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Lana Payne elected Unifor National President

TORONTO – Lana Payne has been elected as the new National President of Unifor, the first woman to hold the position.

“Today, we turn a page. Today, we move forward. Today and every day, we put our members at the heart of everything we do,” said Payne after her win was announced.

Payne was previously National Secretary-Treasurer of Unifor, and was the first woman to hold that position, as well. She defeated Executive Assistant to the President Scott Doherty and Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy.

Media Advisory: Lana Payne elected national president of Unifor

TORONTO – Lana Payne has been elected as the new National President of Unifor, the first woman to hold the position.

Payne was previously National Secretary-Treasurer of Unifor, and was the first woman to hold that position, as well. She defeated Executive Assistant to the President Scott Doherty and Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy.

Throughout the campaign, Payne championed the need for greater transparency and accountability in the union. Delegates to Unifor’s fourth Constitutional Convention elected Payne on Wednesday.

Una trabajadora mexicana de la industria automotriz gana el Premio Mandela

La trabajadora de la industria automotriz y activista de los derechos laborales mexicana Alejandra Morales Reynoso ha sido galardonada por Unifor con el Premio Mandela 2022, en reconocimiento por su trabajo en la organización de un sindicato democrático en la planta General Motors de Silao, México, donde trabaja.

“Gracias por este increíble premio a la libertad, la democracia y el respeto por los derechos humanos”, dijo Reynoso el miércoles durante la Convención constitucional de Unifor al aceptar el premio.

Mexican auto worker wins Mandela Award

Mexican auto worker and labour activist Alejandra Morales Reynoso has been awarded Unifor’s Nelson Mandela Award for 2022 in recognition of her work to bring a democratic union to the General Motors Silao in Mexico plant where she works.

“Thank you all for this incredible award for freedom and democracy and respect for human rights,” Reynoso said in accepting the award at Unifor’s Constitutional Convention on Wednesday.

Please help Afghan journalists fleeing Taliban.

Unifor locals are being asked to donate generously to help support the families of media workers fleeing the Taliban and left in limbo in their attempts to come to Canada.

“Next week, we mark the one-year anniversary of the fall of Kabul. We are still here, standing with the workers. We cannot leave them now,” said Rachel Pulfer, executive director of Journalists for Human Rights, or JHR, Canada’s leading media development organization, at Unifor’s fourth constitutional convention.

“Please find it in your heart step up for them in their hour of need.”

A turning point for workers

We are in a historic moment as workers stand up and take back the power from powerful companies, forming unions at companies where it was once thought workers could never organize, a leader in the first successful union drive at Amazon told Convention delegates.

“This is a turning point in the labour movement. Workers all around are motivated to join unions,” Derrick Palmer said.

“All these billion-dollar companies are starting to get unionized. And guess who is scared? The billionaires who run these companies.”

Daniel Cloutier delivers highly charged report for Quebec

Unifor's new Quebec Director enthusiastically presented his very first report to the delegates at the Unifor National Convention.

The challenges, past and upcoming negotiations and current events are keeping the entire organization busier than ever.

McGarrigle outlines the fightback in the west

Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle delivered his report to the 4th constitutional convention on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.

He began by thanking frontline workers for their service during the pandemic and noted that, in several sectors such as courier and aviation, exhaustion and overwork is still a serious problem.

Much of the union’s work in the west has centred on fightbacks against regressive governments, and McGarrigle reviewed all the ways in which Prairie premiers failed workers.

Happy retirement, Renaud Gagné!

An emotional tribute was paid to Renaud Gagné, Unifor's Quebec Director from 2015 to 2022. On the eve of his retirement, the convention wanted to highlight his union involvement of over 41 years. After so many years devoting himself to the labour movement, Gagné has left his mark.

National Secretary-Treasurer’s report shows strong future for Unifor

Unifor’s 4th Constitutional Convention opened on Monday, August 8 with Lana Payne, National Secretary-Treasurer offering welcoming remarks followed by an update on the union’s finances.

After more than two years of a pandemic that has seen many Unifor members suffer layoffs and job losses, particularly in sectors such as transportation, hospitality and gaming, Payne observed a culture shift in how workers view unions and their importance in today’s workplaces.

New technology workshop spotlighted at Aviation Council

Biometrics scans at airport security, touchless check-ins and self-flying airplanes are among some of the technology that already is, or could be, on the horizon for aviation workers.

At Unifor’s two-day Aviation Council – held ahead of the union’s Convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this week – the focus was how new technology affects aviation workers.

“We need to be careful to make sure it doesn’t erode the work we do,” Leslie Dias, Unifor’s Director of Airlines, said in her opening remarks. 

