Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director, celebrated the intense organizing done in Ontario and call for further action at Unifor’s Canadian Council in Halifax.
The union organized new members who drive school busses, who work in health care, hospitality, and many other sectors.
“It’s up to us to ensure that we organize to build worker power and bring the benefits of membership to the unorganized,” said Rizvi.
Members in Ontario have faced difficult strikes over the past year, with employers that have sought to break the union and bring in scab workers.
In Goderich and in Thunder Bay, Unifor took a stand against scab labour that was watched around the world. Unifor activists from across the province joined their brothers in Goderich and sisters in Thunder Bay and shut down the workplace. Soon after both of these actions, the members got a good deal.
Rizvi made a clear call for anti-scab legislation to protect workers against abuses from the employer during strike and lock-out.
Over the past year, hospital workers organized through the Together for Respect to raise the issue of increased workplace violence and to fight back against concessions.
Rizvi recognized the 6 Minute Challenge for bringing much-needed attention to the dangerous conditions in long-term care facilities. The campaign was awarded the “Stroke of Genius” award at the 2018 Canadian Association of Labour Media awards.
Unifor members in Ontario must continue to organize in the face of a right-wing, anti-worker government, and a disturbing growth in Islamophobia, anti-immigrant racism, and White Supremacy.
“Together, we will build the structures of collaboration necessary for Unifor members to be active participants in campaigns to make their communities must just and equitable,” continued Rizvi. “After five years of working together in this new union, members in Ontario have built a community that I know is up to this challenge.”