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National Indigenous Peoples Day

NUPGE -

“This National Indigenous Peoples Day, in the midst of protests by social movements around the world, we must work even harder with our allies to ensure our Indigenous sisters and brothers enjoy the equity and social justice we continue to strive for.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

UFCW Statement on Juneteenth 

UFCW Press Releases -

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest food and retail union, stood with the 1.3 million workers it represents in grocery stores, meatpacking plants, and many other essential industries to honor the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth – which marks June 19, 1865 when slavery was officially ended in the United States.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“As millions of Americans commemorate the anniversary of Juneteenth and the end of slavery, we must also remember the racism that still plagues the lives of so many African Americans and people of color across our country today. We have not only seen this cruel injustice of racism in the murders of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many more across the country, but also in an economic system where large multi-billion corporations continue to exploit African American workers. Now, more than ever, we must say with one united voice that this must end – and that Black lives do matter.

“The simple fact is that as a nation we can no longer tolerate the hate and discrimination that has been permitted to permeate our economic and justice systems. This must end. We must embrace real and substantive change. We can no longer afford to ignore a justice system that is not equal, and we must not accept an economic system where large corporations ignore how their policies and actions negatively impact African American workers.

“Our diverse union family is committed to fighting for real change and an America where all African Americans – and people of color – are able to live a better and more just life. The time has come for all good people to commit to doing the same.”

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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 healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

Unifor welcomes cancellation of proposal to end statutory holidays

Unifor -

June 19, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor welcomes the decision by the Ontario government to cancel its proposal to eliminate all but three statutory holidays for retail workers.

“We are pleased that the Ford government has changed its mind on this issue. Retail workers have been a vital part of getting our communities through the pandemic, and have been working incredibly hard to keep food on our tables,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

“Coming just days after their pay was cut by major grocers, the possibility that they would lose their statutory holidays just added insult to injury.”

Dias spoke with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton this morning, who confirmed Ontario would not go ahead with the proposal to eliminate all statutory holidays for retail workers except Christmas, Good Friday and Canada Day.

“This is obviously good news, but the pay cuts are still in place and shows that we must remain constantly vigilant to stand up for the rights of all workers,” Dias said.

Loblaw was the first to announce it would end the $2 premium paid to workers in its grocery stores, and was soon followed by other major retailers, including Metro and Sobeys.

Unifor is leading efforts to make fair pay permanent as the country slowly emerges from the pandemic. The Fair Pay Forever campaign calls for historic inequities in the sector to be corrected. Many workers are forced to take more than one part-time job to get by.

Unifor will hold a virtual rally today, livestreamed on Facebook from four different cities, at 1pm (ET). Speakers at the rally will include Dias, Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi, Atlantic Director Linda MacNeil and grocery store workers in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

For media inquiries, or to arrange interviews via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, please contact Unifor Communications representative Stuart Laidlaw:  stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or 647-385-4054 (cell).

Unifor welcomes cancelation of proposal to end statutory holidays

Unifor -

June 19, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor welcomes the decision by the Ontario government to cancel its proposal to eliminate all but three statutory holidays for retail workers.

“We are pleased that the Ford government has changed its mind on this issue. Retail workers have been a vital part of getting our communities through the pandemic, and have been working incredibly hard to keep food on our tables,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

“Coming just days after their pay was cut by major grocers, the possibility that they would lose their statutory holidays just added insult to injury.”

Dias spoke with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton this morning, who confirmed Ontario would not go ahead with the proposal to eliminate all statutory holidays for retail workers except Christmas, Good Friday and Canada Day.

“This is obviously good news, but the pay cuts are still in place and shows that we must remain constantly vigilant to stand up for the rights of all workers,” Dias said.

Loblaw was the first to announce it would end the $2 premium paid to workers in its grocery stores, and was soon followed by other major retailers, including Metro and Sobeys.

Unifor is leading efforts to make fair pay permanent as the country slowly emerges from the pandemic. The Fair Pay Forever campaign calls for historic inequities in the sector to be corrected. Many workers are forced to take more than one part-time job to get by.

Unifor will hold a virtual rally today, livestreamed on Facebook from four different cities, at 1pm (ET). Speakers at the rally will include Dias, Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi, Atlantic Director Linda MacNeil and grocery store workers in Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.

For media inquiries, or to arrange interviews via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, please contact Unifor Communications representative Stuart Laidlaw:  stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or 647-385-4054 (cell).

CAUT Statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day

CAUT -

(Ottawa — June 21, 2020) This year, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) marks National Indigenous Peoples Day as five years have passed since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued its landmark report.

The report documents pressing issues facing Indigenous peoples that still require attention, and the anniversary of its release is underscored by a global campaign against racism, sparked by the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.

CAUT continues to press all levels of governments to act. As the TRC report notes, education policy can play a critical role in supporting the reconciliation process, but to do so we need to invest and be invested in the reconciliation process.

