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Health care unions welcome Ontario Long-Term Care Commission’s recommendation to institute a four-hour care standard

Unifor -

TORONTO, ON – Ontario’s Long-Term COVID-19 Commission released an interim report today, calling on the government to implement a minimum daily care standard of four hours of hands-on care per resident.

“We thank the commission for their work and for recognizing the need to institute a staffing standard,” said Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario’s Secretary-Treasurer. “Residents and workers cannot wait any longer for appropriate and safe care in our long-term care homes. The government must take action now.”

“While the commissions’ findings on staffing standards is nothing new to health care workers it’s my hope that the government takes these recommendations seriously and acts swiftly,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The alarm bells on the crisis of long-term have been blaring for decades with little to no action from provincial governments. Next week Premier Ford has an opportunity to pass a minimum standard of care that is much needed for residents and workers.”

CUPE, SEIU and Unifor are calling on the government to take action on Wednesday evening during the second reading of Bill 13, the Time to Care Act. The legislation calls for an average minimum of four hours of daily care per resident.

“As stated within the Commission’s interim report, the time for study is over. Real action can start with all parliamentarians at Queen’s Park voting unanimously next week to pass Bill 13 to raise the standards of care. The time to care is the tool staff and families have been demanding,” said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare.

“We thank the Commission for the interim report and ask they take the next step to shine a light into the closed-door decision making by government and nursing home operators who failed to protect people living and working in long-term care homes. Justice for the families we lost in this pandemic demand real accountability and complete transparency into a system that continues to put corporate shareholders before quality care.”

Earlier this week, Pat Armstrong, the distinguished professor of sociology at York University and the leading researcher on long-term care in Canada, released an Open Letter to the Ontario Legislative Assembly, calling on them to institute a four-hours of care standard. The letter was co-signed by 24 other academics involved in an inter-disciplinary, multi-jurisdiction study on long-term care.

Rapid testing at Calgary airport first of many steps in saving aviation industry

Unifor -

October 22, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor welcomes the Federal Government's announcement to provide the option of rapid COVID-19 tests for international air passengers. 

"This announcement is a good step forward in saving our aviation industry while protecting Canadians amid the COVID-19 pandemic," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "International aviation bodies are urging countries to follow universal standards for passengers. With current trials showing that 14-day quarantines are longer than necessary, it made no sense whatsoever for Canada to have different requirements than many other countries."

This morning the federal government and the Alberta provincial government announced that a new pilot program starting November 2, 2020, will the option for a rapid COVID-19 test for travellers returning home at Calgary International Airport. The government plans to roll out the new testing protocol in phases, with Calgary being its first airport location.

"Canada needs to think nationally and strategically for our aviation sector to emerge from the COVID-era able to compete and once again contribute to the thriving country it helped create," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. The federal government must ensure workers are not left behind."

Unifor is lobbying the federal government to establish an aviation recovery strategy that focuses on a safe and science-based approach to border controls, an industry support package and a vision for the future that ensures a safe and thriving industry for passengers and workers.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 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.

Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at hamid.osman@unifor.org or 647-448-2823 (cell).

Court ruling on secondary picket reserved until October 26

Unifor -

October 22, 2020

ST. JOHN’S – After hearing from Unifor and Loblaw Companies Limited legal representatives today in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Valerie L. Marshall has reserved her decision on the injunction application against striking Dominion workers secondary picket at the Loblaw distribution centre in St. John’s.

“These workers are about to enter their tenth week on the picket line and we will continue to legally picket in our effort to get Loblaw Co. to come back to the negotiating table,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Judge Marshall will deliver her decision at 11 a.m. NDT on Monday October 26,2020.

“Until we have a ruling from the court our picket lines will remain in place,” said Chris MacDonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President.

The 1,400 workers from 11 Dominion stores across Newfoundland have been on strike since August 22, 2020.

