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Unifor inaugural Atlantic Regional Council convenes in Halifax

HALIFAX, April 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor local leaders and activists from across the Atlantic Provinces will gather at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax from April 3 to 6 to meet as a regional council for the first time since the formation of the union. Over 250 delegates will meet to strategize about campaigns and elect their Atlantic Executive Board and committees.

"This is the time when we come together to move our union and our communities forward," said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. "The unprecedented attack on union and worker rights like we are witnessing this week by the Nova Scotia Liberal government and like we have been experiencing from the Harper government will be front and centre in our discussions."

Delegates will debate how to expand workers' rights, protect collective bargaining, as well as national and local issues of importance like the state of health care, our national railways and concerns about fracking. The agenda includes presentations on the union's current projects such as the Good Jobs Summit and the innovative Community Chapters program.

Payne, along with Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Secretary-Treasurer Peter Kennedy will be presenting. The Regional Council will hear from guest speaker Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the Wisconsin Professional Firefighters Union, about the widespread attack on unions, worker rights and the middle class in the United States. The Council will also hear from Gary Stackhouse from the "Saint John 7", a group of radio broadcasting employees who have been attempting to bargain a first collective agreement with their employer and have been on strike since 2012.

Other featured speakers include Canadian Federation of Students president Jessica McCormick, Cheryl Maloney from the Nova Scotia Native Women's Association, and Nova Scotia Federation of Labour president Rick Clarke.


Friday, April 4
     9:30 a.m.    Lana Payne, Atlantic Unifor Regional Director
  10:45 a.m.    Mahlon Mitchell, president of Wisconsin Firefighter's Union
  11:30 a.m    Cheryl Maloney, NS Native Women's Association
  1:45 p.m.    Unifor National President Jerry Dias
  4:15 p.m.    Gary Stackhouse, Saint John 7
Saturday, April 5
  9:15 a.m.    Rick Clarke, NS Federation of Labour president
  10:00 a.m.    Jessica McCormick, Canadian Federation of Students president
  1:30 p.m.    Presentation on health care
  2:30 p.m.    Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Peter Kennedy

For more information about the event, visit:

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.