TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's largest union in the private sector is bringing its national campaign to defend the rights of working people to the Nation's Capital this Thursday.
The meeting, just two days after the federal government hands down its 2014 budget, will focus much of its attention on challenges to workers' rights coming from the Harper government.
"Unifor is standing up for the rights of Canadians to provide for their families in safe and stable workplaces," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, who will be attending the Ottawa meeting. "Unionized or not, we believe that's what all Canadian workers want."
Local and national Unifor leaders attending the meeting - at 1pm at the Unifor offices at 5 Gurdwara Drive - will be discussing Conservative threats to basic labour rights, and what they can do about it.
"Without unions and collective bargaining, it will be impossible for most Canadians to attain a decent, secure life," Dias said. "The current attack by governments across Canada on our basic labour rights will fundamentally damage our quality of life - and that's why we are determined to stop it."
The Harper government's Bill C525 would make it easier to decertify unions in the federal sector, on the basis of biased voting rules. In Ontario, Conservative Leader Tim Hudak wants to eliminate the Rand Formula, while Alberta's Conservatives have made it illegal for some unions to even talk about striking.
Media are welcome at Thursday's meeting to get a sneak peak at Unifor's spring Rights at Work campaign and to talk to the union's top leadership and research staff about these issues. Similar meetings are being held in 19 communities across Canada. The meetings began last month in Windsor.
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. With more than 300,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.