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UFCW: Pork Industry Exploits Coronavirus to Destroy American Jobs, Fatten Profits

UFCW Press Releases -

Union Representing 30,000 Pork Workers Slams Pork Industry Effort to Manipulate Outbreak, Push Americans Out of Jobs, and Further Weaken Economy 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union condemned a new effort by the National Pork Producers Council to exploit the coronavirus outbreak to cut jobs for American workers through a needless expansion of the U.S. guest worker program. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement: 

“Exploiting the coronavirus outbreak to destroy American jobs and further weaken our economy is a national disgrace. This shameless move to manipulate our country’s guest worker program – all to replace American workers and fatten corporate profits – deserves the strongest oversight by Congress and federal regulators. 

“At a time when our economy is spiraling, the last thing Americans need is giant corporations watering down safeguards that protect American workers and our country’s food safety. American jobs in the pork industry are good jobs that have strengthened communities for generations. Our country’s leaders – both Republicans and Democrats – must reject this move and stand up for American workers.” 

Background: 

The National Pork Producers Council sent a letter to members of Congress and other U.S. Government officials with exaggerated claims about the impact of coronavirus outbreak on the U.S. labor supply for pork plants.  

America’s pork workers help to put food on the table for millions of families across the country. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents 30,000 workers in the pork slaughter industry. 

UFCW members handle 71 percent of all hogs slaughtered and processed in the United States. These UFCW members are highly skilled professionals who produce the safe, high-quality food Americans count on.

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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 grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

FPSE President Terri Van Steinburg | Response to COVID-19

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC -

Mar 13, 2020 FPSE News

FPSE is acting on a number of fronts to operationalize the guidance and direction from public health authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FPSE Member Locals have all received a memo outlining advice for responding to the pandemic at the local level.

The plans for our May AGM are currently under review and are guided by the direction and advice from our public health authorities, including the BC Centre for Disease Control. Once made, those decisions will be shared.

The health and safety of our members, and acting responsibly during this pandemic will remain our paramount priority for all of our operations.

As the federal and provincial health authorities are urging us, we must do everything we can to #FlattenTheCurve. We are hard at work on this in our office, and ask for your assistance and cooperation in doing this at the individual, workplace and local union level as well.

I know that together we can take action to prevent and limit the transmission of COVID-19.

Our traditional sign-off feels more appropriate now than ever:

In solidarity,

Terri Van Steinburg

President

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish)

& səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories | she/her/hers

MAHCP postpones Member Outreach meetings/events

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Out of an abundance of caution, MAHCP is postponing all general member meetings and events until further notice, including meetings scheduled next week in Brandon, Neepawa, Dauphin, Swan River, Russell and Virden, as well as meetings at Mt. Carmel Clinic (March 31) and Health Sciences Centre CanadInns (April 9).

Please note that all previously scheduled labour relations meetings will proceed as planned unless otherwise notified.

Given the size and location of venues for general meetings – including those onsite in health care facilities – social distancing and other public health protocols are not fully practicable and meetings could put members and patients at unnecessary risk.

However, I remain eager to meet you in person if we haven’t met already, so we will be rescheduling all general member meetings as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we know you have questions and concerns and we want to hear from you. Please continue to contact your Labour Relations Officer regarding any workplace issues.

For questions about bargaining, governance matters, MAHCP policies, etc., please feel free to email me directly at bobm@mahcp.ca or send general questions to info@mahcp.ca

In solidarity,

Bob Moroz

MAHCP President

COVID-19: Your rights at work

PSAC -

Who is at the highest risk of contracting the virus at work? Front line workers in direct contact with the public are at the highest risk. This may include airport personnel, border services and immigration employees, teaching assistants, passport...

Air Navigation Specialists ratify collective agreement

Unifor -

March 13, 2020

OTTAWA— Unifor Local 1016 members who work as Canadian Air Navigation Specialists have voted 97 per cent in favour of ratifying a new four-year collective agreement with Nav Canada.

“Air Navigation Specialists are among the most hardworking, highly skilled, and well trained professionals in the country who are responsible for the safety of the travelling public,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The gains made in this contract reflect that fact and show the value of our members to this employer.”The highlights of the new agreement include:

  • Three per cent wage increases on salaries and premiums, retroactive to July 1, 2019
  • End of career leave program trial
  • Improvements to contract language       
  • Introduction of a women’s forum
  • Improved personal and family-related responsibilities language
  • Introduction of new contract language on the following:
    • Leave for Traditional Aboriginal Practices
    • Reservist Leave
    • Leave related to death or disappearance of a child
    • Leave for victims of family violence
    • Compassionate care leave

“From the first day of bargaining our committee was unwavering in their commitment to secure gains for our membership,” said James Walker, President of Local 1016-CANSA. “The new agreement is evidence of why workers and professionals need to be part of a union. Gains such as wage increases and the introduction of the end of career leave program would not have been possible without being part of Unifor-CANSA.”

Unifor Local 1016 represents more than 280 air navigation specialists across Canada.

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative David Molenhuis at david.molenhuis@unifor.org or (416) 575-7453

Do’s and Don’ts for employers during COVID-19 pandemic

Unifor -

March 13, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor is urging employers across every sector of the Canadian economy to protect workers from COVID-19 exposure and assist in slowing the spread of the pandemic to ease the impact on the health care system.

