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Delegation meets with NS Premier and Official Opposition to discuss Northern Pulp

Unifor -

Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne continued the union’s campaign to defend good jobs at the Northern Pulp mill and throughout the Nova Scotia forestry sector during a meeting with the Premier Stephen McNeil this week.

Dias and Payne were joined by Unifor Local 440 leaders Don MacKenzie and Wanda Skinner as well as Scott Doherty, Assistant to the National President, and Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Area Director.

“We want to make sure there is a clear understanding of what is at stake here,” said Dias. “In addition to 240 Unifor members who work at the pulp mill, thousands of other workers in forestry and related sectors depend on the economic footprint generated by the mill.”

Later the same day, a union delegation met with PC Leader Tim Houston and Pictou area MLAs.

“We stressed the need for a common-sense solution that respects all stakeholder needs for this serious situation and we urged politicians to move forward in a way that brings people together,” said Scott Doherty.

At issue is the construction of a new effluent treatment plant and meeting a legislated deadline of January 31, 2020 around the use of Boat Harbour, which is where the mill effluent is currently treated. The mill is now in the middle of an environmental assessment with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment for the new treatment plant and must provide additional information and perform more studies as requested by the Department. The company must receive approval on their environmental assessment before construction can begin.

At both meetings, there was an understanding of the tensions in Pictou County and appreciation for the considerable impact the jobs at Northern Pulp have on the Nova Scotian economy.   

MacKenzie and Skinner, both long-time workers at the mill, detailed the worry and stress felt by workers and their families. They also expressed concern over the deep divisions in their community.

“This sector is critical to the economy of rural Nova Scotia and we expect the company to pull out all the stops to make sure it provides the additional studies and clarifications as quickly as possible,” said Payne.

The union noted in its meetings that a solution is possible: one that protects the environment and good jobs and respects First Nations.

NSGEU nurses: safety survey results

NUPGE -

"The results of this survey clearly show that nurses are struggling to provide safe patient care, given the consistent staffing shortages they are facing on the frontlines." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President

UFCW 401 members talk progressive politics ahead of Alberta election

UFCW Canada -

Calgary – April 3, 2019 – Following the successful “It’s Yours Members’ Conference,” where hundreds of UFCW Local 401 activists gathered in Calgary to explore community activism, political engagement, and how to bring about positive change, teams of UFCW 401 activists hit the doorsteps of fellow members to discuss the Alberta election, scheduled for April 16.

MAHCP’s onestrongvoice.ca site gets new look

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Our One Strong Voice Together campaign continues to gain support in the face of Bill 29.

Based on the performance of our campaign website so far, we have given the site a refreshed look and feel.

Now we’re encouraging MAHCP members to check it out at onestrongvoice.ca and share it with all Manitobans working in Professional/Technical/Paramedical.

MAHCP is the strongest voice for health care professionals in Manitoba. We have consistently raised the bar in collective agreement negotiations and we’re the only union in health care solely focused on health care.

We’ve also got a little something special. Go to onestrongvoice.ca and show your support and enter to win an MAHCP One Strong Voice T-shirt.

Show your support and be part of MAHCP’s one strong voice!

General Dynamics workers obtain job commitment in new collective agreement

Unifor -

Members at General Dynamics Land Systems Canada have voted massively in favour of a new collective agreement, with 95 per cent in support.

The 420 workers, represented by Local 27, Unit 66, avoided strike action when the new three year deal was ratified on March 19, 2019.

“One of our major issues was job loss due to attrition and we were able to obtain a commitment from General Dynamics to replenish the workforce,” said Jeff Skinner, Unit 66 Chairperson. “Negotiations went down to the wire but in the end the bargaining committee achieved key gains and walked away with a good contract.”

The bargaining committee assured job growth with a commitment letter to increase employment levels.

Financial improvements were attained with a lump sum payment in each year of the agreement of 2.5 per cent on the job code rate, special payments of 1,200 a year, and a $1,000 signing bonus. Cost-of-living adjustment was maintained and some classifications were combined resulting in wage increases.

The new contract also contains pension gains, improved dental, paramedical, vision and laser eye surgery benefits, and increased call-in without a doctor’s note.

In addition to the hundreds of employees, it is estimated that more than 5,000 additional workers depend on spinoff jobs from General Dynamics in the London, Ontario area.

Unifor Social Justice Fund provides aid to Cyclone Idai victims

Unifor -

The Unifor Social Justice Fund (SJF) is helping to provide life-saving aid as the humanitarian crisis caused by Cyclone Idai worsens.

On March 14, Cyclone Idai made landfall in central Mozambique then continued to wreak havoc as a tropical storm across land into Malawi and Zimbabwe. The death toll is expected to be in the thousands, while thousands remain missing.

With more than 2.5 million people affected, emergency aid organizations are battling a growing humanitarian crisis. Floodwaters have contaminated drinking water sources and the race to stop the spread of cholera, a deadly waterborne disease, is now underway.  

The SJF has donated $40,000 to GlobalMedic to provide aid to victims of the cyclone in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

GlobalMedic, a Canadian charity founded by paramedics, has mobilized a Rapid Response Team to provide clean drinking water and Family Emergency Kits on the ground in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The Rapid Response Team is able to deploy and operate point source water purification units capable of providing up to 40 liters of clean drinking water per minute using a sediment, carbon and UV light filtration system.

The Family Emergency Kits are designed to help families address the critical issues faced in the wake of disaster. Each kit contains a point of use water purification solution and essential hygiene items to provide entire families with safe, clean drinking water and keep them clean and healthy, preventing the outbreak of further illness.

The cyclone also wiped out infrastructure and left key roads impassable, slowing delivery of much-needed aid.

GlobalMedic is also using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) technology to obtain vital information that allows rescue workers to deliver aid where it is needed most. The aerial images are shared with local authorities and rescue teams in order to access damage and increase the effectiveness of the response to save more lives.

To donate to GlobalMedic visit globalmedic.ca.

For more information on the Unifor Social Justice Fund visit unifor.org/sjf.

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