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Customs delays are no reason to shortchange pilots

TORONTO –Pilots are objecting to a new Sunwing Airlines policy that stops paying them if flights are stuck on the tarmac due to long line-ups at airport customs.

“If pilots are onboard, they’re working and they deserve to be paid,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President.

In other Canadian airlines, pilots from long-haul international flights have mostly been staying onboard with pay, while short-haul pilots have been getting off their aircrafts.

School bus drivers improve wages and guaranteed hours in new contract

TORONTO–Unifor school bus driver members have achieved wage gains and improved guaranteed hours in a new three-year collective agreement with Stock Transportation. 

“This new contract addresses key priorities for our drivers, including wages, paid time for pre and post trip duties and fairer scheduling,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi.

The 500 members of Local 4268, who predominantly provide transportation services for special needs students in the Toronto area, voted to ratify the new contract on May 10, 2022.

Unifor calls on USTR to end trade animosity with Canada

Unifor called on the Biden’s top trade officials to put an end to aggressive and unfair trade policies affecting Canadian workers at an in-person Roundtable on Labour and Trade with United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai, Canada’s Minister of International Trade Mary Ng and Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan,

Workers in Canada are struggling under the weight of rising inflation.

This column originally appeared in the Toronto Star on May 7, 2022

The price of food, gasoline and other consumer goods is rising fast — faster, it seems, than most workers’ wages can keep up. Average prices rose by 6.7% last month, compared with the year prior. Average wages, on the other hand, fell by 1.6%.

Most economists seem confounded by the root cause of inflation.

Unifor Nursing Week 2022 Statement

Unifor continues to stand with workers across the country and around the globe in recognizing and celebrating the outstanding contributions of nurses during National Nursing Week. Nurses across the nation need our support and solidarity like never before.

“As a union we need provincial governments to immediately correct this and other wrongdoings of the past and invest in health care,” said Assistant to the National President Katha Fortier, who is also a nurse and is responsible for overseeing health care at Unifor.

Shelter management terminates staff following difficult strike at LAIH

Napanee, ON – Unifor is outraged after members returned to work following a nearly 6-month long strike at Napanee’s Lennox and Addington Interval House, only to be wrongfully terminated.

“The women of LAIH went on strike to improve their working conditions and the services that they deliver. To be met with these unfair and unjustified terminations upon return to work is shameful behaviour from an employer that claims to espouse equity and justice,” said Katha Fortier, Unifor Assistant to the National President.

Update on the Special Convention

UPDATE ON THE SPECIAL CONVENTION

Greetings,

The National Executive Board met on Friday, May 6, 2022 to discuss a number of items but specifically the ongoing issues around the Special Convention.

During this meeting a motion was presented and adopted by the National Executive Board to not hold a Special Convention prior to the already scheduled Constitutional Convention on August 8-12, 2022. The Constitutional Convention will determine the next National President of Unifor.

Unifor and PW Transit to return to mediated talks

WHISTLER—Unifor and the employer have jointly agreed to resume negotiations with mediator Dave Schaub on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 to seek a resolution to the 14-week transit strike in the Sea to Sky corridor. 

“Transit workers have demonstrated incredible determination over the last three months,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We will enter these new negotiations in good faith and will continue to bargain for fair compensation.”

Loomis National Bargaining Update #8

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Recap: Your National bargaining committee came together in Toronto to begin negotiations with the company from April 4–8, 2022. We were able to sign off on some amount of non-monetary proposals, all monetary proposals remain unresolved. The employer took a very aggressive position in their opening few passes and the bargaining committee remains committed to fend off the concessions.

Unifor school bus drivers reach tentative agreement with Stock Transportation

TORONTO–Unifor Local 4268 has reached a tentative agreement with Stock Transportation on behalf of 500 school bus drivers in the Toronto Area, averting strike action. 

“I congratulate the bargaining committee on negotiating a tentative agreement for these frontline workers who provide such a vital service to students across Toronto,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. “As Ontario’s school bus driver union, Unifor will continue to address key issues including wages and uncompensated duties and to work to raise standards for drivers across the sector.” 

Unifor launches campaign to empower workers to fire Doug Ford

TORONTO – Unifor launched a comprehensive campaign to show members the damage of Doug Ford’s government and empower workers to vote for a better Ontario

“We’re asking members, and all voters, not to let Doug Ford speak for them in this election,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. “Time and time again, Ford and his conservatives have let workers down. In this election, we’re not going to fall for his projection of a worker-friendly image.”

Forestry Council Executive meets in person to tackle big questions for the sector

Members of the Forestry Council Executive met in person for the first time in more than two years to prepare for upcoming sector challenges and opportunities and planning the upcoming Forestry Council ahead of Convention in August.

