower of the Forrest View Suites earlier this week. “This is a significant and challenging situation for those living in this building. It’s very fortunate that no one was killed in this fire,” said President Michelle Gawronsky who was in Thompson this week. “I spoke with MGEU members, including several social workers, who are working with the displaced families to help them find places to stay. Everyone involved is doing a great job working around the clock and pouring their hearts into their community to do everything they can to help right now.”
National Union releases a Voter's Guide factsheet on Environment and Climate Change . While each of the main political parties has something to say about action on climate change and environmental sustainability, their commitments vary in ambition.
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.
Pre-registration for the upcoming MAHCP Annual General Meeting is fully underway and there’s a fabulous prize to be won.
Those who pre-register before Oct. 2 will be eligible for the CALM Air $1,000 flight pass draw! (You must attend the AGM to win.)
This year’s MAHCP AGM takes place Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg. Registration starts at 4:30 pm that day, with the meeting at 6pm and refreshments at 8pm.
There will be printed copies of the AGM booklet available on the day of the AGM, and we will be sending booklets to our satellite AGM sites in Thompson, Snow Lake, Flin Flon and The Pas.
If you are planning to attend the AGM, don’t forget to pre-register by calling our office (204) 772-0425 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-registration is necessary to ensure an accurate count for catering and room bookings.
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:
Halifax – September 25, 2019 – UFCW Canada members in the Atlantic provinces have less than one week left to cash-in on the UFCW Eastern Provinces Council (EPC) Scholarship.
Members of Unifor Local 303 at Trench Electric Limited in Pickering, Ontario have ratified a 3-year collective agreement with their employer.
“We wanted to see improvements across the board for our members and that’s exactly what we got,” said Anand Boodhai, Unifor Local 303 President. “The results clearly show the strength our union has when it comes to bargaining.”
The new contract was ratified by 92% and it replaces the previous one which had expired in March 2019, and brings a round of difficult negotiations to a close. The new contract includes gains in virtually all areas of the members’ collective agreement. They include wage increases of 6% over the term of the contract as well as improvements to paramedical, vision and dental care benefits, shift premiums, and funds for safety boots and uniforms.
“I wish to thank the bargaining committee members for all their hard work in achieving the improvements won in this round of negotiations,” said Boodhai.
Workers at Trench Electric manufacture electrical products for use in power utilities, engineering, procurement and construction companies and high energy usage industries.
More than 150 Unifor members and staff gathered in Saskatoon from September 22–24 to convene the inaugural Just Transition conference.
Just Transition is the term used to describe progressive policies that protect workers during an industry’s transition to a more sustainable model. It is most often applied to sectors with heavy greenhouse gas emissions, but Just Transition can apply to virtually any sector.
“The transition to a more sustainable economy is the critical challenge of our lifetime, but it will not be done by casting workers aside,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director in opening remarks to participants. “So much of the discussion so far has simply been about targets and about reducing emissions—workers are often an afterthought. That’s wrong. We must fight to be at the very centre of these discussions and fight for good jobs for all going forward.”
Following McGarrigle, the conference opened with a presentation by former Unifor Senior Economist Jim Stanford on what a Green New Deal could look like in Canada. Stanford emphasized that Canada has been through resource boom and bust cycles too many times before, and the environmental imperative to reduce fossil fuel dependence can ultimately lead to better jobs in a more stable economy.
Unifor National Secretary Treasurer Lana Payne opened the second day of the conference with remarks on the importance of unity among workers. She said false narratives of scarcity by employers threaten to pit workers against each other, but building a just society will rely on solidarity to keep all workers’ concerns front and centre.
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili spoke about his party’s work in opposition to Premier Scott Moe’s conservative government. He pointed to specific examples of the ways that the government’s malaise and corruption has hurt the province’s workers and has actively blocked green jobs efforts.
Meili was followed by a diverse panel of guests invited to discuss “Getting it Right”, focusing on principles and examples of democracy and working peoples’ involvement in decision-making. “Nothing about us, without us” was the common refrain among both panelists and Unifor member discussions on the issue.
Later in the day, participants heard from the Alberta Federation of Labour’s Gil McGowan and Steelworker Roy Milne about the experience in Alberta working with the NDP government on Just Transition initiatives.
McGowan stressed that while many more “doors were open” in the worker-friendly government of Rachel Notley, unions still had to drive the agenda and play a key role in policy development and pushing aggressive timelines. Milne said that what was accomplished under the Notley government in coal transition was truly unique and could have never been accomplished under Liberal or Conservative governments.
On the final day of the conference, participants heard from University of Saskatchewan professor Priscilla Settee, who discussed the often ignored but essential perspectives of Indigenous communities and the role of partnerships in making green economic transitions truly just. She stressed that building meaningful relationships with Indigenous groups is mandatory and that unions should join in opposing resource grabs that ignore land and title of First Nations.
The remainder of conference time was spend in various group discussion exercises that let participants share experiences from their own lives and how the lessons and principles from speakers could be integrated into Unifor’s next steps.
“Whether it’s income inequality, climate change, labour rights, health care, or housing, what happens in this federal election will have a huge impact on this country and our future.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Toronto – September 24, 2019 – In June of last year, the Parliament of Canada gave Royal Assent to Bill C-309, which designates the fourth week of September as Gender Equality Week. This year’s theme is #EveryoneBenefits, a message from Status of Women Canada that focuses on achieving fairness, economic prosperity, health, and happiness as aspirational goals for realizing gender equality.