Pickering and Ajax casino workers secure landmark agreement

After pressuring the employer with an eight-day strike, Unifor Local 1090 members ratified a new four-year agreement with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Ajax.

“Workers took a stand, and as a direct result we reduced the wage disparity between casino properties,” said Corey Dalton, Unifor Local 1090 president.

Unifor reaches tentative agreements with casinos in Pickering and Ajax

TORONTO—The strike at two Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) casinos in Ontario could soon be over after tentative agreements were signed today.

“My sincere congratulations to the Local 1090 members who took on a powerful employer to fight for what was fair,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. 

Unifor members at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Ajax have been on strike since July 29, 2022. Details of the tentative agreement will be released following the membership ratification votes to be held on August 5.

Tentative Agreement reached at Bell clerical

TORONTO – Unifor’s Bell Clerical and Associated Employees Bargaining Committee reached a tentative agreement with Bell Canada.

“I want to offer my congratulations to the entire bargaining team for remaining focused on members’ interests and securing this deal under difficult circumstances,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer.

“Telecommunications members united behind shared priorities, and many of those important issues are reflected in this tentative agreement.”

Unifor Local 99 ratifies new agreement with Arconic

LETHBRIDGE—Wage increases and a signing bonus are highlights of a new collective agreement ratified August 2, 2022 by Unifor members working at Arconic.

“This was a difficult round of bargaining and the committee should be proud of what they accomplished in this collective agreement,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. 

Bargaining Bulletin Update #11: Bell Clerical

Dear Bell Clerical members,

Yesterday the bargaining committee received a request to meet with the company. On this video call, the company delivered their final offer. Their indication was that this would be the last offer we would receive before the strike deadline imposed by the union of August 18th. Whether we took this to the deadline or not this would be the last offer they would deliver to us.

The company then presented an offer to us which addressed some of the concerns of the members but fell short in others.

Major victory for WestJet workers at Toronto Pearson International Airport

TORONTO-WestJet workers at Pearson International Airport have won a major victory in their right to representation as the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) certifies Unifor as their sole bargaining agent. 

“WestJet workers in Toronto have gained a voice in their workplace, joining with workers in Vancouver and Calgary as members of Unifor. These employees have tremendous experience to offer their employer as airlines face an increase in travel demand from pre-pandemic travel demand,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne. 

Unifor statement regarding member struck by a car at Casino Woodbine

A Unifor member of Local 1090 on a legal picket line at Casino Woodbine was struck deliberately by a car late on the evening of July 31, 2022.

Members of Unifor Local 1090 have been on strike at Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s Pickering Casino Resort and Ajax Casino since Saturday, July 23, 2022 fighting for wage increases and to reduce the employer’s reliance on a precarious part-time workforce. 

In Canada, workers locked out or on strike may picket other sites owned by the employer, which is why a legal picket line was in place at Casino Woodbine.

Unifor challenges unfair firing of 7 Marine Atlantic workers

SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA –Unifor is challenging Marine Atlantic’s decision to send 10 loss of employment letters, later rescinding three, after workers cited valid reasons for not accepting a last-minute scheduling re-assignment.

Unifor picket line begins at Casino Woodbine

TORONTO—After negotiations broke down earlier today between Unifor and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC), a secondary picket line was erected at GCGC-owned Casino Woodbine.

“Our members, workers at Pickering Casino and their other properties, are fighting for equality with workers at other casinos. They are looking for fairness and Unifor is with them in this struggle,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer.

New U.S. Electric Vehicle Credit Puts Canada Back in Play

TORONTO—Unifor welcomes a revised United States Senate proposal that aims to open up tax credits to Canadian-built electric vehicles.

 “Unifor members have eagerly awaited a resolve to this thorny trade issue and are breathing a little easier today,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne. “With thousands of Canadian autoworkers gearing up to build electric vehicles, expanding eligibility of

Emancipation Day Statement

On this day in 1834, the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 took effect, which laid a pathway to freeing enslaved people in British colonies across the globe and here in Canada.

Today many Black, Indigenous, and workers of colour are still being denied full and safe participation in many institutions and organizations. Unions must be a part of removing any obstacles still in the way of Black, Indigenous and workers of colour and their many other intersections in workplaces, unions, and society. 

Loomis workers schedule strike votes after negotiations open

TORONTO—Inadequate progress at the bargaining table will lead to strike votes at the Loomis Express job sites across Canada represented by Unifor. Loomis Express is owned by TransForce International (TSE:TFI).

“TransForce has created instability for workers with widespread contracting out,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. “We will address this at the bargaining table or we’ll address it on the picket line—it’s up to the employer.”