“Unifor represents forestry workers from coast to coast, and each environment and region has its own unique challenges,” said Yves Guérette, Chair of the Unifor Forestry Council. “From invasive species and increasing wildfires to protecting wildlife and habitats, forestry can be part of many solutions if implemented and practiced wisely.”

A Quebec Council marked by action and change

Renaud Gagné presented a detailed report of the union’s main actions over the past months. It was his last report to the Quebec Council as Quebec Director.

With the continuing labour dispute at Ash Grove, numerous ongoing issues affecting our groups, government lobbying, bargaining files and internal affairs, it was clear to the delegates that our union is just as active as ever, pandemic or no pandemic.

Gagné naturally seized the occasion to acknowledge the members and thank them for their support.

Unifor plays key role at 2022 World Social Forum

Unifor is taking an important role at the World Social Forum, being held this year in Mexico where the union has been active for many years working in solidarity with the independent unions to improve the rights of working people.

Unifor statement on leaked majority US Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade

Reports the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is about to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects a woman’s bodily autonomy in choosing to have a safe abortion, have sent a shockwave around the world.

Our collective grasp on women’s rights is frail, even, clearly, in countries that view themselves as world leaders. Generations of women have had to fight against the systematic and purposeful erosion of the ability to exercise our freedom of choice. There is perhaps no greater symbol of lost ground on our basic freedoms than the impending defeat of Roe v. Wade.

Unifor recommends Saskatchewan fast-track $15 minimum wage

REGINA—Unifor has re-issued its call for the Saskatchewan government to immediately increase minimum wage to at least $15 per hour to match neighbouring Alberta.

“Premier Scott Moe has kept Saskatchewan’s minimum wage artificially low,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Something is wrong when working full-time for the minimum wage in Saskatchewan doesn’t get you above the poverty line.”

Historic investments in Stellantis Windsor and Brampton secure strong EV future for Canadian autoworkers

WINDSOR—Unifor welcomes today’s announcement that funding for Stellantis Windsor, Brampton and related technology facilities will top $3.6 billion with federal and provincial government support, securing good union jobs and a bright future for autoworkers across Ontario and accelerating Canada’s electric vehicle transition.

 “This is what Unifor members have worked for, and fought for, over many years,” said Shane Wark, Unifor Assistant to Unifor National President. “Today is one more step closer to Canada becoming a global automotive powerhouse once again.”

World Press Freedom Day

Journalism is under attack - literally and figuratively, and that makes freedom of the press more relevant and important today than it ever has been.

Totalitarian regimes and terrorists are attacking and even killing journalists. Right-wing politicians and online harassers are abusing and harassing journalists, police forces are arresting journalists for just doing their jobs and social media platforms are implicit in inciting harassment and spreading misinformation to make it harder to discern the truth.

Unifor celebrates an end to the discriminatory blood ban at CBS, calls for complete removal at Héma-Québec

Toronto- Health Canada announced their approval of the Canadian Blood Services’ (CBS) move to behaviour-based screening questions for blood donations, ending the homophobic blood ban.

“This announcement is a long-fought victory for workers and advocates, and for Canada’s safe supply of blood and tissue donations. These new policies will now reflect science, not outdated and discriminatory assumptions,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer.

Today’s announcement did not include a timeline of the same regulatory change for Héma-Québec.

Northern Pulp workers abandoned by government, company

HALIFAX— Unifor is disappointed by Northern Pulp parent company Paper Excellence’s decision not to make a special pension payment for its workers in today’s British Columbia Supreme Court filing.

Bell Atlantic Bargaining Bulletin Update #5

Dear Members,

On April 28, during negotiations, Unifor took a moment of silence to recognize workers lost on the job, on the Day of Mourning.

Each day we benefit from the labour of thousands of essential workers who give large proportions of their lives to provide us with everything that makes up modern life.  Every year, hundreds suffer injury or illness because of their working conditions, and some of these workers die on the job.

Unifor Local 5555 ratifies deal with McMaster University

Unifor Local 5555 has ratified its latest collective agreement with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., winning significant gains in wage increases and racial justice bargaining language.

“Congratulations to the bargaining committee on ratifying its latest agreement,” said Deb Tveit, Assistant to Unifor’s National President. “The members ratified the best monetary package they’ve had in over 10 years. The last time they saw a 3% increase was in 2006.”

Toronto School bus drivers provide strong strike mandate

TORONTO– School bus drivers at Stock Transportation in Toronto have voted to provide a strong mandate in support of strike action if the company fails to reach a tentative agreement by the negotiation deadline of 12:01 a.m. May 6, 2022.

“These frontline workers are simply asking for a fair wage, guaranteed minimum hours and safety on the job,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi.