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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).

Government expands Risk Recognition Program, still excludes far too many essential workers

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

Yesterday, the government announced it would be expanding their Risk Recognition Program by increasing the maximum income threshold for essential workers – those who earned a total pre-tax employment income of $12,500 during the 2.5-month eligibility period (excluding overtime) will now be eligible to apply.

Prescription safety eyewear added to MAHCP Discounts Program

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

MAHCP has teamed up with the Manitoba Association of Optometrists to offer the Prescription Safety Eyewear Program!

Through this program, MAHCP members can purchase prescription safety eyewear at a fraction of the normal pricing (usually 1/4 – 1/3 of the regular cost, depending on your vision prescription).

This program is currently at 55 locations across the province, including 27 in Winnipeg. Furthermore, starting week of June 22, the Manitoba Association of Optometrists is adding the three Winnipeg Oakley Optical locations, bringing the total to 58 in Manitoba, with 30 in Winnipeg.

To take advantage of this new program, MAHCP members must bring their membership card and current vision prescription to any participating location and can purchase at the deal rate.

Standard procedure is for you to pay at the optometrist’s office and they will issue a receipt so you can submit a claim through any insurance coverage you may have.

Please note: this deal applies to prescription safety eyewear only, not regular eyewear. Also, side shields are permanently fixed, removable side shields are not available through this program as they do not meet CSA standards.

For a current list of participating locations, click here.

The MAHCP Discounts Program has also been updated with new vendors in northern Manitoba. Please click here to check out these new additions.

MAHCP thanks all businesses and associations participating in our Discounts Program!

MAHCP President on Risk Recognition Program changes

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Two weeks ago, the Manitoba Government announced their so-called “Risk Recognition Program,” which was actually a one-time top-up payment for lower-wage workers.

On June 16, they quietly announced expanded eligibility criteria, doubling the income ceiling to $12,500 earned between March 20 and May 29, 2020. The “minimum hours worked” requirement remains at 200 hours over that same period.

This means that some of you may now qualify for this one-time payment, although we expect that the majority of full-time Allied Health Professionals, and many part-timers, will still be excluded based on the income ceiling and minimum hours worked requirement.

Details of this provincial program, including a link to apply, can be found on the Manitoba Government website: https://manitoba.ca/covid19/infomanitobans/mrrp.html. If you have further questions about the program that aren’t answered on the website, you can contact the Manitoba Economic Assistance Office, toll free, at 1-888-805-7554. If you believe you should qualify but are excluded based on your classification, we want to know about it at info@mahcp.ca

I will state once again that one-time taxable bonuses, whatever they may be called, are never a substitute for real wage increases.

MAHCP will continue pushing to get back to the bargaining table so we can negotiate a fair deal for our members who have been without a contract for more than two and in some cases three years.

In solidarity,

Bob Moroz, MAHCP President

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