“No one should be fooled by these minor and largely insignificant improvements.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Vancouver – December 19, 2019 – The union fighting on behalf of ride hailing drivers in British Columbia has entered mediation with Lyft and Uber at the Labour Relations Board.
After a Local 1285 member was struck by falling machinery from an overhead crane and sustained a critical injury the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development imposed fines of $65,000 while the employer plead guilty to the charges of violating Occupational Health and Safety Act.
“Employers who cut corners, neglect maintenance, and ignore the law are putting workers’ lives at risk every single day,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Director. “In this case, the incident was considered a recurring event and as such Unifor had hoped for maximum penalties to be imposed including consideration of jail time for the employer.”
The incident occurred on July 12, 2018, while a worker was installing parts into automotive rear differential units for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles at the Brampton Assembly Plant. The worker was struck by machinery after an overhead crane structure failed and detached requiring the worker to be hospitalized. The crane failure was deemed a recurring event, given a previous overhead crane failure in 2017, and that Android had not implemented measures to prevent this failure from recurring.
“The worker was fortunate to have survived this entirely preventable incident,” said Jaspal Brar, Unifor Local 1285 President. “The employer failed to keep the overhead crane in good working condition and neglected to prevent the same incident from occurring again.”
While Brar said the fine should be higher due to the severity of the recurring incident, he also credits Unifor for ensuring that workplaces are safe. With a union in the workplace, members can raise health and safety issues before injuries happen and work with health and safety representatives. But, when negligent employers do not maintain equipment properly, the union also provides swift action to seek recourse.
“Here is a prime example of the need to ensure that preventative maintenance is done on a regular basis and be performed by trained certified skilled tradespeople,” said Jaspal Brar.
America’s Largest Private Sector Union Welcomes Improved Labor Standards in Deal, But Condemns Failure to Strengthen Food Safety and U.S. Food Industry Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) President Marc Perrone released the following statement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) ahead of the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives:
“This new trade deal makes important improvements to the original NAFTA, including improving the enforcement of labor standards; requiring the inspection of Mexican factories; and closing loopholes that have made it hard to prosecute labor violations.
“However, UFCW is extremely disappointed that the agreement fails to require strong country-of-origin labeling needed to strengthen food safety and invest in the millions of American jobs that produce our food. Consumers have a right to know where their food is from, whether it’s safe, and if it’s produced by American workers. Without strong country-of-origin labeling, consumers will be kept in the dark and America’s food workers will continue to face unfair competition from foreign companies not playing by the same rules.
“No single trade deal is enough to fix an economy that’s not working for millions of Americans. Our members will continue to call on Congress and the White House to put hardworking families first by pushing for strong country-of-origin labeling for food and passing legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO Act) that strengthen protections for all workers.”
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
In the last 10 years, an estimated 260 million people have been forced to migrate due to climate-related impacts. Today, on International Migrants Day, Public Services International (PSI) demands an approach which combines the protection of their human rights and the defence of quality public services.
Toronto – December 18, 2019 – Congratulations to UFCW Local 1518 member Jaime Emerson, winner of the UFCW Bakes Cake Decorating Contest!
Members of Metis and Michif CFS Agencies - Locals 383, 384, 385 and 422 voted to ratify a new five-year agreement this week.
US Democratic candidates are debating the need for legislation that will defend, and expand, workers' rights. Isn't it time we saw Canadian politicians start to talk about implementing similar progressive policies? Make 2020 the year we demand lofty goals to improve the lives of all working people.
Thompson, Man. – December 17, 2019 – Outreach workers at the Thompson Homeless Shelter have achieved a new union contract that provides a better life for members and their families.
"It’s easy to stop trucks that are a simple and clean inspection to meet ministry quantitative targets. But easy inspections don’t take bad trucks and bad operators off the road.” ― Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Workers at the Albright Gardens Home in Beamsville have voted overwhelmingly to join Unifor after years of not getting the representation they needed from their previous union.
“These workers have taken a positive step to having effective representation of their own choosing in their workplace,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
“Unifor believes strongly in the right of all workers to be a member of a union of their coice.”
The 240 new members of Unifor worker in the long-term care home nursing, recreation, dietary, housekeeping and maintenance.
The had previously been members of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), and had long complained of inadequate representation, including members required to represent themselves at second stage grievance hearings and being told by CLAC that nothing could be done when shifts were short-staffed.
When the members organized a rally, printing their own leaflets and posters, CLAC showed up at the last minute for the rally, but failed to maintain the momentum to keep up the pressure on the employer.
“These workers saw that Unifor members at other long-term care facilities were getting much better representation, and wanted to be part of that,” said Unifor Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan.
“In many ways, Albright shows the direct connection between being a strong servicing union and organizing success.”
Unifor is contributing to food banks nationwide to aid children and adults facing hunger in communities across Canada.
“Unifor members are an integral part of their local communities and as a union we want to do our part to help eradicate hunger and ensure that everyone has enough to eat this holiday season,” said National President Jerry Dias.
With people struggling to get by due to underemployment, stagnant wages and the rising cost of living, many turn to local food banks for extra support. As Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor responds annually to the crisis facing thousands of Canadian families.
This year 48 food banks will receive a total of $135,000.00 jointly provided by the Unifor Social Justice Fund, Unifor National and Unifor Regional Councils.
“Our union is pleased to support the important work of food bank organizations in helping those most in need,” said Unifor International Director Mohamad Alsadi.
According to the Campaign 2000 2018 National Report Card, one in six children in Canada are food insecure. The report also shows that poverty disproportionately discriminates against children in families that are lone female-led, racialized, newcomers, Indigenous or affected by disabilities.
View a photo gallery of donations on Unifor’s Facebook page here.