“We’re asking employers to implement systems and policies to protect all Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Don’t require sick notes from workers, waive waiting periods for sick leave under collective agreements, and realize there may be legitimate absentee issues due to school closures. These steps are vital to protecting Canadians and minimizing hardship on workers and their families.”

The union is working to respond to member questions about their rights at work given the necessary precautions recommended by public health officials. Practicing social distancing, self-isolation in the event of illness, and avoiding all unnecessary travel will cause disruption in workplaces that employers must accept as a reasonable response to the pandemic.

“Workers should not be disciplined for following public health recommendations, defending their own health and the health of everyone around them,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. “Despite the financial and organizational challenges this pandemic response will create, it is essential that workers are supported by their employers in protecting their health.”

Workers in several sectors of the economy, such as the hotel, gaming, manufacturing and transportation sectors, have already experienced layoffs, throwing thousands out of work and into financial hardship. 

“We are also very concerned about part-time and precarious workers including those returning from parental and maternity leaves who will not qualify for employment insurance, which is why we are calling on the federal government to create an emergency workers fund and reduce the number of hours required to qualify for EI,” said Renaud Gagné, Quebec Director.

Employers can help if they:

DON’T

  • Require sick notes from workers for absences;
  • Discipline workers for self-isolating.

DO

  • Waive waiting periods for sick leave under collective agreements;
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary and encourage work-from-home solutions where possible.

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 media inquiries, contact Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe, at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org (416) 896-3303.

 

CAUT Update on COVID-19

CAUT -

While the risk to Canadians arising from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic remains low according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the situation is developing rapidly. CAUT is aware that at least one university has been closed as a preventative measure, and that other institutions are likely to follow suit in the days ahead.

Universities and colleges have a legal obligation to protect the health and safety of staff and students. Employees also have a right to refuse to work in conditions they reasonably believe are unsafe. In certain situations, CAUT understands that it may be necessary for academic staff who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 to self-isolate. In such cases, there should be no loss of pay or seniority during the period of self-isolation.

In other cases, it may be necessary to close campuses and to temporarily move to on-line instruction in order to limit the spread of infection. In such instances, it is important that academic staff associations be involved in the development, implementation, and monitoring of these plans. While associations should be flexible given the seriousness of the pandemic, administrations should negotiate protocols with associations as collective agreement rights may be affected. Some agreements, for instance, require the consent of members in order to transition to on-line instruction. Language on intellectual property, health and safety, workload, and performance evaluations are other examples of what might be affected.

Administrations must provide academic staff with appropriate time and training to transition to on-line instruction, and no one should suffer a loss or reduction of pay, be laid-off, or declared redundant because of these temporary measures. Particular attention should be paid to protecting contract academic staff whose jobs, by their nature, are vulnerable. In cases where it is not feasible or pedagogically sound to provide a course on-line, the course should be postponed without loss of pay or seniority.

The academic staff association should also be involved in the active monitoring of how these arrangements are affecting members and students.  On-line education may create additional workload pressures in which case administrations must provide additional support for staff, such as assigning teaching assistants. The intellectual property rights of members must be respected. Academic bodies (Senate, Faculties Council, or Education Council) should be involved in monitoring the pedagogical effectiveness of temporary on-line instruction and to decide on adjustments or discontinuance. Administrations must also consider the special needs of particular staff and students, including those who may have limited access to the internet or face other barriers to delivering or completing their courses on-line.

If campuses are closed, protocols may also be necessary to manage laboratories where time sensitive research or research involving plants and animals is being undertaken. In such cases, and with the appropriate training and protective equipment, academic staff should be allowed access to campus in order to monitor their research and care for plants and animals.

Academic staff associations should ensure, preferably through a written agreement with the administration, that all measures taken in response to the pandemic are temporary and solely in response to an extraordinary situation. The association, through its representatives on the Joint Health and Safety Committee, should be involved in assessing the health and safety of the workplace, and determining when classes should resume as normal.

Associations are strongly encouraged to share developments with CAUT and to contact us for specific advice as needed.

LA VERSION FRANÇAISE DE CE MESSAGE SUIVRA SOUS PEU

UFCW: Health and Economic Well-Being of American Workers Must be Protected Amidst Coronavirus

UFCW Press Releases -

America’s Largest Private Sector Union Calls on White House and Congress for Immediate Action to Protect Workers and Address Economic Impact of Coronavirus 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), is calling for immediate action by our nation’s elected leaders to develop and implement policies to ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between their health and making ends meet. In a letter to elected leaders UFCW President Marc Perrone said the following:

“Nearly 80 million American workers – or 59 percent of the entire U.S. workforce – are hourly employees who only get paid for the hours they work. As the financial impact of the coronavirus is felt across every community, these hard-working men and women are on the front lines.

“I am urging each of our nation’s elected leaders to develop immediate policies that ensure that workers – salaried and hourly – do not have to choose between work and their health. These policies should not only protect workers against financial loss (from loss of hours or job loss), but should further ensure that workers seek out immediate medical attention if they feel sick or believe they have been exposed to the coronavirus.

“Now, more than ever, it is time that we all focus on what matters most – protecting our families, our communities, and this nation.”

BACKGROUND:

Top policy priorities UFCW is calling on elected leaders to consider as part of any package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus include:

  • At least two weeks of paid sick leave for all workers;
  • Extension of unemployment benefits for workers temporarily laid off or whose work hours have been disrupted;
  • Payroll tax cuts for all lower- and middle-income workers; and
  • Protection against unfair termination or discrimination for those suspected of being exposed to the coronavirus.

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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 www.ufcw.org.

 

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