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Lana Payne elected Unifor National President

TORONTO – Lana Payne has been elected as the new National President of Unifor, the first woman to hold the position.

“Today, we turn a page. Today, we move forward. Today and every day, we put our members at the heart of everything we do,” said Payne after her win was announced.

Payne was previously National Secretary-Treasurer of Unifor, and was the first woman to hold that position, as well. She defeated Executive Assistant to the President Scott Doherty and Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy.

Unifor concludes convention united

Unifor came together this week in solidarity and strength, ensuring this union will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, National President Lana Payne said as she wrapped Unifor’s fourth Constitutional Convention.

“We have truly come together this week to move our union forward,” said Payne, the first woman to be National President.

“You have shown that it is the union - all of us together - can take on the challenges we face as workers."

Bell Atlantic Bargaining Bulletin Update #9

Dear Members,

The union and the employer will not be able to meet on the week of August 15-18.  This delay was forced by schedule misalignment between the parties.

Your bargaining team will instead engage with the company, along with the assistance of a federal conciliator, in Halifax, Nova Scotia beginning on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

The Bell ACL unit is still in its conciliation period. Your bargaining committee has not yet received a tentative agreement.

Unifor members rally for Ashgrove workers

“So-so-solidarity.”

In keeping with Unifor’s Convention theme, “Together,” delegates showed solidarity with striking workers at the Ash Grove cement plant in Joliette, Que., who have been locked out for nearly 15 months, by marching in downtown Toronto on Thurs., Aug. 11, 2022.

Labour minister promises action on harassment

Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan announced at Unifor’s Convention that all the provinces and territories now support an ILO (write out what ILO stands for in first mention) resolution on harassment in the workplace, a necessary step for the federal government to adopt the resolution.

“We’ve been working to get support of all provinces and territories for its ratification. We have that now, and I’ll be working with the Minister of Foreign Affairs as we look to move to the next stage,” O’Regan said Thursday morning.

Unifor unveils 29 recommendations to boost Canada’s auto sector

TORONTO—Unifor members endorsed a new auto policy at the union’s Constitutional Convention that sets out a comprehensive vision  to transform Canada into a global leader in electric vehicle production.

“We have all the ingredients necessary to transition to electric vehicle manufacturing and grow our economy, while creating good union jobs and reducing Canada’s carbon footprint all at the same time,” said Lana Payne, at her first news conference as Unifor National President after yesterday’s election.

The CAMI story: ICE to BEV

Canada’s auto sector has seen more than $16 billion in EV supply chain investments  repositioning Canada as a major player in both gas-powered cars and components as well as the electric vehicles of the future.

Media Advisory: Lana Payne elected national president of Unifor

TORONTO – Lana Payne has been elected as the new National President of Unifor, the first woman to hold the position.

Payne was previously National Secretary-Treasurer of Unifor, and was the first woman to hold that position, as well. She defeated Executive Assistant to the President Scott Doherty and Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy.

Throughout the campaign, Payne championed the need for greater transparency and accountability in the union. Delegates to Unifor’s fourth Constitutional Convention elected Payne on Wednesday.

Mexican auto worker wins Mandela Award

Mexican auto worker and labour activist Alejandra Morales Reynoso has been awarded Unifor’s Nelson Mandela Award for 2022 in recognition of her work to bring a democratic union to the General Motors Silao in Mexico plant where she works.

“Thank you all for this incredible award for freedom and democracy and respect for human rights,” Reynoso said in accepting the award at Unifor’s Constitutional Convention on Wednesday.

Please help Afghan journalists fleeing Taliban.

Unifor locals are being asked to donate generously to help support the families of media workers fleeing the Taliban and left in limbo in their attempts to come to Canada.

“Next week, we mark the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul. We are still here, standing with the workers. We cannot leave them now,” said Rachel Pulfer, executive director of Journalists for Human Rights, or JHR, Canada’s leading media development organization, at Unifor’s fourth constitutional convention.

“Please find it in your heart step up for them in their hour of need.”

A turning point for workers

We are in a historic moment as workers stand up and take back the power from powerful companies, forming unions at companies where it was once thought workers could never organize, a leader in the first successful union drive at Amazon told Convention delegates.

“This is a turning point in the labour movement. Workers all around are motivated to join unions,” Derrick Palmer said.

