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Unifor members shine at general strike centenary parade

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Several Unifor members in Manitoba donned early 1900s period costumes at the parade to commemorate the historic 1919 general strike. Dressed up as workers from a variety of sectors including media, rail, and telecommunications, they were joined by dozens of other Unifor members from the region to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the strike.

“In the labour movement, we stand on the shoulders of giants. The sacrifices made by the strikers of 1919 helped shaped Canada’s modern workforce and politics,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Last week Unifor’s leaders held a special meeting in Winnipeg and attended a celebratory dinner with hundreds of other progressive labour activists.

“The Winnipeg General Strike’s anniversary is an important time to celebrate the many crucial victories of our predecessors,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We have no shortage of challenges, but as we learned one hundred years ago, ‘we are many, and they are few’.”

Unifor celebrates Ramadan at Fast in the 6

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Unifor was the presenting sponsor for the 3rd annual Fast In The 6. The event is an evening of food, fun and the arts, coinciding with Ramadan, to celebrate Toronto’s diversity through the shared experience of breaking of the fast.

Throughout the month, more than 1.6 billion Muslims around the globe fast from dawn to dusk, refraining from consuming food and water during this period. The event attracted thousands of Canadians to celebrate the message of diversity, unity and prosperity.

“The strong community support today shows just how appreciated this event is, and how strong Toronto’s Muslim community and the city of Toronto is,” said Terry Farrell, Unifor National Staff Representative, in his address during the reception before the event. “Our union is committed to supporting Toronto’s Muslim community and promoting the diversity of our great city.”

When the sun sets each day during Ramadan, families and Muslim communities, break the fast together in what is called Iftar. The Fast in the 6 event included a free Iftar dinner for all present, as well as an evening of comics, musicians, and fireworks for the whole family.

At Unifor, we’re serious about our pledge to be a union for everyone, to celebrate and defend the rights of all workers, no matter where they were born, their religion or any other reason, said Farrell.

The free event was organized by Toronto residents Dany and Lisa Assaf, who decided to host the celebration after witnessing increasing hate and fear around the world and here in Canada.  

Many Unifor members and their families also attended the event, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The festival is a coming-together of Toronto’s diverse communities to increase understanding and dialogue.

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Federal government announces funding for harvesters affected by severe ice conditions

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The federal government announced funding through an Ice Assistance Emergency Program for fish harvesters impacted by the delayed opening of the fishery due to severe ice conditions.

“We are pleased that the federal government is providing support through an Ice Assistance Emergency Program for fish harvesters who are in a tough financial position through no fault of their own,” said Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.

The Ice Assistance Emergency Program is a grant program, not an EI extension, and will be available to harvesters who are unable to fish due to unseasonably severe ice conditions once their 2019 EI benefits claim has ended.  Information on how to apply will be available online on the DFO website on June 10, 2019.

A request for a benefits extension was submitted by FFAW-Unifor on April 18 to Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development as a result of the severe financial hardship experienced by harvesters due to delays in the snow crab and lobster fisheries on the province’s northeast and west coast.

Hundreds of families are still impacted by severe ice and have been without income for over two months as they await ice conditions to improve.

Today’s announcement is welcome news to the many families in need of funds to cover basic financial needs, however as spring ice conditions are a common occurrence in our province, a permanent solution with no waiting period is needed for both fish harvesters and plant workers affected by these delays.

Originally posted by FFAW-Unifor