All News

Canada’s Airport woes need solutions not finger pointing

By Kaylie Tiessen

Air travellers are frustrated, and for good reason.  A shortage of workers in the industry has clashed with rapidly returning demand for air travel to create cascading flight delays, lost luggage, cancellations and other disruptions at airports around the world.

These problems have been experienced at airports around the world, but Canada’s airports have been the worst.

Are worker wages keeping pace with inflation?

By Kaylie Tiessen

Inflation continues to be a very hot topic, both in public policy conversations and around the bargaining table. This third blog in the research department’s “Focus on Inflation Series’ looks more closely at worker wages and the effect inflation is having on purchasing power.

How unions can bargain better for low-wage workers

By: Angelo DiCaro, Unifor Director of Research

Ontario’s recent decision to raise the provincial wage floor to $15 (including for servers) caught many by surprise. The governing Progressive Conservatives campaigned to scrap this exact pay hike when they ran for government back in 2018. Nonetheless, the 65-cent increase is welcome news and – once again – sparks a conversation on the need for living wages across the country.

What does inflation data tell us about prices in Canada?

 By Kaylie Tiessen, National Representative, Research Department

Canada’s top-line inflation measure hit an 18-year high in September 2021 at a rate of 4.4% compared to one year earlier. 

September marked the sixth month in a row that year-over-year inflation is above the Bank of Canada’s target rate of 1% to 3%. That trend sparked much shock-inducing commentary stirring up fear and concern.

How does the Bank of Canada measure and target inflation?

By Sune Sandbeck, National Representative, Research Department

The debate over what to do about inflation has been heating up over the past few months. With the annual growth in the consumer price index (CPI) reaching 4.4% in September, calls are growing louder for the Bank to accelerate its plans to increase interest rates.

Big Reset Leaves Oil Workers in a Lurch, Just Transition Can Move them Forward

What does it mean to love Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil workers in a time of climate crisis and global energy transformations? The answer: supporting a just transition.

This is a “code red” moment for humanity as the consequences of the climate crisis unfold around the world and here at home. If nothing is done, people will suffer in myriad ways, including the careers of oil and gas workers.

‘Big Reset’ will deepen economic crisis

By Kaylie Tiessen, Unifor Research

While Premier Andrew Furey is contemplating cutting wages and regressing working conditions for people across the province, as recommended by Moya Greene in her Premier’s Economic Recovery Team (PERT) ‘Big Reset’ Report,  governments and advisors the world over are talking about building back better with inclusive growth policies that ensure no one gets left behind.

The Big Reset Will Mean Big Job Losses

By now, many people in the province are very familiar with ‘The Big Reset’ – the plan put forward by the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team (PERT) meant to stimulate the economy, create jobs and attract young people to the province.

If the government thinks that the PERT plan will accomplish this goal it is sorely mistaken and workers will pay the price.

Indigenous workers during the COVID-19 crisis

As Unifor marks National Indigenous Peoples Day and we come together to celebrate the heritage and history of the first peoples of this land, our thoughts turn to the continuing barriers that Indigenous people face in Canada due to structural racism and the violent and ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.

Air transportation recovery must focus on social sustainability and good jobs

It’s been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic took hold and air transportation was severely restricted.

Statistics Canada released the latest economic statistics on air travel this week. Unsurprisingly the numbers paint a troubling picture.

Large Canadian airlines carried less than 800,000 people in January. That’s nearly 90% less than the number of passengers the same airlines carried in January 2020.Operating revenues are down 85% compared to January 2020. GDP created by the industry fell even further, to just 11% of pre-COVID levels.

As pandemic rages, it’s time to fix EI for good

This past year, workers experienced unemployment on a scale never before seen in Canada. At its first wave peak in June 2020, some 2.7 million workers in this country had no job. The magnitude of these losses effectively paralyzed the Employment Insurance system, requiring alternative means of income support via the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

Why Canada needs a Federal Low-Wage Commission

While we continue to wait on the federal government’s belated promise to implement a $15 federal minimum wage, questions often arise as to how future rate increases should be handled. While the government has identified wage increases based on the rate of inflation as a possible way forward, other metrics, such as using the median hourly wage, proposed in U.S.

Unions and the fight for Housing Justice in Canada

In September, the federal government and the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation launched the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), a $1 billion housing program meant to support the creation of up to 3,000 new affordable housing units, the acquisition of land, and the conversion and rehabilitation of existing buildings to affordable housing. The RHI is part of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy, an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion-plus plan launched in November 2017 that will create 100,000 new housing units and repair or renew thousands more.

A Universal Basic Income: Too Good to Be True?

Last month, it was reported that the Liberal caucus identified a guaranteed basic income as the top policy priority to debate and vote on at the party’s upcoming November national convention. This comes as little surprise. The COVID-19 pandemic and catastrophic job loss that ensued has intensified calls for the strengthening of Canada’s social safety net and income security programs that have proven to be inadequate during times of economic crisis.