Academic staff associations, universities and colleges must urgently address systemic racism affecting Indigenous peoples which manifests in delegitimizing Indigenous cultures and knowledge. We must support Indigenization of the academy by undertaking proactive measures aimed at restoring, renewing, and re-generating Indigenous practices, languages, and knowledge; and by pursuing Indigenization through collective bargaining.

Today, as we celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal Peoples, we cannot forget the historic wrongs committed against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities in Canada, and are reminded that all Canadians have a role to play in decolonizing, and building a more just country and world.

Explosion of COVID-19 Cases Nationwide Makes Clear America’s Food Retailers Must Reinstate Hazard Pay

UFCW Press Releases -

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union Calls on Top Companies Like Kroger for Action As Health Threat to Grocery Workers Continues 

WASHINGTON, DC – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest food and retail union which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery stores and other essential businesses, called on America’s largest supermarket chains, like Kroger, to immediately reinstate hazard pay in light of an explosion of COVID-19 cases nationwide with 10 states reporting their highest average of daily new cases since the pandemic started. 

The failure to reinstate “hazard pay,” or what Kroger called “Hero Pay,” not only ignores the continuing health and safety threat faced by America’s 3 million grocery workers, but ignores the reality that grocery workers contributed to record sales supermarket companies are experiencing, including Kroger, which just announced total sales reached $41 billion in the latest quarter, a 19 percent increase from one year ago. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement: 

“Across the country, America’s food retailers have ended hazard pay even as COVID-19 health risks have increased for grocery workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Even worse, multi-billion-dollar companies like Kroger are raking in record sales just weeks after cutting hazard pay for the very grocery workers who made that success possible.  

“The decision by these companies to end COVID-19 hazard pay, despite the ongoing danger, ignores the simple fact that these essential workers are still on the frontlines of a growing pandemic. As the nation’s largest grocery chain, Kroger should be a leader in the industry instead of ignoring the serious health and economic effects faced by these brave workers. 

“As long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, every grocery worker in America must receive the hazard pay they have earned for the vital work they are doing to serve our communities as the danger continues. Moreover, every company that is seeing record profits and sales should realize that these brave workers are literally putting their lives on the line to help feed this nation – and they deserve better than a pay cut from companies like Kroger.” 

Background:  

Kroger announced that sales increased 19 percent and profit increased 57 percent in the past quarter since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with total sales reaching $41 billion

In a recent national press conference, Kroger workers represented by UFCW spoke out about the company’s decision to cut the hazard pay they had received for working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

In May 2020, the UFCW sent a letter to top grocery CEOs across the country condemning them for suggesting that the health risks of this pandemic have diminished, and failing to provide the pay and protections necessary given the risks that America’s grocery workers face. 

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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 healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

 

Unifor calls for fair pay forever for grocery workers

Unifor -

June 19, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor members from across Canada came together for a virtual rally this afternoon in support of grocery workers who have seen their pay cut this past week.

“It has become clear, based on governments, based on the employers, that the respect that our members are shown by consumers is certainly not shown by the corporations,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said in the rally, streamed live on Facebook from four different cities.

“We are fighting to make sure the pandemic pay stays.”

News of the pay cuts this week was quickly followed by word that the Ontario government was considering taking away all but three statutory holidays for retail workers, leaving only Christmas, Good Friday and Canada Day. The proposal was quickly dropped in the face of negative reaction from the public on social media.

“Think about who we are talking about,” said Unifor Ontario Director Naureen Rizvi.

“It’s your neighbors who often work there, your friends, children of those you know, these are who we are talking about today. Those workers got up each and every day, they came into work, despite the fear and despite the risk of contracting COVID-19, to keep our food supply system moving.”

Loblaw was the first to announce it would end the $2 premium paid to workers in its grocery stores, and was soon followed by other major retailers, including Metro and Sobeys.

“These are workers just doing their jobs, doing their duty. They remind us what it is to be selfless. And to act for the greater good,” Unifor Atlantic Regional Director Linda MacNeil said.

Unifor is currently in negotiations with Loblaw-owned Dominion Stores in Newfoundland and Labrador, attempting to reverse a 2019 company decision to eliminate one in five full-time supermarket jobs. 

“The fact is, we always work hard. Harder and harder every year, to keep this company profitable. Yet our wages barely move. Our benefits hardly improve. Our jobs grow more precarious,” said Carolyn Wrice, Unifor Local 597 President in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 20,000 in the retail and wholesale sector. 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.

For media inquiries, or to arrange interviews via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, please contact Unifor Communications representative Stuart Laidlaw:  stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or 647-385-4054 (cell).

Supreme Court Upholding DACA a Victory for Millions of Hardworking Families Across America

UFCW Press Releases -

America’s Largest Food & Retail Union, Representing 1.3 Million Workers, Calls Ruling Critical Step Toward Fixing Broken Immigration System 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest food  and retail union which represents 1.3 million workers, praised the U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold DACA is a powerful victory for millions of hardworking families across America who are keeping our economy running and communities strong during the coronavirus outbreak. DACA has always been about investing in these young people who are working hard to build a better life for themselves and their family.

“With so many of these young people on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic working to ensure our families have the food and supplies we need, it’s more clear than ever that we need permanent solutions that will protect these essential workers.

“Today’s DACA victory is an important step toward fixing our country’s broken immigration system, but our elected leaders – both Republicans and Democrats – must work together to find permanent bipartisan solutions that will end the uncertainty for these hardworking communities.”

Background:

UFCW is one of the leading organizations which brought a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s elimination of the program and represents 1.3 million workers in grocery stores, retail businesses, meatpacking plants, healthcare, and many other industries impacted by DACA.

The lawsuit, in which UFCW served as a co-plaintiff, was led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and brought against President Donald Trump, the U.S. Attorney General, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security in September 2017.

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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 healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org

Refinery workers reach tentative agreement with Co-op

Unifor -

June 18, 2020

REGINA—The bargaining committee of Unifor Local 594 has reached a tentative agreement with the employer at the Co-op Refinery, 197 days after Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) locked out 730 workers.

“There was always a path to a deal,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The provincially appointed mediators’ report provided a basis for a new contract, but this dispute was protracted thanks to interference from the Regina Police Service and the incompetence of Premier Scott Moe.”

In February, Moe appointed Vince Ready and Amana Rodgers to mediate a deal that was accepted by 98 per cent of the members yet rejected by FCL. Despite repeated calls from constituents, the Premier refused to step in and support the refinery workers.

“Wealthy corporations have been allowed to act with impunity for too long, exerting their power on workers in order to profit, while eroding wages, pensions, and benefits,” continued Dias. “Unifor members took a stand against this aggression, and Co-op locked them out in the cold. In this fight, we showed that Canada’s workers are united and will fight to defend good jobs, even when governments and police services choose to side with the rich.”

The tentative deal hopefully marks the conclusion of an historic labour dispute. After the aggressive arrest of 14 union members on a legal picket line on January 20, including National President Jerry Dias and Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle, hundreds of union members came to Regina from across the country to bolster the picket line, and workers around the world voiced their support. 

“I am so proud of the solidarity, strength and courage of our membership,” said Kevin Bittman, Local 594 President. “They never wavered throughout this nasty dispute, and we will always be grateful for the support we received from our Unifor family and the entire labour movement. This was union-busting from an employer that has made billions off of our backs and together we fought and defended our collective agreement.”

Details about the tentative agreement will not be released until members of Local 594 hold a ratification vote. The union worked to ensure the “return to work” protocol protected members and local union leaders from retribution from Co-op.

“The tentative agreement would have been signed weeks ago but Co-op showed their true colours by punitively continuing the lockout, now they will have to try and build back a dedicated and committed workforce that will not forget the disrespect they felt from this profitable employer,” said Scott Doherty, head negotiator and Executive Assistant to Unifor’s National President.

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 for interviews, in-person or via Skype/FaceTime, please contact Unifor’s Director of Communications Natalie Clancy at  Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).

Event Cancelled: Refinery workers call on Premier Moe to stand up to Co-op

Unifor -

June 18, 2020

REGINA—Unifor Local 594 has cancelled a planned media event that would have been held today at the Legislative Building in Regina.  

The union thanks the Regina community for their ongoing support of locked-out workers. For more information about the labour dispute, including ways to support refinery workers, visit www.unifor594.com.

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.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303.

Unifor to hold virtual rally for grocery workers

Unifor -

June 18, 2020

TORONTO – In the face of grocery chains cutting the pay of their employees, Unifor will be holding a virtual rally on Friday to show support for the workers.

“Retail workers play a vital role in our economy and our communities, as we have all seen throughout this pandemic,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

“The extra $2 an hour only began to make up for historic inequities in the industry and should not be taken away now or ever.”

Loblaw was the first to announce it would end the $2 premium paid to workers in its grocery stores, and was soon followed by other major retailers, including Metro and Sobeys.

The virtual rally on Friday is part of that effort:

  • What: Virtual Rally for Fair Pay Forever
  • Who: Speakers will include Unifor National President Jerry Dias, Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi, Atlantic Director Linda MacNeil and grocery store workers in both Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Where: Hosting on Unifor Facebook page
  • When: Friday, June 19, 1pm (ET)

Unifor is leading efforts to make fair pay permanent as the country slowly emerges from the pandemic. The Fair Pay Forever campaign calls for historic inequities in the sector to be corrected. Many workers are forced to take more than one part-time job to get by.

“These workers are no less at risk and are no less essential today than they were before or during the pandemic. There is no justification for cutting their pay,” Dias said.

Unifor is currently in negotiations with Loblaw-owned Dominion Stores in Newfoundland and Labrador, attempting to reverse a 2019 company decision to eliminate one in five full-time supermarket jobs. 

For media inquiries, please contact Unifor Communications representative Stuart Laidlaw:  stuart.laidlaw@unifor.org or 647-385-4054 (cell).

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