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UFCW 401 members at Safeway locations across Alberta vote in favour of new union contract

UFCW Canada -

Calgary – August 11, 2020 – UFCW Local 401 is pleased to announce that Safeway members across Alberta have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective agreement. With more than half of the Local’s nearly 8,000-strong Safeway membership participating in the contract proposal and ratification processes, 90 percent voted to accept the company’s offer for a new union contract at Alberta Safeways.

International Youth Day 2020

NUPGE -

The message that institutions should be broadcasting on International Youth Day is that young people are already here. They’ve showed up. They’re doing the work. They’ve been doing the work for years.

Media Advisory: Unifor negotiations with Detroit Three begin tomorrow

Unifor -

August 11, 2020

TORONTO– Unifor will begin formal contract talks with the Detroit Three automakers, Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, to reach collective agreements for nearly 20 thousand members on August 12, 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, strict safety protocols will be in place for the duration of the negotiations to ensure compliance with Ontario health directives. Unifor will make every effort to provide media with all necessary materials to allow for safe, remote coverage.

Journalists wishing to join the afternoon news conference participate in the Question & Answer portion of the media conference by phone must register by 3 p.m. today by emailing Kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org.
In-person attendance will be restricted for opening photo ops but we will have space for one pool videographer and one pool still photographer. The news conference will be open to accredited media and will also be streamed live on Unifor’s Facebook page. Broadcast quality 4K footage will also be available for download upon request.

A digital media kit including contact information, background on Canada’s auto industry and details on plant locations, products produced and number of workers can be found on this website which will be updated regularly.

WHAT: Media conference and photo opportunities, opening of Detroit Three negotiations
WHEN: Wednesday August 12, 2020
9:30 a.m. Fiat Chrysler opening photo op (pool coverage) - Grand Ballroom
11:30 a.m. General Motors opening photo op (pool coverage)- Grand Ballroom
2:00 p.m. Ford opening photo op (pool coverage) - Grand Ballroom
3:15 p.m. News Conference - Dominion Ballroom and live on Facebook
WHERE: Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen Street West, Toronto
WHO: Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor Master Bargaining Committee representatives

For media inquiries please contact Unifor Unifor Director of Communications Natalie Clancy: Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (416) 707-5794.

Unifor members ratify major gains at Residence Inn

Unifor -

VANCOUVER—Members of Unifor Local 433 voted 96 per cent in favour of a new three-year contract that improves the recall notice for laid off workers.

“The hospitality industry has struggled during the pandemic, but Unifor members have worked hard to fight for their rights to be recalled fairly,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor collective agreements help ensure income security and lead the hospitality industry.”

The new agreement increases the temporary recall period from 18 months to 24 months, paid benefits during COVID-19, and increasing the severance provisions in the agreement. This extension provides certainly for jobs during a time where other hotels are refusing to extend these provisions. Other gains include wage increases of more than two per cent, panic buttons for workers at risk of harassment, and stronger protections in the event of any residential conversion of the hotel.

“No worker should have to go on strike over their recall rights. No employer should get away with using COVID as an excuse to get rid of loyal workers,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director.

While Unifor is making recall notice gains at the bargaining table, the union is also pushing the B.C. government to improve provincial employment standards for all workers. Unifor’s policy effort is also aimed at improved provincial standards for paid sick leave and workers’ compensation benefits.

“Unifor isn’t just satisfied with making important gains at the bargaining table,” said McGarrigle. “We are a social union that demands fairness and economic security for all working people.”

“The Residence Inn contract builds on the recent success of negotiations at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and will carry forward to upcoming negotiations at the Hotel Grand Pacific and the Coast Coal Harbour,” said Mario Santos, the Unifor National Representative that lead the negotiations.

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 Skype/Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Senator Kamala Harris & America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Call on CEOs to Reinstate Hazard Pay for Grocery Workers As COVID-19 Danger Continues

UFCW Press Releases -

In CNN Op-Ed, Senator Harris and UFCW Highlight Ongoing Risk With More Than 7,000 Grocery Workers Infected by COVID-19  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) called on the CEOs of the country’s largest grocery store chains to reinstate hazard pay for their workers who are still on the frontlines of the pandemic as COVID-19 cases surpass 4.8 million nationwide.  

In a new CNN op-ed, UFCW International President Marc Perrone and Senator Harris and condemn America’s largest grocery chains for cutting hazard pay for their workers, even as the companies report record sales and the threat from COVID-19 continues to endanger employees. Excerpts from the op-ed are below: 

“Grocery store workers are putting their lives on the line every day that they walk into the store. This pandemic is far from over and the health threats that grocery workers face are just as real now as they were when this crisis began. 

“While top grocery chains rake in billions in profits during this pandemic, these frontline workers cannot choose to work from home like the corporate executives of these companies. Without these frontline workers, our families would not have the food we need to get through this public health crisis.

 “Given the seriousness of this pandemic, and the essential jobs they do, the time has come to reinstate hazard pay for all of America’s grocery workers. For these brave men and women who continue to be on the frontlines of this crisis, our country should demand nothing less.” 

Click here to read the full CNN op-ed from Senator Harris and UFCW. 

Background: 

UFCW has been a leading national voice in the call to strengthen protections and support for America’s 3 million grocery workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. As of today, UFCW confirmed that among its members, there have been at least 97 grocery worker deaths nationwide, with 7,188 grocery workers infected and at least 6,122 grocery workers exposed to COVID-19 

In its report on the first 100 days of COVID-19, UFCW confirmed that April experienced the highest single-month total for grocery worker deaths with 46 supermarket employees killed by COVID-19. May saw the grocery industry’s biggest overall monthly spike in COVID-19 cases with 5,901 new grocery workers infected or exposed. 

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

McNeil government punishes Northern Pulp workers for its own historical wrong-doings

Unifor -

August 7, 2020

HALIFAX—Northern Pulp workers and their families have been betrayed by the McNeil government with its refusal to allow the company to use third-party financing to pay severance.

“Our lawyers and Northern Pulp all agreed it was essential to pay workers the outstanding severance owed to them but the Nova Scotia government refused,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “I am not surprised - this government has consistently abandoned forestry workers. Their pettiness is hurtful to those families struggling through unemployment, through no fault of their own, and enduring a pandemic. The government ought to be looking out for its citizens and not punishing them to make up for its own historical blunders.”

The BC Supreme Court did approve Debtor-In-Possession (DIP) financing in the amount of $15 million, far less than the $50 million the company was seeking, to cover operational and environmental costs through the end of 2020. The court refused multiple suggestions from union and company lawyers to see severance paid due to the Nova Scotia government’s opposition.

“The refusal to allow the company to pay severance feels like another deeply personal attack against workers after Stephen McNeil made such promises to help the forestry sector transition following the Northern Pulp closure,” said Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Regional Director. “We’re not pleased the relationship between Northern Pulp and the Nova Scotia government is so strained that workers are being caught in the crossfire.”

Northern Pulp and its parent company Paper Excellence still have a contractual obligation to pay workers severance. Unifor will continue to speak with government and company officials to demand the outstanding amounts be paid.

“With a Forestry Transition Fund looking for ways to support those affected by the Northern Pulp closure, I can think of no better use right now than for this fund to pay workers their severance,” said Dias. “It would be a show of good faith from a government that has so far left these workers and their families high and dry.”

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 24,000 in the forestry sector. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries, or to arrange an interview via phone/Zoom/Skype, contact National Communications Representative Shelley Amyotte at 902-717-7491 or shelley.amyotte@unifor.org.

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