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Health care workers rally at London, Ont. LTC home

They honked for health care workers.

More than 100 health care workers rallied outside London, Ont.’s Meadow Park London Long Term Care on Wed., April 6, 2022, waving signs and cheering as supporters honked their horns as they drove by.

Organized by Unifor Local 302, this is the second rally involving workers at “the group of 11” long-term care homes – including Meadow Park – who turned to protest after their employers stalled bargaining since December 2021. The first protest took place at Trillium Village in Sarnia, Ont. on Dec. 15.

The National Day of Mourning takes place on April 28, 2022

On the Day of Mourning, we remember the thousands of workers who have been killed or injured on the job, or contracted a workplace-related disease or illness.

As we carefully exit the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, with the virus becoming endemic, we remind all locals and their leadership to use this moment to review protocols, identify opportunities for training, and raise awareness among your members about the importance of workplace health and safety.

Unifor welcomes single-step unionization legislation

VICTORIA—Workers in B.C. will have fewer barriers to unionization, thanks to new legislation introduced by the Horgan government today.

“Precarious part-time and temporary work is on the rise. These are the workers that deserve more access to the power of a union,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “This government was elected to help create good jobs and protect vulnerable British Columbians. Returning to single-step unionization does both.”

Prairie Regional Council underway in Winnipeg

The Prairie Regional Council opened Wednesday in Winnipeg at the Fort Garry Hotel. It is Unifor’s first large scale in-person meeting since the pandemic started.

The meeting opened with drumming from the Spirit Sands Singers and stirring welcoming remarks from Indigenous activist and Elder Leslie Spillett who talked about the importance of class consciousness and solidarity.

Unifor Prairie activists rally to keep VIA Rail public

WINNIPEG—Nearly 300 Unifor activists from across the Prairies will march to Union Station demanding the federal government reverse its plan to privatize the VIA Rail Windsor to Quebec City corridor.

Chatham health workers join Unifor

Workers at Chatham Kent Health Alliance in southwestern Ontario have voted overwhelmingly to join Unifor.

“These workers join with thousands of health care workers who are already part of Unifor, and can now draw on that depth of experience and knowledge to negotiate better working conditions,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne. “Welcome to Unifor.”

Voting took place electronically from March 30 to April 1, 2022. A majority of the 519 eligible workers voted in favour of joining Unifor, leaving their previous union, CLAC.

Health care workers continue to fight for better working conditions

Media Advisory

LONDON – Health care workers at Meadow Park long-term care facility will hold a rally demanding the employer to get back to the bargaining table and start to respect, protect and pay health care workers.

Who:      Lisa Tucker, Local 302 President

               Andy Savela, Unifor Health Care Director

When:   1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Where:  Meadow Park London Long Term Care, 1210 Southdale Rd E, London

March for locked-out Ash Grove cement workers

More than 300 members of Unifor and QFL-affiliated unions answered the call by locked-out Unifor Local 177 members at the Ash Grove CRH cement plant to join them in a march at the Port of Trois-Rivières, Quebec on April 1.

Organizing summit helps build capacity in prairies

On April 4 on the eve of the 2022 Prairie Regional Council in Winnipeg, Unifor activists from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba gathered at the Fort Garry Hotel for a summit hosted by Unifor’s Organizing Department.

Update on Code of Ethics Issues

Dear members,

We write to update you on the charge that former National President Jerry Dias breached the Unifor Constitution. 

Acting on advice from legal counsel, Unifor has delivered to Toronto Police the money that was given to Unifor in connection with the complaint that Jerry Dias violated the Code of Ethics in the Unifor Constitution. It will now be for Toronto Police to decide whether to investigate any matter connected to that money, and Unifor has no role in that decision. Unifor is not making further public comment on this matter at this time. 

Unifor welcomes federal and provincial support for GM Oshawa and CAMI

OSHAWA—Unifor welcomes today’s announcement that federal and provincial investments for General Motors have been finalized and will help secure a third shift at the Oshawa plant and Canada’s first full assembly line retool to build electric commercial vehicles in Ingersoll.

 “This is a proud moment for Unifor members at General Motors,” said Shane Wark Unifor Assistant to the National President. “Today’s funding announcement was years in the making and shows how much we can accomplish when autoworkers, automakers, and governments work together.” 

Windsor gigafactory is evidence of Canada’s EV advantage

By Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer

When Unifor members ratified new collective agreements with Ford, Fiat-Chrysler and General Motors in the fall of 2020, ushering in a first wave of large-scale battery electric vehicle assembly mandates, we knew something big was about to happen. 

Metro warehouse distribution workers on strike

TORONTO––More than 900 full-time workers at Metro’s Etobicoke warehouse distribution centre began strike action today after voting to reject a tentative agreement with the company.  

“The members have final say on the tentative agreement and have opted to turn down this offer,” said Chris MacDonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President. “The bargaining committee is ready to resume negotiations in the hope of bringing this strike to a speedy end.”  

