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Newfoundland and Labrador Vote

Unifor is the largest private-sector union in the country and represents nearly 20,000 workers across Newfoundland and Labrador in fisheries, forestry, oil and gas, telecommunications, retail, airlines, manufacturing, food processing and hospitality.

This provincial election, Unifor has outlined a plan to improve workers’ rights at work and at the bargaining table. Check out our demands to the political parties. Ask your candidates where they stand, and remember to vote.

Election Day is Thursday, May 16.

  1. Make work pay

Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country. For a time, we had one of the highest, but we have failed to keep pace with improvements across the country. Some 70,000 workers in the province, mostly women, earn under $15 an hour.

Unifor with other unions and social justice organizations is calling for a $15 minimum wage. Everyone deserves a livable wage.

It’s time to make work pay for everyone.

  1. Make work better for workers

Newfoundland and Labrador has the worst vacation entitlements in Canada, unfair overtime pay, no sick days for non-union workers, and no requirement on employers to schedule work. 
Basic workplace rules need modernizing. All workers deserve better working conditions and benefits.

It’s time to make work better for everyone.

  1. Strengthen collective bargaining rights

The recent two-year lockout of unionized workers at D.J. Composites in Gander demonstrated serious weaknesses with laws governing collective bargaining rights. Employers can use illegal bargaining tactics and face little to no consequences. They can lockout unionized workers and use replacements in an attempt to bust unions. Employers also use tactics like serial tendering and contracting out to circumvent union rights and suppress wages. Workers are forced to unionize over and over again and to re-apply for their own jobs often at a lower rate of pay.

The right to belong to a union and to fair and free collective bargaining is guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights, but we need stronger provincial laws and regulations to support these rights for everyone.

Strengthen collective bargaining rights for all workers.

4. Safety first in the oil and gas industry

Too often in the oil and gas sector, profit and production come before worker safety.

Workers are the workplace experts and they have the most to lose. Offshore oil workers work in one of the world’s harshest environments. We can and must do more to ensure their workplace is safer.

Unifor is calling on the Newfoundland and Labrador government to establish a more proactive health and safety plan for the oil and gas sector that starts with the creation of a new standalone safety regulator.

Workplace safety first.

FFAW-Unifor has compiled its own questionnaire for the political parties. It addresses fisheries and workers’ rights issues. Find them on Facebook for more information:

For more information about this campaign and links to more resources, including our questionnaire to provincial party leaders, please visit

Please vote on Thursday, May 16.

Download the NL Votes flyer

Download shareable content

Bargaining Rights

Lock Out

Oil Sector Safety

Minimum Wage


Campaign Update

Full responses from NL provincial parties

5/13/2019 -

Here are the complete responses, as presented to Unifor, from each of the three parties who have responded to our questionnaire. 

NL Liberal Party Response

NL New Democratic Party Response

NL Progressive Conservative Party Response

Unifor's Newfoundland and Labrador Election Questionnaire


The following message was sent to Unifor's Newfoundland and Labrador Locals on April 16, 2019

Dear Newfoundland and Labrador Unifor Locals

A provincial election is expected to be called any day.

This election, Unifor will be demanding improved workers rights for all workers.

We have prepared a questionnaire for all the main political parties. It is attached for your information. We will provide a report on the responses we receive to you and your members.

Laws and rules that determine working conditions are sadly outdated. Newfoundland and Labrador has the lowest minimum wage in the country, the worst vacation entitlements, no sick days for non-union workers, and no requirement on employers to schedule work. No one should have to work full-time for poverty wages.

Employers can bust unions merely by contracting out work or re-tendering it. This serves to suppress wages.

As well for unionized workers, labour laws currently allow employers like we saw with DJ Composites to be found guilty of illegal bargaining tactics and face no real consequences. The laws allow employers to lock out workers for two years and use replacement workers. This needs to stop. It is an attack on unions and fair and free collective bargaining.

In addition for our members in the offshore, health and safety needs serious attention. No longer should oil companies get to put production over safety.

We outline a number of ways workers’ rights can be and should be improved in Newfoundland and Labrador. Let’s make sure the political parties hear from us this election. Let’s make workers’ rights a priority.

In Solidarity,

Lana Payne
Atlantic Regional Director

Download Unifor's Newfoundland and Labrador Election Questionnaire