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SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor hold media conference to continue the call for immediate action in long-term care

Unifor -

TORONTO, ON – SEIU Healthcare, CUPE Ontario, and Unifor, unions that represent health care workers across long-term care, are urging immediate action to end the crisis in the sector.

The unions are highlighting their joint “Care Not Profits” advocacy campaign, which calls on Premier Ford to end for-profit senior care; worsening conditions of employment for front-line workers, the lack of action on the part of the long-term care commission; and their call for a 4-hour legislated care standard.

WHO:                  Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario; Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare; Jerry Dias, President of Unifor; and front-line health care workers.

 WHAT:                A media conference to stress the need for urgent action for Ontario’s long-term care system.

 WHEN:               September 21, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:              The Dominion Board Room, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel; stream on Facebook here, here, or here; or call in: Local – Toronto (416 764 8658); Toll Free – North America (1-888 886 7786). Reporters wishing to ask questions remotely must register 24 hours in advance by emailing hamid.osman@unifor.org

4K version of the news conference and still photos will be available for download soon afterwards upon request via email.  A pool camera arrangement is welcome given Covid restrictions.

For more information, or to arrange interviews contact:

Daniel Tseghay, Communications Representative, CUPE at dtseghay@cupe.ca | 647-220-9739

Corey Johnson, SEIU Healthcare at c.johnson@seiuhealthcare.ca | 416-529-8909

Hamid Osman, Unifor National representative – Communications at Hamid.Osman@unifor.org | 647-448-2823

Media Advisory- Unifor team hold ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk to support domestic violence victims

Unifor -

September 18, 2020  

TORONTO – A Unifor team, led by Unifor National President Jerry Dias, will hold a ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk in downtown Toronto in support of Halton Women’s Place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday September 19, 2020.

“Due to the reality of COVID-19 the charity walk was modified this year but team Unifor is determined to proceed,” said Dias. “Sadly the pandemic has also led to women and children being confined in their homes with their abusers with access to outside supports cut off. The need to provide a safe place and services for them is greater than ever.”

Halton’s Women Place provides shelter and crisis services for physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused women and their dependent children.

In light of the tremendous need, team Unifor has organized a walk at Nathan Phillips Square, across from the location where the union is currently engaged in auto bargaining. Following a cheque presentation, a small team of Unifor men will practice safe social distancing as they join Jerry to participate in the walk wearing pink high heels.

To date team Unifor has raised more than $460,000 in total in ‘Hope in High Hells’ events with a record-breaking donation of 126,000 last year alone. Photos of the event will be available on @UniforTheUnion twitter account following the event.

WHAT:               Unifor ‘Hope in High Heels’ walk in support of Halton Women’s Place Cheque presentation followed by walk

WHEN:               Saturday September 19, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. ET

WHO:                 Unifor National President Jerry Dias and team Unifor

                Carm Bozzo, Halton Women’s Place,

                Manager of Development and Communications

WHERE:            Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto City Hall 100 Queen St W

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.

Media inquiries call Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  or 416-896-3303 (cell).

School bus system crisis continues due to government inaction

Unifor -

September 17, 2020

TORONTO – Unifor, Ontario’s largest school bus driver union, maintains that the crisis in the school bus system continues due to inaction by the provincial government.

“I hear Education Minister Stephen Lecce saying that his government is doing everything possible to address the driver shortage and concerns about safety aboard school buses but that simply isn’t the case,” said Debbie Montgomery, President of Unifor Local 4268. “While it’s true the province has designated some funds towards health and safety and driver retention the fundamental issue remains the lack of provincial standards to go with those dollars.”

As students return to schools across the province there are widespread school bus route cancellations happening in several jurisdictions.

As far back as July, Unifor warned that urgent action was needed to ensure that school buses would be able to return to their routes when classes resumed. On August 13, the union sent Premier Ford, Minister Lecce and Minister Mulroney a statement on behalf of drivers calling on the government to address five key concerns, including guaranteed access to PPE, limits on the number of passengers to allow for social distancing, and proper sanitation of busses.

Drivers reiterated that call during a media conference on August 25, where they shared their first hand knowledge of the variety of measures planned at different school bus carriers and school boards.

“We have been clear on driver’s concerns and they have yet to be addressed,” said Montgomery. “We have drivers receiving manifests with upwards of 70 kids on-board, no social distancing and instances where drivers are receiving inadequate PPE supplies, some of which are substandard quality. This is the result of throwing money at student transportation without a plan to enforce consistent standards.”

The majority of Ontario school bus drivers are above 60 years old, considered a higher risk group for COVID-19.

“Knowing the demographic of drivers, the government should be doing everything in its power in terms of COVID-19 safety protocols to maximize the number who feel safe to return and prevent the loss of additional drivers, which I guarantee will happen if they fail again to move on this,” said Montgomery.

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 phone, Facetime, or Zoom interview with Debbie Montgomery please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

National Executive Vice-President Resigns 

PSAC -

PSAC’s National Executive Vice-Present (NEVP), Magali Picard, announced her resignation today.  “It is with a heavy heart today that I announce my resignation. The past month has been a difficult one, personally and...

New report confirms truckers’ worst fears for black market

Unifor -

September 17, 2020

VANCOUVER—An independent report commissioned by the Office of BC Container Trucking Commissioner confirms that there is a growing two-tier system of “off-dock” container shipping at Port Metro Vancouver and that many current licensees are actively involved in this destabilizing behaviour.

“It’s time to act. Zero doubt remains about a thriving black market that undermines legitimate business,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Law-abiding truckers deserve justice.”

Despite decisions by the Commissioner that have resulted in millions of dollars of unpaid wages and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, the report reveals that at least 45 per cent of these same licensed companies were actively using non-tagged trucks and engaging in chassis swapping to avoid paying the regulated rates.

The Cascadia report says that chassis swapping occurs in parking lots to avoid paying the regulated rates and the resulting gap in rates between unlicensed and licensed truckers is as much as $85 per trip, less than half the price. The problem is so widespread that some licenced companies have a shadow workforce of unlicensed or “untagged” truckers while others use affiliated companies to lower costs and driver compensation.

“Unlicensed trucking threatens to imminently disrupt labour peace at the port,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “This is a major problem that calls for long overdue, comprehensive action by the provincial government.”

Last month Unifor wrote to the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure to demand that the Commissioner be given more tools to properly monitor off-dock shipments in order to stamp out unlicensed operators. Unifor has consistently raised this issue for several years. Failure to act earlier has led to a massive growth in this unregulated market and a potential collapse in regulated rates.

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 interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Offshore workers call on government to stabilize industry

Unifor -

September 16, 2020

ST. JOHN’S—Hundreds of workers in the offshore oil and gas industry rallied at the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature today to demand protection from the turbulence in the industry caused by falling global oil prices and the COVID-19 economic slump.

“Strategic investments by both levels of government can help this industry, these workers, these families, weather a temporary downturn so that offshore can continue to be one of the region’s most valuable industries,” said Linda McNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director in the rally streamed live on Facebook.

Unifor is calling on the federal and provincial government to make strategic investments in the industry to ensure that Canada’s energy industry remains healthy and well-positioned to continue the transition to lower carbon alternatives.

“The energy sector’s good jobs and millions of dollars in royalties have strengthened the economy for decades,” said Dave Mercer, President of Unifor Local 2121, the union for workers on Hibernia and Terra Nova. “During this time of need, the government needs to stand up for offshore workers and form new partnerships for Canada’s energy future.”

Unifor represents 700 workers on the Hibernia platform and the Terra Nova. 

Video of the rally can be downloaded here.

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 interviews via Facetime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

 

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