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Rail line Volume 9, Issue 21

CP Bargaining Update

Dear Members,

The Local 101R bargaining committee continued negotiating with the Employer this week in Calgary.

As reported in the last RailLine, the Union filed a Notice of Dispute, requesting the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Child care legislation will benefit generations of working parents

TORONTO - Bill C-35 is important legislation to enshrine the federal government’s commitment to early learning and child care, says Unifor.

“We welcome the protection of child care investments for generations to come,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Working parents need high-quality, affordable child care more than ever and we will continue to work with provincial, territorial and federal governments to make child care accessible to all.”

Unifor’s statement on Human Rights Day 2022

Dignity, freedom and justice for all. 

On December 10, Unifor joins with members, locals, activists and progressives across the globe to celebrate the 75th year of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Following the atrocities of the Second World War, there was collective recognition of the need to build a shared foundation that supported justice, dignity, peace and freedom for every human being. This basic and bold idea reflected our highest aspiration – to create a universally-agreed upon set of rights to which all people should be entitled.

Unifor signatory to joint statement in solidarity with Indigenous families mourning the murder of four Indigenous women

Joint Statement in solidarity with Indigenous families mourning the murder of four Indigenous women

December 6, 2022 – As we observe the 16 Days of Activism on Gender-Based Violence and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, the announcement of charges in the murder of four Indigenous women at the hands of an alleged serial killer linked to white supremacist ideology is a tragic indication that the urgent action long called for by Indigenous women, families, and communities to address the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women, girls,

Thistle Printing Ltd. Unifor members ratify new agreement

The 40 members from Unifor Local 591-G have ratified a new agreement with Thistle Printing Ltd. that sees a 3% increase in each year of the three-year contract.

The contract – retroactive from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2025 – also stipulates the Toronto commercial printing company will pay the five bindery assistants a $4 per hour increase from $16 to $20 (a 25% increase), also retroactive to July. The group also gained improvements to applicable pensions and benefits as well.

Sunwing backs away from intention to hire temporary foreign pilots

TORONTO – Sunwing pilots are celebrating news the company has decided to abandon its intention to use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to boost staffing levels.

“Our main concern from the get-go was training and safety,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “As a union, we expect rigorous analysis before an employer is allowed to use the TFWP. We’re pleased that Sunwing chose to back away from using TFWP and honour our collective agreement.”

Unifor Local 4050 ratifies first contract with Pieridae Energy Caroline

CALGARY—New Unifor members at the Caroline, Alberta facility of Pieridae Energy will enjoy significant wage increases as part of a contract ratified this week by Local 4050.

“Unifor is Canada’s leading, and growing, union for energy workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “We’re excited to welcome these members and look forward to growing good jobs in the energy sector.”

First all-electric van rolls off GM CAMI assembly line

INGERSOLL—Unifor National President Lana Payne joined autoworkers, local union leaders, General Motors representatives and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford to celebrate the opening of the newly retooled GM CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.

Unifor air traffic controllers begin bargaining with Nav Canada

OTTAWA – The Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA), who are members of Unifor Local 5454, opened bargaining with Nav Canada this week in Ottawa.

“Our CATCA members provide critical services needed for safe travel in our country. They are professionals who see collective bargaining as a way to improve that service to Canadians," said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Local 5454’s bargaining team are experienced and will be in our members’ corner every step of the way and ready to fight for a fair contract.”

Media workers face death threats, doxxing, harassment

Saba Eitizaz fled from Pakistan to Canada after “violence online trickled into my real life” for reporting on human rights issues.

The Toronto Star producer and podcaster came to this country for safety, but hasn’t been able to leave behind the harassment and vitriol.

“Now, the place of refuge is now looking like the place of escape,” Eitizaz said. “I really don’t know where to go next.”

A pause for victories, but the fight must continue: ORC

As the Clash’s Joe Strummer once sang, we “fought the law.”

Except this time, the law didn’t win.

Delegates gathered Dec. 2 to 3, 2022 at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto for the first in-person Unifor Ontario Regional Council (ORC) since the pandemic began.

Solidarity for Striking Durham College Foodservice workers at Unifor Ontario Regional Council

OSHAWA, ONT. –Delegates at Unifor Ontario Regional Council expressed support for foodservice workers at Durham College, on strike since Nov. 28, 2022.

“These foodservice workers are among the lowest paid on campus, earning just above minimum wage,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

“Our members need a living wage and Unifor will support them in every way we can.”

Thunder Bay workers pay the price for $9 billion Hitachi deal

THUNDER BAY—The number of workers at the Alstom Thunder Bay plant has hit an all-time low, a situation deeply aggravated by the Ontario government’s awarding of a $9 billion contract to a consortium run by Hitachi Rail, according to Unifor.

Unifor Statement on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD).

This year, the theme of IDPWD 2022 is “Transformative Solutions of Inclusive Development”.  Unifor seeks to build upon innovation and technology to maintain meaningful employment for persons with disabilities. 

Unifor remains committed to addressing the challenges and barriers faced by people with disabilities seeking meaningful employment and those who are seeking to continue meaningful work when experiencing a disability.

Rail Line Volume 9, Issue 20

CN Bargaining Update

Dear Members,

Local 100 and Council 4000 bargaining committees continued negotiating with the employer this week in Montreal. 

Talks, again this week, were productive with the employer and are progressing well. At the table, we worked through work rules and language proposals. We have agreed on some items and are still wading through others.

We have agreed to meet with the employer the week of Dec. 12, 2022 in Montreal. We will continue discussing non-economic items and hope to convene discussions on monetary items.

Unifor Pivot aircraft mechanic home after 7-month detention in the Dominican Republic

TORONTO–Unifor is relieved that its member, Bal Krishna Dubey, who has been detained in the Dominican Republic with four other Pivot Airlines crew members since April 2022, is finally home in Canada in time for the holidays.

“It’s been a long and exhausting journey for the crew,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Unifor supported our member throughout this ordeal and our union will continue to support him with all available resources as he recovers from this harrowing and traumatic experience.”

Aava Hotel Whistler workers achieve significant contract gains

WHISTLER—Wage increases and improved sick day benefits are key features of a new three-year collective agreement signed between Unifor Local 3000 and the Aava Hotel Whistler.

“Unifor contracts lead the hospitality sector in Whistler and across British Columbia,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “With Unifor, hospitality workers have a reason to be optimistic about the opportunities to secure fair wages and safe working conditions.”

Alberta Bill 1 is the Emergencies Act on steroids

EDMONTON—Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s very first piece of legislation is a breath-taking power grab that will only cause chaos and distract her government from the real economic problems facing Alberta’s families, says Unifor.

Better wages at centre of new deal for Unifor members at Carpenter Canada

Unifor Local 252 has ratified a new three-year deal with Carpenter Canada Ltd. in Vaughan, Ont.

“Congratulations to the bargaining team for negotiating well-deserved wage increases for Carpenter Canada members,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “We all know inflation is impacting workers today and the team took that into consideration as they fought for better wages for Unifor members.”

The new contract begins Jan. 1, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2025. It was ratified on Nov. 26 at 74%.

Ontario Superior Court finds Bill 124 unconstitutionally removed workers’ rights

TORONTO – Unifor celebrates today’s decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, which ruled that Premier Ford’s Bill 124 unduly infringes on workers’ rights.

“Today’s decision is a victory for not only public sector workers and unions across Ontario, but also for every Ontarian who relies on our public services,” Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “For the past four years, workers fought back against this wage suppression bill through direct action, lobbying, and sharing personal experiences. When workers organize for justice, we can win.”

Unifor attends air sector recovery summit in Ottawa

Unifor addressed key industry concerns including understaffing, a living wage at airports for all aviation workers, an end to contract flipping, introduction of successorship rights, and proper training and true protection for the harassment endured by workers on the job at the federal government’s National Summit on the Recovery of the Air Sector on Nov. 24, 2022 in Ottawa.

Strathcona Paperworks workers vote 94% in favour of strike

NAPANEE, Ontario- Unifor members at Strathcona Paperworks voted 94% in favour of strike action as negotiations with their employer have stalled.

“Strathcona Paperworks has enjoyed record profits over the last few years but they aren’t coming to the table with an offer that recognizes the workers behind those profits,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “These members are ready to stand up for themselves and the union stands with them all the way.”

Course correcting Canada’s troubled aerospace sector

Originally published in The Hill Times on November 28, 2022.

By Lana Payne

Canada’s aerospace sector is in a slow burning crisis. Workers have, out of frustration, issued many calls for proactive measures to help the industry.

Recently, the federal government gave strong signals to Unifor that more support for the industry is on its way. Recognition of the long-standing challenges faced by workers in the sector are indeed much-needed, and support is needed urgently.

Unifor will fight anti-worker changes to NB labour relations act

FREDERICTON- Unifor, Canada’s largest union in the private sector, stands in firm solidarity with New Brunswick public sector workers and their unions amid the Higgs government’s anti-worker, anti-labour legislation to amend the Public Service Labour Relations Act.