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 or to arrange a Skype, Zoom or Facetime interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

 



 

Unifor continues to promote equity with federal Anti-Racism grant

Unifor -

October 23, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor was selected as one of 85 organizations by the Federal government’s Anti-Racism Action Plan

“This funding will further assist our union’s work to make a lasting positive impact on the lives of Black, Indigenous and racialized people across the country,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We started our anti-racism plan long before applying for the grant and will extend this work far beyond the grant. We are committed to promoting equity within our union and in our communities.”

The Anti-Racism Action Program is part of the Government of Canada Anti-Racism Strategy. The program exists to help address barriers to employment, justice and social participation among Indigenous Peoples, racialized communities and religious minorities.

“Unions are key to achieving racial justice, and Unifor being selected is an honour and  a responsibility to make real lasting change,” said Christine Maclin, Unifor Human Rights Director. “Programs and grants like this will help us all build a strong and inclusive Canada.”

Unifor summited an application in November 2019 and will receive $147083 in funding for an anti-racism plan from now until March 2022.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 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.



Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Hamid Osman at hamid.osman@unifor.org or 647-448-2823 (cell).

We are all teachers

CAUT -

(Ottawa – October 21, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université (FQPPU) join their voices with those of all French educators to condemn the savage murder of a history teacher in France.

History and geography teacher Samuel Paty was killed for using caricatures of Mohammed to stimulate discussion in the classroom. This senseless attack is a reminder that teachers potentially place their lives at risk in practicing their profession; this murder not only constitutes an attack against the entire teaching profession, but also threatens freedom of expression and academic freedom.

Educational institutions and their staff must, at all costs, resist the temptation to self-censor or to avoid broaching any subject, including the most controversial words, concepts or theories, as indicated in a recent statement by Education International.

The CAUT and the FQPPU offer their most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Paty, and to his loved ones, colleagues and students. In memory of Samuel Paty, we must take a stand collectively and continue to fight so that schools, from preschool to higher education, will remain places of learning, where free discussion and ideas play a fundamental role in educating informed citizens who are capable of critical thinking, tolerance and humanity. Professors, teachers, and their institutions must never give in to such acts of terrorism.

Everywhere across the world, colleges and universities must continue to produce research and to disseminate knowledge, and must remain places where debate is encouraged. To achieve this, academic freedom must be supported and defended loudly and clearly, as a matter of public interest. In order to properly fulfill their roles, professors and teachers from all countries must have the right to teach, learn, study and publish without fear of being censored, targeted by fundamentalism, or threatened with reprisals or discrimination, both within their institutions and in the public space.

Only when our institutions unreservedly uphold academic freedom will it be possible for knowledge to continue to advance.

More than ever, we are all teachers.

 

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MAHCP hosting virtual AGM on Oct. 29, 2020

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

Join us for the inaugural MAHCP virtual AGM, taking place the evening of Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020.

We are proud to be celebrating 50 years of service and have a full agenda, including updates on union business and some great door prizes.

To register, please visit www.MAHCPevents.ca

Important Note: All members are eligible to attend the meeting. However, to vote you must have a signed membership card. If you are not sure if you have one on file, or need to get one, please contact: info@mahcp.ca or call 1.800.315.3331

Striking Dominion workers hold virtual rally as Loblaw Co. challenges picket in court

Unifor -

October 21, 2020

ST. JOHN’S— Striking Dominion workers will hold a virtual rally as Loblaw Companies Limited challenges their picket at the St. John’s Loblaw distribution centre in court.

“Galen Weston and Loblaw Co. could choose to end this strike but they prefer to spend their resources and time in court rather than engage in negotiations to address the concerns of their workers,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

WHAT:               Striking Dominion workers rally

WHEN:               Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 10 a.m. NDT

WHO:                Chris MacDonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President

                           Carolyn Wrice, Unifor Local 597 President


                           Mark Nichols, 15 and Fairness

                           Dawn Hanames, 30-year Dominion worker

WHERE
:            Loblaw Distribution Centre, 35 Clyde Ave. Donovan Industrial Park

The event will be livestreamed to fb.com/UniforCanada. Upon request, a downloadable 4K video will be available for unrestricted use by members of the media following the event.

