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A friend to Labour: Paul Dewar

NUPGE -

“Paul was working to build a better world for all of us — with all of us — one where we treat each other with dignity and respect, with kindness and compassion. What a wonderful legacy to leave.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Kamloops casino workers join Unifor

Unifor -

Workers at a casino in Kamloops, B.C., that recently came under new management have voted overwhelmingly to join Unifor.

“This is an important step for these workers. With a new company coming to town to run their casino, having a voice in the workplace is more important than ever,” said Unifor Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan.

The Chances Casino in Kamloops was recently purchased by Gateway, which also owns the Gateway Casino Point Edward and Casino Rama, both in Ontario and both represented by Unifor. Unifor also represents the workers at two B.C. casinos: Parq Vancouver and the Grand Villa.

The 94 gaming, security, bingo callers and other workers at the Chances Casino and Barside Lounge and Grill voted 91 per cent to join Unifor.

The workers join more than 20,000 hospitality and gaming workers, including more than 9,000 gaming workers, who are already members of Unifor.

“Workers across Canada re recognizing Unifor as the union for hospitality and gaming workers,” Scanlan said.

Congrats to our third MAHCP Window Sticker contest winner

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

We have a winner for the month of January!

Congratulations to Erin Crawford, an MAHCP Member Advocate, for being our third Window Sticker contest winner.

This contest is open to all MAHCP members and the monthly prize is a $50 gift card of the winner’s choice.

Here’s how to enter: Please place this sticker in a safe, unobtrusive part of your vehicle’s windows, take a selfie of yourself (or ask a friend to snap a pic) with the sticker visible, and send it into mahcpcontest@mahcp.ca for your chance to win a gift card.

For those who sent in a picture but were not selected, your name stays in the pot for the following month, so those who have entered since the contest started at the MAHCP AGM in October still have a chance to win.

The goal of this contest is to increase our visibility day-to-day among our fellow Winnipeggers around the city and beyond the Perimeter.

We’re planning on keeping this contest going over the next few months, so enter as soon as you can for more chances to win.

There will be stickers available at upcoming site meetings with MAHCP President Bob Moroz. Please visit our website mahcp.ca often to view our calendar, located right on our home page. Events will be added as meeting rooms are booked.

In addition, members can pick up stickers at the MAHCP office located at 101-1500 Notre Dame Ave. from Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Good luck to all who enter our contest!

Unifor works to save Alberta forests from the pine beetle

Unifor -

Alberta’s forestry industry faces a serious threat from the mountain pine beetle that could severely damage the industry for years to come.

Forestry is the largest industry in dozens of communities in the West Yellowhead corridor. The industry helps diversify Alberta’s economy and is central to Alberta’s strategy to transition into a low carbon world.

Spread mostly by the wind, the Mountain Pine Beetle feeds on several species of pine trees until they are dead. Pine beetle populations are most effectively contained through extensive surveying and controlled burning around the perimeter of affected areas.

However, the latest infestation started last year in the federally regulated Jasper National Park. Inaction from the federal government let the pine beetle infestation spread and now, in addition to killing thousands of park trees, pine beetles are damaging areas that the forestry sector relies on, from Hinton to Rocky Mountain House.

Unifor members in the area have been active in industry-wide efforts to control the spread, including a key role on the Hinton Mountain Pine Beetle Advisory Committee.

“It is hard to over-state the threat to forestry jobs in West Yellowhead,” said Don Maclean, Unifor Local 855 President and Advisory Committee member. “The federal government needs to wake up and get involved to save jobs in Alberta’s forestry communities.”

The provincial government has allocated $25 million per year to control the spread; the federal government has yet to allocate any funding. Continued federal government inaction will have serious and lasting consequences for not only Alberta forests but also forests across Canada.

The effects of the pine beetle stretch well beyond eviscerating the forestry sector’s wood supply. Dead trees help fuel forest fires and quickly turn a manageable fire into a fast-growing and more unpredictable fire. In turn, dead or burnt forests negatively affect Western Alberta’s outdoor recreation economy.

Unifor has set up an online portal for Canadians to write to their Member of Parliament to demand action on the pine beetle: http://petition.web.net/unifor/node/98

Let’s support FUNSCAD

CAUT -

The Faculty Union of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (FUNSCAD) is seeking your help in their efforts to avert a strike.

Bargaining began last September, but after 18 bargaining sessions and two days of conciliation, the administration has offered little to address the issues of major concern to academic staff. Consequently, FUNSCAD members voted 97.5% in favour of a strike should progress in negotiations cease.

In 2016, in order to help NSCAD deal with a difficult fiscal environment, FUNSCAD members agreed to roll over the terms of their previous contract, suspend limits on the reduction of numbers of full-time faculty, and accept wage increases well below cost of living. Today, NSCAD has posted a significant budgetary surplus, student enrollments are up, and faculty have taken on additional duties and workload. Nevertheless, the Board of Governors is continuing to demand four more years of belt-tightening from FUNSCAD members.

There is still time for the Board to act to avert a strike. You can help by taking action now. Visit their website to send a letter to NSCAD’s President and Board of Governors urging them to negotiate a fair and equitable agreement.

Health care workers ready to defend members both at the bargaining table and on the streets

Unifor -

Unifor’s nursing home bargaining meeting brought together its largest group of Ontario health care workers ever, as more than 120 participants met at the Marriott Courtyard in Toronto from February 4-6.

In addition to discussing bargaining priorities, the bargaining meeting provided delegates with an opportunity to strategize against the possible impacts of Doug Ford's health care privatization agenda,  continue advocating for minimum hours of care and discuss workplace and sector issues affecting health care workers.

Conference delegates had the opportunity to root these issues in their own experience during workshops on maintaining pay equity in nursing homes; PSW sub-classifications, Plan A, staffing levels, and online staffing survey; using social media as health care activists; and developing a long-term care campaign.

The conference also heard from National President Jerry Dias, Assistant to the President Katha Fortier, Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi, and Health Care Director Andy Savela.

"We have a world-class health care system. The problem is it is not adequately funded to succeed," said guest speaker Natalie Mehra, Executive Director of Ontario Health Coalition. Mehra spoke extensively about Doug Ford's privatization threat to health care, the ongoing crisis in long-term care and the coalition’s plans to take action and lobby Members of Provincial Parliament.

The meeting concluded with remarks by Assistant to the President Katha Fortier. "As we enter this round of bargaining not only must we prepare against the employer but also against the PC's inaction of implementing a minimum standard of care in Ontario," said Fortier.

"Workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the province are overworked and fed up with the employers’ inability to attract and sustain personal support workers. I am confident our bargaining committees will defend our members both at the table and on streets."

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.

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