This past week, it has been my incredible honour to stand beside workers – members of Unifor, and those working to join – as they stood up for their rights and for a voice in their communities.
Last Thursday, I stood with team members at Toyota in Ontario as we announced an escalation of their effort to join Unifor and become the first assembly plant outside the Detroit Big Three to be unionized in Canada.
In the face of a long company list of employees, these team members, working hard to gain representation and a collective agreement for themselves and their co-workers, vowed to redouble their efforts, get more cards signed and move to a certification vote sooner rather than later.
They could have chosen to leave the matter up to the lawyers to fight over the company’s list, but are so confident in their support that they decided to get more cards signed, undeterred by the company’s long list of employees.
To stand beside such workers in such a moment was a great honour for me.
Less than 24 hours later I was in Halifax, where Unifor members rallied to protest labour legislation brought in just hours before restricting the bargaining rights of health care workers in Nova Scotia.
And, again, I had the honour to stand with workers passionate about their jobs and their rights, describing the dedication that health care workers bring to their work, their patients and the future of Medicare in this country.
Through my work and travels, I meet Unifor members committed to the work they do and to the labour movement.
They challenge and inspire me. They are why this new union is changing the politics of this country.