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Canadians deserve better than misinformed battery plant debate

By Lana Payne 

Originally published in the Windsor Star November 25, 2023

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

The famous quote from American author and funny-man Mark Twain helps summarize the firestorm surrounding Windsor’s NextStar battery plant.  

What started as an innocuous social media post from, of all groups, the Windsor Police Service has become a fire-and-brimstone level debate in this country.

$19M in government funding for Crofton mill and nothing to show for it

CROFTON—The fourth consecutive curtailment at the Paper Excellence paper mill in Crofton will keep more than 100 workers laid off and the community left wondering why they have nothing to show for $19 million in public funding from two levels of government.

The new curtailment will reportedly extend to the end of February 2024.

Premier Kinew outlines ambitious pro-worker agenda in first year

WINNIPEG—Workers’ rights and fixing health care were among the top priorities outlined in the Manitoba Speech from the Throne.

The event was witnessed in person by Unifor Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle and several members who were active in the campaign to unseat former PC leader Heather Stefanson in the October 3 election.

Unifor and PWTransit reach tentative agreement in Comox Valley

COMOX—A strike at Pacific Western Transportation (PWTransit) in Comox and Campbell River in British Columbia has been averted as the bargaining committee of Unifor Local 114 and the employer have reached a tentative agreement.

“Congratulations to our members at Local 114 in the Comox Valley for bargaining tough to achieve fairness in a region with a rapidly growing cost of living,” Lana Payne, Unifor National President. 

More details about the contract will be made available upon ratification. A vote is scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 26, 2023.

Unifor reaches tentative agreement with No Frills

A tentative agreement has been reached between Unifor and No Frills.

“Our bargaining committee at No Frills was determined to build on what grocery store workers had achieved this past summer with Metro,” said Lana Payne, National President of Unifor. “This tentative agreement delivers pattern wages and many other improvements for our members.”

Proposed B.C. regulations stop short of best protections for gig workers

VANCOUVER—The proposed regulations outlined today by B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains delivers long-overdue protections for misclassified gig workers but will stop short of giving them the full employment rights all Canadians deserve, says Unifor.

“Powerful digital platform employers have come to rely on precarious employment, and governments can and must raise the floor for gig workers,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. 

PWTransit workers file 72-hour strike notice

VANCOUVER – Unifor has submitted 72-hour strike notice to Pacific Western Transportation (PWTransit) placing Local 114 transit members in a legal strike position as of Sun., Nov. 19 at 8:46 a.m.

“Our union remains committed to trying to negotiate a contract that addresses the concerns and needs of the membership,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. 

“The decision to take job action is never taken lightly but our members cannot continue to survive on lower wages than the industry standard and will strike if necessary.” 

Unifor's Trans Day of Remembrance 2023 Statement

The Transgender Day of Remembrance, observed on November 20th, is a solemn occasion to remember and honour those who have tragically lost their lives due to ignorance and hatred, targeted solely because of their transgender or gender non-conforming identity.

World Toilet Day Statement 2023

On 2023 World Toilet Day, Unifor stands in solidarity with the global movement to address the critical issue of sanitation, emphasizing the importance of safe and inclusive washroom facilities for all, particularly for women and 2SLGBTQI+ members. 

First Student bus drivers vote in favour of strike action

TORONTO – Unifor members of First Student Bus – which provides school bus services for English and French language schools in the Cornwall, Ont. region – voted 94% in favour of strike action on Nov. 14.

“School bus operators are an integral part of the public education system with important responsibilities and yet they continue to be paid less than other professional drivers,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “They deserve decent pay and working conditions and the union is determined to fight for them.”

IMP Aerospace members ratify new collective agreement

HALIFAX-Unifor Local 2215 members working at IMP Aerospace in Hammonds Plains and Enfield, Nova Scotia, ratified a new collective agreement that sees increases to base wage rates, shift premiums, allowances, and improved paid time off.

“Members at IMP Aerospace were engaged and active throughout this bargaining process and that is vital to winning a better agreement,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “I congratulate the bargaining committee for their hard work and send my respect to every member for their solidarity."

