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Canada’s telecom workers urge Bell to bring the work home

Unifor -

July 1, 2020

OTTAWA- On this Canada Day, Unifor demands that Bell follow the example set by Rogers, and bring all offshore customer service work back to Canada permanently.

“Yesterday’s announcement by Rogers along with our experience with Bell during the past several months has shown that Canada's telecom workers are able not only to step in and do the work, but can provide better and more reliable service to customers in Canada,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “This crisis has caused many Canadians to rethink their priorities, and I urge Bell Canada leadership to do the same today. Bring the work home, and help rebuild our economy that better supports workers in Canada.”

Unifor commends Roger’s decision yesterday to bring all remaining customer service jobs back to Canada, and set a path that others should follow.

At Bell, work was brought home on a temporary basis during the pandemic as a result of low wage call centres in the Philippines, India, and Tunisia that were forced to close, while workers in Canada stepped up to do work here.   

Bell and BTS technicians quickly retrained to handle the massive increase in customer support calls and they continue to provide service to customers today.

“After COVID-19, Canadian companies will have to help rebuild our capacity to not only manufacture in Canada, but fix the damage that’s been done to telecom and customer service by decades of outsourcing,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “Unifor members have fought back against years of decline in the industry and it’s time for Bell to refocus on workers in Canada and stop the race to the bottom.”

On June 24, Unifor released its Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery. Our bold plan focuses on five key economic areas to not only rebuild the economy, but also to support Canada’s workers.

Employees of Bell Canada and Bell subsidiaries have long campaigned against contracting out and other forms of job erosion and will continue to do so.  For current updates about this campaign, visit bellrealtalk.ca.

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 interviews via Skype, Facetime or Zoom contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org

For French interviews, please contact Unifor Quebec Communications Representative, Véronique Figliuzzi at Veronique.Figliuzzi@unifor.org  or 514-212-6003.

 

By the Numbers: Signs of normalcy return to Canadian economy, food retail sector

UFCW Canada -

Vancouver – June 30, 2020 – A new survey by the Angus Reid Institute analyzing attitudes and behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic finds that Canadians are generally optimistic about the country’s response to the coronavirus, and the outlook going forward, as Canada’s economy continues to reopen and the food retail sector returns to normalcy.     

UFCW: Congress Must Put Workers First As Corporate Bankruptcies Driven by COVID-19 Threaten Safety of Retirement Benefits for Millions of Americans

UFCW Press Releases -

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Calls on Lawmakers to Pass Bill to Safeguard Benefits of Workers on Frontlines of COVID-19 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and other essential businesses, announced its support for the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act, introduced by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s 16 million retail workers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic from day one, helping ensure that our country’s families have the food and supplies they need. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on our economy and driving many retailers out of business, we must not forget these brave workers who have kept our communities running during the crisis.

“This bill protects Americans who lose their jobs when businesses declare bankruptcy, ensuring that these workers receive the pay and benefits they have earned and making clear that these workers should never have to take a back seat to CEO payouts or Wall Street profits. With this pandemic forcing thousands of Americans out of jobs every week, we must put workers and families first.”

Background:

UFCW recently announced that in the first 100 days of COVID-19, there have already been 238 worker deaths and nearly 29,000 workers infected or exposed among its members in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, healthcare facilities, and other essential businesses.

UFCW announced its support today for the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act to safeguard the retirement security of the 1.3 million workers it represents. The bill is a response to the increase in employer bankruptcies resulting from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and aims to protect the employee retirement benefits endangered by these bankruptcies.

The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act will protect workers by:

  • Improving Recoveries for Employees and Retirees
  • Reducing Employees’ and Retirees’ Losses
  • Restricting Excessive Executive Compensation Programs

Click here to read full background on the legislation.   

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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 grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

Workers at Jazz Aviation and Exploits Valley Air Services oppose service reduction accouncement

Unifor -

June 30, 2020

TORONTO - Jazz Aviation and EVAS represented by Unifor Local 2002 are disappointed with Air Canada’s major reduction in services announcement

 “Airline workers should not have to continue to bear the burden of this global pandemic’s economic effects due to ongoing travel restrictions,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “What workers need is for the federal government to take immediate action to develop an effective airlines strategy that preserves Canadian jobs.” 

The reduction in service was announced because of ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions as part of the government’s pandemic response. Air Canada announced today that approximately thirty routes have been cancelled and eight airport stations will be closed indefinitely.  

“We fully understand the difficult situation the pandemic has created for the global industry, but our airline workers are counting on the Prime Minister to take leadership to support and preserve Canada’s airline industry, said Euila Leonard, President of Unifor Local 2002.

On March 28, 2020, Unifor joined with other Canadian airline unions in sharing concerns and providing solutions to help bring stability and prosperity back to the industry. Unifor has specifically called on the government to ensure that any aid package delivered to any sector, including air travel, must be accompanied by strong, enforceable conditions that ensure funds are dedicated to maintaining current workers’ income and creating new opportunities for employment.

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.

For further information: For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with Jerry Dias via Skype, FaceTime or Zoom contact Hamid Osman, Unifor National Communications Representative at 647-448-2823 (cell) or hamid.osman@unifor.org

Unifor disappointed as Kenney presents support for corporations and slim pickings for workers

Unifor -

June 29, 2020

EDMONTON – Unifor urges Premier Kenney to change course and invest in workers instead of further padding corporate profits. 

“Alberta’s workers are looking for leadership, and instead, Kenney launches an incomplete plan that squeezes education, and school boards, and proposes two-tiers of minimum wage. That’s not going to cut it,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “While Albertans are supporting one another, the least he can do is recognize that this crisis is the time to invest in Albertans, not funnel more profit off of workers’ backs into the pockets of corporate bosses.”

In the June 29 announcement, Premier Kenney floated possible changes to labour relations legislation that would no doubt take from workers, and refused to commit to not making deeper cuts to public services that are supporting the province through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While details are sparse, his message is clear. Kenney is still turning his back on workers in order to hold the hands of corporate Alberta,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “A fair economic recovery can build public services that this province needs, and protect labour standards while providing the conditions that business needs to grow. Don’t let anyone tell you that we cannot achieve both.”

On June 24, Unifor released its Road Map for a Fair, Inclusive and Resilient Economic Recovery. Our bold plan is available at buildbackbetter.unifor.org, and focuses on five key economic areas to not only rebuild the economy, but also to support Canada’s workers.

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 further information: contact Sarah McCue, Unifor National Communications Representative at 416-458-3307 (cell) or sarah.mccue@unifor.org.

Amazon workers in Canada call for workplace organization and power

Rank and File - latest news -

Editor’s note: The following is a statement from the Amazon Workers Collective. Rankandfile.ca is sharing this call-out in the interest of advancing the cause of mutual protection in the workplace, unionizing Amazon, and taking on Jeff Bezos and his corporate empire. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the rotten core of our economic system.  Wall Street Continue readingAmazon workers in Canada call for workplace organization and power

Report Finds Need for Improved Public Services, Not More Privatization

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

Meeting the needs of Canadians requires improved public services, not new forms of privatization. That’s the message from a new report – For the Public Good: The growing threat of privatization and workers’ proposals to protect our future – released yesterday by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Task Force on New Forms of Privatization.

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