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Unifor begins bargaining for first contract with Saputo Inc.

Unifor began bargaining with Saputo Inc. this week – March 21, 2022 – in Toronto on Local 4003’s first collective agreement with the dairy company.

“The first collective agreement sets the standard for new members,” said Deb Tveit, Assistant to Unifor’s National President. “The bargaining team represents workers’ values and priorities and will negotiate the best collective agreement for the membership.”

Pallister layoffs violated collective agreements: Arbitrator

WINNIPEG—An independent arbitrator has sided with Unifor in a key battle against the Manitoba government over layoffs proposed in 2020.

“The PC government wants Crown corporations and public services to fail. It’s the pretext for privatization,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Unifor fought to keep Manitoba Hydro staffed properly.”

Unifor members at Securitas secure significant win for retirement security

Approximately 150 members of Unifor Locals 2163, 1090 and 199 at Securitas ratified a new agreement on March 19, 2022.

Securitas members provide fire protection and security services at the General Motors facilities in Woodstock, Oshawa and St. Catharines.

The strength of the agreement is owed to the hard work and resolve of the bargain team led by Local 2163 Chairperson Laura Romanick, Local 1090 Chairperson Peter Davies, and Local 199 Chairperson Mike Winterbottom.

Belleville mayor misleads public on transit bargaining

BELLEVILLE—Mayor Mitch Panciuk used his YouTube channel to deliver deceptive comments about the city’s bargaining with transit workers represented by Local 1839, says Unifor.

“Either the mayor is out of the loop or he is misleading his constituents about the state of play in transit bargaining,” said Chris Macdonald, Unifor Assistant to the National President. “His comments are inaccurate and will only damage the already tense negotiations created by his human resources team.”

Lear Ajax members set new standards in the parts supply industry in new agreement

More than 300 Unifor members in the independent parts supplier sector at Lear Ajax voted in favour of a new collective agreement on March 13, 2022.

“Congratulations to all Lear Ajax members and to the bargaining committee for ratifying a strong agreement that delivers on our key bargaining priorities,” said Jason Wilson, Unifor Local 222 President. “This is a solid agreement that makes comprehensive improvements to members’ wages and pensions, as well as introduces a new Racial Justice Advocate position to the plant.”  

Whistler Rally for Public Transit

Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle joined Local 114 members on strike in Whistler for a rally to support public transit and push for a fair contract.

Rail line Volume 9, Issue 5


Dear members,

Unifor opened bargaining with VIA Rail in January 2022. To date Unifor Local 100 and Council 4000 has met with the company February 7 to 11 and March 8-11.

Transit talks end with one issue left outstanding

WHISTLER—Negotiations in the Sea to Sky region transit dispute came to a halt this evening after the employer refused to agree to any plans for eventual wage parity with Metro Vancouver transit operators. 

Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle and senior staff joined the talks today to end the 48-day transit strike covering Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton. 

“Progress was made but there must be a roadmap to wage parity,” said McGarrigle, referring to the massive gap between the corridor’s transit workers and those in Metro Vancouver. 

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Statement

There’s still much work to be done.

On March 21, Unifor acknowledges the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It’s not a celebration, though.

On that day in 1960, police officers in the township of Sharpeville, South Africa opened fire on a group of people peacefully protesting oppressive pass laws, killing 69. The anniversary of the massacre is remembered annually with a recommitment for society to end racism in all its forms.

Belleville Transit workers set strike deadline

BELLEVILLE—After concessions were tabled during contract negotiations, Unifor Local 1839 members have voted 100% in favour of taking strike action if bargaining doesn’t produce a tentative agreement by April 1, 2022.

“Seeking concessions from front-line workers is shameful,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. “Transit workers have earned a fair contract and we will accept nothing less.”

Unifor demands Ministry action on women's shelter employer’s failure to negotiate

NAPANEE – Unifor recently wrote to Minister Fullerton to alert the province of a Napanee employer’s failure to negotiate with striking women’s shelter workers.

“This employer, the Lennox and Addington Interval House, seems to be delaying negotiations on purpose, instead of responding to earnest and reasonable proposals from these dedicated workers,” said Katha Fortier, Unifor Assistant to the National President.

Statement on Jerry Dias

TORONTO–On January 26, 2022 Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne received a written complaint that, now former, Unifor National President Jerry Dias engaged in an alleged breach of the Unifor Constitution.

Following review of the complaint, Payne promptly initiated an independent external investigation. On January 29, 2022, Dias was notified of the investigation, which is ongoing.

On February 6, 2022, Dias went on medical leave and subsequently notified the National Executive Board of his immediate retirement on March 11, citing health issues.

Letter to Minister Fullerton on the strike at Lennox Addington Interval House

The Honourable Minister Merrilee Fullerton, MPP, MD
Minister of Children, Community and Social Services

Dear Minister,

Re: Lennox Addington Interval House

I write to you on behalf of the twenty (20) women who work at the Lennox Addington Interval House in Napanee, Ontario, who have been on strike since October 29, 2021.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias retires

TORONTO — Jerry Dias has announced his retirement from his role as Unifor National President.

 Dias has been on medical leave from his position since February 6, 2022. On March 11, he notified Unifor’s National Executive Board of his immediate retirement, stating that he continues to deal with ongoing health issues.

Meet three COVID heroes - ORC Health Care Panel

We hear the term COVID-heroes used a lot. Meet three true COVID heroes: Emily Coulter, Jennifer Cloutier and Theresa Quinto share the harsh realities of working in long-term care during a pandemic, in a panel hosted by Unifor’s Katha Fortier at todays virtual ORC.

Eden Valley Poultry workers in Nova Scotia ratify new agreement

Members of Unifor Local 2216 ratified a new 4-year collective agreement on Saturday, March 5, 2022.

Local President Lee Gee and Unit Chairperson Clinton Pothier said they are happy with the work of the bargaining committee to reach a new agreement that sees wage increases of 3.5% in the first year (retroactive to March 1, 2021) and 3% each year until February 28, 2025.

Unifor statement on two years of the COVID-19 pandemic

March 11 marks the beginning of the third year since the World Health Organization formally declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Workers in all sectors and types of workplaces have been affected by this public health crisis. They have been put at risk of transmission, and many workers have fallen ill or died as a result of this disease.

COVID-19 has caused nearly six million deaths worldwide and more than 37,000 in Canada alone. Over the past two years, front line workers have carried the heaviest burden while having to fight for basic protections.

Unifor women across Canada mark International Women’s Day

In an Online Event on March 8, 2022, women members of Unifor from across Canada gathered virtually to celebrate the union’s work toward equality over the past year.

“Today we celebrate the activists, the agitators, the negotiators, the believers, the challengers, the leaders – because together, we are unstoppable,” said Lana Payne, National Secretary-Treasurer in her welcoming address to the nearly 200 participants.

Rail line Volume 9, Issue 4

Dear members,

This morning, the federal transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that the government is seeking private proposals to cover service for the VIA rail high-frequency corridor. The union believes this is the first of many steps to privatize VIA Rail.

Our members are not fooled by today's government announcement.