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 Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers
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( Last updated Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:34 pm EDT)
Unifor initiative brings together key players in Quebec’s aerospace industry

Leading aerospace industry stakeholders gathered in Montreal on March 14 for the “Soaring Higher” Aerospace Summit. Named in reference to Unifor’s strategy for this sector, the event was launched and organized by leaders of Unifor local unions with the support of the National Union. According to the Quebec Director, Renaud Gagné, “we can be proud of having made this event such a resounding success.” 

We were able to bring together representatives from across the aerospace sector, including employers, academics, teaching establishments, industry clusters, Quebec and Canadian politicians, and, of course, workers. That is no small feat and the organizers deserve a great deal of credit,” Brother Gagné added.

From the outset, Brother Gagné pointed out that “it is important to note that all the stakeholders were in agreement with the key points raised in our policy, particularly the crucial importance of this industry for our economy and the need for our governments to support its growth and sustainability.” The participants also expressed concern about the labour shortage that continues to pose a major challenge for the industry.

The event took the form of a series a conferences, panels and workshops, giving participants the opportunity to discuss the issues and reach consensus on several points. “We have a lot of strength here in Quebec and in Canada, and we have to make sure we preserve that strategic advantage in a context where our competitors elsewhere in the world receive massive subsidies from their governments’ defense budgets,” Renaud Gagné said.

A notable presence at the event was Jean Charest, chairman of Vision 2025, an initiative launched by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada with the aim of bringing industry, government and other stakeholders together in a shared project to promote and support the aerospace sector.

Several participants expressed interest in holding another multi-stakeholder meeting next year.

Thursday, March 21, 2019 12:00 pm EDT

Adient contract brings jobs back

Unifor Local 1859 members at Adient have ratified a new collective agreement that will bring jobs back to the Tillsonburg, Ontario auto seat manufacturer. 

Currently 43 members are active at Adient, formerly Johnson Controls, with 97 workers on lay off. The new contract guarantees new work that will bring back 60 plus members this summer with a high probability of additional work in the future.

“Unifor has stood by the members of the Adient unit, never wavering in its support on every level,” said Lorraine Sinclair, President of Local 1859. “We are now facing a brighter future thanks to a great union made up of great members.”

The new collective agreement includes improved pensions, vacation and benefits and, for the first time since 2008, wage increases. The contract, which was overwhelmingly approved, begins on June 8, 2019 and will be in effect for three years with an optional fourth year if a new product contract with Ford is reached.

“The bargaining committee, Local 1859 and National Staff Representative Luis Domingues negotiated a great deal for every member,” said Sinclair.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:00 am EDT

Unifor making gains in gaming

Workers at two casinos in British Columbia that were recently taken over by new operators have voted to join Unifor and have a voice in their workplaces as the transition to new ownership takes place.

“When new operators come into a workplace, workers need to have a voice,” said Unifor Organizing Director Kellie Scanlan.

“New operators always have a different way of doing things, and workers need a seat at the. table when those changes come.”

Thirty-six gaming workers at the Chances Signal Point Casino in Williams Lake voted on March 13 to join Unifor, just weeks after workers at the Chances Casino in Kamloops also voted to join Unifor.

The workers join more than 20,000 hospitality and gaming workers who are already members of Unifor, including 9,000 gaming workers.

“Across Canada, casino workers are recognizing that Unifor is the union for gaming workers,” Scanlan said.

Work will now begin on negotiating a first contract at the Williams Lake and Kamloops casinos.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 2:30 am EDT

Unifor committed to defending human rights and combating racism

On March 21, 2019, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we pause to reflect on the inherent structures of power that advantage some over others. We also use this opportunity to recognize our union’s work in undoing these discriminatory frameworks and move forward to achieve an equitable society for all.

Built on a history of settler violence and colonialism, our efforts as a nation towards truth and reconciliation leave much to be desired. Going beyond lip service, Canadian policies must allocate adequate resources and funding for programs and services to meet the needs of Indigenous communities, including access to clean water and quality housing. Violence against Indigenous girls and women, and the innumerable lives lost to and impacted by this, demand our attention as a nation.

From discriminatory immigration policies that consider migrant workers good enough to work here but not good enough to belong here, to racial profiling that systemically discriminates against Black people, we, as activists, have much to advocate for. These systems of oppression and injustice perpetrate harmful stereotypes and uneven access to resources and political representation. For these reasons, amongst others, Unifor’s mandate to push for social justice is more relevant now than ever.

In our fight to defend human rights and combat racism, 2018 saw roundtable discussions that address these issues, along with tackling timely topics such as xenophobia and Islamophobia. Human rights training and courses that equip activists with the tools to be a voice for fairness and diversity in workplaces and beyond are other ways our union is paving the way for a more equitable world.

The groundbreaking work of members of the Aboriginal and Workers of Colour committee and that Unifor activists from across the country are an integral part of our fight against racial discrimination. The dedication of Unifor members makes our union a leading force in the struggle for equal rights for all. This International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we call on your continued support – post this shareable to your social media and let’s raise our voices once again in support of workers of colour in Canada and across the world.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:45 am EDT

Forestry leadership focuses on sustainability of jobs and environment

Unifor Forestry Council members, comprised of leaders from forestry locals across the country, gathered in Vancouver on Monday to plan a national forestry campaign that stands up for good jobs, supports communities and defends a sustainable forest sector.

