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Picket lines poised to go up at Manitoba Hydro

WINNIPEG—Unifor Local 681 will hold a rally at Manitoba Hydro Place to launch legal strike action on June 17, 2022. 

“Premier Heather Stefanson is repeating the mistakes of Brian Pallister. The disrespect her government has shown for hard-working Manitoba Hydro workers is at the heart of this job action,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Our strike is a last resort, but we’re prepared to stand up for the fair contract our members have earned.”

What:    Rally for Manitoba Hydro workers

Not all refugees treated equally

“Whoever, Wherever, Whenever” are the criteria that all nations must have in accepting refugees seeking safety, the United Nations says in its call for action on World Refugee Day, June 20, 2022.

Toronto Police must do more to dismantle systemic racism among force, says Unifor

Toronto Police releasing race-based data that affirms Black, Indigenous and people of colour were disproportionately targeted by officers is merely a first step, says Unifor.

The report released Wednesday, June 15, 2022, found that Black residents were more than twice the amount likely to have an “enforcement action” against them and were 230% more likely to have a police officer point a gun at them when they appeared to be unarmed compared to white people.

2022 National Indigenous Peoples’ Day

National Indigenous Peoples’ Day (NIPD) is an important moment to reflect on the varied cultural and artistic heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples and to celebrate these contributions. This year Unifor has partnered with the Aboriginal Peoples’ Television Network to sponsor Indigenous Day Live on June 18, a cultural and artistic show with the theme “Celebrating Our Lands.” The event celebrates gender diversity and the important connection Indigenous women have to the land.

Mental health and burn out remains top priority: Unifor Health Care Conference

They hugged. They cried. They shared stories.

More than 100 Covid heroes met in-person for the first time since the pandemic began in 2020.

Health care workers gathered at Unifor’s Family Education Centre in Port Elgin, Ontario. on June 9, 2022 for Unifor’s three-day Health Care Conference, to discuss bargaining strategies and challenges facing their workplaces and their sector.

Unifor campaigns and writing recognized at 2022 CALM Awards

Unifor’s innovative Warehouse Workers Unite Campaign was recognized at the 2022 Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM) 2022 Awards, along with National Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne and Unifor Local 21-S.

Here’s what Unifor was recognized for at this year’s awards:

Unifor mourns the loss of Local 45 member who died on the job

Unifor member Paul Totten died on the job on Monday, June 13, 2022 in Tillsonburg, Ontario where he worked as a technician for Bell Technical Solutions (BTS).   

“Thoughts and deepest sympathies to Brother Totten’s loved ones and family including his union family. Our entire Unifor family grieves with you,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. 

Sea to Sky transit workers headed back to work after winning cost of living considerations

VANCOUVER—A ground-breaking Cost of Living Adjustment was a key factor for Unifor Local 114 members who voted today to ratify a new contract with PW Transit, effectively ending the longest transit strike in B.C. history.

“We were successful at closing an unacceptable wage inequality between transit workers in Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Local 114 members are eager to return to serving the communities of Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton.”

Enbridge Gas STO strike ends after workers ratify new agreement

CAMBRIDGE—Unifor Local 999 members working in storage, transmission, and operations (STO) at Enbridge Gas have ratified a new collective agreement.

“Our members were united and showed great determination in their efforts to reach a fair and just collective agreement,” said Jeff Gray, President of Local 999.

The contract’s ratification puts an end to the 20-day strike and restores the safe and reliable operation of high pressure natural gas storage and transmission in the region, says Unifor.

Unifor members at Pilkington Glass make major wage gains in new contract

Unifor Local 222 members at Pilkington Glass made significant wage gains in a new contract ratified on June 12, 2022. The three-year agreement covers approximately 100 union members who manufacture specialty glass products for the auto industry at the Whitby, Ontario plant.

Union win at Mexican auto plant brings new hope for labour rights

This column originally appeared in The Hill Times

By Angelo DiCaro and Laura Macdonald  

Supporters of labour rights in Mexico won a big victory on May 26 when workers at General Motors’ biggest auto plant, located in the city of Silao, ratified a first collective agreement negotiated by their new, independently elected union SINTTIA.

Auto parts workers at UTIL ratify agreement, ending labour dispute

CONCORD, ONTARIO—Unifor Local 112 members ratified a new three-year collective agreement today ending a labour dispute at the UTIL Canada Inc. auto parts plant.

“The unity, strength and solidarity of Unifor Local 112 members displayed throughout this dispute was pivotal in reaching a fair settlement,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “I would like to congratulate union members on a successful ratification and the union’s bargaining team for their hard work and determination throughout the negotiations.”

Rail line Volume 9, Issue 7

Council 4000 and Local 100 bargaining committee resumed negotiations this week from Monday to Wednesday with VIA Rail.

Council 4000 has significant work rules to work through, however VIA has served 4 estoppel’s and are refusing to take them off the table and both the Council and Local 100 are currently facing concessions. This is unacceptable to both bargaining committees and we will continue to pushback and have the concessions removed.

Auto parts workers on strike at UTIL Canada Ltd.

CONCORD, ONTARIO—Unifor Local 112 members at auto parts maker UTIL Canada Ltd. are on strike today after efforts to reach a negotiated settlement failed.

“Workers at UTIL are highly skilled and dedicated workers who deserve a collective agreement that reflects their years of loyal service,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “Unifor Local 112 has the full support of our union’s 315,000 members in their fight for a fair contract and a more respectful and equitable workplace.”

Unifor members at Autoneum ratify agreement ending strike

TILLSONBURG, ONTARIO—Unifor Local 1859 members ended a five-day strike at the Autoneum plant today after ratifying a new collective agreement.  

“I would like to congratulate all Unifor Local 1859 members for standing strong, fighting for and winning a fair contract,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “This agreement would not have been possible without the memberships’ strength and solidarity as well as the hard work and dedication of the union’s bargaining team.”

Historic racial justice training leads into BIWOC Conference

Unifor is about to embark on a historic week to address racism.

Next week – from June 12 to 17, 2022 – elected racial justice advocates, union members, and community organizations will discuss strategies to address racial harassment and discrimination in the workplace at the inaugural Racial Justice Advocate training course in Port Elgin, Ont.

"Unifor has always championed working towards eradicating racism, not only in workplaces but in the world," said Lana Payne, Unifor's National Secretary-Treasurer. 

Union solidarity shines at Atlantic Regional Council

Atlantic Regional Council members are regrouping to build a bigger, better and stronger union.

“This council united us in a way we have sorely missed,” said Linda MacNeil, Atlantic Regional Director. “The pandemic years were isolating for so many of us and that feeling was delightfully absent for the two days we sat in that room together. It makes us all the more thankful for the solidarity we build through the daily work of the union.”

Local 222 retiree feeding Ukrainian refugees

Retired Unifor Local 222 member Joe Sarnovsky, who served his local for several years as communications director, is in Poland as a volunteer cook for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

“It is quite an emotional experience,” Sarnovsky said from Przemysl, Poland, where he is volunteering with World Central Kitchen. “I’ve met some incredible people – Ukrainians fleeing the war, and volunteers from around the world.

Linda MacNeil welcomes ARC delegates

Watch as Unifor's Atlantic Regional Director, Linda MacNeil welcomes delegates to the first in person Atlantic Regional Council gathering since 2019. Members and locals are in St. John's building solidarity in the region.

Tillsonburg auto parts workers on strike

TILLSONBURG, ONTARIO—Auto parts workers at the Autoneum plant in Tillsonburg, Ontario went on strike today after union members rejected the company’s offer.

“For more than fifty years, workers at the Tillsonburg plant have been an important part of the local economy and a vital part of the province’s auto parts supply chain,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “Unifor Local 1859 members have the full support of our union’s 315,000 members in this dispute.”

Register now for Unifor’s fourth Constitutional Convention

Unifor’s fourth Constitutional Convention is just weeks away and it’s time for your local to register your delegates before the July 22, 2022 deadline and book travel and accommodations.

This year’s theme is #UniforTogether and the convention starts Monday August 8, 2022 until August 12, 2022 at the Toronto Convention Centre.

It’s the first chance for members to connect in person since 2019, after the last two Canadian Councils were cancelled due to the pandemic. The union has not gathered since the Constitutional Convention in Quebec City in 2019.

Unifor welcomes appointment of special mediator in Sea to Sky dispute

VANCOUVER—After the latest rejection of the employer’s offer by the Unifor Local 114 membership, the parties have agreed to the province's appointment of Vince Ready as a special mediator.

“After two years of bargaining and failed sessions with a mediator, it’s clear a more structured process is necessary,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We look forward to making submissions to the mediator about the high cost of living and wage disparities.”

Unifor survey: journalists face rising harassment

TORONTO – A survey of journalists and media worker members of Unifor has found high levels of online and in-person harassment on the job, and the problem is only getting worse.

“The results of this survey are simply devastating,” said Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne, a former journalist.

“We are seeing increasing attacks on media workers who are simply doing their jobs – jobs that are vital to a functioning democracy. We cannot tolerate this any longer.”

Mexican GM workers ratify

General Motors workers in Silao, Mexico have ratified a new collective agreement – the first negotiated by their CILAS/Unifor-backed independent union – that gives them a voice in the workplace for the first time, more money and improved working conditions.

Sea to Sky transit operators reject employer’s latest offer

VANCOUVER—B.C. Transit’s third-party contractor PW Transit failed to make enough progress on wage parity, resulting in a membership-driven rejection of Friday’s tentative agreement, says Unifor.

“Members have the final say in adopting the contract that governs their working conditions,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Clearly the employer fell short in closing the gap that exists between transit workers doing the same job in Vancouver and the Sea to Sky region.”

Manitoba workers deserve a $15 minimum wage in 2022

WINNIPEG—Unifor is urging the Government of Manitoba to accelerate its plans to increase the minimum wage, calling for $15 per hour be the standard by the end of the 2022.

“Premier Heather Stefanson has conceded that it’s not okay for Manitoba’s most vulnerable workers to be paid the lowest in Canada,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Stefanson has to aim higher than ‘not the worst’. Manitoba’s workers deserve fair pay and a robust system of employment standards that protect them from greedy and unethical bosses.”