The Local Union Task Force was a process focused around strengthening local unions and creating better connections between Unifor members. Initial town hall meetings took place across the country at the end of 2015 and throughout 2016, and now, follow-up meetings are taking place to outline what the national union is doing to address recommendations and members needs, and to determine what actions can be taken by local unions.
“When we originally met with locals across the region, members recognized there were many opportunities to build stronger community connections,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. “The task force was a catalyst to build our union and now we’re seeing locals take great steps to increase their involvement and work closely with their sisters and brothers in their communities.”
Across the country, the task force heard from smaller locals who struggled to find enough members to build equity committees or to assist in the planning of activities like Labour Day.
“One of the big ideas brought up time and again was to gather locals in the same city or town where Unifor has member density to build committees and projects together,” said Payne.
In one of the initial follow-up meetings in the Atlantic region, members in Saint John, New Brunswick seem eager to do just that.
“We’ve got 11 locals in this city that operate by individually, like a lot of locals do,” said Mike MacMullin, National Representative. “At our meeting, the locals decided to form the Saint John Unifor Council and to meet twice per year to focus on strengthening Unifor’s presence and capacity in Saint John.”
More meetings will follow in the coming months and an official update on national union initiatives will be delivered at Canadian Council in Winnipeg this August.