“All these billion-dollar companies are starting to get unionized. And guess who is scared? The billionaires who run these companies.”

Daniel Cloutier delivers highly charged report for Quebec

Unifor's new Quebec Director enthusiastically presented his very first report to the delegates at the Unifor National Convention.

The challenges, past and upcoming negotiations and current events are keeping the entire organization busier than ever.

McGarrigle outlines the fightback in the west

Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle delivered his report to the 4th constitutional convention on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.

He began by thanking frontline workers for their service during the pandemic and noted that, in several sectors such as courier and aviation, exhaustion and overwork is still a serious problem.

Much of the union’s work in the west has centred on fightbacks against regressive governments, and McGarrigle reviewed all the ways in which Prairie premiers failed workers.

Happy retirement, Renaud Gagné!

An emotional tribute was paid to Renaud Gagné, Unifor's Quebec Director from 2015 to 2022. On the eve of his retirement, the convention wanted to highlight his union involvement of over 41 years. After so many years devoting himself to the labour movement, Gagné has left his mark.

National Secretary-Treasurer’s report shows strong future for Unifor

Unifor’s 4th Constitutional Convention opened on Monday, August 8 with Lana Payne, National Secretary-Treasurer offering welcoming remarks followed by an update on the union’s finances.

After more than two years of a pandemic that has seen many Unifor members suffer layoffs and job losses, particularly in sectors such as transportation, hospitality and gaming, Payne observed a culture shift in how workers view unions and their importance in today’s workplaces.

New technology workshop spotlighted at Aviation Council

Biometrics scans at airport security, touchless check-ins and self-flying airplanes are among some of the technology that already is, or could be, on the horizon for aviation workers.

At Unifor’s two-day Aviation Council – held ahead of the union’s Convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this week – the focus was how new technology affects aviation workers.

“We need to be careful to make sure it doesn’t erode the work we do,” Leslie Dias, Unifor’s Director of Airlines, said in her opening remarks. 

Pickering and Ajax casino workers secure landmark agreement

After pressuring the employer with an eight-day strike, Unifor Local 1090 members ratified a new four-year agreement with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Ajax.

“Workers took a stand, and as a direct result we reduced the wage disparity between casino properties,” said Corey Dalton, Unifor Local 1090 president.

Unifor reaches tentative agreements with casinos in Pickering and Ajax

TORONTO—The strike at two Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) casinos in Ontario could soon be over after tentative agreements were signed today.

“My sincere congratulations to the Local 1090 members who took on a powerful employer to fight for what was fair,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. 

Unifor members at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Ajax have been on strike since July 29, 2022. Details of the tentative agreement will be released following the membership ratification votes to be held on August 5.

Tentative Agreement reached at Bell clerical

TORONTO – Unifor’s Bell Clerical and Associated Employees Bargaining Committee reached a tentative agreement with Bell Canada.

“I want to offer my congratulations to the entire bargaining team for remaining focused on members’ interests and securing this deal under difficult circumstances,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer.

“Telecommunications members united behind shared priorities, and many of those important issues are reflected in this tentative agreement.”

Unifor Local 99 ratifies new agreement with Arconic

LETHBRIDGE—Wage increases and a signing bonus are highlights of a new collective agreement ratified August 2, 2022 by Unifor members working at Arconic.

“This was a difficult round of bargaining and the committee should be proud of what they accomplished in this collective agreement,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. 

Bargaining Bulletin Update #11: Bell Clerical

Dear Bell Clerical members,

Yesterday the bargaining committee received a request to meet with the company. On this video call, the company delivered their final offer. Their indication was that this would be the last offer we would receive before the strike deadline imposed by the union of August 18th. Whether we took this to the deadline or not this would be the last offer they would deliver to us.

The company then presented an offer to us which addressed some of the concerns of the members but fell short in others.

Major victory for WestJet workers at Toronto Pearson International Airport

TORONTO-WestJet workers at Pearson International Airport have won a major victory in their right to representation as the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) certifies Unifor as their sole bargaining agent. 

“WestJet workers in Toronto have gained a voice in their workplace, joining with workers in Vancouver and Calgary as members of Unifor. These employees have tremendous experience to offer their employer as airlines face an increase in travel demand from pre-pandemic travel demand,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne.