You are here

COVID-19 Information & Resources

Restarting the Economy: What media workers need to know

10/11/2020

The media sector faced a number of significant challenges before the COVID-19 crisis struck, including the loss of advertising revenue to digital giants like Facebook and Google, cutbacks and closures of local and regional news outlets, the rise of “fake news” and resultant erosion of quality journalism, and massive loss of employment.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE


 

Release: Women journalists experience increased gender inequality during pandemic

7/24/2020

Women journalists are reporting an increase in gender inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more than half say they have personally experienced an escalation in a new International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) survey released today.

READ THE FULL MEDIA RELEASE HERE

Campaign launch: #BuildBackBetter with an accessible income security system

7/8/2020

Unifor launches the Build Back Better campaign with a digital media conference on Facebook with Unifor National President Jerry Dias and Unifor members from across the country present the plan.

FIND OUT MORE HERE

Release: Unifor welcomes Northwood COVID-19 government review

7/3/2020

Unifor welcomes the announcement by Nova Scotia’s Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey of a review of the COVID-19 outbreak at Northwood’s Halifax campus.

READ THE FULL MEDIA RELEASE HERE

Restarting the Economy: What warehousing and logistics workers need to know

6/17/2020

Warehousing and logistics play a critical role in the supply chain, ensuring essential goods and supplies make it to businesses, front-line organizations and into people’s homes. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant challenges in ensuring there are little to no disruptions.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE

Release: Grocers wrong to cut pandemic pay

6/17/2020

Unifor opposes the decision by Canada’s leading grocery chains to end pandemic pay for their workers at retail outlets across Canada.

READ THE FULL MEDIA RELEASE HERE

Open Letter: To Sarah Davis, President of Loblaw Companies Limited, on removal of pandemic pay for frontline workers

6/15/2020

Dear Ms. Davis,

I am writing to share my concerns about your memo to Loblaw employees, including thousands of Unifor members, on June 12.

Let me begin by saying that I am astounded by your expression of shock, dismay and disappointment regarding the negative attention Loblaw received in recent days, after ending its essential pay premium program for employees.

Release: Loblaws wrong to cut pandemic pay

6/11/2020

Unifor opposes the decision by Loblaw Companies Ltd. to end pandemic pay for workers at its retail outlets across Canada.

READ THE FULL MEDIA RELEASE HERE

Restarting the Economy: What food and beverage transport need to know

6/8/2020

Food and beverage processing workers across Canada have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 1,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases thus far. Meat processing plants have been hit particularly hard, with a number of outbreaks occurring in Alberta and Quebec that have led to numerous deaths. Governments must use the reopening of the economy as an opportunity to ensure that food and beverage processing plants are safe and that workers are protected from COVID-19 through rigorous health and safety protocols.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE

Restarting the Economy: What manufacturing workers need to know

6/8/2020

More than 300,000 manufacturing workers lost their jobs or were put on temporary leave between February and April 2020. Most of these workers were put on leave due to pandemic related restrictions and many expect to return to their jobs once the pandemic subsides.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE

Restarting the Economy: What forestry workers need to know

6/5/2020

The forestry sector faced a number of significant challenges before the COVID-19 crisis struck, including the ongoing softwood lumber dispute, sagging pulp prices, and damage caused by insect infestations. The economic collapse that followed the pandemic has stalled construction, and many forestry companies (especially small and mid-sized ones) are struggling with liquidity as demand for their products has fallen off.

