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11,000 workers ready to tackle bargaining with ‘Big Three’ grocery giants

TORONTO-More than 11,000 Unifor grocery store members are preparing to take on Canada’s Big Three grocery giants, Loblaw, Metro and Sobeys, in upcoming contract negotiations. The front-line supermarket workers are seeking pay increases, benefit improvements and more full-time jobs as bargaining begins next month.

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 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.”

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.

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).

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.”  

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.

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.

WestJet workers in Toronto ratify their first collective agreement

TORONTO – The 350 members of Unifor Local 531 have overwhelmingly ratified their first collective agreement with WestJet at Pearson International Airport in Toronto (YYZ).

“Congratulations to our WestJet members and the bargaining committee,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

Unifor Local 4304 members on strike at Grand River Transit

WATERLOO—Unifor Local 4304 members working at Grand River Transit (GRT) began strike action early on May 1 after rejecting the tentative agreement negotiated with the transit service.

“It’s clear the employer has not met the expectations of transit workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Local 4304 members provide key services for the region and expect wages and benefits to keep pace with economic growth.”

No bargaining meetings with the employer are currently scheduled.

WestJet workers in Toronto get their first tentative agreement

TORONTO – The 350 members of Unifor Local 531 have reached their first tentative deal with WestJet at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

“A first contract sets the base from which we bargain in the future and WestJet members have worked hard to reach this tentative agreement,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “By joining Unifor, WestJet members have gained a strong voice to improve their working conditions and can now do so through collective bargaining.”

Workers gain protection as pension super-priority Bill receives royal assent

Ottawa – Bill C-228, a private members’ bill that gives pension plan members super-priority during plan windups and bankruptcy proceedings received royal assent.

“This change has been many years in the making. I’m glad to see lawmakers in both chambers say ‘enough is enough’ and put workers first by adopting this legislation,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Pensions are deferred wages and they cannot be allowed to be stripped away and put to the back of the line if the company closes up shop.”

May 1 strike deadline set for Grand River Transit

WATERLOO—Members of Unifor Local 4304 could go on strike Monday, May 1 if a new contract cannot be negotiated before midnight on April 30, 2023.

“Transit operators were on the front lines of the pandemic and maintenance staff made sure the busses were roadworthy,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Local 4304 members have shown how critical they are to the Waterloo area’s economy. They have earned a fair contract.”

Unifor celebrates doubling of bus service for Durham Region Transit passengers by 2032

OSHAWA— Unifor members at Durham Region Transit (DRT) are celebrating the announcement that Durham Region will more than double bus service provided by the transit authority over the next decade.

“Our union has diligently worked to expand public transit and are pleased to see Durham Region’s decision to dramatically increase funding to support public transit service and infrastructure,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “This is good news for our members and for the community."

Government EV investment necessary to secure jobs and prosperous future

TORONTO—Government investment in the clean economy, including electric vehicle production, is necessary to secure good paying jobs and a prosperous future for Canada’s auto sector, says Unifor.

“The scale of the transition to electric vehicle production cannot be overstated, with fierce competition around the world for facilities and the long-term employment that comes with them,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

Not Backing Down: Harvesters Hold Strong After St. John’s Rally

ST. JOHN’S, NL – Close to a thousand people gathered today in St. John’s in front of the Confederation Building, calling for action to save the province’s snow crab fishery. The Union that represents over 14,000 people in the province, including all 10,000 professional fish harvesters and some 3,000 processing workers, says that it’s the government’s responsibility to protect the people who rely on the fishery, and ensure processing companies operate in a manner that benefits the people of our province. 

Unifor members ratify contract with Coast Mountain Bus Company (TransLink)

SURREY—Wage increases and benefits enhancements are key features of a collective agreement between Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company, ratified today by members of Unifor locals 111 and 2200. 

“The gains in this collective agreement will help improve working conditions and the quality of life for Metro Vancouver’s transit workers and their families,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

Unifor members ratify new contract with Fairmont Empress Hotel

VICTORIA—The membership of Unifor Local 4276 voted overwhelmingly today to ratify a new three-year contract with their employer at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

“Unifor members at the Fairmont Empress have secured a strong collective agreement and have helped set the table for upcoming negotiations in the hospitality sector,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Congratulations on a job well done.”

Workers’ voices must be amplified following PEI election

CHARLOTTETOWN-The decisive Progressive Conservative win in the Prince Edward Island provincial election shows the need for coordination between progressive organizations and the labour movement to amplify workers voices, says Unifor.

Unifor demands greater transparency from Crowns Minister Don Morgan

REGINA—The Sask Party government must stop shielding information about where outsourced SaskTel jobs are heading and come clean about why Crown corporation jobs are leaving Saskatchewan, says Unifor.

“The people of Saskatchewan deserve answers about why Minister Don Morgan is so eager to send good jobs to Alberta and overseas,” said Len Poirier, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer.

“SaskTel is owned by the people of Saskatchewan. Let’s make it do better to employ the people of Saskatchewan.”

Unifor signs tentative agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company (TransLink)

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA—The joint bargaining committee for Unifor Locals 111 and 2200 have achieved a tentative agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company.

“Transit workers kept Metro Vancouver moving throughout the pandemic. They have clearly demonstrated their value to the Lower Mainland economy and they deserve fair wages and benefits,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

Unifor seeks update on Competition Bureau’s display ad investigation into Google

TORONTO –Unifor is demanding an update on the Competition Bureau’s civil investigation into whether Google has engaged in certain practices that harm competition in the online display advertising industry in Canada.

“Every day that Google is allowed to monopolize ad revenue, more harm is inflicted on the Canadian news industry, which has a negative impact on democracy as a whole,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

Unifor supports clean tech and manufacturing investments, slams failure to fix EI

TORONTO- Unifor commends the 2023 federal budget’s focus on new industrial manufacturing investments but condemns inaction to fix an Employment Insurance system that fails workers.  

“Significant new incentives to attract critical manufacturing and build the necessary value chains here in Canada is very welcome news. But these incentives must include strong labour conditions. Unifor will continue to push for good union jobs and fair wages,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.