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Danielle Smith’s slimmer mandate shows worker resistance is on the rise

EDMONTON—Losing 11 seats in the Alberta legislature shows a growing number of workers are rejecting the extreme policies of the United Conservative Party (UCP), says Unifor.

“There is one clear trend in tonight’s results: the UCP’s mandate has been significantly reduced,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “While we would have preferred a different outcome it doesn’t change our commitment to standing up for the rights of working people in Alberta.”

Unifor Auto Council Statement on NextStar Battery Facility

Canada’s auto industry is an important contributor to the success of our national economy.  The transition to zero emission vehicles presents an opportunity to not only sustain our existing industrial footprint but to grow good, union jobs in a net zero economy. Governments and all stakeholders must continue to view the expansion of this domestic industry and its value chain a strategic priority for Canada.

Mercedes-Benz ratify new agreement ending strike action

Unifor Local 252 members at four Mercedes-Benz dealership locations in the GTA have ratified new collective agreements, bringing their strike action to an end.

Members at the Mercedes-Benz Etobicoke and Midtown Toronto dealerships, owned by the Zanchin Automotive Group ratified on May 16 with 86% voting in favour. Members at the Mercedes-Benz Downtown Toronto and Thornhill dealerships, owned by the AWIN Auto Group, ratified on May 24 with 70% support.

Unifor condemns Wescast Industries for abandoning workers in Wingham

WINGHAM, ON—Wescast Industries’ decision to close its foundry operations will devastate workers, families and the community of Wingham, where the facility has operated for more than a century, Unifor says.

“Wescast and its overseas owners are turning their backs on the foundry’s dedicated workforce and the community that has supported them for generations,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “The Wingham foundry closure announcement must serve as a wake-up call to every level of government that Wingham auto parts workers urgently need support.”

Unifor pushes municipalities to buy Canadian and keep passenger rail on track at FCM

Unifor put the future of transportation in the spotlight at this year’s Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Annual Conference, held May 25 to 28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Union members connected with elected officials, local government representatives, decision makers and stakeholders to send the important messages of buying Canadian when it comes to public transportation vehicles – especially during the shift to electric vehicles (EV) – and investing in passenger rail service to improve service that connects towns and cities across the country. 

Share your worker power at Canadian Council

One of the ways Unifor will celebrate its decade of strength and resilience is building up the worker power through a grassroots bargaining strategy.

“Our union is about building worker power. This is a historical initiative with full input of our members, who are helping create a national bargaining strategy that will empower them,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

"What we do as a union is stronger and more powerful when we do it together, and that is what drove this project from the start.”

Sisterhood Outreach program empowers women to strengthen local women’s committees

Unifor’s Sisterhood Outreach: Strengthening Women’s Committees program is making stops across the country, building and supporting women of the union through local strategy sessions.

Each session runs for a day where participants discuss the importance of their activism and work, learning together about concrete ways to start and sustain a women’s committee. 

“Sisterhood and solidarity at Unifor have been strengthened by the connections women are making to each other,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

Crab Fishery Underway in Newfoundland and Labrador

With an agreement reached, the snow crab tie-up ended on Friday and a fishery is now underway in most areas of the province. The secured agreement is a formula structure that guarantees a lowest minimum price of 2.20 per pound with incremental increases as the Urner Barry market price increases.

Groupe de Scieries declares a lockout at four eastern Quebec mills

Groupe de Scieries (GDS) declared a lockout at four eastern Quebec mill locations, following a 24-hour strike at the company’s Matane plant on May 18. 

Workers at the Matane plant have been working without a contract since 2022 and during negotiations decided to escalate pressure on the employer by declaring a 24-hour strike. The decision came after the employer submitted its offer.

Paramedic Services Week Statement 2023

As we celebrate Paramedic Services Week, Unifor recognizes with pride the vital contributions of emergency medical services workers who provide critical care and support to Canadians every day.

Paramedic Services Week is marked in Ontario May 21-27. This year's theme, 'Caring for our Communities,' highlights the crucial role that EMS professionals play in keeping our communities healthy and safe.

Unifor Auto Council determines bargaining priorities for D3 negotiations

LONDON—Pensions, wages, transition plans as autoworkers shift to producing electric vehicles, and confirmation of new investment and product lines emerged as the bargaining priorities at the Unifor Special Auto Council, as the union prepares for upcoming negotiations with the Detroit Three automakers (Ford, General Motors and Stellantis).

Finding common ground through recreation

Our union is only as strong as the connections we share with each other and our communities.

Unifor’s recent recreation committee expansions in Winnipeg, Moncton, and St. John’s highlight workers’ increased interest in back-to-basics ways to build community and union solidarity.

A yearning for authentic connection

In an increasingly digital world, people yearn for genuine human connection.

Protecting statutory holidays: Unifor’s call for consultation and support for retail workers

Thanks to swift Unifor mobilization and outreach to city councillors, the City of Toronto City Council has voted to study the impacts of expanding holiday shopping exemptions.

A motion to amend the Toronto Municipal Code that would expand the number of designated retail businesses operating with “tourist area exemption” status, allowing retailers to open on statutory holidays. This change would cause retail workers to lose their statutory holidays.

Unifor Local 1291 members ratify new deal with Ariva

Unifor Local 1291 has secured a new four-year contract with Ariva, a division of Domtar.

“Congratulations to the bargaining committee for negotiating a deal that addresses our members’ top priorities,” said Local 1291 President Adam Doran.

“Our local benefits from gains in the pulp and paper bargaining pattern negotiated by units in Dryden and Espanola. However, a challenge we had to face was the employer hesitating to make changes with us that might set a precedent.”

Unifor’s Statement of Support for ALPA WestJet Pilots

The conflict between the 1,500 Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) members and their employer WestJet has reached a crucial point. Unifor’s 315,000 members stand alongside these sisters, brothers, and friends in their efforts to improve wages and scheduling practices through a long bargaining process and a refusal from the company to meet their demands.

Deadline for locals to submit resolutions to Canadian Council fast approaching

As Unifor prepares for its 10-year anniversary, celebrating Canadian Council this August, we encourage local unions to submit resolutions to bring before delegates at the council.

 “This is an opportunity for locals to submit resolutions that bring some of their local issues to a national stage,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“Unifor is made up of locals across the country that come together to update each other on important issues their members are facing in the workplace and Canadian Council is a chance to bring those issues to the floor.”

Action needed now to resume construction of Stellantis battery plant

WINDSOR—Urgent action is required by the federal government so that construction can resume on the five billion Stellantis EV battery plant in Windsor, Ontario.

“It’s outrageous that tens of thousands of jobs are in jeopardy due to a failure to come to terms on government investment,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “The situation is as serious as it gets. This needs to be resolved immediately to preserve workers’ livelihoods and construction of the EV plant can resume.”  

Take action on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB)

Unifor marks the 2023 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) with solidarity for people of all sexual and gender diversities.

Every year on May 17, the IDAHOBIT is celebrated globally. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the persistent discrimination, violence, and marginalization faced by individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics, including two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and intersex (2SLGBTQI) peoples.

Personal Support Worker Statement 2023

In celebration of Personal Support Worker Day on May 19, 2023 Unifor salutes the contributions of the thousands of Unifor members who work as Personal Support Workers (PSWs) in Ontario.

We are especially proud to recognize PSW’s who were on the front lines putting themselves in danger ever day by providing care for others during the pandemic.

Celebrate Unifor’s 10th anniversary at Canadian Council

Join in celebrating Unifor’s 10-year anniversary Canadian Council in Halifax, N.S. this August.

The official call letter has gone out and registration is open for locals to register members online to attend before the deadline of July 19.

There is no registration fee for the Canadian Council, but advance sign-up is required via the online registration system. Delegates’ usernames and passwords will be sent directly to the local union president in a separate email.

Unifor members win safety award in Sudbury

The 2022 John T. Ryan National Award for Metal Mines for the best safety performance in Canada was awarded to Unifor Local 598 workers at the Glencore Nickel Rim South Mine in Sudbury.

"Achieving the best safety performance in Canada is an accomplishment to be proud of. Safety as we know requires everyday vigilance. And it should always come before profit," said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. "Local 598 is setting a standard for the whole industry."

Unifor Local 4304 members ratify contract with Grand River Transit

WATERLOO—Wage increases and benefits enhancements are highlights of a new collective agreement ratified today by members of Unifor Local 4304 working at Grand River Transit.

“Unifor members in the transit sector have done a terrific job of serving the public. They negotiated very hard to get improvements in their contracts,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “I’m proud of Local 4304 and congratulate them on this progress.”

The ratification means service will resume on May 11, 2023.

Auto parts workers at TRQSS ratify first contract

WINDSOR—More than 600 Unifor Local 444 members at TRQSS, a seatbelt manufacturing plant in Windsor, ratified their first contract this weekend making significant economic and equity gains.

Unifor Local 4304 reaches tentative agreement with Grand River Transit

WATERLOO—Unifor Local 4304 members working at Grand River Transit will vote Tuesday, May 9 on a tentative agreement signed on the weekend with the employer.

Service will resume May 11 if the contract is ratified by the Local 4304 membership.

Details within the agreement will be available to the public following ratification.

Unifor stands by Lachine retirement home workers after CIUSSS announces layoffs

More than 60 Unifor activists rallied on May 5 in front of the Résidences Floralies Lachine in Lachine, Que. in support of the workers at the seniors' residence.

Unifor learned recently that the long-term care home was forcing residents to relocate, after seven months of direct management by the Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux (CIUSSS) West Island of Montreal.

Because of the relocation, the company announced there will be layoffs impacting the 130 Floralies Lachine employees.