Unifor will hold the first of its regional councils this weekend, December 6-8, as elected local union representatives from across Ontario meet at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto to debate such issues as job creation, threats to unions, and violence against women and youth.
More than 750 will be attending, with a packed agenda that includes speakers from both Unifor and the community, including the outspoken Conservative Senator Hugh Segal and the mother of a Toronto teen lost to gun violence:
Friday, December 6:
- 9:30 a.m., Unifor Ontario Regional Director Katha Fortier;
- 11:15 a.m., Barbara MacQuarrie, community director of the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children at the University of Western Ontario;
- 2 p.m., Unifor National President Jerry Dias;
- 4 p.m., Unifor Economist Jim Stanford will outline the union’s plans for a Good Jobs Summit in 2014;
Saturday, December 7:
- 10 a.m., Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, who led Senate efforts to amend the Harper government’s anti-union Bill 377 earlier this year, will speak about the role of unions in society;
- 10:30 a.m., Unifor Research Director Bill Murnighan will speak about ongoing threats to union rights;
- 3 p.m., Symone Walters, whose son Tahj Loor-Walters was killed last summer in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto, will speak about her work with Unifor Local 112 in Toronto to end gun violence. Tahj’s grandfather, Victor Loor, is a member of Local 112.
As the first Ontario Regional Council meeting of Unifor, delegates will also adopt a set of bylaws and elect their first executive, as well as members of seven standing committees. The meetings take place at the Sheraton Centre, Toronto, Grand Ballroom, lower level and are open to the media.
Unifor was formed Labour Day weekend with the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. It represents more than 300,000 workers across Canada, including 156,000 in Ontario, in every major sector of the economy. Regional councils are also planned for 2014 in Quebec, British Columbia, the Prairies and the Atlantic.