Media are invited to cover. All speakers will be available to comment immediately after the rally. All precautions will be taken to respect COVID-19 guidelines and best practices will be observed at the event.

Striking Dominion workers held a one-day picket at the Loblaw distribution centre on October 15 before starting round the clock action on October 20.

More than half of the 1,400 striking workers earn minimum wage with more than 80% classified as part-time, with no sick days or vacation and limited access to benefits. The workers are now in week nine of strike action, which began August 22, 2020.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 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 or to arrange a Skype, Zoom or Facetime interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

Nova Scotia job study needs participants

Rank and File - latest news -

Acadia U study is looking at working conditions in retail, grocery, long-term care, education By Lisa Cameron Work has drastically changed for Nova Scotians during the COVID-19 pandemic. A group of researchers from Acadia University are studying work and health during COVID-19 through the experiences of grocery and retail workers, long-term care workers, and teachers Continue readingNova Scotia job study needs participants

Dominion workers set up round the clock picket at Loblaw Co. distribution centre

Unifor -

October 20, 2020

ST. JOHN’S–Dominion workers have set up a round the clock picket at the Loblaw Co. Distribution Centre in St. John’s, following the company’s continued refusal to negotiate a fair collective agreement.

“The Loblaw Co. business model is to tie wages for frontline grocery workers to minimum wage while refusing to classify jobs as full-time to avoid sick days, vacation and benefits, all with the end goal of enriching the Weston family and their shareholders while their workers struggle to make ends meet,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “If Loblaw Co. isn’t willing to do the right thing then it’s incumbent on Premier Fuery and his government to raise the minimum wage to a living wage that workers can survive on.”

The workers began round the clock picket action at 9 a.m. this morning at the Distribution Centre at 35 Clyde Ave. Donovan Industrial Park, which supplies Loblaw-owned properties across Newfoundland including No Frills, Bidgood Fresh Mart, Cash and Carry St. John’s, Independent grocers and Shoppers Drug Mart.

“Loblaw Companies Limited is using its corporate weight to try to crush these workers simply because they are asking for a living wage,” said Unifor 597 President Carolyn Wrice.

The workers are asking the public to show their support at unifor.org/customerschoice to call on Galen Weston to provide a living wage.

The workers have been on strike since August 22, 2020. More than 80% of the workers are classified as part-time, with more than half of earning minimum wage.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 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 or to arrange a Skype, Zoom or Facetime interview please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or
416-896-3303 (cell).

Unifor Support Workers ratify contract with Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board

Unifor -

TORONTO

"These were challenging and complex negotiations and both our local bargaining committee and membership deserve a lot of credit for overcoming the challenges created by the province’s mandated central bargaining process and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Unifor Local 2458 represents 160 custodial and maintenance workers at the WECDSB. The new agreement was ratified by 90 per cent. All WECDSB maintenance and custodial workers previously ratified an agreement under the province’s newly mandated central bargaining process that provided wage increases of 1 per cent and a 1 per cent increase to benefits. The agreement ratified by workers tonight settles numerous local issues with the WECDSB.

“Our members in the education sector are among the hardest working and most dedicated people you will find in our community. They ratified an agreement that reflects the respect and support they deserve for ensuring that our children can continue to learn in a safe, healthy and secure environment, especially with the ongoing pandemic,” said Tullio DiPonti, Unifor Local 2458 President.

The new contract will see new hiring and includes strengthened language and improvements for general working conditions.

"These were difficult negotiations complicated by the ongoing health and financial crises affecting our community," said Rick Nadin, Chairperson of the Unifor Local 2458 Custodial and Maintenance Unit. "I'm incredibly proud of our members and our bargaining committee for rising to the challenge and reaching a settlement that provides solid gains for the next four years."

WECDSB office, clerical, and information technology workers also represented by Unifor Local 2458 are set to start bargaining over the next few weeks.

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

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