“We learned members across the country are tuned into similar issues and are eager to take action regionally and nationally to promote pride in our sector,” said Yves Guérette, President of Local 299 and Chair of the Forestry Council.

Much of the day’s agenda focused on the many challenges and opportunities in what is a renewable industry that must be an important part of greening Canada’s economy, providing good jobs for generations to come. The Council resolved to make forestry industry and our union’s demands part of the upcoming federal election.

The Council resolved to deepen the union’s involvement on sector working groups and coalitions.

“Forestry has changed a lot in the last twenty years and our members are eager for the union to promote these advances and talk more about how an already-sustainable industry is becoming greener,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “This industry is an important source of jobs for hundreds of communities. Standing up for those jobs and our communities is our main priority.”

Forestry locals in the western region are fighting to protect forestlands against the invasive mountain pine beetle. The beetle has already killed trees across 16 million hectares in British Columbia and is destroying huge areas of Alberta’s boreal forest.

“Inaction on the part of the federal government led to devastation across Jasper National Park and beyond,” said Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director. “We stand to lose thousands more acres, harming habitats, parks and industry unless our government takes immediate action.”

Another issue weighing heavily on members of the Forestry Council is the community division surrounding the Northern Pulp mill in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

“Unifor forestry sector members across Canada stand in solidarity with their sisters and brothers at Northern Pulp,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. “The support we’ve had from the Forestry Council and the western wage caucus is a reflection of the solidarity we build in our union. Make no mistake, we are going to do what whatever is needed to save these jobs and also protect the environment.”

Unifor will continue to promote sustainable forestry with new and exciting initiatives in the months to come.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019 3:00 am EDT

Alberta activists hone election campaigning skills

Unifor activists from across Alberta gathered in Edmonton on March 7 and 8 to fine tune outreach skills and review the plan for the approaching provincial election.

“Elections are a critical time to mobilize fellow union members,” said Megan Tyner, a Unifor member at Local 101-R who has been booked off to help coordinate member outreach. “It’s so important to work as hard as possible to protect what workers have gained under the Rachel Notley government.”

During the two-day training, members reviewed the new legislation governing third-party spending and advertising. The activists also received information about the latest public opinion polling conducted for Unifor and discussed what issues are going to be front and centre in the union’s election materials for the campaign.

Throughout the meeting there was a special emphasis on practical skills, such as canvassing techniques, initiating political conversations, and story-telling. Member activists were encouraged to stay in regular communication with the campaign coordinator.

“Rachel Notley has made remarkable progress on building the transition towards Alberta’s future economy while also strengthening the core public services on which our members rely,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor Western Regional Director. “She’s the only party leader in Alberta who is standing up for what matters.”

Unifor was an important contributor to the historic Alberta NDP election victory in 2015, both in terms of grassroots mobilizing and financial contributions. Since then, Unifor has been an active participant in policy consultations ranging from the energy sector to Just Transition and climate change.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 11:15 am EDT

NS credit union workers give unanimous strike mandate
Strike mandate image

Workers at two branches of the Community Credit Union in Nova Scotia have voted 100 per cent in favour of giving their bargaining committee a strike mandate ahead of conciliation talks scheduled for April.

"Workers coming together like this to stand behind their bargaining committee says a lot about their current working conditions," said Darlene McIvor, Unifor National Representative. "Every single person in this unit wants to see their working conditions improve and they've empowered their bargaining committee through this vote."

Unifor Local 2107 members at Community Credit Union branches in Truro and Amherst, Nova Scotia, are currently in bargaining with the employer.

"Bargaining has been difficult and drawn-out and it's clear the members are frustrated with how challenging it has been to get straight-forward and simple improvements to their contract," said McIvor.

Friday, March 8, 2019 4:30 am EST

Local 1256 nominated for Joint Union Management Spirit Award

Local 1256 members at Dana Canada in Oakville, Ontario have been nominated for an award by United Way Halton and Hamilton.

“From bake sales, to draws to a silent action for which the company donated some big-ticket prizes, our joint fundraising campaign highlighted what a good employer-union relationship can look like,” said Alice Kelly, Unifor Local 126 Unit Chair. “Every year without fail, members come through to help make our campaign successful and to positively contribute towards the many lives that United Way’s work touches.”

Workers at Dana Canada develop engineering solutions that seek to enhance the abilities and longevity of powered vehicles and machinery.

“This nomination speaks volumes for the positive relationship the union has with this employer,” said Angus MacDonald, President of Unifor Local 1256. “This employer-union collaboration has been integral to the widespread success of the campaign.”

The award is one of many to be announced at the Evening of Celebration being hosed by United Way Halton and Hamilton. The evening will provide an overview of the organization’s campaigns over the last year and will celebrate the donors whose contributions have enabled success in fundraising and in community projects. The gathering is expected to include some of United Way Halton and Hamilton’s most notable supporters, community partners, elected officials and labour activists. 

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday, April 3th, 2019

Time: Cocktail Reception at 5:30 p.m. Dinner at 6:15 p.m.

Location: Burlington Convention Centre, at 1120 Burloak Drive, Burlington

Tickets available for purchase here.

About United Way Halton and Hamilton

Funding over 150 programs and nearly 100 local agencies, their work reaches children, youth, adults, and seniors, to bring possibility to those who need our collective support. United Way Halton & Hamilton has a profound impact on the community by ensuring an essential network of programs and services work together to achieve lasting, positive change. For more information, click here.

Friday, March 8, 2019 8:45 am EST


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