Unifor members discuss the impact of climate change on jobs

Unifor's recent conference, "Climate Change and Our Jobs; Building an Economy where no Worker is Left Behind," brought together union members and experts to discuss the intersection of labour, environment, and economic policy in the context of the ongoing climate crisis. The conference featured a variety of speakers and panels addressing different aspects of climate change and its implications for workers.

IMP Aerospace members call off strike as new tentative is reached

HALIFAX -Unifor Local 2215 members working at IMP Aerospace in Hammonds Plains and Enfield have reached a new tentative agreement with the employer and will not undertake strike action today as planned. 

The Local is planning a ratification meeting to take place next week. Workers will remain in a legal strike position from 1:00 p.m. Friday, November 10, 2023, and could resume plans to strike unless the tentative is ratified by the membership.

Anti-scab legislation a major win for workers: Unifor

Ottawa—Today marks a significant victory for Canadian workers as new federal anti-scab legislation ensures workers’ right to strike without the threat of employers using scab labour to needlessly extend labour disputes or attempt to starve workers out.

Unifor to represent 1,000 AtkinsRealis employees through SPEA affiliation

TORONTO – Unifor is proud to announce that the members of The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates (SPEA) have voted 86% in favour of affiliating with Unifor.

"This is a historic moment for Unifor and SPEA as we join forces,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Unifor and AtkinsRéalis members can begin building a new chapter of strength and unity together for many years to come."

2023 B.C. Regional Council

Unifor members from across British Columbia gathered in Vancouver during October 20-21 to discuss campaigns and plan for the year ahead.

National Executive Board swears in new members

Unifor’s National Executive Board (NEB) opened its meetings this week by swearing in new members to the board.

Among them was Michelle Wilson, Unifor’s first Indigenous Representative on the NEB, who was elected at the Black, Indigenous and Workers of Colour (BIWOC) Conference last September.

IMP Aerospace members to begin strike action on Friday

HALIFAX - Unifor Local 2215 members working at IMP Aerospace in Hammonds Plains and Enfield have issued a 72-hour notice that a strike will begin at both locations on Friday, November 10 at 1:00 p.m.

“Our members at IMP Aerospace provide important and skilled work,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “They are looking for an agreement that is reflective of these economic times given the growing cost of living in the region.”

Unifor members at Stellantis ratify new agreements

TORONTO— Unifor auto members at Stellantis voted to ratify the Master Collective Agreement (covering the Windsor Assembly Plant, Brampton Assembly Plant and Etobicoke Casting Plant), along with agreements covering Unifor members working in the office, clerical and engineering unit, fire and security unit and PDC units in Mississauga and Red Deer.

Unifor Endorsement of the November 8 Canadian Federation of Students National Day of Action

Brandon Rhéal Amyot, National Chairperson
Canadian Federation of Students

Dear Brandon,

As Canada’s largest private sector union, representing 315,000 members across Canada, we write to express solidarity with you as you organize for a National Day of Action. We are proud to endorse your Fight the Fees Day of Action and share your vision for affordable, accessible post-secondary education for all. We support your organizing efforts to see this vision become reality in Canada.

Unifor reaches tentative agreement with Suncor

The national bargaining committee for Unifor's energy and chemical bargaining program pattern negotiations with Suncor has reported positive developments in recent meetings with the company. 

A tentative agreement has been signed with Suncor. The deal now goes for review by the program’s advisory committee. Local unions and bargaining units participating in the program will send delegates to vote at a ratification conference on November 13, 2023.

Unifor’s statement in support of the Front Commun

On this day, November 6, the 420,000 workers represented by the Front commun in Quebec are holding their first one-day strike. In education, health and social services and higher education, across Quebec and with one voice, they will send a first warning to the government to force it to make a substantial offer to the Front commun. Unifor is aware of the crucial issues that they face and stand by our sisters and brothers at the Front. Front commun workers are fighting for fair working conditions, equitable wages and the recognition they deserve for their essential contribution.