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Black History Month Unifor members speak on activism

Unifor -

Arlette Magbity is a young, passionate activist who has been working for Suncor Energy Inc. since 2013. She is a member of Unifor Local 707a in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The eldest of four siblings, Arlette’s mother is from Rwanda, and her father hails from Sierra Leone. She has travelled extensively in her childhood, due to the nature of her father’s job. This experience has made her very versatile, equipped her with a thorough understanding of diversity and instilled in her a deep appreciation for different cultures.

Travelling has become engraved in Arlette’s identity and even now, she enjoys exploring different countries and making new friends. She has obtained a high school diploma from Louis St. Laurent in Edmonton, Alberta, an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Alberta, Edmonton and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Engineering from Loughborough University, England, United Kingdom.

Arlette currently works as a Laboratory Technician, directly supporting production by routinely testing samples from the oil sands base plant in Fort McMurray, a role she finds engaging and essential to the day to day operations of the business. Arlette is passionate about the environment and making a lasting impact in the world, spending her spare time volunteering in Canada and Sierra Leone. She is also passionate about feminism, equity and the elimination of poverty.  One of her most significant works at the University of Alberta is a social project about intimate partner violence. The project was notably successful and was featured on her alma mater’s website.

Neville Benjamine is an all-around activist and is a proud member of Unifor local 1859.  Neville is hard working and has been a long-standing member, and has worked at Adient for 30 years.

Andrew Jomo Wickham was born November 18, 1987.  At the age of 8 years old, he immigrated from Georgetown, Guyana.  Andrew has been working as Senior Service Attendant for Via Rail Canada for the last 7 years.

His first experience with Unifor was as the Vice-President of the Election Committee of our Local, and has since taken courses such as “Knowing your syndicate” “Delegate 1” and “PEL Communications.” He is presently holding the position of Trustee.

Being part of the union has given Andrew an amazing experience and he counts himself as very fortunate to have this opportunity.  He is very proud to be part of the Executive of Local 4004 which includes 5 units (Via 1, Via2, CN 5.1, CN 5.5 and CNTL) and about 1400 members.

Nicole Beard is steward of Local 6006 she has been a union activist and chair of the Women’s committee. She is a major supporter of Women’s shelters and rights, and has spent 5 years as a steward and an AWOC and Human Rights committee member for about 3 years.

Megan Nicely is a Registered Practical Nurse whose career spans over 20 years. She currently works full-time in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Department at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener as well as part-time at Sunbeam Center where she works with developmentally delayed adults and children. In 2016, Megan was elected as the part-time representative for Sunbeam Centre and is also on the bargaining committee. Megan is now under the tutelage of Jim Kennedy as the recently elected 1st Vice-President of the Health Care Council Executive. She is also a committee person of Local 1106 RPN, Health and Safety, Environment and Aboriginal and Workers of Colour committees and a Canadian Council delegate.

Ford takes aim at student unions

Rank and File - latest news -

By Rick Telfer and Andy Crosby Students, activists, and labour movement leaders are sounding the alarm about the devastating impact the Ford government’s plans for post-secondary education will have on the system’s accessibility and democracy. On Jan. 17, the Ford government announced it was – ostensibly… Read More

February is National Therapeutic Recreation Month

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -


Therapeutic Recreation is a process that utilizes functional intervention, education and recreation participation to enable persons with physical, cognitive, emotional and/or social limitations to acquire and/or maintain the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will allow them to enjoy their leisure optimally, function independently with the least amount of assistance and participate as fully as possible in society. Therapeutic Recreation intervention is provided by trained professionals in clinical and/or community settings.    Please visit the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association for more information.

Lunar New Year 2019 – Year of the Pig

UFCW Canada -

Toronto – February 4, 2019 – On February 5, hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country will celebrate the Lunar New Year – the Year of the Pig – by spending time with friends and family in numerous fun-filled activities to mark year 4717 on the lunar calendar.

Bud Jimmerfield Award Nominations open

Unifor -

Nominations are now open for the Bud Jimmerfield Award to recognize a Unifor activist who has shown leadership in helping fellow workers and has participated in activities beyond their workplace to prevent future diseases, death and injuries.

The award winner will be recognized at the 2019 Constitutional Conventional, as the Bud Jimmerfield Award is presented to an outstanding union member to recognize their actions in health, safety, environment or workers' compensation. 

Brother Jimmerfield was a tireless health and safety, environment and workers' compensation activist, not just at his workplace but in communities from coast to coast. He contracted esophageal cancer in 1996 and died 18 months later at the age of 49, due to exposure to metal working fluids in his workplace for decades.

Before he died, Bud charged union activists with an important responsibility, “Don't mourn my death, fight for the living and do your best to try to prevent future occupational diseases, death and injuries from occurring.”

“Every year workers face health and safety challenges in the workplace, challenges in receiving proper workers’ compensation if they have been injured on the job; and we are all concerned with the ongoing changes to our environment which sustains our lives,” says Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We must give recognition to those that are working hard to make positive changes and encourage everyone to get more involved in these important issues.”

If you know a determined health and safety, environment or workers' compensation activist that is making a difference - nominate them today. 

To nominate a member, fill out this form and submit to the Unifor Health & Safety, Environment Department at healthandsafety@unifor.org by Friday, March 29, 2019.

La période de mise en candidature pour le prix Bud Jimmerfield est ouverte

Unifor -

La période de mise en candidature est maintenant ouverte pour le prix Bud Jimmerfield qui vise à reconnaître une militante ou un militant d’Unifor qui a démontré du leadership en aidant ses collègues de travail et a participé à des activités en dehors de son milieu de travail dans le but de prévenir les maladies, les décès et les blessures.

La personne récipiendaire du prix sera reconnue lors du congrès statutaire de 2019 alors que le prix Bud Jimmerfield sera remis à un membre exceptionnel du syndicat pour reconnaître ses actions dans le secteur de la santé, de la sécurité, de l’environnement ou de l’indemnisation des victimes d’accidents du travail. 

Notre confrère Jimmerfield a milité inlassablement pour la santé, la sécurité et l’environnement ainsi que l’indemnisation des victimes d’accidents du travail, tant dans son lieu de travail que dans d’autres communautés d’un océan à l’autre. Il a reçu un diagnostic de cancer de l’œsophage en 1996 et est décédé 18 mois plus tard à l’âge de 49 ans : il a été exposé à des liquides métallurgiques dans son milieu de travail pendant des décennies.

Avant de mourir, Bud a confié aux militantes et militants syndicaux une importante responsabilité : « Ne pleurez pas ma mort, battez-vous pour les vivants et déployez tous les efforts pour prévenir les maladies, les décès et les blessures en milieu de travail. »

« Chaque année, des travailleuses et travailleurs doivent relever des défis en matière de santé et de sécurité dans leur milieu de travail et font face à des difficultés pour recevoir une indemnisation des victimes d’accidents du travail s’ils se sont blessés au travail, et nous sommes tous préoccupés par les changements qui touchent présentement l’environnement qui est essentiel à notre survie, a lancé Jerry Dias, président national d’Unifor. Nous devons reconnaître ceux et celles qui travaillent d’arrache-pied pour apporter des changements positifs et les encourager à se mobiliser encore davantage à l’égard de ces importants enjeux. »

Si vous connaissez une militante ou un militant dévoué du secteur de la santé et de la sécurité, de l’environnement ou de l’indemnisation des victimes d’accidents du travail qui fait une différence, proposez sa candidature dès aujourd’hui. 

Pour ce faire, remplissez ce formulaire et soumettez-le au Service de la santé, de la sécurité et de l’environnement d’Unifor à l’adresse santesecurite@unifor.org d’ici le vendredi 29 mars 2019.