READ THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE

Restarting the Economy: What road passenger transport and urban transit workers need to know

6/5/2020

Across the country, road passenger transport and urban transit services have taken a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. School closures have all but suspended school transportation services; domestic and international travel restrictions have decreased airport limousine services and intercity and provincial bus service; and wide-scale business closures and calls to stay home have resulted in significant drops in taxi and public transit ridership.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE

Open Letter: To Premier Ford regarding ineligibility of Pandemic Pay to many healthcare workers

6/1/2020

Dear Premier Ford,

In previous correspondences to you, Unifor recognized the importance of the $4 per hour “pandemic pay premium” that is being provided for front-line workers during this crisis. We certainly agree that these workers deserve the extra compensation given their roles in this crisis, their hard work, the health risks that they face while on the job and the need to self-isolate from their families to protect them. Unifor demands that pandemic pay be extended to these critical workers

READ THE FULL LETTER HERE

Campaign Launch: Pandemic Pay for Unifor Health Care Workers

6/1/2020

Since Pandemic pay was announced on April 25, 2020, there has been confusion about who is actually covered. Unifor was the first union in Ontario to make a public demand for Pandemic Pay on April 17, launching a video and an online petition. Our position has clearly been that any worker who is subject to the Emergency Orders should receive this pay.

FIND OUT MORE HERE

Social Services Updates

4/17/2020

Memo to Unifor members working in agencies providing violence against women residential services

This week, the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services issued a temporary order in the fight against COVID-19 that affects staff at Women’s Shelters and working in Crisis Line services.

The temporary order allows agencies in this sector to take steps to respond to, prevent and alleviate the outbreak of coronavirus and COVID-19 by carrying out measures such as:

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Keeping you informed through the crisis

4/8/2020

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Just one month later, we’re still in the midst of what will surely be remembered as the biggest health, social and economic crisis of our time.

As we write to you with some updates from the union, we cannot help but think of the thousands of health care workers reporting to work every day. Our members, and health care workers across the country, are facing conditions that worsen by the day. They must contend with dwindling access to personal protective equipment, and yet they support the people who need them most every day. They, along with workers in the retail, transit, telecommunications, media and many other sectors, are the true heroes that will help us pull through this pandemic.

READ THE FULL LETTER HERE

NS Health Care Workers Need Assurances on Safety Equipment

4/3/2020

Five unions representing health care workers providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic are calling on government and employers to sign onto a safety protocol that would ensure these frontline workers feel protected and supported during this unprecedented time. 

The NSGEU, NSNU, CUPE, Unifor and IUOE jointly agreed to this protocol, which is similar to protocols that have recently been adopted by the provincial government and employers in Alberta and Ontario. On Monday, the protocol was sent to Premier Stephen McNeil, Health & Wellness Minister Randy Delorey, Chief Medical Officer Robert Strang, as well as Dr. Brendan Carr at the NSHA and Dr. Krista Jangaard at the IWK.

READ THE FULL MEDIA RELEASE HERE

Reach out to the people you care about.

4/2/2020

Chances are, you or someone you know is struggling with increased anxiety, elevated symptoms of depression or is struggling with an addiction. It’s hard to know how to be supportive at the best of times, and isolation and quarantine create an added level of difficulty in supporting people you care about.

Reaching out to those experiencing mental illness during this time is as important as ever.  

Check in with your friends, family, and colleagues and talk about mental health. Talk about the plans you might put in place to manage loneliness and how you’ll cope with this sudden way-of-life shift because of COVID-19. Make a plan to check in regularly and support each other through this crisis.

Unifor commends Trudeau government for moving on more significant wage replacement plan

3/31/2020

TORONTO – Following weeks of piecemeal announcements, Unifor commends the federal government for expanding eligibility of a 75 per cent wage subsidy to include large and small employers in Canada.

“We have said from day one that no worker should be forced to bear the economic cost of flattening the curve alone. We are completely united as a country in the efforts to slow this virus, and that must include taking care of workers who have lost their income or facing layoff,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

READ THE FULL MEDIA RELEASE HERE

Revised: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

3/25/2020

COVID-19 is a pandemic illness. Public health agencies are monitoring the outbreak of this illness
and providing public health and infection control guidance. That guidance is evolving rapidly. In
the meantime, many workplace issues are developing about COVID-19. FAQ revised on March 25 to reflect recent government announcements.

Download the full FAQ document here

Employers sabotage worker access to EI benefits, Great Canadian Casino workers speak out

3/24/2020

TORONTO – Unifor calls on all employers to adhere to Service Canada’s demand that COVID-19 related work shortages be coded appropriately, instead of blocking workers’ access to EI.

“Some employers are sabotaging workers’ access to EI benefits and it has to stop,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Workers from across Canada are being delayed access to EI benefits because employers are miscoding Records of Employment.”

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Ford must re-invest $1 billion in health care to fight COVID-19

3/24/2020

TORONTO—Unifor is urging the Government of Ontario to strengthen its COVID-19 strategy, restore $1 billion in health spending and adopt a series of policies to protect the health and economic security of Ontarians in advance of tomorrow’s economic update.

“By all estimations, the pandemic will get worse before it gets better. We need the Ontario government to abandon its piecemeal approach to this crisis,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Doug Ford’s slow-moving approach to this crisis will bring a whole host of economic perils for Ontarians that his government has not begun to address.”

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Media must be included in COVID-19 emergency plan: Unifor

3/23/2020

TORONTO – Unifor is calling on the federal government to ensure that Canadian media organizations survive the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to provide vital information to the public.

“Almost every Canadian newspaper and television news outlet was teetering on the brink before the pandemic hit,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Our media companies are experiencing unprecedented dips in advertising revenues, resulting in catastrophic losses.”

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Unifor leading call for retail worker protections and wage premiums

3/23/2020

TORONTO – Unifor calls on all retailers to match wage premiums and enhanced health and safety protocols in recognition of front-line service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.



“We recognize the tremendous risk workers are taking and thank them for their dedication during these unprecedented times,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor continues to call on retailers to recognize the importance of their front-line workers and to compensate them fairly during the crisis.”



READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Unifor watching closely as Ontario hospitals given emergency powers

3/22/2020

TORONTO— Unifor health care members understand the need for the Ontario government’s temporary order giving hospitals extraordinary emergency powers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but the union cautions employers not to exert unnecessary force, and show respect for front-line workers while enacting the order.

“Unifor recognizes that this is not business as usual but we will be watching closely how hospitals use these special powers to manage this pandemic,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Health care workers understand the motive and goals of this temporary order. However, let me be crystal clear, we will monitor every workplace change and will not allow employers to abuse their powers with this order to cut front-line health workers or infringe upon workers’ rights.”

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Revised: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

3/19/2020

COVID-19 is a pandemic illness. Public health agencies are monitoring the outbreak of this illness
and providing public health and infection control guidance. That guidance is evolving rapidly. In
the meantime, many workplace issues are developing about COVID-19. FAQ revised on March 19 to reflect recent government announcements.

Download the full FAQ document here

Every worker must be paid fairly, says Unifor on federal COVID-19 response

3/19/2020

TORONTO – The continued rapid spread of COVID-19 disease calls for a more drastic response from government, says Unifor, which has outlined a package of urgent recommendations designed to make income assistance more accessible, and bring more money to workers in need.

“The significant policy package announced yesterday shows that the Government of Canada understands the seriousness of the crisis, but there are still some workers who will fall between the cracks of the EI system,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Unifor is fighting to protect workers from COVID-19

3/18/2020

We are living in unprecedented times. The window to flatten the curve is closing fast, and so is the opportunity to minimize the economic fallout of a pandemic. COVID-19 has created an uncertain and challenging situation for all working people, including Unifor members across Canada.

In hospitality and gaming, education, retail, airlines and more, we are facing mass layoffs. Health care workers, already pushed to the breaking point, are preparing to bravely treat patients of this pandemic, and prevent further spread in long-term care homes. In many sectors, including transportation and telecommunications, in grocery stores and pharmacies, vital work continues and workers need protection.

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Unifor Regional Directors’ letter to Premiers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

3/18/2020

To all Premiers across Canada,

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis without precedent and requires unprecedented cooperation and action from all levels of government to adequately protect the health and safety of everyone in Canada.

Time is of the essence. Alongside urgent efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, workers are not only concerned for their health but are bracing for massive economic disruption, from reduced work hours to cancelled shifts to layoffs. Governments appear to grasp the extent of this crisis, and some have taken important first steps to support workers and their families, while others have been slow to act.  There can be no delay. Action is needed now.

READ THE FULL LETTER HERE

DOWNLOAD THE LETTER HERE

COVID-19 Resources for Local Unions

3/17/2020

To Local Union Presidents,

In the past five days, the situation regarding COVID-19 had moved quickly and created an unprecedented situation for many working people and Unifor members in Canada.

Unifor has adopted an all hands on deck approach to supporting members during these challenging and uncertain times. We have worked every day to answer questions, communicate with employers, and call on governments to flatten the curve and respect working people in this time of crisis.
 

READ THE FULL LETTER HERE

DOWNLOAD THE LETTER HERE

In the midst of pandemic, bold action is required

3/16/2020

By Jerry Dias

We are living in unprecedented times.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposes the strengths and weaknesses of public health systems around the world. The necessary responses to that pandemic are testing broader social safety nets, many of which have been damaged by years of austerity. As many economies fall into likely recession, governments are demonstrating their capacity, or lack thereof, to respond to this tremendous challenge.

READ THE FULL BLOG HERE

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

3/16/2020

COVID-19 is a pandemic illness. Public health agencies are monitoring the outbreak of this illness
and providing public health and infection control guidance. That guidance is evolving rapidly. In
the meantime, many workplace issues are developing about COVID-19.

Download the full FAQ document here

Hospitality and Gaming Council update

3/13/2020

Greetings,

Unifor Hospitality and Gaming Council calls on industry, government to work together to address looming COVID-19 crisis

As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, it is critical that workers in Canada’s hospitality and gaming sector receive adequate information, guidance, and support from our industry, employers, governments, and public health officials. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the hospitality and gaming sector with 20,000 members across the country, and as such, we believe it is important for Unifor’s Hospitality and Gaming Council to comment on the impact of COVID-19 on our industry and the measures we can take to reduce the risk for workers and the travelling public.

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

NS joint union statement on protection for health care workers

3/13/2020

Yesterday, March 12, representatives from the NSGEU, NSNU, CUPE and Unifor met with officials from government, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, infection control specialists, and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Strang.

At this meeting, we called on the Nova Scotia government to uphold the precautionary principle when it comes to providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers.

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

COVID-19 Update to Locals

3/13/2020
Dear local unions:
We know you have been following the day-to-day developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country and all over the world. We are seeing the impact on workers and their families and we would like to update you on a number of measures and actions being undertaken by your national union.

Do's and Don'ts for employers during COVID-19 pandemic

3/13/2020

TORONTO – Unifor is urging employers across every sector of the Canadian economy to protect workers from COVID-19 exposure and assist in slowing the spread of the pandemic to ease the impact on the health care system.

“We’re asking employers to implement systems and policies to protect all Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Don’t require sick notes from workers, waive waiting periods for sick leave under collective agreements, and realize there may be legitimate absentee issues due to school closures. These steps are vital to protecting Canadians and minimizing hardship on workers and their families.”

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Health care member memo

3/13/2020

Unifor makes worker safety a top priority and as such is calling on the federal and provincial governments to dedicate resources to the protection of all health care workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, the union is advising governments to uphold the precautionary principle when it comes to providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers. As outlined by Justice Campbell following the SARS crisis in 2003, the precautionary principle says that in the absence of scientific certainty on how an illness is spread, we must err on the side of caution and protect workers.

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE

Unifor urges Ottawa to proactively protect workers from COVID-19 virus

3/5/2020

Toronto - Unifor is calling on Ottawa to take immediate steps to protect workers as COVID-19 spreads around the globe.

“Emergency supports are needed now for all workers in workplaces affected by COVID-19, to protect their health and provide job stability and income assistance in the event of shift reductions or layoffs,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

READ THE FULL UPDATE HERE