Bell Atlantic Bargaining Bulletin Update #3

Dear Members,

This week, your UACL team made modest progress at the bargaining table.  

Many items were discussed and some were agreed upon between the parties.

Additional dates are planned in the coming weeks, with the next round of talks scheduled virtually on April 12-14.

Thank you for your support and solidarity. Your bargaining committee will continue to communicate updates throughout the negotiations, including mobilization and solidarity actions in the coming weeks.

In solidarity,

Bell Atlantic Bargaining Committee

Stephen McNeil, Tim Houston like night and day on labour front

This opinion piece first appeared in Saltwire Media on April 1, 2022

In 2014, then-Premier Stephen McNeil’s throne speech set the tone for what would be his eight-year term as leader of the province — and the tone was decidedly aggressive, anti-worker and specifically anti-union.

The Liberal leader was no friend of public sector unions, delivered a knockout blow to the province’s film sector, and eliminated the Graduate Retention Rebate, making it harder for young workers to remain in the province. 

Unifor and Metro reach tentative agreement for warehouse workers

TORONTO–– Unifor Local 414 and Metro have reached a tentative collective agreement covering more than 900 full-time workers at the Etobicoke warehouse distribution centre, avoiding strike action. 

“I congratulate the bargaining committee for their work in raising the standard for these workers, who are vital part of the supply chain,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. “Grocery giants have done very well during the pandemic and it’s only fair that the frontline workers should share in that success.”

Tentative agreement reached at Belleville Transit

BELLEVILLE—The bargaining committee for Unifor Local 1839 signed a tentative agreement with Belleville Transit before the midnight deadline avoiding strike action.

“Front line transit workers in Belleville have reached a fair settlement that respects the hard work and vital services they provide to the community,” said Chris Macdonald, Assistant to the Unifor National President. “My congratulations to the bargaining committee for their hard work.”

Demonstrations for Unfair Price Setting Process in St. John’s and Corner Brook

Nearly one thousand fish harvesters and community supporters gathered in St. John’s and Corner Brook on Monday to call attention to the unfair price setting process in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

For years, FFAW-Unifor has been asking the provincial government to move forward with policies that would hold processing companies more accountable and to increase competition in fish processing. We have demanded:

Seasonal tire changes might be hard to book in Moncton

MONCTON-Seasonal tire changes and other vehicle maintenance may be hard to schedule in the coming weeks if Moncton-area dealerships refuse to negotiate a fair deal with servicing staff.

“Servicing staff are what keep dealerships running, day in and day out,” says Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. “What we’re seeing at two Moncton-area dealerships are employers who are digging in their heels and not responding to their service staff’s fair demands for better wages and working conditions.”

Metro warehouse distribution workers approach strike deadline

TORONTO–Workers at the Metro distribution warehouse in Etobicoke, Ontario are approaching a strike deadline of 12:01 April 1, 2022. 

“Metro has profited tremendously during the pandemic but it is the shareholders who have benefited, not the front line workers,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. 

Trans Day of Visibility 2022

Unifor recognizes and invites all members to celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, 2022. This annual day celebrates the value and resilience of transgender people both within the union and around the world.

Trans people are those who identify with a gender other than the one assigned at birth and exist within all countries, communities and religious groups around the world. This identity is separate from an individual’s sexual orientation.

Solidarity with Transit Workers

Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle discusses the numerous ways that transit workers in the Sea to Sky region are being supported during their strike.

NEB Statement on Comprehensive COVID-19 policy for events

In August 2021, the National Executive Board adopted a statement saying that all events, courses, meetings and other activities organized by Unifor National and Unifor Regional Councils would require participants to provide proof of full vaccination prior to arriving on site.

As a result of this statement, Unifor developed a Comprehensive COVID-19 policy applicable at all Unifor offices, as well as at all meetings and events organized by Unifor National.

PW Transit’s binding arbitration offer is a step backwards

WHISTLER—By removing its latest offer from the bargaining table and suggesting binding arbitration, the employer in the seven-week long Sea to Sky transit dispute has ensured that the parties are farther from reaching a conclusion, not closer.

“PW Transit squandered weeks of progress with their stunt today,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “The employer’s stubbornness on fair wages has set negotiations back weeks, if not months.”

Unifor to target Resolute in Eastern pulp and paper bargaining

MONTREAL— Close to 200 Unifor delegates kicked off bargaining preparations for the pattern agreement in the pulp and paper industry in Eastern Canada by selecting Resolute Forestry Products as the target company. Members at the Pulp and Paper Wage Policy Conference, held in Montreal on March 23 and 24, 2022, worked together to build a list of demands and choose the target employer. 

Update on investigation into breach of Constitution

Dear members,

On Wednesday, the Unifor leadership team provided an update on the National Executive Board’s (NEB) review of an independent external investigation regarding a complaint that former National President Jerry Dias violated the union’s Constitution.

The findings of the investigation are deeply disappointing and disturbing. We understand the outrage that many of you feel. We share that outrage too.