All News

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.

Strike at Windsor Salt could disrupt Maritime’s winter supply

PUGWASH—Bullying tactics by the employer have forced Unifor Local 823 to take strike action at one of the largest road salt suppliers in the Maritimes.

“Unifor members will not have the conditions of their work dictated to them by the employer. Collective bargaining must be a give and take,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “

Windsor Salt’s refusal to negotiate in good faith will drive up the cost of salt to their customers as the company is forced to rely on supplies from outside the region.

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.

Halifax aerospace workers forced by IMP to relocate across the country

The clock is ticking for 10 Halifax workers at IMP Aerospace and Defence before the Halifax company forces them to temporarily relocate to British Columbia.
 

Unifor Local 2215 heard from concerned members on October 25 when management from IMP called for 10 volunteers to work at its sister company Cascade in Abbotsford, B.C. and when no one stepped forward, the company chose workers with the lowest seniority to board flights leaving Sunday, November 7, 2021.

Unifor Local 449 grateful for support during strike

Support from many member locals was important for helping the Unifor Local 449 reach a settlement with the employer SNRI, owned by oil and gas giant CNRL.

Local 449 at the Pine River Gas Plant near Chetwynd, British Columbia was on strike for 93 days between March and June this year. Foremost among supporters was the fellow energy sector members at Local 686-B, which donated $50,000 to Local 449’s strike fund.

Letter of Support for CUPE NB Members from Unifor Atlantic

Steve Drost
CUPE NB President
Sent Via Email

Monday, November 1, 2021

Brother Drost,

We know that the decision to strike is never taken lightly, and certainly CUPE NB members were no exception when they delivered their strong strike mandate. 

I am writing to express the support of Unifor’s Atlantic Region for the 22,000 CUPE NB members who walked off the job last week, as well as the further 3,000 locked-out by Premier Higgs over the weekend.

Unifor Assistant to the National President and Local 414 President to join striking Interval House workers

Media Advisory

NAPPANEE – Unifor representatives will join striking Lennox and Addington Interval House (LAIH) workers on the picket line on Day 5 of their strike.

Who:    Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President

              Gord Currie, Unifor Local 414 President

When:  10:00 am, Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Where: Interval House Outreach Office at 47 Dundas Street, Napanee, Ontario

International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

November 2 is the United Nations International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

Over the past 10 years, a journalist is killed every four days and nine out of 10 killings go unpunished.

Killing a journalist is the ultimate form of censorship, and many more journalists around the world face kidnappings, torture, violence and harassment.

Ontario $15 minimum wage a step on path to living wages

TORONTO- New legislation to set a $15 minimum wage in Ontario will help the province’s lowest-paid workers and raise wages for thousands of Unifor members with minimum wage plus clauses in their collective agreements.

“Workers on the frontlines of our retail, wholesale, gaming, warehousing and broader service sectors who are paid a fraction of their worth will see this increase directly,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “I’m glad this government has reversed course and has now decided to raise workers’ wages.”

RailLine Volume 8, Issue 9

VIA RAIL - BARGAINING UPDATE

Members,

Unifor was prepared to open bargaining with VIA Rail virtually on Thursday, October 21, 2021 with contracts for more than 2,000 members set to expire on December 31, 2021.

Bargaining dates for the first two weeks of November were secured and agreed to by VIA Rail for Local 100 and Council 4000.

VIA Rail has since notified us that they are not prepared to open bargaining today and won’t be ready until the week of November 21st.

Unifor members ratify new contract at Shorelines Casino Belleville

BELLEVILLE—Wage and benefits enhancements are the highlights of a first collective agreement ratified today by Unifor Local 1090 members, ending their five-day strike at the Shorelines casino.

“Unifor is Canada’s union for gaming and hospitality workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Shorelines Casino Belleville workers showed great solidarity and determination to win their first collective agreement.”

The ratification ends the strike action that began at 1:01 a.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021.

Tentative agreement reached at Shorelines Casino Belleville

BELLEVILLE—Unifor members working at Belleville’s casino will vote Wednesday on ratification of a new tentative agreement.

“I am very impressed with the solidarity and activism of the Shorelines group in Belleville,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The employer tried to test their determination, but our members stayed strong and succeeded in winning important gains.”

If ratified, the deal will end the strike action that began at 1:01 a.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021.

Details of the agreement will be release after ratification.

Unifor members of the Prelco unit launch strike

Members of Unifor Local 1044 at Prelco in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec went on strike October 24. They have been without a collective agreement since last February.

The 225 members rejected a tentative agreement reached the previous week and voted in favour of the strike at a general meeting on October 24. The main stumbling block in the negotiations is wage increases.

The picket line is being set up in front of the plant at 94 Cartier Boulevard in Rivière-du-Loup.

How does the Bank of Canada measure and target inflation?

By Sune Sandbeck

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.

Letter to Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau re: Advancing a program for Canada’s fair, resilient and inclusive recovery

October 22, 2021
Via: Email

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
@email

RE: Advancing a program for Canada’s fair, resilient and inclusive recovery

Dear Prime Minister,

As you consider the key priorities that will guide the work of incoming Cabinet ministries under Canada’s 44th parliament, I want to impress upon you the importance of delivering for working people who continue to battle their way through this pandemic.  

Paid sick days and card check are long overdue from John Horgan

When it comes to paid sick days, Justin Trudeau has made Premier John Horgan’s job very easy. 

The Liberal Party committed to increase paid sick days from three to ten, alongside a promise to develop a national sick day action plan with provinces, within 100 days of taking office. 

With Jagmeet Singh’s NDP pushing for the same standard, it’s clear to see that changes are coming–and fast. In B.C., John Horgan simply has to follow suit.

Workers fight for fair wage as Shorelines Casino strike begins

BELLEVILLE—At 1 a.m. a strike commenced at Shorelines Casino Belleville. Picket lines will be erected later in the morning.

Bargaining committees for Unifor Local 1090 and the employer worked late into the night to reach an agreement. Parties will resume meetings again on Friday, October 22 with the goal of resolving the dispute to resume casino operations.

Advisory: Picket lines poised to go up at Shorelines Casino Belleville

BELLEVILLE—As the midnight strike deadline approaches, Unifor Local 1090 members are making final preparations for a picket line that will effectively close operations at the Belleville casino.

“We know this large gaming employer can do better than wages near the legal minimum—just take a look at their other unionized facilities,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “If they want to test us before signing a first collective agreement for these workers, we’re ready.”

Pan Pacific Toronto hotel workers unanimously ratify new agreement

TORONTO–Unifor Local 112 members at the Pan Pacific Toronto hotel ratified a new agreement with the employer by 100 per cent.

“Unifor is Canada’s union for hospitality workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “I’m extremely proud of the work our Local 112 bargaining committee did to secure a such a strong agreement in these challenging times.”

Ending CRB without a long-term income security plan hurts workers

TORONTO –The federal government’s decision to end the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) before implementing a permanent fix for the country’s inadequate Employment Insurance (EI) program will revert workers to failed pre-pandemic income security measures, Unifor says.

Leadec workers make solid gains in new contract

Unifor members of Local 200 and 707 at Leadec Corp. ratified a new three-year agreement by 80 per cent.

“These negotiations presented a unique set of challenges in an industry that is undergoing fundamental change,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Nonetheless, the bargaining committee members were determined to make important gains for our members and were successful in doing so.”

Perimeter Aviation members ratify new two-year collective agreement

Perimeter Aviation flight attendants have ratified a new two-year contact with the Winnipeg-based airline.

The deal was ratified on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, after Unifor Local 2002 conducted two Zoom meetings with the 46 Perimeter Aviation members to review of the employer’s final contract offer.

“Unifor has been fighting to Build Back Better and get the aviation industry back up and running as we emerge out of COVID-19 and into the recovery stage,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Good start on temporary workers but more needed

TORONTO – The steps taken by the Ontario government to protect temporary workers and regulate unscrupulous temp agencies are a good start, but further action is needed to improve health and safety for such workers, Unifor says.

“These fly by night agencies have damaged communities by exploiting the most vulnerable workers, including racialized workers, women, newcomers and migrant workers,” Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

“We commend the government for listening to advocates and community members and introducing these changes.”

Unifor's Statement on Persons Day

Each October 18, Canada marks Persons Day. On this day, the Privy Council declared some women to be persons under the Constitution they gained the right to be appointed to public office including the Senate of Canada.

This right was not open to most women based on class and race. Reviewing our legislatures and the Senate today, not a lot has changed.

Women continue to make up fewer than 32 per cent of lawmakers. Women of colour, Indigenous women and working-class women make up a small fraction of that number.